Food For Thought
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Are We Truly What We Eat?
February 5th, 2001
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey

"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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Are we truly what we eat? Over the past several months, I've received many requests to visit this subject again from my readers. Yes, we are truly what we eat. Natural foods and even supplements do make a difference in the human body. The human body has adapted genetically to the food supply over the last 50,000 years or so as the food supply has changed. Our food supply including animal and plant life has changed genetically over these thousands of years to adapt to changing weather climates, insects and other conditions. As this change occurred, it changed the genetic makeup of the food supply, animal and plant life. There are many different components in both animal and plant food supplies. Some are the same, some are completely different with each providing a unique function within the body, affecting every major organ. Vitamins, minerals, trace element minerals, proteins, and most importantly essential fatty acids are required for a healthy immune system. Without these, poor health and disease begins in the body. There are also genetic weaknesses in every living creature.

It is estimated by genetic researchers that 99.9999% of all humans have some kind of genetic weakness. This damage can be caused during fetal development. However, research also shows that genetic damage can also be caused by external factors. An example of this is folic acid. It has been shown in pregnant women deficient in this vital acid during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects in the fetus. Hence, genetic damage. External factors such as chemicals, toxins and foods that are either contaminated with these toxins or have been changed genetically can affect the human body it uses these vital nutrients. That is why it is so important to eat healthy foods, natural foods that have not been sprayed with harmful chemicals or have been genetically altered. A recent example of this is the yellow corn recall. Yellow corn was genetically altered to combat certain insects. What was the result of this genetic alteration of a natural food? Researchers found that it not only kills the beautiful monarch butterfly but causes severe allergic reactions in humans. The human body has not been able to adapt in how to deal with the toxins or the changes in the DNA of the food source. It causes a vital nutrient that cannot be absorbed by the body for optimum health to be attacked by the immune system in the body because it thinks the altered food item is a foreign invader. The problem here is this. During the process of attacking the altered protein or plant enzyme in the food source, the body has already absorbed that part of the protein or enzyme into certain organs. So when the immune system attacks the changed protein or enzyme in a food source, it attacks the organ as well. In the case of the corn, the human immune system viewed the altered gene in the corn as a foreign invader that it could not recognize. The immune system thus mounted an attack and in the process caused severe allergic reactions in these peoples bodies. what is the healthy way to eat? First, going on fad diets are the worst thing one can do. The only and best thing to do is cut down on portions to reduce calorie intake and EXERCISE. Another words, that means getting off the couch and do some exercise at least three times a week for thirty minutes each time.

Now, what are the correct and healthy foods to eat. Eat a variety of foods. People require over 40 different nutrients to stay healthy. Make sure you eat fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, lean meats, fish and poultry, peas, beans and low-fat dairy products. It has been proven that if you fish at least once a week, you reduce the risk of heart disease by 1/2 half, yes 1/2. A minimum total of 30 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber a daily, 40 grams is actually better. Presently most people eat only 11 grams of fiber a day. Maybe that is why there is a higher incidence of colon cancer in the countries where populations are consuming less fiber. People in countries that consume more fiber daily have the lower incidence of colon cancer. And don't go bother with eating low-fat or nonfat foods. Recent studies show that these can actually cause you to gain weight. The eat more of it thinking it is low fat when the truth is you are consuming up three times the amount of fat if you just ate the regular stuff. Second limit your saturated fats to know more than 30% of your total calorie intake. Eat foods containing the required nutrients the body needs. Here is a list of the foods and compounds in foods that supply these. The possible additional health benefits are listed also.

Soluble Fiber: Most fruits and vegetables, barley, most beans, oatmeal and certain breakfast cereals. Watch out for cereals containing hydrogenated oils though. Here is an easy way to remember. Each meal on your plate should contain at least 30% of these daily, or one third of your plate should be covered by these foods. These have been linked with a a significant risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Insoluble Fiber: Mostly vegetables, almonds, brown rice, legumes, whole wheat. These foods prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. They are linked in lowering the risk of colon cancer. Helps significantly with diverticulitis, they are inflamed protrusions in the colon. Lower the risk of duodenal ulcers. Recent research shows even possibly breast cancer.

VITAMIN C: Cantaloupe, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, ( bet you did know that about broccoli), brussel sprouts, both hot or sweet peppers, snow pea pods. Vitamin C is linked to a reduced risk of arthritis, asthma, cancer, cataracts, cognitive impairment, coronary heart disease and macular degeneration.

