Seasonal Foods to Check Out

7 Surprising Superfoods to Look for This Spring

Story at-a-glance

  • Eating locally means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods, many of which you may never have heard of before: morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, cherimoya, sorrel, stinging nettles, purslane and wild leeks
  • Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them
  • Morel mushrooms are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Fiddleheads are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns, and have a flavor reminiscent of asparagus
  • Cherimoyas contain approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs, while nettles provide healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium
  • One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron; purslane is the omega-3 powerhouse of the plant kingdom

By Dr. Mercola

Eating locally grown foods comes with a bounty of benefits, from fresher foods to saving both money and the environment. One 2007 study from the University of Alberta, Canada, determined that the transportation alone of organic produce actually causes an environmental impact large enough to cancel out many of its benefits.1

If you look, you’ll find that most of the organic fruit and vegetables in your local grocery store come from much farther away than your conventional produce. Fresh produce in most regions of the U.S. actually travel between 1,500 to 2,000 miles on the road. That’s even higher than processed foods, which are shipped an average of 1,346 miles.2 Eating locally grown foods helps eliminate a substantial amount of the carbon footprint associated with food transportation.

Eating locally automatically means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods,3 many of which you may never have heard of before. Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them.

No. 1: Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms

Morel mushrooms, the tops of which resemble small shower loofahs, are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Its taste has been described as umami, or savory. Rarely cultivated, morel mushrooms are typically wild-harvested and picking the mushrooms is a popular tradition for many.

That said, avoid picking mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re picking. There are a number of toxic mushrooms, including a species called “false morels,” and it’s easy to get them confused unless you have a lot of experience and know what to look for.

As noted in a recent study,4 “Morels have been in use in traditional medicine for centuries, due to their health-related benefits, and current research demonstrated their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, in addition to immunostimulatory and antitumor properties.”

Most of the health benefits have been attributed to polysaccharides, along with a number of phytochemicals, primarily phenolic compounds, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and vitamin D. Morel mushrooms are an excellent addition cooked with any side dish and go great with all kinds of meat and fish. Many people enjoy eating them as a side dish on their own, gently sautéed for five to 10 minutes with a pat of butter. Never eat morel mushrooms raw, as they contain trace amounts of a toxin that make some people ill.

No. 2: Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead Ferns

Chances are you’ve never heard of fiddlehead ferns5,6 unless you’re a frequent visitor of farmers markets and specialty health food stores. As the name implies, the small curly discs are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns. The taste has been likened to that of asparagus, but with bit more crunch and bitterness. Others say they taste like a mix of asparagus, spinach and broccoli all in one.

High in antioxidants (twice the amount of blueberries) and plant-based omega-3, fiddlehead ferns are a potent anti-inflammatory food.7 They also contain vitamins A and C, both of which are important for healthy vision and immune function. Iron and phosphorous aid red blood cell production and are important for healthy formation of cell membranes and bone, while potassium supports heart health and electrolyte and muscle functions.

Fiddleheads are commonly picked in Maine and Canada, but can often be found in health food stores. Their season is quite brief — two to three weeks at the most. To ensure quality, look for specimens that have tightly coiled heads with stems about 2 inches in length. If picking your own, make sure you know how to identify ostrich ferns, as they are commonly confused with bracken fern — a species known to cause cancer in lab animals.

Also, fiddleheads may cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed raw, so light cooking, just as you would asparagus, is recommended. They can also be pickled for longer shelf life. For instructions, see this spicy pickled fiddleheads’ recipe by The Spruce.8

The following video will help you properly identify edible fiddleheads from the ostrich fern. Consider adding them to dishes that normally call for asparagus. Many recipes suggest eating them steamed or boiled with hollandaise sauce, cooked then chilled and topped with plain mayo, or lightly sautéed and tossed with some butter, lemon, vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

No. 3: Cherimoya

Cherimoya

This heart-shaped “dragon-scaled” tropical fruit has a sweet, buttery inside. Select specimens that are hard and green. As avocados, cherimoyas ripen quickly on the counter. Once the skin turns a bronze color and feels soft to the touch, it’s ready to eat. Simply peel and slice. Their flavor has been likened to a combination of banana, papaya and pineapple. Pureed, they can also be added to smoothies.

A single fruit contains approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs. In Mexico, the fruit has traditionally been used to ease anxiety, thanks to the presence of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has mild antidepressive effects.

It’s also high in fiber, iron and niacin, and contain powerful compounds shown to combat cancer, malaria and human parasites. Cherimoya provides high amounts of potassium that help control heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, it contains more minerals weight per weight than a lot of more common fruits, including apples.

No. 4: Sorrel

Sorrel

Sorrel, also known as spinach dock or narrow-leaved dock, is a perennial leafy herb cultivated around the world. Packed with health benefits and a tangy, lemony flavor, it adds a bit of zing to just about any salad or dish, including creamy soups.

One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron. Keep in mind that sorrel contains oxalic acid, which is contraindicated for those struggling with or prone to oxalate kidney stones. For most people, small quantities are completely safe and provide valuable health benefits. According to Organic Facts:9

The health benefits of sorrel include its ability to improve eyesight, slow the aging process, reduce skin infections, strengthen the immune system, and improve digestion. It also builds strong bones, increases circulation, increases energy levels, helps prevent cancer, lowers blood pressure, increases appetite, protects against diabetes, strengthens heart health and improves kidney health.”

No. 5: Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles

While typically considered a pesky and painful weed, stinging nettles10 have unique health benefits. (On a side note, should you have them growing in your yard, they’re actually a sign of rich, healthy soil.) Just make sure you use gloves during handling until they’ve been cooked, to avoid a painful rash.

Once blanched or sautéed, they can be safely consumed, providing healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium. Traditionally, nettles have been valued for its blood purifying properties, and can also be made into tea, said to ease congestion and soothe allergies and asthma.

Nettle tea may also boost milk production if you’re nursing, and helps stimulate your digestive glands, including your intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. To learn more about the health benefits of stinging nettles and the various ways you can use it (including instructions for making nettle tea), see “Nettle: The Stinging Weed That Can Help You Detoxify.”

No. 6: Purslane

Purslane

Purslane11 (also called duckweed, fatweed, pigweed, pusley, verdolaga, ma chi xian in Chinese, munyeroo or wild portulaca), is the omega-3 powerhouse of the vegetation kingdom, and there’s a high probability it’s growing in your yard right now. According to Mother Earth News, it’s the most reported weed species in the world.12

Purslane looks very much like a miniature jade plant, with fleshy succulent leaves and reddish stems. The stems grow flat to the ground and radiate outward from a single taproot, sometimes forming large, flat circular mats up to 16 inches across. In about mid-July, it develops tiny yellow flowers about one-quarter inch in diameter.

Seeds of purslane are extremely tough, some remaining viable in the soil for 40 years, and it can grow in almost anything, from fertile garden loam to the most arid desert soil — even in your rock driveway. Just be very careful not to confuse purslane with spurge, because they can look similar, and spurge will make you sick. The following video shows how to tell them apart.

Purslane has a stellar omega-3 fatty acid profile, compared to other vegetables, containing anywhere from 300 to 400 milligrams (mg) of omega-3 per cup. It also contains six times more vitamin E than spinach, seven times more beta carotene than carrots, providing about 44 percent of your daily vitamin A needs per 100 grams,13 25 mg of vitamin C per cup, plus magnesium, calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and manganese.

Purslane can be eaten either raw or cooked. If you’re planning on eating raw purslane, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been used nearby. If you’ve been spraying Roundup in your yard, never eat weeds collected from the area. Also avoid them if your neighbor has used Roundup in their yard, as the chemicals can easily drift across property lines.

As a precaution, wash the leaves and stems thoroughly before consuming. Typically, people eat the young purslane leaves and stems to avoid the tougher parts of the plant. For cooked purslane, there are numerous ways to incorporate this herb in your favorite dishes. You can boil it in water for 10 minutes and drain, or simply add it to other recipes to give the dish an added crunch.

No. 7: Ramps

Ramps

Ramps is a type of wild leek, featuring small white bulbs with hairy roots. While resembling green onions in appearance, their flavor is more akin to garlic. If you’re lucky enough to find them, be sure to get some. Ramps are exceedingly scarce as they’re a slow grower, and are only in season for a few weeks in spring.

Look for specimens that are firm, with bright green leaves. Don’t buy or use them if you notice brown spots or slimy areas. Unwashed and wrapped in a plastic bag, ramps can be refrigerated for up to a week. Ramps are a good source of vitamins A and C, selenium and chromium, the latter of which helps stabilize blood sugar. As for how to use them in your cooking, Organic Authority suggests:14

“[U]se ramps as you would scallions, green onions or leeks. Anything that would pair well with garlic or leeks will love the ramp. Slice them thinly and use sparingly, and also handle them gently, adding them at the end of the cooking process. Think simple to allow ramps to shine: Scrambled into eggs, garnished alongside seafood, mixed into big bowls of pasta, or oven roasted or grilled to perfection.”

How to Find Locally-Grown Food That Is in Season

When you eat locally grown foods, the contents of your shopping bag inevitably change with each passing season. In other words, adjusting what you eat to what’s in season becomes an inescapable fact if you’re going to eat locally-grown foods, and if you keep this in mind, it can become a pleasurable part of your culinary experimentation. Here are some tips for tracking down locally-grown foods that are in season:

  1. If you’re lucky enough to have a local farmers market, that’s the way to go. For a listing of national farmers markets and local food directories, see the USDA’s website. Another great resource is www.localharvest.org.
  2. Another good route for finding local food is to subscribe to a community supported agriculture program (CSA). Some are seasonal while others offer year-round programs. Once you subscribe, many will drop affordable, high quality locally-grown produce right at your door step. For a comprehensive list of CSA’s and a host of other sustainable agriculture programs, check out my Sustainable Agriculture page.
  3. Local farmers are perhaps your best source for seasonal produce. You can search for local farms on www.localharvest.org.
  4. Shop at your local natural food store or health co-op, as many of them get their produce from local farmers.
  5. If everything else fails, shop at your locally owned grocers rather than large chain supermarkets. Many small private grocers also supply produce from local sources.

Eight Signs of High-Quality Food

Last but not least, here are some general tips on what to look for when trying to determine the healthiest foods possible, no matter where you shop. You’ll want to look for foods that are:

  1. Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some nonorganic foods). If harvesting edible weeds or plants from your garden, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been applied in the area
  2. Not genetically modified
  3. Contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics or other drugs
  4. Does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
  5. Fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
  6. Did not come from a factory farm
  7. Grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  8. Grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

from:    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/03/26/superfoods-for-spring.aspx

Dealing with Depression & Pain

13 Mind-Body Techniques That Can Help Ease Pain and Depression

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Many aches and pains are rooted in brain processes that can be affected by your mental attitude and emotions. While the mechanics of these mind-body links are still being unraveled, what is known is that your brain, and consequently your thoughts and emotions, do play a role in your experience of physical pain.

For instance, meditation appears to work for pain relief because it reduces brain activity in your primary somatosensory cortex, an area that helps create the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is. Laughter is also known to relieve pain because it releases endorphins that activate brain receptors that produce pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects.

This line of communication between mind and body runs both ways though, and physical pain, especially if it’s chronic, is a well-known trigger for depression. According to psychologist Rex Schmidt at the Nebraska Medical Center Pain Management:[1] “Depression and pain happen to share a part of the brain that’s involved in both conditions, which means that mind-body techniques that affect those areas can be efficacious for both.”

Meditation and laughter are just two examples of a burgeoning new field of science that looks at mind-body therapies to address depression and chronic pain. Here are 13 such strategies…

#1: Add EFT to Your Self-Help Toolkit

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles.

Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to transfer kinetic energy onto specific meridians on your head and chest while you think about your specific problem — whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, anxiety, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.

This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit” — the emotional block — from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.

Some people are initially wary of these principles that EFT is based on — the electromagnetic energy that flows through the body and regulates our health is only recently becoming recognized in the West. Others are initially taken aback by (and sometimes amused by) the EFT tapping and affirmation methodology.

But believe me when I say that, more than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT has the most potential to literally work magic. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate healing.

In the videos below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman shows how you can use EFT to relieve your physical pain and depression.

