SUGAR: SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH SUGAR? The main problem with sugar is that it creates an acidic environment and causes inflammation in the body. Disease processes thrive in an acidic environment. Sugar is linked to increased yeast growth in the gut, eczema, diabetes, mood alterations, anxiety, depression and hyperactivity and many other disease processes. If you or your child is consuming a diet high in sugar then you are no doubt going to be more susceptible to developing these symptoms. Some of the ugly sugars that are a MUST to avoid are things like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Sucralose, Apsartame etc. Use healthier alternatives such as xylitol, stevia or raw honey.
BAD FATS: The big myth is that fat makes you fat. The truth is Bad Fats make you Fat. They also cause inflammation at the cellular level. Your cells need healthy fats to help make and repair themselves. The bad fats damage the cell walls and in simple terms the good stuff can’t get in and the bad stuff can’t get out (cellular congestion). Bad saturated fats to avoid are hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils (corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil), Trans fats (margarine, synthetic butters, and shortening), roasted nuts and seed butters. Healthy fats are essential to brain development, cellular healing, anti-inflammation, absorbing vitamins, cushioning vital organs, increased awareness and learning abilities, increases heart health, focus and concentration. Healthy fats include things like olive oils, raw nuts and seeds, omegas-flax seed or fish oils, coconut oils, etc.
TOXINS: The FDA has approved more than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, and colorings. The majority of these chemicals are classified as neuro-toxins and/or excito-toxins and have detrimental effects on brain function and especially in a rapidly developing child’s brain development. Excito-toxins and neurotoxins are substances that cause excess of excitatory neurotransmission in the brain. This can lead to neuron death and chronic inflammation in the brain. Most of these did not exist a century ago. There has been NO research done on the long term effects of these chemicals on our bodies. Bottom line is you MUST read your labels! Examples are chemical food dyes (Red #40, Yellow #6, Blue#1 etc), monosodium glutamate(MSG), aspartame, etc.
GLUTEN: What is it and why might it be bad? Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt etc. In a healthy functioning digestive system, enzymes will break down these long chain proteins. Commonly in americans there are digestive/malabsorption issues or what people may know as IBS, Leaky Gut, and Celiac Disease. Symptoms of gluten intolerance can be bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. The problem can be that enzymes are not present to break these proteins down. This can cause the proteins to stay in peptide form. Peptides have an opioid effect if not broken down properly causing not only the symptoms listed previously but also neurological symptoms such as brain fog, anxiety, decreased cognitive function, dilated pupils, depression, and sleep disturbances. They also cause addiction to these foods. But you must remember that Gluten is not the “cause” of the dysfunction. One MUST address the question, “why did the body develop the inability to break down and absorb a natural occurring protein in foods?” Toxicities, a diet high in preservatives and processed foods and lack of good bacteria in the gut are just some of the causes. Avoiding gluten, adding digestive enzymes that contain DPP- IV, and adding a probiotic daily can make a world of difference! A side note: If someone has had their gallbladder removed they should be on digestive enzymes FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. If they do not support this they will end up with IBS and eventually Diverticulitis.
CASEIN: Casein is a milk protein similar to the molecular structure of the gluten protein. It is found in Cows milk products(cheese, milk, creamer, butter) Due to digestive and malabsorption issues the improper break down of this protein produces the peptide casomorphin, an opioid that acts as a histamine and increases inflammation throughout the body causing similar symptoms as Gluten but most commonly increased mucous membrane congestion(lungs/sinus/ears) and constipation. Hidden sources of casein are Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Milk Proteins, Fortified Proteins, Milk solids. Removing these product from the diet, adding in digestive enzymes and probiotics is a basic place to start. Alternatives are goats milk, Ghee(clarified butter), nut milks such as Almond, Cashew and Coconut.
Addressing diet is so critical when dealing with health issues and one of the easiest ways to turn your health around. You can simply start with just reading your labels. What I teach all of my patient’s is this simple phrase “If you can’t read it…don’t eat it”. Try to keep the amount of items listed in the ingredients labels to less than 8-10. Ideal is to have all organic and non-gmo.