News regarding traditional wisdom and native diets regarding nutrition.
This summer, I was fortunate to participate in the groundbreaking International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) conference held in Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting was truly inspiring and exciting to those of us who believe that nutritional approaches are the way forward in the treatment of mental health disorders. While the majority of the presentations at this conference were focused on omega-3 fatty acids, microbiome research, micronutrients, and the Mediterranean diet, there were a few small breakout sessions exploring the potential benefits of ketogenic diets. Ketogenic diets are special low-carbohydrate diets that have been used to treat epilepsy for almost 100 years and show great promise in the management of a wide variety of other brain disorders. One of the presentations I attended was by Dr. Chris Palmer, a psychiatrist from Harvard’s McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. In a small room packed with curious doctors, scientists and nutritionists from around the world, Dr. Palmer described the experiences of two adults in his practice with schizoaffective disorder who had tried a ketogenic diet. I’ve summarized the cases Dr. Palmer presented.
It’s a controversial topic in the culinary world today — the perception some have that soy is a health food. Soybeans in the pod, you may know, look a little like short, puffy, green peas with peach fuzz on the outside. Representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced a boomerang-like decision on how soy protein should be viewed from now on. In fact, the agency is proposing to revoke its long-held stance that soy protein can lower your heart disease risk. The current claim, which you may have seen on various food packages, reads: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Many health advocates claim soy must be good for you because Asian people — arguably one of the healthiest populations on the planet — have eaten it a lot, and have some of the lowest rates of heart disease, cancer and dementia worldwide, so, it appears, the rest of the world should eat soy protein products, too. However, the type of soy traditionally consumed by Asian people differs from that being heavily marketed in the U.S. Soy rose seemingly from nowhere into the American consciousness in the late 20th century. In 1999, the FDA allowed food producers to claim that soy protein was heart healthy, but continuing research has convinced government officials to take a closer look. Incidentally, there are 12 health claims sanctioned by the FDA for packaged foods, including the continued (and false) insistence that saturated fat is the culprit behind heart disease.
Among cruciferous vegetables, which include cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts, broccoli seems to be the most researched for its antioxidant, cancer preventative, and anti-carcinogen qualities. A 2017 study at Penn State University was centered on how broccoli and cruciferous vegetables may affect gut health, including permeability or leaky gut and other gut disturbances. Leaky gut or gut permeability has been brought to the forefront of medical concern since it has been determined to be a source of many other maladies. Two major reasons for this are: 1. It blocks nutrient absorption from the small intestines into the blood stream. 2. It allows toxins from ingested foods to escape the elimination process and enter the blood stream. These two concerns align with what Dr. Max Gerson, who created the Gerson Therapy for cancer and chronic disease, had proposed circa 1950 as the major causes of cancer and other non-infectious diseases, insufficient nutrition and overwhelming environmental toxicity.
Latest research suggests government nutritional advice is likely killing us. The study, published in The Lancet, is the first major study to look at all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease and nutrition. Here are just two of the major takeaways: 1. High carb diets are killing many of us around the world. The study tracked over 135,000 people aged between 35 and 70 from 18 countries; those on a low fat/high carb diet had an increased risk of early death compared to those on a lower carb/higher fat diet. 2. Raw and cooked vegetables are not created equal. Broadly speaking, the study showed that consumption of raw vegetables was more protective against cardiovascular disease than cooked vegetables. As our colleagues at ANH-International point out, many phytochemicals, vitamins, and other nutrients are heat-sensitive and may be damaged by heat. These findings, particularly on fat versus carbs, echo our criticisms of the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans that were released in 2016. Those guidelines encourage Americans to reduce consumption of saturated fat, based on the outdated notion that fat leads to heart disease. Don’t wait until 2020 when the US government next updates its Dietary Guidelines. History tells us the revised guidelines won’t change much. Pressure from Big Food, Big Ag, Big Biotech and their revolving doors with the USDA, NIH and FDA will likely still override the state-of-the-art of nutritional science. The bottom line is that government should not be in charge of doling out nutrition advice.