You can also learn more here: A Comprehensive Guide to the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

#2: Massage the Pain Away

Massage offers real health benefits, so much so that some conventional hospitals are making it a standard therapy for surgery patients and others. Along with promoting relaxation and improving your sense of well-being, getting a massage has been shown to:

  • Relieve pain (from migraines, labor, fibromyalgia and even cancer)
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and ease insomnia
  • Decrease symptoms of PMS
  • Relax and soften injured and overused muscles, reducing spasms and cramping.
  • Provide arthritis relief by increasing joint flexibility.

Massage affects your nervous system through nerve endings in your skin, stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins help induce relaxation and a sense of well-being, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline — reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.

Stronger massage stimulates blood circulation to improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and helps the lymphatic system to flush away waste products. It eases tense and knotted muscles and stiff joints, improving mobility and flexibility. Massage is said to increase activity of the vagus nerve, one of 10 cranial nerves, that affects the secretion of food absorption hormones, heart rate and respiration. It has proven to be an effective therapy for a variety of health conditions — particularly stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 percent to 90 percent of disease.

As reported by iVillage.com:[2]

“[A] new study from Thailand suggests that traditional Thai massage can decrease pain intensity, muscle tension and anxiety among people with shoulder pain. Meanwhile, research from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in Florida found that when adults with hand pain had four weeks of massage therapy, they reported a lot less pain, anxiety and depression.

Another study at the Touch Research Institute found that when pregnant women who were depressed received massages from their partners twice a week, they had much less leg and back pain and fewer symptoms of depression during the second half of their pregnancies.”

#3: Remain in the Now…

Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. Rather than letting your mind wander, when you’re mindful you’re living in the moment and letting distracting thoughts pass through your mind without getting caught up in their emotional implications. Though it sounds simple, it often takes a concerted effort to remain in a mindful state, especially if it’s new to you. But doing so can offer some very significant benefits to both your mental and physical health.

For example, mindfulness training has been found to reduce levels of stress-induced inflammation, which could benefit people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.

This makes sense, since chronic stress heightens the inflammatory response, and mindfulness is likely to help you relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. In one eight-week study,[3] people who received mindfulness training had smaller inflammatory responses than those who received a control intervention, which focused on healthy activities to reduce psychological stress but without particular instruction on mindfulness. Similarly, according to iVillage.com:[2]

“Mindfulness meditation — focusing on your breath and each present moment — can lessen cancer pain, low back pain and migraine headaches. Researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I., found that when women with chronic pelvic pain participated in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program, their pain decreased and their mood improved.”

In many ways, mindfulness is similar to transcendental meditation, the idea of which is to reach a place of “restful” or “concentrated” alertness, which enables you to let negative thoughts and distractions pass by you without upsetting your calm and balance. This type of meditation is easy to try at home: simply sit quietly, perhaps with some soothing music, breathe rhythmically and focus on something such as your breathing, a flower, an image, a candle, a mantra or even just being there, fully aware, in the moment.

Researchers report that practicing mindfulness meditation for just four days affects pain responses in your brain. Brain activity decreases in areas devoted to monitoring a painful body part, and also in areas responsible for relaying sensory information.

For more information, please see: Why We Get Held Hostage by Our Emotions – and How Mindfulness Can Help

#4: Take Control with Biofeedback

In biofeedback, electrical sensors attached to your skin allow you to monitor your biological changes, such as heart rate, and this feedback can help you achieve a deeper state of relaxation. It can also teach you to control your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension through your mind. According to psychologist Rex Schmidt:

“Through focus and mental strategies, biofeedback induces the relaxation response and gives you a greater sense of control.”

Biofeedback is often used for stress-related conditions, such as:

  • Migraines and tension-type headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back pain
  • Depression and anxiety

#5: Free Yourself from Tension with Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is achieved by tensing and relaxing all the major muscle groups, one at a time, from head to toe. By learning to feel the difference between tension and relaxation, you can more actively disengage your body’s fight-or-flight response, which underlies most pain, depression and stress. As reported by iVillage.com:[2]

“Studies show that whether PMR is used on its own or with guided imagery, it helps ease emotional distress and pain from cancer, osteoarthritis, surgery and other conditions.”

#6: Harness Relaxation with Tai Chi

The 2,000-year-old Chinese practice of tai chi is a branch of Qigong — exercises that harness the qi (life energy). It’s been linked to numerous health benefits, including improvements in the quality of life of breast cancer patients and Parkinson’s sufferers, and has shown promise in treating sleep problems and high blood pressure.

Often described as “meditation in motion” or “moving meditation,” the activity takes your body through a specific set of graceful movements. Your body is constantly in motion and each movement flows right into the next. While practicing tai chi, your mind is meant to stay focused on your movements, relaxation and deep breathing, while distracting thoughts are ignored.

Part of the allure is that it’s so gentle, it’s an ideal form of activity for people with pain or other conditions that prevent more vigorous exercise. You can even do tai chi if you’re confined to a wheelchair. Even respected conventional health institutions such as the Mayo Clinic[4] and Harvard Medical School[5] recommend tai chi for its health benefits, especially as a stress-reduction tool. However, there are more studies available than you might think; suggesting tai chi has an impressive range of health benefits. To browse through them, please see the WorldTaiChiDay.org[6] web site. According to the study, A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia:

“In a recent study at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, researchers found that when people with fibromyalgia participated in 60-minute tai chi sessions twice a week for 12 weeks, they had much less physical and mental discomfort. The researchers also reviewed the medical literature on tai chi’s effect on psychological well-being and concluded that it reduces depression, anxiety and stress.”

#7: Breathe Easy…

Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which induces the relaxation response. There are many different breathing practices that you can try, but here I’m going to share two that are both powerful and very easy to perform. The first one I learned when I attended a presentation by Dr. Andrew Weil at the 2009 Expo West in California. The key to this exercise is to remember the numbers 4, 7 and 8. It’s not important to focus on how much time you spend in each phase of the breathing activity, but rather that you get the ratio correct. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Sit up straight
  2. Place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process
  3. Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of four
  4. Hold your breath to the count of seven
  5. Exhale through your mouth to the count of eight, making an audible “woosh” sound
  6. That completes one full breath. Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths

You can do this 4-7-8 exercise as frequently as you want throughout the day, but it’s recommended you don’t do more than four full breaths during the first month or so of practice. Later, you may work your way up to eight full breath cycles at a time. The benefits of this simple practice are enormous and work as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system.

The second is known as the Buteyko Breathing Method, which is a powerful approach for reversing health problems associated with improper breathing, the most common of which are overbreathing and mouthbreathing. When you stop mouth breathing and learn to bring your breathing volume toward normal, you have better oxygenation of your tissues and organs, including your brain.

Factors of modern life, including stress and lack of exercise, all increase your everyday breathing. Typical characteristics of overbreathing include mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, sighing, noticeable breathing during rest, and taking large breaths prior to talking.

Controlling anxiety and quelling panic attacks is one of the areas where the Buteyko Method can be quite useful. If you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, or if you feel very stressed and your mind can’t stop racing, try the following breathing technique. This sequence helps retain and gently accumulate carbon dioxide, leading to calmer breathing and reduces anxiety. In other words, the urge to breathe will decline as you go into a more relaxed state:

  1. Take a small breath into your nose, followed by a small breath out
  2. Then hold your nose for five seconds in order to hold your breath, and then release your nose to resume breathing
  3. Breathe normally for 10 seconds
  4. Repeat the sequence

To learn more, see: The Buteyko Method: How This Simple Breathing Technique Can Radically Transform Health

#8: Hypnosis for Pain Management

Hypnosis, which is a trance-like state in which you experience heightened focus and concentration, can help decrease pain by altering your emotional responses to your body’s pain signals and your thoughts about the pain. Contrary to popular belief, you do not relinquish control over your behavior while under hypnosis, but it does render you more open to suggestions from the hypnotherapist. As reported by iVillage.com:

“Studies show that hypnosis can help manage the pain from childbirth and metastatic breast cancer as well as chronic low back pain. What’s more, cognitive hypnotherapy can lead to less depression, anxiety and hopelessness among depressed people than cognitive behavioral therapy does, according to research from the University of Calgary in Canada.”

#9: Soothe Your Mind and Body Through the Power of Music

If you’re a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions. When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing.

Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations. At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to recent research published in the journal Science.[7] Other research[8] revealed listening to music resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels among patients about to undergo surgery than taking anti-anxiety drugs. As reported by iVillage.com:

“…[R]esearchers in Cleveland found that when [burn] patients listened to music and used visual imagery as a distraction when their wound dressings were being changed, they experienced significantly less pain, anxiety and muscle tension. In a study in Norway, depressed people who had music therapy plus psychotherapy were less depressed and anxious and more functional than those who just did regular therapy.”

Musical preference varies widely between individuals, so only you can decide what will effectively put you in a particular mood. Overall, classical music tends to be among the most calming, so may be worth a try. To incorporate music into a busy schedule, try playing CDs while driving, or put on some tunes while you’re getting ready for work in the morning. You can also take portable music with you when walking the dog, or turn on the stereo instead of watching TV in the evening.

For more information, please see: How Music Benefits The Brain

#10: Take Up Yoga

Yoga has been proven to be particularly beneficial if you suffer with back pain, but recent research also suggests it can also be of tremendous benefit for your mental health. Duke University researchers recently published a review[9] of more than 100 studies looking at the effect of yoga on mental health, and according to lead author Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center:[10]

“Most individuals already know that yoga produces some kind of a calming effect. Individually, people feel better after doing the physical exercise. Mentally, people feel calmer, sharper, maybe more content. We thought it’s time to see if we could pull all [the literature] together… to see if there’s enough evidence that the benefits individual people notice can be used to help people with mental illness.”

According to their findings, yoga appears to have a positive effect on:

  • Mild depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Schizophrenia (among patients using medication)
  • ADHD (among patients using medication)

Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy, by influencing neurotransmitters and boosting serotonin. Yoga was also found to reduce levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, blood lipids and growth factors.

For more information, please see: Modern Science Confirms Yoga’s Many Health Benefits

#11: Visualization and Guided Imagery

According to iVillage.com, visualization techniques or guided imagery can serve as an important tool to combat both physical pain and depression by imagining being in “a better place.”

“Research shows it can help with pain from cancer, osteoarthritis and childbirth by providing distraction and promoting a state of relaxation. In addition, a study from Portugal found that when people hospitalized for depressive disorders listened to a guided imagery CD once a day for 10 days, they were less depressed, anxious and stressed over time, compared to peers who didn’t use visualization.”

Ideally, you’ll want to immerse yourself as fully as you possibly into your visualization, using all your senses: seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, and feeling. According to Dr. Schmidt:

“Using all your senses changes levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin, epinephrine and endorphins, and with regular practice you’ll gain more of a sense of control, which is often lacking when you’re in pain or depressed.”

#12: Repeat a Calming Mantra

The repeated incantation of a mantra — a soothing or uplifting word or phrase of your choice — in a rhythmic fashion can help you relax in a similar way as mindfulness training. The focused repetition, also called autogenic training, helps keep your mind from wandering and worrying, and engages your body’s relaxation response.

“A study at the University of Manchester in the U.K. found that autogenic training helped female migraine sufferers decrease the frequency and intensity of their headaches. And research from the University of Melbourne in Australia suggests that autogenic training may provide ‘helpful longer-term effects’ on symptoms of depression,” according to iVillage.com.

#13: Remove Pain and Dysfunctional Psychological Conditions with the Neurostructural Integration Technique

The Neurostructural Integration Technique (NST) is an amazing innovative technique developed in Australia. Using a series of gentle moves on specific muscles or at precise points on your body creates an energy flow and vibrations between these points. This allows your body to communicate better with itself and balance the other tissues, muscles and organs. The method of action is likely through your autonomic nervous system (ANS), allowing your body to better carry out its many functions the way it was designed to.

The main objective is to remove pain and dysfunctional physiological conditions by restoring the structural integrity of the body. In essence, NST provides the body with an opportunity to reintegrate on many levels, and thus return to and maintain normal homeostatic limits on a daily basis.

NST is done with a light touch and can be done through clothing. There are pauses between sets of moves to allow your body to assimilate the energy and vibrations. To learn more, please review the article, Gentle Hands Can Restore Your Health, by Micheal Nixon Levy who developed the technique.

Sources and References:

Heart Health, Statins, Fats, etc.

