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Optimizing Health

FOODS TO AVOID

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“The people need to learn that the natural condition of human beings is one of health, and that every instance of sickness and suffering, unless caused by accident, is caused by some wrong doing on the part of the sufferer.” —Dr. Harriet Austin, 1850

Let’s begin with the foods that must be avoided, many of which have become staples in the average American’s diet:

1. White sugar, white flour and polished white rice.

These three things are some of the biggest health robbers over which we have control. White flour was actually banned in this country at one time, but because of pressures from the food industry the government backed down and allowed it. Presently, the germ and bran are generally used for animal feed. (I guess they are more valuable than people are). Dr. Royal Lee, a pioneer in the nutritional field, once said, “The whiter the bread, the sooner you are dead.”

In the processing ofwhiteflour the germ, bran, and 20 – 30 known valuable nutrients are removed, and then “enriched” with 3 – 5 synthetic nutrients. These added synthetic nutrients have no benefit to human health, and actually render the bread worse than had it not been enriched at all. As well, store bought whole wheat bread is only marginally better than white bread.

Grinding your own wheat, resulting in a versatile flour, is quite simple, and well worth the effort in taste, quality, nutritional value, and cost–effectiveness. See us for information on grain mills and recipes for simple bread baking and healthy baked goods

Sugar is a drug that poisons your body and robs health. It weakens your immune system and promotes the growth of yeast organisms. To get a perspective of just how bad sugar is, consider this: if you smoke and eat sugar, it would probably be a healthier choice for you to give up the sugar. In most individuals sugar is worse for your health than smoking.

A 12–ounce can of non–diet pop has at least 8 teaspoons of sugar. The average American consumes 54.5 gallons of pop a year and a total of about 170 pounds of sugar per year, equaling a half–pound of sugar consumed every day. Cereals from the grocery store generally have more sugar than wheat or oats. Sugar can be listed as: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, etc. They are all sugar and when added up will most likely be the main ingredient: sugar. They are purposely separated so that you do not realize that sugar is the primary ingredient. To combat this I instruct my patients to READ LABELS! The guideline to follow is that if one of these items is listed as number 4 or less, you may eat it with caution and in moderation.

Good alternative sweeteners, if used sparingly are: raw maple syrup, raw honey, brown rice syrup, succanat, date sugar, molasses, or fructose. Stevia is an herbal sweetener without any calories that improves sugar metabolism, and is by far the best sweetening choice. We have plenty of information on stevia.

Most of the rice sold in this country has been refined and processed just like sugar and wheat to create greater eye appeal. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, during processing nearly all the nutritional value is removed. All that remains is a starchy carbohydrate pasty white substance. Therefore avoid polished, converted, instant and white rice and rice–products. Choose brown or bismatti rice, preferably organic.

2. Aspartame: a.k.a. Nutrasweet, or Equal.

Aspartame is the technical name for Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal–Measure. It accounts for over 75 to 85 percent of the adverse reactions reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than food and other food additives combined. There are 90 different documented reactions to aspartame, some life–threatening, these include: death, headaches, migraines, slurred speech, anxiety attacks, breathing difficulties, memory loss, heart palpitations, vision problems, loss of taste and depression, to name a few.

Aspartame is a neurotoxin as it contains ten times the normal allowable level of methanol, a deadly poison. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a daily consumption of less than eight milligrams of methanol, while a typical diet soda contains 55 milligrams. The possible complications of methanol toxicity include: blindness, brain swelling, cardiac damage, numbness, pancreatitis, shooting pains, and even death. During digestion methanol is broken down into formaldehyde which is known to cause to cancer.

Phenylalanine, the major component in Nutrasweet, can cause the levels of the brain neurotransmitter, serotonin, to decrease, which may led to depression. Phenylalanine can cross the placenta into a fetus and may cause growth disruption of the fetal brain. Many Americans lack the needed enzyme to properly metabolize phenylalanine leading to toxic levels of phenylalanine in the blood.

Aspartic acid or aspartate, an amino acid, is approximately 40 % of the chemical make up of aspartame. In Nutrasweet, it can significantly raise blood levels of aspartate and glutamate shortly after being consumed. These substances lead to “over excitation”. . Hence they are referred to as excitotoxins and eventually lead to premature neural cell death. Aspartame actually interferes with glucose metabolism, making weight reduction more difficult in obese individuals.

Since aspartame is a food additive it does not fall under the more strict food regulations. When considering aspartame consumption, as with exposures to all toxins, to quote Clint Eastwood, “Do you feel lucky today?”