B VITAMINS: Avocado, spinach, salmon, lima, navy, pinto, garbanzo beans. All of the B vitamins are important for a good cardiovascular, mental health, thyroid function, nerve function, and even depression.

FOLIC ACID: Asparagus, avocado, orange juice, dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, spinach, legumes, eggs, fish, buts, seeds, wheat germ. Helps prevent neural-tube birth defects such as spinal bifida. Also linked to a reduced risk of many disease including coronary heart disease, cancer, and memory impairment in older people.

POTASSIUM: Most fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, meat, milk, seafood. This ism important mineral. The body requires this along with a proper ratio of calcium and magnesium in controlling normal blood pressure.

CALCIUM: Dark green leafy vegetables, figs, almonds, black eyed pease, some dairy products, canned fish with bones, tofu made with calcium salts. Needed to prevent osteoporosis. Also linked to helping to control normal blood pressure.

MAGNEISUM:Avocao, banana, dark green leafy vegetables, chocolate, (recent studies show that chocolate is actually good for the body in small amounts), legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains. This reduces risks of abnormal heart rhythms, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and osteoporosis, (osteoarthritis).

FLAVONOIDS: Also known as Kaempferol and Quercetin enzymes are found in apples, citrus fruits, cranberries, purple grapes, (high amounts in cranberries and purple grapes), broccoli, celery, onions, beer, chocolate, coffee, red wine, tea. They are shown to inhibit cancer-cell growth in laboratory studies. They are shown to lowe the risk of coronary heart disease.

CAROTENOIDS: Also known as lutein and lycopene. Brightly or deeply colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes. They are shown to reduce the risk of cataracts, coronary heart disease, several cancers and macular degeneration of the eyes.

ALLICIN: Also known as sulphur-allyl cysteine. Most widely found in raw garlic and some powdered garlics. Also found in chives, leeks, onions. Powerful natural antibiotic because of the sulphur. Helps immune system to fight bacteria and viruses daily the human body is bombarded with. Also linked to a reduced risk of cancer and coronary heart disease.

ISOTHIOCYANATES: Found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. This is a very important find. These compounds/enzymes have been found in animal studies to retard the growth of cancer cells

INDOLES: Same as the above.

TERPENES: Found in citrus fruits. Recent studies show these are linked with a reduced risk of cancer.

The most important food for the body is oil. Oils have what are called essential fatty acids. If you want to read what these really do in depth, read my column, "Hydrogenated Oils-Silent Killers". You can find this on my website. Short explanation, there are good oils and bad oils to eat, especially hydrogenated oils, so read my column. Here is a chart that shows the saturated fat, monosaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat content of coconut oil, peanut oil, olive oil, corn oil. I am not listing canola oil because I do not believe it is the healthy oil that it is made out to be. If you would like to read why, read this research report.

This chart will give you an idea of the
saturated fat, ( bad fat ),
monounsaturated fat, ( the best or "good" fat ) and
polyunsaturated fat ( a controversial fat ) in these oils.
One tablespoon of these oils contain:

Oil Calories Carlories from Fat Total Fat Grams -- Saturated Fat = Monounsaturated Fat = Polyunsaturated Fat
Coconut Oil 120 100 13.6% ---------------------------- -------- --
Peanut Oil 120 100 13.6% ----- -------- --
Olive Oil 120 100 13.6% ----- -------- --
Corn Oil 120 100 13.6% ----- -------- --

Olive oil is my #1 choice followed by coconut oil. Coconut oil ( unrefined cold expeller pressed, not refined) is excellant to fry french fries with. Olive oil is excellent to use in baking and some frying,( light frying like stir frying), if you mix a little coconut oil in to increase its' heating maximum range. Read my column, "Hydrogenated Oils-Silent Killers". on my site. You will learn why natural non-hydrogenated, unrefined, cold expeller pressed oils provide essential fatty acids required by the body for many functions, especially for a healthy immune system and healthy cardiovascular system.

Is there a difference between taking tablet form of vitamins and minerals? Yes!

In the Physicians Desk Reference, you will find a chart that states that as much as 60% of the vitamin or minerals you take in tablet form are lost in the digestion process and never absorbed into the body. Whereas, spray or liquid vitamins or minerals are absorbed nearly 100% directly into tissues and bloodstream via the saliva glands in the mouth. The bottom line, you are literally throwing away up to 60% of every dollar spent on tablet forms of vitamin or minerals. My advice, use liquid or spray vitamins and minerals. You use less, thereby saving money and getting more of a health benefit.