Great Britain’s Most Outspoken Cardiologist Sets the Record Straight on Saturated Fats

June 05, 2016

By Dr. Mercola

Is saturated fat really the health hazard it’s been made out to be? Dr. Aseem Malhotra is an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K., who gained quite a bit of publicity after the publication of his peer-reviewed editorial1 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2013.

In it, he seriously challenges the conventional view on saturated fats, and reviews how recent studies have failed to find any significant association between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk.

In fact, Malhotra reports that two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels. Malhotra, founder of Action on Sugar, also works as an adviser to the U.K.’s National Obesity Forum.

“My focus has been, ‘what can we do as individuals collectively (the medical profession) to help curb demand on the health system?’” he says. “A lot of that is being driven by diet-related diseases.

According to the Lancet Global Burden of Disease Reports, poor diets now contribute to more disease and death than physical activities — smoking and alcohol combined …

As an interventional cardiologist, we can do life-saving procedures with people who have heart attacks through heart surgery. But to be honest, rather than saving them from drowning, I’d rather they wouldn’t be thrown into the river in the first place. This is really where my focus has shifted.

I think for many of us, as clinicians moving more towards intervention, I think the realization that what we can do in medicine is really quite limited at the treatment end and actually the whole ‘prevention is better than cure’ phrase is very true.”

Hospitals and Medical Personnel Are Far From Paragons of Health

Malhotra’s epiphany that something was wrong with the system came rather early. While working as a resident in cardiology, he performed an emergency stenting procedure on a man in his 50s who’d recently suffered a heart attack.

The following morning, Malhotra spoke to the man, giving him the usual advice about quitting smoking and improving his diet.

“Just when I was telling about healthy diet, how important that was, he was actually served burger and fries by the hospital. He said to me, ‘Doctor, how do you expect me to change my lifestyle when you’re serving me the same crap that brought me in here in the first place?’”

Looking around, he realized that a lot of healthcare professionals are overweight or obese, and hospitals serve sick patients junk food. He believes one of the first things that really needs to happen is to set a good example in hospitals.

“The hospital environment should be one that promotes good health, not exacerbates bad health,” he says. His journey began with an email to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who did a lot of work campaigning for improved food in school canteens. Malhotra asked Oliver for ideas on how to improve hospital food.

“A couple of years later, I ended up going to the British Medical Association Annual Conference. I put a motion forward saying there should be a policy from the BMA to ban the selling of junk food in hospitals. It got an overwhelming majority vote.”

Diet and lifestyle changes are particularly important in light of the fact that medical errors and properly prescribed medications are the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Overmedication is a particularly serious problem among the elderly, who tend to suffer more side effects.

“Part of that is because there are very powerful vested interests that push drugs,” Malhotra says. “They even coax academic institutions and guideline bodies. People aren’t getting all the information to make decisions, whether or not they should take medications …

This is a major problem, especially [since] we’ve neglected or detracted from lifestyle changes, which are going to be much more impactful on your health and without side effects.”

For Past 60 Years, the Wrong Fats Have Been Vilified

For the past 60 years, the conventional wisdom has dictated that saturated fat is dangerous and should be avoided. This flawed notion was originally promoted by Dr. Ancel Keys, whose Seven Countries Study laid the groundwork for the myth that saturated fat caused heart disease.

It’s true that heart disease rates began spiking in the beginning of the 20th century, and for 50 years, heart disease has been progressively increasing. It really wasn’t an issue prior to the 20th century. But were saturated fats really to blame?

My belief is that it was in fact due to fats, but contrary to popular belief, saturated fat wasn’t the problem. It was all the other harmful fats people were eating.

In the 20th century, the average person probably had less than 1 pound a year of refined, processed omega-6 vegetable oils. By the 1950s, probably about 50 pounds a year, and by year 2000, it increased at about 75 pounds a year. It seems “fat” in itself isn’t the issue; it’s the type of fat that’s crucial.

This massive amount of highly refined polyunsaturated fat is far in excess of what we were designed to eat for optimal health. And I suspect that’s what catalyzed Keys to devise his research to come up with a justification for his recommendation to lower fat intake.

“What’s interesting is if you look in the United States, between 1961 and 2011, 90 percent of the calorie intake has been carbohydrates and refined industrial vegetable oils,” Malhotra says. “I think you’re absolutely correct.

The heart disease epidemic peaked between 1960 and 1970. It started to rise about 1920. When we look at our data, it’s quite clear that the so-called fats responsible for that are trans fats and very likely polyunsaturated vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids.

We know now that they oxidize LDL and are pro-inflammatory. The other issue was smoking. Smoking was very high. When smoking reduction occurred from regulatory efforts, heart attack admissions dropped very rapidly. That’s because just 30 minutes after smoking, platelet activity increases.

A quick example: Helena, Montana 2002 brought in a public smoking ban. Within six months, there was a 40 percent reduction in hospital admissions for heart attack. When the law was rescinded, the hospital admissions came back to preceding levels.

When you combine all those things, it’s very clear. The dietary factors — trans fats, refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and smoking — are probably the three most important factors.”

What Are the Real Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

By failing to differentiate between trans fats and saturated fats, massive confusion has arisen. There’s also confusion about the relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol. Adding to the complexity, there are also different types of saturated fats, which may have different biological effects.

Many saturated fats will raise LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. But LDLs come in various sizes. Large type A particles are less atherogenic and are influenced by saturated fat. Saturated fat also increases HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

“What’s interesting is the saturated fat, even though it may raise LDL, your lipid profile may actually improve [when you eat more saturated fat], especially when you cut the carbs. On top of that, LDL has been grossly exaggerated as a risk factor for heart disease, with the exception of people who have a genetic abnormality (familial hypercholesterolemia),” Malhotra says.

“Certainly when you get over the age of 60, the cardiovascular association between LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular mortality diminishes. It becomes almost negligible. For overall mortality, there is an inverse association with LDL. The higher your LDL, if you’re over 60, the less likely you are to die.

So what is the major issue when you look at heart disease and heart attacks? Insulin resistance … The reason it’s being neglected is partly this flawed science on cholesterol. But also because there’s never been any effective drugs that target insulin resistance.

Therefore, because [there isn’t a] big market around something to sell, there aren’t many people that know about it. As you and I know, if you target insulin resistance through the right kind of diet and lifestyle changes, stress reduction, right kind of exercise, that’s going to have the biggest impacts on your health.”

Gauging Your Heart Disease Risk

Factors that can help gauge your heart disease risk include:

If you have 3 out of the following 5 indications of metabolic syndrome: insulin resistance, high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension and increased waist circumference, then you are at high risk for heart disease. Another major risk factor for heart disease that receives virtually no attention is high iron levels.

In menstruating women, this is not an issue since they lose blood on a monthly basis. This is actually part of why premenopausal women have a decreased risk of heart disease.

In men, iron levels can rise to dangerously high levels. In my experience, the majority of adult males and postmenopausal women have elevated levels that put their health at risk. Checking your iron levels is easy and can be done with a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test.

I believe this is one of the most important tests that everyone should have done on a regular basis as part of a preventive, proactive health screen. If your levels are high, all you have to do is donate blood a few times a year.

The Connection Between Saturated Fats and Diabetes

Malhotra cites a 2014 Lancet study looking at the association between dietary saturated fat, plasma saturated fat and type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, while dietary saturated fats found in dairy products were strongly inversely associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (meaning it was protective), endogenously-synthesized plasma-saturated fat was strongly associated with an increased risk.

Endogenously-synthesized plasma-saturated fats are fatty acids produced by your liver in response to net carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol. These findings suggest eating full-fat dairy products may protect you against type 2 diabetes, whereas consuming too many net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) will increase your risk of type 2 diabetes — in part by raising the saturated fat levels in your bloodstream.

That said, I believe a caution may be warranted. Milk, even raw milk, is actually high in net carbs, which your body converts to glucose. So as a general rule, I recommend avoiding milk. Butter is an exception, as it’s almost pure fat and has virtually no net carbs.

Healthy Fat Tips

Here are a few tips to help ensure you’re eating the right fats for your health:

  • Use organic butter made from raw grass-fed milk instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads.
  • Use coconut oil for cooking. It is primarily a saturated fat and more resistant to heat damage than other cooking oils. It will also help improve your ability to burn fat and serve as a great source of energy to help you make the transition to burning fat for fuel.
  • Sardines and anchovies are an excellent source of beneficial omega-3 fats and are also very low in toxins that are present in most other fish.
  • To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

Why Statins Are a Bad Idea for Most People

In addition to the recommendation to follow a low-fat diet, many doctors are still avid prescribers of statins, which help lower your cholesterol. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 40 are on these drugs; soon to be 1 in 3. Malhotra is greatly troubled by these kinds of statistics.

“This is a drug that was marketed over the last three decades as being a wonder drug. It’s driven a multi-trillion dollar industry. We’re only now realizing that the benefits of statins have been grossly exaggerated and the side effects underplayed. One of the reasons for that is that most if not all of the studies that drove the guidelines, and the information around statin prescription, were industry-sponsored studies.

One of the things we have neglected in medicine is this issue around absolute risk and relative risk. The reality is if you look at the published data … if you have heart disease and you’ve had a heart attack, then taking a statin every day for five years, there’s a 1 in 83 chance that [statin] will save your life.

That means in 82 of 83 cases, it’s not going to save your life. That information isn’t given to patients, but it’s really important. Actually that’s a much more informative and transparent way to understand the benefit they’re going to get.

On top of that when you look at people with lower risk, otherwise healthy people, there is no mortality benefit. People should know that if they haven’t had a heart attack, according to the published literature, they are not high risk and they’re going to live one day longer from taking statins.”

Statins Are Associated With Serious Side Effects

Then there’s the issue of side effects. According to Malhotra, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 patients suffer unacceptable side effects (which he qualifies as side effects that interfere with or diminish the quality of your life). Muscle pain is the most significant side effect reported followed by fatigue (mostly in women). This isn’t very surprising, considering the fact that statins are essentially a metabolic blocker and mitochondrial poison.

They inhibit an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This is how they lower cholesterol. But that same enzyme is also responsible for a number of other things like making coenzyme Q10, which is why muscle pain and fatigue are so common. This is in fact a sign that your CoQ10 is being depleted, and you don’t have enough cellular energy.

Statins also block the formation of ketones, which are an essential part of mitochondrial nutrition and overall health. If you can’t make ketones, you impair the metabolism in your entire body, including your heart, thereby raising your risk for heart problems and a variety of other diseases. It’s also recently been established that within a few years of taking statins, the drug causes type 2 diabetes in one out of 100 patients.

That too can be a significant tradeoff that needs to be taken into account, as diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease and other chronic diseases. Dr. Michel De Lorgeril, a well-respected French cardiologist at Grenoble University recently reopened the debate about statins after publishing a review in which he questions whether statins actually have any benefit at all.

“He pointed out several discrepancies in the original trials … statistical manipulation, conflict of interest … ” Malhotra says. ”He’s actually suggested that maybe nobody benefits from statins; even people on statins for prevention.

He says that unless we get access to the raw data, independent analysis, the actual claims about the benefits of statins are not evidence-based. Now, I’m not personally saying that. I’m saying this is really intriguing and certainly raises as many questions … This is something that people need to know about. Even if we use the published literature at face value properly, people would be better informed. That’s the way forward in my view.”

More Information

Malhotra is currently finalizing a film called “The Big Fat Fix,” which will present a dietary protocol that incorporates many of the components of the Mediterranean lifestyle to help you reduce your risk of obesity, reverse type 2 diabetes and improve your cardiovascular health.

“We went to visit the village where Ancel Keys spent six months each year for 30 years doing his research. They had very high longevity. We try and find out what the secrets were and how things got misinterpreted,” Malhotra says. “This is really what the film will show. Where did things go wrong and where do we go from here?”

For more information, please visit Malhotra’s website, DoctorAseem.com, where you can find his blog, academic publications, newspaper articles and interviews.

from:     http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/05/saturated-fat-heart-disease-risk.aspx

Importance of Vitamin D & The Sun

How Dermatologists Fuel Chronic Disease Rates With Their Flawed Sun Exposure Guidelines

Story at-a-glance

  • The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of Dermatology, and The Skin Cancer Foundation all view sunlight irrationally as a dangerous skin cancer risk
  • Sun avoidance fuels health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, and poses special health risks to pregnant mothers and their children
  • The evidence supporting sensible sun exposure is strong and clear, while there’s little evidence that sunscreen use protects against skin cancer, or that vitamin D supplements are bioequivalent to sunshine

By Dr. Mercola

In July 2014, the interim U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak, who is also a dermatologist, issued a “Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer,”1,2 in which he declared UV radiation harmful and said sun exposure should be avoided altogether.