3. Non–organic meats and all pork and processed luncheon meats.

The feeding of hormones and antibiotics to animals has led to number of serious consequences causing ill health. Half of the antibiotics produced in this country are fed to animals. As a result of the over–crowded and sunlight–deprived living conditions of animals, antibiotics are fed to them to prevent the spreading of disease. Hormones are given to the animals to speed up the time it takes for the animal to come to market. These drugs are passed through the food and are partially responsible for antibiotic resistant diseases, hormone problems, and even cancer in humans. By eating organically raised meat you are assured the meat is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Pigs are animals which were created as scavenger animals, they will eat anything. They have a very short digestive time, which allows toxins to be deposited in their skeletal muscle within hours. This process allows for the absorption of partially digested food particles in to the skeletal muscle. In order to allow for the utilization of their food their skeletal muscle is loaded with parasites, which serve a symbiotic purpose; that being, they help to break down the partially digested food particles. The parasites and viruses in pork can be passed on to humans, even with cooking. Additionally, pork frequently contains mold spores. Pork is used in labs that culture cancer cells, as it will actually
promote the growth of cancer cells. I caution my patients to avoid all pork.

Avoid all processed and cured meats as they may contain large amounts of “bad” fats, pork, and other animal byproducts as well as nitrates and nitrites. Nitrates and nitrites break down in the digestive tract into cancer– promoting agents called nitrosamines.

The best source of meat is free–ranged (meaning they are allowed to roam while growing as opposed to strict confinement) chicken, turkey, lamb, buffalo and beef. Wild game can be a good source, however some of their food sources make for an area of concern. Grass–fed beef has a number of health promoting benefits. They are richer in omega–3 fatty acids and CLA or conjugated linoleic acids which are both health promoting.

4. Margarine and other hydrogenated oils.

Margarine and other hydrogenated oil products are fake foods, and pose a serious health threat. Scientists have proven that hydrogenated oils increase “bad” cholesterol, decrease “good” cholesterol, increase triglycerides, and increase proteins which cause plaquing of the arteries. Therefore, they significantly increase stroke and heart disease.

Hydrogenated oils are trans fatty acids, are dangerous to your health, and therefore need to be avoided. They are present in commercially made cookies, crackers, doughnuts, pastries, deep–fat fried foods (including those from all major “fast–food” chains), chips, and imitation cheeses. Partially hydrogenated oils are no safer than hydrogenated. In fact, all hydrogenated oils are only partially hydrogenated. Trans fatty acids may be listed as “polyunsaturated” so read food labels closely. ANY QUANTITY OF HYDROGENATED FATS IS TOO MUCH!

Let me explain further. All natural fats occur in “cis” configurations (healthy). “Trans” configurations (unhealthy) are created when a healthy oil is destroyed during the processing through heating, bleaching, deodorizing, and then hydrogenating. The “cis” and “trans” configuration refers to the structure of the molecule, structure determines function; just like a lock and key. Each lock will accept only a certain key. The same is true here. Trans fatty acids cause cell membranes to break, interfere with normal cell metabolism thus allowing toxins or foreign substances to enter the cell. Abnormal cell membrane function can lead to cancer and heart disease as well as interfere with normal brain function.

If you have any “Crisco,” other solid shortening, or margarine please throw it away. Butter is a much better choice. A butter spread that we like is: In a blender mix 1C. softened butter, 1/2 to 1C. oil (previously discussed, flaxseed would be best here, use to your flavor preference), 1 Tbl powered goat’s milk (optional), Celtic Sea Salt to taste. Keep this in the refrigerator. You have not only an excellent alternative but one that will provide necessary essential fatty acids as well. Look for liquid cooking oils that are cold–processed and expeller–pressed.

5. Milk.

The ad campaigns “Got Milk” are everywhere. When I instruct my patients to avoid milk and unfermented milk products such as cheese, most are shocked. Pasteurized homogenized milk that most drink is an unhealthy beverage choice!

The biggest concern with milk consumption is toxic exposure. Dairy cows might be injected with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (BGH), which increases their milk production as well as milk’s dangers. Dairy cows are routinely given antibiotics for both prophylactic and treatment purposes. The FDA monitors the levels of eighty different allowable antibiotics contained in the milk. Synthetic vitamin D is added to replace the natural form removed along with the buttermilk. In addition, I consider the dioxins, pesticides, herbicides and other carcinogens to which the cows are exposed, to create a greater risk than benefit gained from the consumption of milk.

Milk is one of the top allergy–producing foods. It has been proven to play a role in insulin dependent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia and infertility. It has been shown to be involved in: diarrhea, atherosclerosis, bloating, gas, skin rashes, acne, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

I routinely inform my 1% or 2% milk–drinkers that they have been sold an unhealthy product. These two products contain non–fat dried milk. The cholesterol in non–fat dried milk is oxidized and rancidified in its processing. This altered cholesterol promotes cancer, heart disease and accelerated aging.