Health Impact News has reported on many of the disease reversing results of the ketogenic (high fat-moderate protein-low carb) diet. Now, a new study is looking at the positive effects of gut bacteria among those following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Even though Johns Hopkins used a ketogenic diet for curing epilepsy over 80 years ago, when medical drugs did not help epilepsy effectively, mainstream medicine continues to rely on new and expensive toxic drugs for epileptic children. The “cocktail” combinations of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed often worsens childhood epilepsy. Health Impact News previously published a report on how a four year old child with refractory epilepsy (not treatable with pharmaceutical medications), was treated at the Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Clinic using a ketogenic diet. At first, the child was also kept on pharmaceuticals. The results were poor until he was taken off the medications; then he began healing completely. A new Chinese study on pediatric epileptic cases may even draw the attention of mainstream medical professionals, due to the results seen in children's gut microbiota structure when following a high-fat ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet — which is very low in net carbohydrates and high in healthy fats — is key for boosting mitochondrial function. Healthy fats also play an important role in maintaining your body's electrical system. When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that burn far more efficiently than carbs, thereby creating fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals. Ketones also decrease inflammation, improve glucose metabolism and aid the building of muscle mass. The benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet are detailed in my latest bestselling book, "Fat for Fuel." While the book was peer-reviewed by over a dozen health experts and scientists, a new large-scale international study (known as the international Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology, or PURE, study) adds further weight to the premise that high intakes of healthy fats — especially saturated fats — boost health and longevity.
Currently grains, especially wheat, are blamed for most of our digestive ills, which are rampant within a variety of autoimmune diseases, Crohn's, IBS, and leaky gut syndromes that create other diseases. Now we have the gluten free rage, similar to the low or no fat crazes of the past. The commercial food industry “solutions” for the faulty lipid theory of obesity and heart disease, which is a "low-fat diet," has probably created more cases of obesity and heart disease than what had previously existed. So how will this current gluten free fad pan out? Gluten free labels have become such a food industry marketing tool that it’s put on foods and beverages that have nothing to do with wheat or grains. This marketing tool seems to be working for the food industry. But are the proclamations from recent books and the food industry marketing feeding into the anti-grain hysteria? A 2015 Italian study demonstrated that most of those who think they are gluten sensitive actually are not.
Despite the growing evidence that low sodium causes more harm than high sodium, and using unprocessed salt has more benefits than commercial processed table salt, the mostly unsubstantiated belief that salt needs to be demonized persists. The revelations of good science are continually crushed by the pressures of public health policy. Dr. Kendrick explains that the low sodium diets seem to forget that salt is composed of two molecules, salt (Na) and chloride (Cl). The chemical formula for salt is NaCl, or sodium chloride, which is salt. He quotes a study that warned low serum chlorine was more dangerous than previously considered, concluding: "Low, not high Serum Cl- (<100 mEq/L), is associated with greater mortality risk independent of obvious confounders. Further studies are needed to elucidate the relation between Cl- and risk." Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., is the author of recently (2017) published book, The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong--and How Eating More Might Save Your Life .
You’ve seen them and maybe you’ve bought them, cartons and plastic bottles of orange juice labeled "freshly squeezed." But there are some relatively unknown trade secrets that will question the validity of these marketing claims for orange juice. "Freshly squeezed" does not mean they are not highly processed. Juices with short shelf lives are financially risky. Regardless of how “natural” the carton or bottle ingredients read, there are chemical additives to keep them from spoiling during storage, shipping, and time in store refrigerators. The process of supplying orange juice or other juices that are labeled “not from concentrate” involves sleight of hand maneuvers hidden from label exposure. Again, because of seasonal growth and juicing, these juices can’t last forever. So the juices that are freshly squeezed from oranges are stored in large tanks. Then the oxygen is sucked out of the tanks to prevent spoilage. This process is known as “de-aeration,” and it allows the juice to be stored for a year in large tanks. But this process removes a lot of the flavor that either Valencia or Hamlin Florida oranges offer at different seasons. So the orange juice producers contract fragrance producers to supply them with processed flavors to give the desired taste.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is rapidly becoming an international epidemic. The mainstream medical mantra for its underlying cause is "fat consumption." However, "fat" is a very general term and does not distinguish between traditional healthy fats and unhealthy modern processed fats and oils. The common belief is that saturated fat is the culprit in fatty liver disease, but a new study published in the July 4, 2017 European Journal of Nutrition comes to a different conclusion. This peer reviewed study, "Chronic consumption of fructose in combination with trans fatty acids but not with saturated fatty acids induces nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with fibrosis in rats," examined more closely the effects of trans fatty acids (from vegetable oils derived from corn and soybeans) versus saturated fats, found in traditional fats such as butter, coconut oil, and palm oil. The study’s title gives away their conclusion: fructose is bad for the liver, but it is worse with trans fats than it is with saturated fats.