The American Academy of Dermatology and The Skin Cancer Foundation also advocate avoiding all sun exposure — regardless of the color of your skin — saying vitamin D supplementation can address any deficiencies.

This is an irrational and shortsighted position that lacks any credibility. The scientific evidence, now running in excess of 34,000 studies, detail that UV exposure is essential, both for vitamin D production and other benefits unrelated to vitamin D.

The color of your skin is a significant factor to determine appropriate exposure times and any advice that does not take this into consideration is illogical.  We are not nocturnal beings, avoiding the sun entirely is horrible advice that should not be followed.

Dermatologists’ Position on Sun Exposure Riddled With Fatal Flaws

Let’s remember that, because of their irrational concern, they were able to convince public health officials and media to convince people to use sunscreens.

What happened as a result of the public adopting this proactive “preventive” approach? Skin cancers actually increased.

Why? Because the dermatologists did not do their homework. Most sunscreens blocked UVB, which causes vitamin D levels to increase and lower cancer rates, but they let UVA, which can cause skin cancer when excessively exposed, to shine right through like a hot knife through butter.

What’s worse, they never admitted to their egregious mistake. Ironically,  the only location dermatologists approve of UV light treatment is in their office under costly supervision.

Avoiding Sun Exposure Radically Worsens Disease Rates

Advocating abstinence from UV light is undoubtedly fueling many health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and depression.

UVB exposure is essential for optimal health, and any risks of exposure are related to over exposure and burning. Research shows vitamin D is involved in the biochemical regulation of nearly every cell in your body, including your immune system.

Vitamin D deficiency can deteriorate your health in a number of different ways, as your cells need the active form of vitamin D to optimally regulate genetic expression.

As noted by William Grant, Ph.D., head of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC), staying indoors to avoid sun exposure is “not particularly good advice,” adding that:3

“There are several papers indicating that occupational exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of melanoma. It is having fair skin, a high-fat, low fruit and vegetable diet, sunburning, etc., that are more linked to melanoma than total UV exposure.”

Vitamin D Is Crucial for Pregnant Women

Vitamin D is particularly important for pregnant women, as deficiency affects both the mother and her child in the short and long term, including raising the child’s long-term risk for diabetes, allergic rhinitis,4 arthritis, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.Recent research shows that raising maternal vitamin D levels helps children born in winter months develop stronger, healthier bones.5 Lead researcher Professor Nicholas Harvey, Ph.D., of the University of Southampton, also notes that sun exposure is the most important source of vitamin D.

Health initiatives such as GrassrootsHealth D*Action study,6 and the Protect Our Children NOW! campaign are both based on these fundamental and scientifically proven facts.

Dermatologists Ignore Skin Color

The fact that the American Academy of Dermatology issues the same recommendations for everyone, without regard for skin type, is telling. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they view sun exposure as nothing but a dangerous cancer risk to be avoided at all costs.

This is a really nonsensical, and most definitively nonscientific, stance. According to their advice, even if you have the darkest skin, you should always seek shade and wear protective clothing and/or sunscreen when outdoors.

The notion that supplements are bioequivalent to sunshine is lacking.  While I recommend supplements if UVB exposure is not available, to suggest that vitamin D can replace all the benefits of sun exposure is ridiculous.

In fact, each of us responds quite differently to vitamin D supplementation – there is a 6 to 10 times difference in dosage response between individuals.   If you are supplementing with vitamin D, you should have your levels checked twice per year to ensure you stay above 40ng/ml.

Because of this, vitamin D experts such as Grant and Dr. Michael F. Holick note that sensible sun exposure is far preferable to vitamin D supplementation.

Oversimplifying the Issue Is Not a Good Public Health Policy

The Skin Cancer Foundation echoes the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendations.

When questioned about this philosophy and asked why the recommendations fail to take into account skin type and color, Dr. Henry Lim, who sits on The Skin Cancer Foundation’s photobiology committee, replied that such information is irrelevant because vitamin D supplements can address deficiency.

According to Lim:7

“We want to make it simple as a public health message — as to what the public should reasonably be able to absorb and understand. To fine tune it is just too complicated we feel.”

But by oversimplifying the matter, dermatologists place a great number of people at grave risk for vitamin D deficiency, which may not be identified until health problems have already set in. Moreover, the advice to use sunscreen is also on shaky scientific ground.

According to an analysis by epidemiologist Marianne Berwick, Ph.D., there’s very little evidence to suggest that sunscreen use will prevent skin cancer.

After analyzing a dozen studies on basal cell carcinoma, which is typically non-lethal, and the more deadly melanoma, Berwick found that people who use sunscreen tend to be more likely to develop both of these conditions.

Only 2 of 10 melanoma studies found that sunscreen was protective against this condition; three found no association either way. None found sunscreen use protected against basal cell carcinoma.8

Your Body Is Designed to Optimize Health Effects of Sun Exposure

While you certainly need to avoid the skin damage associated with sunburn, sun exposure is required for optimal health, and your skin type plays a major role in how much UVB exposure you need and can safely tolerate.

Darker-skinned people not only need more sun exposure to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D, they’re also more protected from skin cancer due to their skin pigmentation. Yet this important reality is simply ignored by dermatologists, resulting in most African Americans being at a radically increased risk of cancers and heart disease from vitamin D deficiency.

As noted in a previous article by Nautilus:9

“How the sun affects you depends on your complexion, the shade of which is determined by melanin … The anti-oxidizing molecule is so versatile at protecting and repairing DNA from UV solar radiation that creatures from humans to fungi deploy it … [T]he melanin sits atop cellular DNA like tiny umbrellas pointed … out to shield from incoming rays …

[T]he same ultraviolet wavelengths in the 290 to 400 nanometers range that trigger melanin production also spark vitamin D creation. You cannot make one without the other.

Humans evolved to produce two kinds of melanin … The MC1R gene determines the type of melanin the body produces. In the mid-zone such as the Mediterranean region, people … produce eumelanin, the pigment responsible for brown or black hair and for dark skin that tans easily …

[I]n far northern Europe, humans paled, adapting to lower light … with a different type of melanin, called pheomelanin, associated with fair skin and blonde and red hair with minimal protective value, but allowing more UV to penetrate to make vitamin D. ”

Sun Avoidance Raises Risk of Internal Cancers

Dermatology is focused on one primary outcome — avoiding skin damage and skin cancer. But by focusing on just one side of the UV exposure issue, they’re actually promoting a lifestyle that may raise your risk of other lethal cancers and chronic diseases. Not only have higher vitamin D levels been shown to offer significant protection against a number of internal cancers, there’s also evidence showing higher levels offer protection against melanoma.

In fact, higher rates of melanoma are found among those who have low vitamin D levels; among indoor occupations; and in areas of the body that rarely or never see the light of day. In short, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective against skin cancer. As noted in The Lancet:10

“Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect.”

Even more importantly, vitamin D has been shown to significantly reduce internal cancers, along with chronic diseases such as heart disease, which kill far more people than melanoma does. Breast11 and prostate12,13 cancers are just two examples where low vitamin D renders you more vulnerable to more aggressive forms of the disease. Recent research14 has also found that low vitamin D levels are associated with more severe peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients.

Reporting on recent research linking low vitamin D levels to an increased risk for aggressive breast cancer, Medical Daily writes:15

“The researchers linked vitamin D levels to the ID1 gene, which at high levels of expression is associated with breast cancer tumor growth. Past studies have shown that vitamin D is linked to inhibiting the expression of this gene, and that low vitamin D levels have been associated with more aggressive tumors. ”

Public Health Messages Should Be Based on All-Cause Mortality Reduction

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE & VIEW THE VIDEOS< GO TO:    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/14/vitamin-d-sun-exposure-guidelines

Nutrition Tips to Fight Colds

Foods That Fight the Common Cold

October 26, 2015

Story at-a-glance

  • Since colds are viral in nature, antibiotics are completely useless and should be avoided, unless your physician diagnoses a serious secondary bacterial infection
  • Vitamin C is known for its benefits for infectious diseases. Kiwi fruits are exceptionally high in vitamin C, and research suggests kiwis may help reduce duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections
  • Research shows chicken soup — especially when made from homemade bone broth — has medicinal qualities that significantly mitigate infection

By Dr. Mercola

The common cold is the most common infectious disease in the US and many other areas of the world.

Cold symptoms are triggered by hundreds of different viruses — not bacteria — and infection is typically spread by hand-to-hand contact between people, or by touching objects that harbor the pathogens.

Since colds are viral in nature, antibiotics are completely useless and should be avoided, unless your physician diagnoses a serious secondary bacterial infection. Using antibiotics when no bacterial pathogen is present simply contributes to the problem of antibiotic-resistant disease.

The key to preventing colds and recovering from them quickly is to maintain a strong immune system, which includes: optimizing your diet, avoiding sugar, optimizing your vitamin D level, getting enough sleep and exercise, managing your stress, and practicing good hand washing technique.

Just being exposed to a cold virus does not automatically mean you’ll catch a cold. If your immune system is operating at its peak, your body will be able to fend off the virus without ever getting sick, even if you’re exposed to it.

A number of foods, herbs, and supplements can be particularly helpful for promoting strong immune function1,2,3 which is the focus of this article.

Boost Your Immune Function with Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Some health experts, such as Dr. Ronald Hunninghake, believe vitamin C is one of the nutrients you need whenever something ails you, be it the common cold or cancer. Vitamin C is best known for its benefits for infectious diseases though.

A perfect example of the healing power of this antioxidant vitamin is the dramatic case of Allan Smith, who contracted a serious case of swine flu, and was brought back from the brink of death using a combination of IV and oral vitamin C.

Research4 published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2013 found that regular supplementation with vitamin C had a “modest but consistent effect in reducing the duration of common cold symptoms.”

Endurance athletes who took vitamin C supplements also halved their risk for the common cold.

Kiwi fruits are exceptionally high in vitamin C, along with vitamin E, folate, polyphenols, and carotenoids, and research5 published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a kiwi-packed diet reduced the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections symptoms in older individuals.

Other foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Your Risk of Catching a Cold

Vitamin D is another nutrient that tends to play a role in most diseases, especially infectious ones. It’s a potent antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Suboptimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

The research is quite clear on this point: The higher your vitamin D level, the lower your risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections.

In the largest and most nationally representative study6 of its kind, involving about 19,000 Americans, those with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more colds or cases of the flu.

At least five additional studies also show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels.

The best source for vitamin D is direct sun (UVB) exposure. If neither natural nor artificial sunlight is an option, then using an oral vitamin D3 supplement is recommended. Just remember you also need to increase your vitamin K2 when taking high doses of vitamin D3.

Based on the latest research from GrassrootsHealth, the average adult dose required to reach vitamin D levels of about 40 ng/ml is around 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day. For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight.

These are very general guidelines though. The only way to determine your optimal dose is to get your blood tested. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain a vitamin D level of 50 to 70 ng/ml year-round.

Chicken Soup Really Is a Valid Cold Remedy

Poor immune function tends to be rooted in an unbalanced mix of microorganisms in your digestive system, courtesy of an inappropriate and unbalanced diet that is too high in sugars and too low in healthful fats and beneficial bacteria. Homemade bone broth or “stock” is a valuable remedy, as it’s easily digestible and contains many valuable nutrients that help heal the lining of your intestines. This includes:

  • Easily absorbable minerals, including magnesium, phosphorous, silicon, sulfur, and trace minerals
  • Chondroitin sulfates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage, which helps reduce joint pain and inflammation
  • Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine — all of which have anti-inflammatory effects.

Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis7 (whole-body inflammation). Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better

Chicken soup made with homemade bone broth is excellent for speeding healing and recuperation from illness. You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage that chicken soup will help cure a cold, and there’s scientific support8 for such a statement. A study9 published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection.

In addition to the anti-inflammatory benefits of bone broth, chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Keep in mind that processed, canned soups will not work as well as the homemade version made from slow-cooked bone broth.