Pasteurized and homogenized milk is not a good source of calcium. The processing of milk changes the structure so that its calcium becomes less soluble and less bioavailable. In fact, countries with the highest consumption of processed milk also have the highest incidences of osteoporosis. Better sources of calcium include fresh green leafy vegetables and high quality calcium lactate supplements.

Raw unpasteurized milk is healthy because it contains live enzymes and has not been chemically altered during the processing. Even those who are lactose intolerant are often able to tolerate raw milk. Unfortunately, in order to extend shelf life and thus increase profits, it is unavailable for most. If you know a farmer who raises their dairy cows organically, you can buy raw milk from them (as an animal feed), it will stay fresh up to seven days. Raw goat milk is equally healthful.

6. Shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp, etc.).

It would be wise to eliminate all shellfish, as they are bottom–feeding scavengers. A scavenger’s job is to clean up waste. Shellfish are typically harvested along shorelines and in shallow waters. They therefore tend to be exposed to higher levels of toxins (herbicides and pesticides) than deep–sea fish, because of run–off. Due to a poor excretory system they retain higherlevels of toxins as well.Additionally, shellfish are notorious for being infested with parasites and viruses. Deep–sea, cold water fish (with fins and scales) contain many health promoting nutrients and need to be part of a healthy diet.

7. Soy.

The soybean has been marketed as a health food by the soybean industry as a means to increase demand. They have taken health benefits out of context and published them without weighing the negative effects. The truth is soy is not a health food; it is a food that inhibits and even destroys health!

Let’s take a brief look at soy’s negative effects on health:

  • Soy is high in phytates or phytic acid. This organic compound makes the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc extremely difficult.
  • In order to make soy protein digestible it must be highly processed. The processing destroys the food value and makes it toxic.
  • Soy contains substances that can significantly decrease thyroid function.
  • Soy blocks enzymes necessary for protein digestion, which can lead to digestive problems and protein deficiencies.
  • Soy contains a clot–promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump.
  • Soybeans can contain high levels of herbicides and pesticides.
  • A large proportion of soybeans are from genetically modified seeds which have been banned in many countries.
  • Soy may reduce libido (sex drive). Vegetarian monks find it beneficial in helping them remain celibate.
  • Soy appears to increase the incidence of cancer of the thyroid, esophagus, pancreas, and liver.
  • Soy’s “estrogenic” effect seems to accelerate aging, exacerbate cardiovascular disease, contributes to osteoporosis as well as other negative hormone effects.
  • Soy formula contains concentrations of estrogen compounds 13,000 to 22,000 times that of breast milk or conventional milk–based formula. Is this why some girls are beginning to have secondary sex changes as early as eight and male sperm counts have plummeted?

The Chinese did not consume soybeans until they learned how to ferment them, and then only as condiments. Fermented soy products appear to be less dangerous and may be consumed periodically as tempeh, soy sauce, miso, and tofu.

8. Microwaved food.
Microwave ovens were originally developed by the Nazis during W.W.II to support mobile operations. The technology was brought to the United States by the War Department for further scientific investigation. The Soviet Union also received the technology and was very active in their research on them. Unlike the US, the Soviet Union has banned the use of microwave ovens because of health concerns, and has issued international warnings on the environmental and biological health hazards.

Microwaves are a high–energy, high–frequency electromagnetic wave that heats food by causing food molecules to vibrate at frequencies up to 2.5 billion times per second. This super heats foods by creating motion in the cells causing friction and heat. This high heat destroys the structure of proteins, vitamins, enzymes and cofactors. Structure determines function; once the structure is changed these compounds cannot perform the function which they were designed to perform in your body.

All forms of heat over a certain temperature cause damage to living organisms. Just look what happens to your skin when you touch a hot object. The cooking of foods has been proven to increase an inflammatory response within the body when ingested. The super heating and resultant change of structure caused by microwaves has been proven in clinical studies to be associated with a decline in hemoglobin levels. These reductions may contribute to anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid malfunctions as well as a host of other autoimmune diseases.

If you have looked at a can of infant in formula you may have seen a warning about heating formula in a microwave oven. Perhaps, like most Americans, you thought that was because it could cause overheating or uneven heating. In December of 1989 the medical journal Lancet published an article stating that when heated certain amino acids were converted into compounds that were neurotoxic (toxic to the nervous system) and nephrotoxic (toxic to the kidneys). Not only is bottle–feeding quite inferior to breast–feeding, it can be downright toxic.