Trace element minerals are very important also such as boron. Much of our water and food supplies have been depleted of this precious mineral and a deficiency of this has been linked to increased cancer. SolarRay makes a good spray multiple vitamin and Nurpharma Nutraceuticals makes an excellent liquid mineral and trace element supplement called Beres Drops Plus. It has even been used in Europe for replacing lost minerals due to cancer treatment. But most important, it help to replace minerals and trace elements that we have lost in our water and food supplies. Minerals are a very important part of a healthy immune system. And if you have not had your thyroid checks for hypothyroidism, do so. Research now shows that is a leading cause of high cholesterol and triglycerides. Make sure you get all the thyroid tests, not just the standard TSH test. You need these other thyroid tests, a T3, T4, FREE T3, FREE T4 and TBG, (Thyroid Binding Immunoglobins). In some people, the standard TSH test for thyroid function simply does not catch the problem. Many Physicians are finding patients only low in T3 thyroid hormone and the TBG values. The Thyroid Binding Immunoglobins are what transport/synthesize the thyroid hormones. A deficiency in these means your normal thyroid hormones are not being used properly. Consult a leading endocrinologist that has kept up to date with this problem. A few Family Practice Physicians have.

The bottom line. Eat naturally occurring foods. Get a balance of fiber, carbohydrates and proteins daily. Eat healthy unrefined oils that provide more monounsaturated fats, but have low amount saturated and polyunsaturated fats. Flaxseed oil is an excellent oil. It is a a balanced ratio of Omega3 and Omega6 essential fatty acids. Did you know that Eskimos had the lowest incidence of diabetes type II and coronary heart disease until the western diet of high Omega6 essential fatty acids in the form of hydrogenated vegetables oils, especially corn oil, was brought to them. Small amounts of brown raw sugar are not bad for you. Use it in your baking instead of white sugar. Make sure you read my column, Hydrogenated Oils-Silent Killers". And make sure you are not using any margarines. They contain hydrogenated oils and high levels of trans fatty acids that increase coronary heart disease dramatically. Use plain simple butter in small amounts. The body can handle it. To use this simple analogy. The human body is truly no different than a automobile. If you put the wrong weight of oil in the auto, the engine in the automobile will eventually burn itself up. Put the wrong type of oil in your body and the same thing will happen.

In the next few weeks, The Recipe Korner will be going through a change. Are you tired when you get home from work or from child caring all day and just don't know what to fix for dinner? Instead of listing classified ads for recipes in the The Recipe Korner, we will be listing actual healthy recipes for your daily meals in each section. So make sure you come back to check out The Recipe Korner in a couple of weeks.

Here is an short update of great importance concerning the supplement Glucosamine Sulfate. Glucosamine Sulfate is a synthetic version of a body substance that helps build cartilage. As we age, this substance declines in the human body, especially if you are not eating correctly. Recently published this week in the Lancet Medical Journal, ( the Boston Medical Center), a report by Belgian scientists have confirmed that this wonderful supplement does indeed help build cartilage. In a three year double-blind study of 212 people with severe arthritic knees in Liege, Belgium, x-rays at the end of the study showed that cartilage has been rebuilt in the affected knees of the group that took Glucosamine Sulfate. The other group took a placebo and saw no increased cartilage or decrease in pain. Whereas the other group experienced markable relief from pain due to the cartilage rebuilding effect. So, if you suffer from Osteoarthritis, start taking this wonderful supplement. Amazing how they are finally started to prove that supplements can indeed effect amazing benefits and even cures.

~ God Bless ~

~ David Lawrence Dewey ~

Click Here for a list of food companies that manufacture oils and foods
that do not contain hydrogenated oils.
Get your local grocer to start stocking these foods,
many of the companies you can order direct from the company.

In the United States, medical diagnosis and treatment is constrained by law to be the exclusive purview of state licensed practitioners. The diseases discussed on this site are serious, sometimes life threatening matters. Neither the content nor the intent of this column may or should be construed as the giving of medical advice or as recommending any treatment of any kind. The purpose of this column is to support informed discussions, to provide medical research links and and to help the patient identify the doctors who keep up with advances in their field.

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