If combating a cold, make the soup hot and spicy with plenty of pepper. The spices will trigger a sudden release of watery fluids in your mouth, throat, and lungs, which will help thin down the respiratory mucus so it’s easier to expel. Black peppercorns also contain high amounts of piperine, a compound with fever-reducing and pain-relieving properties.

Other Foods That Help Strengthen Immune Function

Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle year-round is the long-term solution to making it through cold and flu season unscathed. Detailed instructions that will help set you the right path can be found in my optimized nutrition and lifestyle plan, which is focused around real food. Importantly, if you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu, AVOID all sugar, grains, artificial sweeteners, or processed foods.

Sugar is particularly damaging to your immune system — which needs to be ramped up, not suppressed, in order to combat an emerging infection. Other foods besides those mentioned above that can help strengthen your immune response include the following:

Fermented foods help “reseed” your gut with beneficial bacteria (examples include raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, and sauerkraut). Coconut oil contains lauric acid that your body converts into monolaurin, a monoglyceride with the ability to destroy lipid-coated viruses, including influenza, HIV, herpes, and measles, as well as gram-negative bacteria
Raw organic eggs from pastured chickens Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help boost your immune function by raising alkalinity in your body.
Organic grass-fed beef is high in vitamins A and E, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, zinc, and CLA. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid), an immune enhancer, is three to five times higher in grass-fed animals than grain-fed animals. Garlic is a potent antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agent. Ideally consume it raw, and crush it just before eating. A previous article by PreventDisease.com10 gives instructions for a garlic soup that can help destroy most viruses and help you recover a little quicker.
Raw, grass-fed organic milk contains beneficial bacteria and fats that prime your immune system. It’s also a good source of vitamin A and zinc. Pasteurized dairy products are best avoided, as they may actually promote respiratory problems such a recurring colds, congestion, and bronchitis.11 Organic vegetables. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C — all of which help protect against infections. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw. Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet.

Immune-Boosting Herbs and Supplements

At first signs of a cold, you could also boost your immune function by taking a supplement or extract. The following are examples of immune-boosting herbs and supplements that may be helpful:

Zinc: Research on zinc has shown that when taken within one day of the first symptoms, zinc can cut down the time you have a cold by about 24 hours. Zinc was also found to greatly reduce the severity of symptoms. Suggested dosage: up to 50 mg/day. Zinc was not recommended for anyone with an underlying health condition, like lowered immune function, asthma, or chronic illness. Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive leaf extract: Ancient Egyptians and Mediterranean cultures used it for a variety of health-promoting uses and it is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder. Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response.
Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil. Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi, and turkey tail have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint, and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system. Echinacea is one of the most widely used herbal medications in Europe to combat colds and infections. One review of more than 700 studies found that using Echinacea can reduce your risk of catching cold by as much as 58 percent.
Elder flower extract: Rich in vitamin C and a wide range of valuable flavonoids, including anthocyanins and quercetin, elder flower has been traditionally used as a tonic to boost immunity. It is also widely known to promote lung and bronchial tract health. Elderberry: In one study,12 elderberry syrup reduced the severity of flu symptoms and shortened their duration by about four days. Elderberry extract is also known for inducing sweating, and helps relieve congestion.

Another Trick to Beat a Cold: Hydrogen Peroxide

Generally speaking, unless you have a complication like pneumonia, medical care is not necessary for the common cold. Definitely avoid antibiotics, as they do not work on viral infections. Rest and attention to your diet — particularly the admonition to avoid sugar and the advice to cook up a batch of homemade chicken soup instead — will help you recover as quickly as possible. If you stick to these recommendations long-term, it will significantly reduce your chances of catching another cold in the future.

I don’t advise over-the-counter medications for the common cold, but one simple treatment you can try that is surprisingly effective against upper respiratory infections is hydrogen peroxide. Below is one of my first videos that is nearly 10 years old now that discusses using peroxide for colds.

While I was in practice, many patients at my Natural Health Center reported curing colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours simply by administering a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3 percent solution is available at any drug store for a couple of dollars or less. You will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, and possibly feel a slight stinging sensation. Wait until the bubbling and stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear.

from:    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/26/vitamin-c-foods-fight-common-cold.aspx

How Essential Oils Can Help Improve Your Life

August 17, 2015
by Dr. Mercola

Scents can have a powerful influence on your well-being. Aromatherapy, which uses concentrated essences of various botanicals, allows you to harness the olfactory power of plants for healing on many levels.

Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a highly concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts.

Quality is of the essence here. First of all, what we’re talking about here is pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from plants, NOT synthetic fragrance oils or perfumes, which can be toxic and typically contain allergenic compounds.

But even among essential oils, the quality can vary widely and assessing the quality of any given brand can be difficult, as factors such as growing conditions and methods of harvesting, distillation, manufacture, and storage can all affect the final product.

The University of Minnesota1 offers some helpful guidance regarding international standard-setting agencies and considerations to take into account when looking for an essential oil.

One of the most important considerations is to look for a statement of purity. What you’re looking for is 100% essential oil (meaning it has not been diluted, altered, or mixed with anything else). Price can be a tipoff. If it’s really cheap, it’s probably a reflection of poor quality.

There are hundreds and many thousands of essential oils available if you factor in combinations. Each have their own potential benefits. The oils tend to work synergistically, and using a combination of oils often creates a more powerful effect than any one individual oil.

There are many ways to use essential oils for health and well-being, and the featured article2 lists no less than 25 ways to enjoy them. But first, let’s address the question of whether or not they actually have a biological effect, and if so, how.

Scents Can Alter Your Nervous System

When you inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the aroma penetrates your bloodstream via your lungs,3 and this is thought to be one of the mechanisms by which aromatherapy exerts its physiological effects. Essential oils are also easily absorbed through your skin when applied topically.

The fragrance also affects the limbic system in your brain, which controls both memories and emotions. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, and/or antiviral qualities, and contrary to antibiotics, essential oils do not promote resistance.4

Modern scientists are not only finding compelling links between scents and human behavior,5 scents can actually influence the biochemistry of your nervous system.

This was shown in a 2002 Japanese study,6 which found that certain oils would stimulate sympathetic nervous system activity whereas others would calm it. (Your sympathetic nervous system modulates processes such as your heart rate, blood vessel constriction, and blood pressure.)

For example:

  • Black pepper, fennel, and grapefruit oil caused a 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in sympathetic nervous system activity (as measured by an increase in systolic blood pressure)
  • Rose and patchouli oil resulted in a 40 percent decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity
  • Pepper oil induced a 1.7-fold increase in plasma adrenaline concentration
  • Rose oil caused adrenaline to drop by 30 percent

Lavender and Jasmine Help Uplift Your Mood

A Korean study7 found that lavender reduced both insomnia and depression in female college students.

Another study8 published in Phytomedicine in 2010 found that an orally administered lavender oil preparation (Silexan) was as effective as the drug Lorazepam for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. According to the authors:

“Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects in our study and has no potential for drug abuse, silexan appears to be an effective and well tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines for amelioration of generalized anxiety.”

Other research9 has concluded the essential oil of jasmine can also uplift mood and counteract symptoms of depression. The authors noted that:

“Compared with placebo, jasmine oil caused significant increases of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which indicated an increase of autonomic arousal.

At the emotional level, subjects in the jasmine oil group rated themselves as more alert, more vigorous, and less relaxed than subjects in the control group. This finding suggests an increase of subjective behavioral arousal.

In conclusion, our results demonstrated the stimulating/activating effect of jasmine oil and provide evidence for its use in aromatherapy for the relief of depression and uplifting mood in humans.”

How Terpenes in Essential Oils Benefit Your Health

An article in Healthy Holistic Living10 discusses some of the components giving essential oils their therapeutic benefits. For example, some essential oils have tremendous antioxidant capacities.

According to this article, one ounce of clove oil has an antioxidant capacity equivalent to 450 pounds of carrots. Essential oils also contain three different types of terpenes, each with its own set of benefits:

  • Phenylpropanoids have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. As noted in the article,11 “phenylpropanoids clean the receptor sites on the cells.

Without clean receptor sites, cells cannot communicate, and the body malfunctions, resulting in disease.” Oils that contain this type of terpene include: clove, cassia, basil, cinnamon, oregano, anise, and peppermint.

  • Monoterpenes, which are found in most essential oils, help “reprogram miswritten information in the cellular memory,” according to the featured article.
  • Sesquiterpenes help deliver oxygen to your tissues, which makes it more difficult for viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells, to survive. Essential oils that contain sesquiterpenes include cedarwood, vetiver, spikenard, sandalwood, black pepper, patchouli, myrrh, ginger, and frankincense.

Essential Oils for Common Maladies

There are probably as many uses for aromatherapy as there are essential oils, but research shows particular promise in relieving stress, stabilizing your mood, improving sleep, pain and nausea relief, and improving your memory and energy level.

To give you an idea of the versatility of aromatherapy, the following table lists some of the therapeutic uses of several oils for a few of today’s most common complaints.12 As you can see, there are some real “multitaskers,” like lavender and peppermint, which can be used to treat more than one problem.13

Complaint Essential Oils
Stress Lavender, lemon, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver, pine, and ylang ylang
Insomnia Lavender,14 chamomile, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, rose, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, and ylang ylang (avoid lemon, which has an invigorating effect15)
Anxiety Lavender, bergamot, rose, clary sage, lemon, Roman chamomile, orange, sandalwood, rose-scented geranium, and pine16
Pain Lavender, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and green apple (especially for migraines)
Nausea and vomiting Mint, ginger, lemon, orange, ginger, dill, fennel, chamomile, clary sage, and lavender
Memory and attention Sage, peppermint,17 and cinnamon
Low energy Black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, angelica, jasmine, tea tree, rosemary, sage, and citrus

How to Use Essential Oils

Some of the most common ways to use essential oils include:

  • Massaging them (blended with a carrier oil) into your skin
  • Adding them to bathwater
  • Using them in a hot compress
  • Heating them in a diffuser
  • Rubbing a drop onto pulse points in lieu of perfume

But that’s really just the beginning. There are many creative uses for essential oils. Here’s a sampling of the 25 uses listed by the Epoch Times.18 For the full list, please see the original article.

Cleaning sprays and room deodorizers Making your own cleaning supplies and room deodorizers using essential oils is an excellent alternative to commercial products that may contain any number of hazardous chemicals. For example, for a homemade cleaning scrub with antibacterial activity, simply add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to baking soda.

Using a glass grated-cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it makes it easy to sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces. In lieu of commercial room deodorizers, you can either use an aromatherapy diffuser, or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to water in a spray bottle.

Freshen laundry Dryer sheets are notoriously toxic, emitting more than 600 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through your dryer vent. You can easily freshen your laundry without risking your family’s health simply by spritzing your wet laundry with a mix of water and a few drops of essential oil before placing it in the dryer. Alternatively, add a dozen or so drops to an old wool sock, and put it in the dryer with your laundry.
Therapeutic steam baths To deep clean pores, add a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus to hot water in your sink, then lean over it with a towel draped over your head to capture the steam. This will also help unclog your sinuses if you have a cold. Alternatively, close the drain in your shower and add some eucalyptus essential oils to the pooled water on the floor of the tub to create a soothing steam.
Customized lotions and soap Synthetic fragrances are a source of allergies, but you can easily customize your own soaps and lotions by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to an unscented brand.
Combat pimples Tea tree oil, which has potent antibacterial activity, can help dry out pimples.
Facial toner Make your own facial toner by adding a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to distilled water in a misting bottle.
Insect repellents Cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil is said to deter insects and rodents. The following essential oils also make excellent bug repellents in lieu of DEET and other chemical repellents:

  • Cinnamon leaf oil (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET19)
  • Clear liquid vanilla extract20 mixed with olive oil
  • Wash with citronella soap, and then put some 100 percent pure citronella essential oil mixed with a carrier oil on your skin. Java Citronella is considered the highest quality citronella on the market
  • Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is 10 times more effective than DEET)21
  • Lemon eucalyptus was found very effective in a 2014 Australian study;22 a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection for three hours, compared to a 40 percent DEET repellent that gave 100 percent protection for seven hours

Resources

Aromatherapy can be a beneficial adjunct to your overall health plan. It’s not a replacement for wise lifestyle choices like good nutrition and exercise, but it can certainly help enhance your physical and emotional health. Aromatherapy is one more tool you can keep in your tool bag for managing everyday stress, balancing out mood swings and improving your sleep for example.

Essential oils are also a great addition to many of your homemade beauty and cleaning products, adding both scent and antibacterial qualities. Whether you seek out a trained aromatherapist or adopt a DIY approach, the following are a few resources you might find useful.

  • National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA):23 Everything about the medicinal use of aromatic plants and the holistic practice of aromatherapy
  • Aroma Web:24 A directory of aromatherapy information, tips, recipes, sources, including a regional aromatherapy business directory
  • American Botanical Council:25 Herbal medicine information that includes an herb library and clinical guide to herbs
  • Herb Med:26 Interactive electronic herb database (some information is free, but full access requires a fee)
  • I also offer further information on 57 different oils in my Ultimate Guide to Herbal Oils

from:    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/17/essential-oils-improve-life.aspx

Doctors Speak Out on GMO’s

Doctors Against GMOs – Hear From Those Who Have Done the Research

The evidence is mounting – GMOs are a danger to health. Long-term studies have revealed organ damage, cancer, and reproductive damage in second and third generation animal studies. There are doctors who are willing to publicly take a stand against genetic engineering. Here are a few of them.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a renowned heart surgeon and the host of the popular television show, The Dr. OZ Show.

Whether you support genetically engineered crops or not, the freedom to make an informed choice should belong to consumers. The bill in Congress this month proposing to block states from independently requiring labeling offers a coup to pro-GMO groups.

As a scientist, I am not that concerned about GMOs themselves, but I am worried about why they were created. Highly toxic herbicides would kill crops unless they were genetically modified, but with the genetic upgrade, these plants can be doused with much higher doses, with potential complications to the environment. The WHO believes that glyphosate is “probably a human carcinogen.” Perhaps we are all showing “disdain for science and evidence-based medicine,” but I would argue that unleashing these products creates a real-time experiment on the human species. Sure, we will eventually know if these pesticides are a problem, but at the expense of the pain and suffering and disease in real people. I owe my kids more. And so do you.

Dr. John H. Boyles

Board certified in the American Environmental Medicine and the American board of Otolaryngology, Dr. Boyles currently practices medicine in Centerville Ohio at the Dayton Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons, Inc.

This exchange of DNA between the species is totally against nature.  We simply don’t know what it will produce.  We don’t know if it is safe, and it has not yet been proven to be safe.

We do not fully understand how gene spicing works within a single species.  We certainly can’t predict how it will work when attempting to combine more than one species.

Yes, the means by which to prove safety was developed around the year 2000. No companies performing the gene splicing will use the procedures, because if their product were to be proven unsafe, then they cannot sell that product. 

Patients at Dayton Ear, Nose, & Throat Surgeons, Inc. were tested for allergies with organic and genetically modified varieties of foods. Some of the patients tested reacted both to the organic soy and the altered soy. Other patients reacted to the GMO soy, but had no reaction to organic soy.  Another group tested positively to the organic, but had no allergic reaction to the GMO soy.  And some patients had no allergic reaction to either the GMO soy or the organic soy.

It has come to our attention that by altering genes, scientists are creating a separate allergy to foods that did not exist in patients before. By changing or altering the structure of the plant, GMOs can cause separate reactions from the same food.

 You owe it to yourself and your family to make healthier food choices. Any allergic person can benefit from a diet with increased organic foods. Control what you can, and steer clear of GMO foods.

Dr. Emily Lindner

Dr. Emily Lindner

Dr. Emily Lindner is an internist with a dual practice of Internal Medicine and Complementary/Integrative Medicine. She is certified in Functional and Nutritional Medicine.

I tell my patients to avoid genetically modified foods because in my experience, with those foods there is more allergies and asthma. And what emanates from that is everything. Lots of arthritis problems, autoimmune diseases, anxiety… neurological problems; anything that comes from an inspired immune system response.

When I change people from a GMO diet to a GMO-free diet I see results instantaneously in people who have foggy thinking and people who have gut symptoms like bloating, gas, irritation. In terms of allergies, it might take two to five days. In terms of depression, it starts to lift almost instantaneously. It takes from a day, to certainly within two weeks.

Dr. Robin Bernhoft

Dr. Robin Bernhoft is a surgeon who retrained in environmental medicine after suffering from an environmental illness caused by the toxic skin scrubs used before surgery. He has since regained his health.

“…all physicians should prescribe non-genetically modified food for all patients, and that we should educate all of our patients on the potential health dangers, and known health dangers of GMO food.”

Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola is an osteopathic physician and an entrepreneur. He is known for being a strong proponent of alternative medicine.

Monsanto and other biotech companies claim genetically modified (GM) crops have no impact on the environment and are perfectly safe to eat.

Federal departments in charge of food safety in the US and Canada have not conducted tests to affirm this alleged “safety,” but rather have taken the industry-conducted research at face value, allowing millions of acres of GM crops to overtake farmland.

These foods, largely in the form of GM corn and soy (although there are other GM crops, too, like sugar beets, papaya and crookneck squash), can now be found in the majority of processed foods in the US.

In other words, if you eat processed foods, you’re already eating them… and these crops are already being freely planted in the environment. But what if it turns out that Monsanto was wrong, and the GM crops aren’t actually safe?

Monsanto is the world leader in GM crops, and their Web site would have you believe that they are the answer to world hunger. Thanks to their heavy PR campaign, if you’ve been primarily a reader of the mainstream press, you’ve probably been misled into thinking GM crops are, in fact, the greatest thing since sliced bread, that they provide better yields of equal or better quality food, pest and weed resistance, reduced reliance on pesticides, and more… But thankfully, the truth is unfolding and the tide is finally beginning to turn.

Dr. Russell Blaylock

Dr. Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon. He practiced medicine for 25 years before pursuing his nutritional studies and research full time. He now owns a nutritional practice, and is a health practitioner, lecturer, and author. He is known for confronting controversial issues in medicine and backing up his arguments with impeccable research. He warns that most of the studies on GMOs are terminated within or at ninety days and test animals are destroyed – with good reason. The following comments are in response to a long-term GMO study published in the journal, “Food and Chemical Toxicology.”

Virtually all of these studies use rats and are terminated at 90 days.This study clearly shows that most of the harmful effects of GMO foods occur after 90 days.

In this study, animals were fed the GMO corn for two years in concentrations commensurate to what people would eat. What they found is beyond shocking.

The animals fed GMO food died two to three times more often than the animals eating a normal diet. Male rats demonstrated liver damage 2.5 to 5.5 times more often than control rats.

Of extreme concern was the finding that the females developed massive breast tumors at a high rate in the GMO-fed animals.

Even more frightening is that almost half of all babies are now being fed soy-based formula. This is not the only study to find problems with GMO foods, but it is the most damning.

In my estimation, all GMO foods should be removed from stores, and GMO crops should be destroyed. The implications of this disaster is almost beyond belief and GMO crops are being heavily promoted all over the world by the IMF, Council on Foreign Relations, and other international organizations.

Dr. Richard Lacey M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Lacey is an expert in food safety issues who served for four years on a U.K. government advisory panel on food as it relates to human and animal health. In 1989-1990, he warned against the practice of feeding cattle rendered meat from sheep and other animals, predicting the “mad cow” epidemic before it occurred. He has written five books on food safety, including one published by Cambridge University Press in 1994 containing a detailed discussion of genetically engineered food. He does not believe GMOs are safe and clearly reminds us that their safety has never been established.

It is my considered judgment that employing the process of recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) in producing new plant varieties entails a set of risks to the health of the consumer that are not ordinarily presented by traditional breeding techniques. It is also my considered judgment that food products derived from such genetically engineered organisms are not generally recognized as safe on the basis of scientific procedures within the community of experts qualified to assess their safety.

Recombinant DNA technology is an inherently risky method for producing new foods. Its risks are in large part due to the complexity and interdependency of the parts of a living system, including its DNA. Wedging foreign genetic material in an essentially random manner into an organism’s genome necessarily causes some degree of disruption, and the disruption could be multi-faceted. Further, whether singular or multi-faceted, the disruptive influence could well result in the presence of unexpected toxins or allergens or in the degradation of nutritional value. Further, because of the complexity and interactivity of living systems — and because of the extent to which our understanding of them is still quite deficient — it is impossible to predict what specific problems could result in the case of any particular genetically engineered organism.

To the best of my judgment, neither genetically engineered foods as a general class nor any genetically engineered food in particular is generally recognized as safe among those experts qualified by training and experience to evaluate their safety…

…In my opinion, the number of scientists who are not convinced about the safety of genetically engineered foods is substantial enough to prevent the existence of a general recognition of safety. Second, there is insufficient evidence to support a belief that genetically engineered foods are safe. I am not aware of any study in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that establishes the safety of even one specific genetically engineered food let alone the safety of these foods as a general class. Few properly designed toxicological feeding studies have even been attempted, and I know of none that was satisfactorily completed. Those who claim that genetically engineered foods are as safe as naturally produced ones are clearly not basing their claims on scientific procedures that demonstrate safety to a reasonable degree of certainty. Rather, they are primarily basing their claims on a set of assumptions that, besides being empirically unsubstantiated, are in several respects at odds with the bulk of the evidence.

The main assumptions are: (a) that producing food through recombinant DNA technology in itself entails no greater risks than producing it through sexual reproduction between members of the same species and (b) that the same safeguards commonly employed by breeders using conventional techniques will suffice for genetically engineered foods.

As far as I can ascertain, the current policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is primarily based on these two assumptions. Therefore, although it claims to be “science-based,” this claim has no solid basis in fact. The only way to base the claims about the safety of genetically engineered food in science is to establish each one to be safe through standard scientific procedures, not through assumptions that reflect more wishful thinking than hard fact.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

This is an official statement from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

Genetically Modified Foods

According to the World Health Organization, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.” This technology is also referred to as “genetic engineering”, “biotechnology” or “recombinant DNA technology” and consists of randomly inserting genetic fragments of DNA from one organism to another, usually from a different species. For example, an artificial combination of genes that includes a gene to produce the pesticide Cry1Ab protein (commonly known as Bt toxin), originally found in Bacillus thuringiensis, is inserted in to the DNA of corn randomly. Both the location of the transferred gene sequence in the corn DNA and the consequences of the insertion differ with each insertion. The plant cells that have taken up the inserted gene are then grown in a lab using tissue culture and/or nutrient medium that allows them to develop into plants that are used to grow GM food crops.

Natural breeding processes have been safely utilized for the past several thousand years. In contrast, “GE crop technology abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years.” 

Despite these differences, safety assessment of GM foods has been based on the idea of “substantial equivalence” such that “if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food.” However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.

There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill’s Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility.  The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies. 

…Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans. 

In spite of this risk, the biotechnology industry claims that GM foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. However, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reviewed 12 academic studies and indicates otherwise: “The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn.”  However, it was further stated that this increase is largely due to traditional breeding improvements. 

Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements. 

…With the precautionary principle in mind, because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks:

  • Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.
  • Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.
  • Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.
  • For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

(This statement was reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine on May 8, 2009.)

Conclusion

In America, there is a fascination and an appreciation of most new technologies. Before GMOs were widely adopted more medical professionals and scientists marveled at the technological advancements making genetic engineering possible; this awe and wonder was widespread long before the downsides of GMOs became well known. It turns out they are worse than almost anyone thought.

Now that GMOs have been widely adopted in the American diet, more and more doctors are discovering that GMOs are devastating to our health. It is becoming more common for doctors to advise their patients to avoid GMOs. Recently, members of Sermo, an online community of physicians, were surveyed as to whether or not they support GMO labeling. The majority, 68% of them are in favor of requiring food manufacturers to label products containing GMOs.

For years, there has been a tired argument that if you’re against GMOs then you’re against science, but just because we have the technology to do something, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we should. The majority of new technologies are abandoned due to flaws that become painfully apparent after they have become widespread. At present we are feeling that pain.

Be sure to check out Doctors Against Vaccines and Understanding and Detoxifying from GMOs.

from:    http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/doctors-against-gmos-hear-from-those-who-have-done-the-research/

Healthy Fats, Cardiovascular Disease, Cholestrol

Will New 2015 Dietary Guidelines Reverse Four Decades of Foolish Fat Phobia?

Story at-a-glance

  • The latest Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) scientific report, which forms the basis for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, removes warnings about dietary cholesterol, and eliminates the upper limit on total fat
  • Research has consistently demonstrated that low-fat diets do not prevent heart disease; nor does it help you lose weight
  • One recent study found that people who were on ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diets experienced a gradual reduction in overall appetite, despite the overall cut in calories
July 06, 2015

By Dr. Mercola

Every five years, the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) convene a 15-member panel to update the nation’s dietary guidelines.

The panel’s mission is to identify foods and beverages that help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease. In addition to guiding the public at large, the guidelines significantly influence nutrition policies such as school lunch programs and feeding programs for the elderly.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) scientific report is an integral part of this process, as it serves as the foundation for the development of the dietary guidelines.

The DGAC submitted its 2015 Scientific Report1,2,3,4 to the HHS and USDA in February 2015, which, to many people’s surprise, included the elimination of warnings about dietary cholesterol.

Another remarkable turnaround is the Advisory Committee’s revised stance on fats. As noted in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) paper,5 the latest advisory report reverses nearly four decades of nutrition policy.

“[The new DGAC report] concluded, ‘Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates) does not lower CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk…

Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat.’

Limiting total fat was also not recommended for obesity prevention; instead, the focus was placed on healthful food-based diet patterns that include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and dairy products and include less meats, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, and refined grains…

In finalizing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services should follow the evidence-based, scientifically sound DGAC report and remove the existing limit on total fat consumption.”

Research has consistently demonstrated that low-fat diets do not prevent heart disease. On the contrary, the low-fat craze has undoubtedly done more harm than good, as your body needs healthy fat for optimal function.

Unfortunately, the DGAC doesn’t go so far as to set the record straight with regards to saturated fats, as it makes no firm distinction between healthy saturated fats and decidedly unhealthy trans fats.

Still, if the DGAC’s conclusions on total dietary fat consumption make it into the HHS and USDA’s final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will be published later this year, it will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Ditches Cholesterol and Total Fat Limits

Healthy fat and cholesterol have, for decades, been wrongfully blamed for causing heart disease, and it’s like a breath of fresh air to finally see the advisory committee is taking note of the accumulated science.

With regards to cholesterol, the panel concluded it “is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” noting the absence of a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

Until now, the American dietary guidelines have recommended limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams (mg) per day, which amounts to about two eggs. As noted by Steven Nissen, chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic:

“Many of us for a long time have believed the dietary guidelines were pointing in the wrong direction. It is long overdue.”

Similarly, the report recognizes that reducing total fat intake has no bearing on heart disease risk either. Nor does it reduce your risk of obesity. Instead, mounting research shows that sugar and refined grains are in fact the primary culprits.

Saturated fats are actually important for optimal health, and those with insulin/leptin resistance may need upwards of 50-80 percent of their daily calories from healthy fat—far more than the upper limit suggested by current federal guidelines.

As noted by Forbes Magazine:6

“[T]he recommendation to have no more than 35 percent of your calories coming from fats is over. ‘Placing limits on total fat intake has no basis in science and leads to all sorts of wrong industry and consumer decisions,’ said Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the authors of the new [JAMA] paper.7

“Modern evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease.

Other fat-rich foods, like whole milk and cheese, appear pretty neutral; while many low-fat foods, like low-fat deli meats, fat-free salad dressing, and baked potato chips, are no better and often even worse than full-fat alternatives. It’s the food that matters, not its fat content.”

A High-Quality Fat Diet May Be Key to Weight Management

The idea that a low-fat diet would help you lose weight has been proven wrong. Low-fat recommendations are likely to do more harm than good across the board, but may be particularly counterproductive if you’re trying to lose weight.

Contrary to “conventional wisdom,” mounting evidence clearly shows a high-fat, low-carb diet can be exceptionally effective for weight loss—provided you’re eating the right kinds of fats. Sources of healthy fats include:

Olives and olive oil (for cold dishes) Coconuts and coconut oil (for all types of cooking and baking) Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as macadamias and pecans Organic pastured egg yolks Avocados
Grass-fed meats Palm oil Unheated organic nut oils

While trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils do promote heart disease, saturated fats are not only essential for proper cellular and hormonal function, they also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet.

The high-fat, low-carb combination is therefore ideal because when you cut down on carbs, you generally need to replace that lost energy by increasing your fat consumption. By boosting total fat and reducing non-vegetable carbs, you effectively “reset” your body to burn fat instead of sugar.

Not only can this promote highly efficient weight loss, you don’t have to feel like you’re starving to do it. Fat (which burns slower than sugar) is far more satiating, effectively cutting hunger pangs. This was recently demonstrated in an Australian study8,9 published in Obesity Reviews. The researchers found that people who were on ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diets experienced a gradual reduction in overall appetite, despite the overall cut in calories.

According to the authors:

“Although these absolute changes in appetite were small, they occurred within the context of energy restriction, which is known to increase appetite in obese people. Thus, the clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss, although individuals may indeed feel slightly less hungry (or more full or satisfied).

Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite. Future studies should investigate the minimum level of ketosis required to achieve appetite suppression during ketogenic weight loss diets, as this could enable inclusion of a greater variety of healthy carbohydrate-containing foods into the diet.”

Research into the health benefits of ketogenic diets has also revealed a number of other beneficial effects besides weight loss. Diabetes, epilepsy, and even cancer may benefit from a high-fat, low-carb diet. Drs. Thomas Seyfried and Dominic D’Agostino have both investigated the effects of ketogenic diets on cancer, coming to the conclusion that it effectively “starves” cancer cells, as cancer needs glucose to thrive.

The Importance of Omega-3 Fat

Another healthy fat that most people get too little of is the omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Approximately 60 percent of your brain is composed of fats—25 percent of which is DHA. Omega-3 fats such as DHA are considered essential because your body cannot produce them, so you must get them from your daily diet. Aside from benefiting your brain, they’re also a potent anti-inflammatory.

Recent research10,11 shows omega-3 supplementation can help reduce inflammation in people with chronic kidney disease, but chronic inflammation is a hallmark of most chronic disease, including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer. So omega-3 is important for general, overall health, and can be beneficial no matter what chronic health condition you’re afflicted with.

Swedish researchers recently found that seniors who eat plenty of fish and vegetables live longer than those who do not. As reported by Reuters:12 “Among more than four thousand 60-year-old men and women, those with the highest blood levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which come from fish and plants, were significantly less likely to die from heart disease or any cause over about 15 years than those with the lowest levels.”

Generous amounts of PUFAs are found in fatty fish such as salmon and herring. They’re also found in avocados, olives, and raw nuts. Unfortunately, the vast majority of fish is too contaminated to eat on a frequent basis. Most major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals, and chemicals like dioxins, PCBs, and other agricultural chemicals, which is why, as a general rule, I no longer recommend getting your total omega-3 requirements from fish.

Instead, I recommend taking an animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil on a regular basis, while simultaneously limiting damaged omega-6 fats found in vegetable oils and processed foods. These two strategies will help normalize your omega-3 to omega-6 ratios, which is an important consideration for optimal health.

If You Want to Eat Fish, Choose Wisely

That said, I do make one exception when it comes to eating fish.

The nutritional benefits of wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sockeye salmon, I believe, still outweigh the risk of potential contamination. The risk of sockeye accumulating high amounts of mercury and other toxins is reduced because of its short life cycle, which is only about three years. Bioaccumulation of toxins is also reduced by the fact that it doesn’t feed on other, already contaminated, fish.

Moreover, neither Alaskan salmon nor sockeye salmon are allowed to be farmed, which is another safety factor. For a less expensive alternative to salmon fillets, look for canned salmon labeled “Alaskan salmon.” If you want to be on the safe side, you may also consider taking some chlorella tablets along with your meal. Chlorella is a potent mercury binder and if taken with the fish will help bind the mercury before you are able to absorb it, so it can be safely excreted in your stool.

Besides wild-caught salmon, smaller fish with short lifecycles also tend to be better alternatives in terms of fat content, so that’s another alternative if you want to eat fish. A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will accumulate. Good choices include sardines, anchovies, and herring.

Cheese Is a Health Food

Cheese has long been demonized courtesy of its saturated fat content, but as the saturated fat myth has come under increasing scrutiny, this food may soon experience a revival as well. Many recent studies into the health effects of cheese have come to exonerating conclusions. Joanna Maricato, an analyst at New Nutrition Business, recently told FoodNavigator-USA:13

“Nutritional science, like all sciences, is constantly evolving. In the past, studies focused on analyzing individual nutrients and their effects on the body. Now, there is a growing tendency to look at foods and food groups as a whole, without pre-judgments based on their content of an individual content of an individual nutrient. As a consequence, amazing results are appearing from studies on dairy and particularly cheese, proving that the combination of nutrients in cheese has many promising health benefits that were never considered in the past.”

Indeed, cheese—especially when made from the milk of grass-pastured animals—is an excellent source of several important nutrients, including:

  • High-quality protein and amino acids
  • High-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats
  • Vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin), and B12
  • Vitamin K2 (highest amounts can be found in Gouda, Brie, Edam. Other cheeses with lesser but significant levels of K2: Cheddar, Colby, hard goat cheese, Swiss, and Gruyere)
  • CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster

Even if you’re lactose intolerant, there are many cheeses you will likely tolerate as most of the lactose is removed during the cheese making process. There is a major difference between natural cheese and processed “cheese foods,” however. Natural cheese is a simple fermented dairy product made with just a few basic ingredients — milk, starter culture, salt and an enzyme called rennet. Salt is a crucial ingredient for flavor, ripening, and preservation.

You can tell a natural cheese by its label, which will state the name of the cheese variety, such as “cheddar cheese,” “blue cheese,” or “brie.” Real cheese also requires refrigeration. Processed cheese or “cheese food” is a different story. These products are typically pasteurized and otherwise adulterated with a variety of additives that detract from their nutritional value.

The tipoff on the label is the word “pasteurized.” A lengthier list of ingredients is another way to distinguish processed cheese from the real thing. Velveeta is one example, with additives like sodium phosphate, sodium citronate, and various coloring agents. A final clue is that most don’t require refrigeration. So, be it Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, squeeze cheese, spray cheese, or some other imposter — these are NOT real cheeses and have no redeeming value.

Raw Cheese from Pasture-Raised Animals Is Best

Ideally, the cheese you consume should be made from the milk of grass-fed animals raised on pasture, rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlot stalls. The biologically appropriate diet for cows is grass, but 90 percent of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of cows raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Not only does raw cheese have a richer flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk, as heat destroys enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese, grass-fed dairy products are also nutritionally superior:

  • Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2:1. By contrast, the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grain-fed milk is heavily weighted on the side of omega-6 fats (25:1), which are already excessive in the standard American diet. Grass-fed dairy combats inflammation in your body, whereas grain-fed dairy contributes to it.
  • Grass-fed cheese contains about five times the CLA of grain-fed cheese.
  • Because raw cheese is not pasteurized, natural enzymes in the milk are preserved, increasing its nutritional punch.
  • Grass-fed cheese is considerably higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
  • Organic grass-fed cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Take-Home Message: You Need Unprocessed Saturated Fat—It’s Good for You

Focusing your diet on raw whole, ideally organic, foods rather than processed fare is perhaps one of the easiest ways to sidestep dietary pitfalls like excess sugar/fructose, harmful trans fats, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful additives, while getting plenty of healthy nutrients. The rest is just a matter of tweaking the ratios of fat, carbs, and protein to suit your individual situation. One key though is to trade refined sugar and processed fructose for healthy fat, as this will help optimize your insulin and leptin levels.

Healthy fat is particularly important for optimal brain function and memory. This is true throughout life, but especially during childhood. So, if processed food still make up the bulk of your meals, you’d be wise to reconsider your eating habits. Not only are processed foods the primary culprit in obesity and related diseases, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, processed foods can also affect the IQ of young children. One British study14 revealed that kids who ate a predominantly processed food diet at age three had lower IQ scores at age 8.5.

For each measured increase in processed foods, participants had a 1.67-point decrease in IQ. Another study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics15,16,17 also warns that frequent fast food consumption may stunt your child’s academic performance. For more detailed dietary guidance, please see my optimal nutrition plan. It’s a step-by-step guide to feeding your family right, and I encourage you to read through it. I’ve also created my own “food pyramid,” based on nutritional science, which you can print out and share.

from:     http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/07/06/new-dietary-guidelines-saturated-fats.aspx?e_cid=20150706Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150706Z1&et_cid=DM78921&et_rid=1021822595

Vaccine Injury Data Removed fr/GOV Website

Government Wipes Recent Vaccine Injury Data from Website

Story at-a-glance

  • In March 2015 the US government removed the latest US Court of Federal Claims compensation award statistics (data from 2014 and 2015) from a chart usually made available to the public online
  • There had been a sharp uptick in reported vaccine injury and death compensation awards for children and adults in previous recent months
  • This data was no longer reflected on the website’s “adjudication” chart, which seriously distorted the reality of was happening in vaccine court

By Dr. Mercola

Many are not aware that in the US there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as “vaccine court”.

The VICP is a “no-fault” alternative to the traditional civil court lawsuit and was established in 1986 after a string of high-profile lawsuits had slammed vaccine manufacturers.

At the time, parents were suing vaccine manufacturers after their children were brain injured or died following federally recommended and state mandated DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine). There were several DPT injury lawsuits against the vaccine makers in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that resulted in multimillion dollar jury verdicts.

At that point the vaccine manufacturers threatened to stop producing DPT, MMR, and oral polio (the only childhood vaccines at the time) if the civil litigation continued. Rather than raising safety standards and compelling vaccine manufacturers to  ensure they are producing the least toxic vaccines – Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and shielded the vaccine makers from most civil liability related to their products.1

The American Public – Not the Vaccine Makers – Pay the Costs of Compensation

The federal VICP compensates vaccine victims not from a fund paid into by vaccine manufacturers, but through a federal trust fund that collects a 75-cent surcharge on every vaccine given (the combination MMR vaccine, for example, has a $2.25 fee tacked on to it because that shot contains three vaccines). So not only are drug companies making big profits from selling mandated vaccines to government and vaccine producers, they are also held legally blameless for both vaccine injuries and deaths and don’t have to pay a cent to those injured by their vaccines.

The VICP contains a Vaccine Injury Table that lists vaccine side effects that are known to be caused by vaccines. In order to win uncontested federal compensation for a vaccine injury, a person must prove he or she developed certain clinical symptoms and medical conditions on the Table within a certain time frame of receiving a certain vaccine, and that there is no more biologically plausible explanation for the vaccine-related injury or death.

If a clinical symptom and medical condition is not on the Vaccine Injury Table – or developed outside of the accepted timeframe, the vaccine injury claim is contested by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the US Department of Justice and is adjudicated in the US Court of Federal Claims (“vaccine court”). In Vaccine Court, the vaccine injured plaintiff must prove, usually via medical records and statements from a medical expert, that the vaccine could have caused the injury.

NPR detailed the story of Lisa Smith, a woman who was healthy until she received a flu shot and, a few days later, realized she couldn’t walk and had developed severe pain in her legs.2

Lisa had developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease of the nervous system. GBS is in the process of being added to the official Vaccine  Injury Table. She only learned of the VICP after a friend told her about it. She filed a VICP claim and was awarded a settlement of an undisclosed amount.

Many People Are Not Aware of Vaccine Court

In 2014, there were 542 vaccine injury compensation claims filed in the VICP. Of the claims, 365 were compensated for a total of $202 million, with settlements ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.3

What you’ll notice is that very few of these claims are publicized or disclosed to the public in any way. It is obvious that the government does not want to publicize the existence of the VICP because the more Americans learn that there are vaccine injuries and deaths  – those that have been vetted and compensated in a court of law – the more they may start to question the safety and of vaccines.

There is a government VICP website, which is run by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

It maintains vaccine injury claim statistics that have historically been updated monthly – until the government mysteriously removed more than a years worth of data earlier this year…

US Government Removes Vaccine Injury Court Statistics from Public Website

According to investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, in March 2015 the US government removed the latest vaccine injury court statistics (data from 2014 and 2015) from a publicly reported chart.4

HRSA stated they removed the data in order to sync up with data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is only current through 2013 and details the number of vaccine doses given in the US.

However, Attkisson noted there had been a sharp uptick in VICP awards for children and adults filing vaccine injury and death claims and the data was no longer included on the HRSA websites “adjudication” chart, which distorted the reality of what’s happening in vaccine court. As Attkisson reported:

Since January of 2014, the number of flu vaccine cases conceded by the government is more than double the previous eight years combined. The adjudication chart only reflects half of the current number.

Concessions won by flu shot victims since 2006
Chart shows (through 2013): 42
Actual number (through April 2015): 88

Also on the rise is the number of vaccine injury cases the government has ‘conceded:’ up 55% in a little over one year. As a result of the recent website changes, neither of these trends is reflected on the current ‘adjudication’ chart.”

In addition, the HRSA website has been altered to make VICP stats harder to find. The adjudication chart used to be the first item on the statistics page, but was replaced by language stating vaccines are safe and effective.

Since 1998 through June 1, 2015, HRSA reports that 14,812 claims were filed in the VICP. The total paid out to vaccine victims was about $3.1 billion. While 4,121 were compensated,  9,904 have been dismissed. Further, the majority of vaccine injuries never make it to vaccine court. According to Attkisson:5

Only about one injury case for every million doses of vaccines is compensated in vaccine court. Adverse events occur more frequently, according to vaccine warning labels, but rarely end up in the little-known vaccine court.”

Getting Compensated Through Vaccine Court Isn’t Always Easy…

While the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was originally set up to give vaccine-injured Americans an expedited, non-adversarial, less expensive administrative alternative to a civil court lawsuit, today it is the “exclusive remedy” for those seeking compensation for serious vaccine injuries.

Many vaccine victims are left waiting without support and financial assistance for years on end, while their case snakes its way through the federal governments red tape. Some VICP claimants even say they felt “attacked” by the government that was supposed to help them.

Another problem has been a lack of public awareness that this program even exists. Reportedly, federal officials operating the VICP have vowed to publicize the program, promising to improve the website to make its literature to make it easier to understand.

They’ve also stated they will seek to increase awareness among health care providers, parents and expectant parents, older adults, Spanish speaking adults, as well as civil litigation and plaintiff attorneys.6

What actually happens remains to be seen. Several years ago, a comprehensive consultant report about publicizing the VICP was created at a cost of $300,000.  However, few recommendations were ever implemented.7

Moreover, VICP directors didn’t begin taking action on publicity until after a congressionally requested Government Accountability Office (GAO) inquiry began last year.

Public outreach has also been largely ignored since the programs inception. The Associated Press also claims it found evidence suggesting that “the government seems intent on keeping the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program’s public profile low.”8

How Common Are Vaccine Injuries?

When the VICP was first created, if the injured party was denied compensation or was dissatisfied with the amount of the award, they could then proceed with a civil lawsuit with certain restrictions, depending upon the case.

Unhappy with this partial liability protection, drug companies kept pushing for complete liability protection and, in 2011, convinced the US Supreme Court majority to rule that federally licensed and recommended vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” and that the VICP should be the “sole remedy” for all vaccine injury claims.9

I think it’s worth repeating, in case you just glossed over it: The reason you cannot sue a vaccine manufacturer for injury or death is because vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” At this point, vaccine manufacturers have virtually no incentive whatsoever to ensure the safety and effectiveness of vaccines that are recommended by federal health officials and mandated by state health officials.

The question you’re probably wondering is, so how safe, or unsafe, are they? The answer is, no one really knows, as appropriate safety studies haven’t been conducted.

It’s important to understand that ALL vaccines carry a risk for provoking an immediate acute adverse reaction, such as anaphylactic shock, fainting, or having a seizure, which could be truly life threatening if you’re driving a car or crossing a street, for example.

Further, vaccines can impair and alter immune system responses and can also cause brain inflammation (encephalitis or encephalopathy) that may lead to permanent brain damage.

In addition, as Institute of Medicine Committees have pointed out in published reports, some individuals are more susceptible to suffering harm from vaccines because of biological, genetic, and environmental risk factors but, most of the time, doctors cannot predict who will be harmed because there are few scientific studies that have evaluated vaccine risks for individuals.10

Problems with a One-Size-Fits-All Vaccine Program

It’s now known that the microbiome influences our health and that an individuals gut microbes may help determine their immune response to vaccines. For instance, infants that responded to the rotavirus vaccine had a higher diversity of microbes in their gut, as well as more microbes from the Proteobacteria group, than infants who did not mount the expected immune response.11

Further, there has been little scientific research into how vaccines affect your genes and it’s likely different for every person because no two people are identical in terms of inherited genes, environmental exposures, or epigenetic influences that contribute to biodiversity.

There’s really no way to predict which genes will be affected, but the US government recommends, and many states mandate the same vaccine schedule for every American.

Yet, each individual will have a unique response to any given vaccine based on their age, current health status, and microbial makeup. In addition, we’re also epigenetically predisposed to respond differently in terms of the vaccine side effects we might develop.

The fact is vaccines appear to cause mild or no reactions in some people but clearly can cause devastating reactions in others. Here are just some of the ways vaccines can impair or alter immune responses and brain function:

  • Some components in vaccines are neurotoxic, including heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants; residual toxins like endotoxin and bioactive pertussis toxin; and chemicals like formaldehyde and phenooxyethanol
  • The lab-altered and genetically engineered viruses and bacteria in vaccines may impair immune responses and do not stimulate the same kind of immunity that occurs when the body responds to an infectious disease
  • Foreign DNA/RNA from human, animal, and insect cell substrates used to produce vaccines may trigger serious health problems for some people
  • Vaccines may alter your T-cell function and lead to chronic illness
  • Vaccines can trigger allergies by introducing large foreign protein molecules into your body that have not been properly broken down by your digestive tract (since they are injected). Your body can have an allergic reaction to these foreign particles

from:    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/23/vaccine-injury-data.aspx?e_cid=20150623Z1_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20150623Z1&et_cid=DM79751&et_rid=1005664917

Dr. Mercola’s Top Nutrition Myths

Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

There is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless—but others are outright dangerous and can lead you down the road to chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.

It is critically important to decipher fact from fiction. Many nutrition myths get repeated over and over until they are mistaken for truth, especially when perpetually spread by public health authorities.

But the good news is that slowly, the real truth finally appears to be reaching mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the eagerness of satirists to take a jab at the food industry, as in the clever Coca-Cola parody featured below.

In an article addressing destructive nutrition lies, Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition[1] is among those admirably trying to bust the dangerous dietary myths that continue being spread by so many nutritionists.

I agree with the majority of his points, but have added a few others that I believe to be important. Read on for my own top 10 list, which builds upon his.

Lie #1: Breakfast Is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day

There is now a good deal of research supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting—which is what you are really doing whenever you zip out of the house in the morning without breakfast.

Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction which many studies have shown to dramatically increase life span in animals. It may also be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.

Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone production (aka the “fitness hormone”) by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men.

Intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have both been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance.

Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increased lean body mass. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by increasing levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

There are several types of intermittent fasting to choose from, so I recommend experimenting to see what style works best for you. One of the easiest, however, is to simply skip breakfast, and limit your eating to a narrow window of time each day—say between 11am and 7pm, to start. You can review my more comprehensive article on intermittent fasting for more details.

The advice to “eat six small meals per day” comes from seemingly logical principles (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilizing blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits. We seem to need periods of fasting for optimal metabolic function.

And if you think about it, our ancient ancestors never had access to a grocery store 24/7 and they went through regular periods of feast and famine. The problem is that most of us are in 24/7 feast mode. Implementing intermittent fasting is the quickest way I know of to jump start your body into burning fat as its primary fuel again.

Lie #2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease

The dangerous recommendation to avoid saturated fat, which arose from anunproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming people’s health for about 40 years now. As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is the polar opposite of an ideal fat to carb ratio and virtually guarantees you a heightened risk of disease.

Most people benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthful fats. However, you need very few, if any, carbohydrates for optimal health. Although that amount of fat may seem like a lot, fat is very calorie-dense, and will therefore still constitute the smallest amount, in terms of volume, on your plate.

The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.

Fats also serve as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals, and a host of other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart! Good sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:

Avocados Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk Raw dairy Organic pastured egg yolks
Coconuts and coconut oil Unheated organic nut oils Raw nuts, especially macadamia, and raw seeds Grass-fed and finished meats

Lie #3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You

Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oils are some of the worst. When consumed in large amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort your important omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. In a perfect world, this ratio is 1:1—but the average American is getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods significantly increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses.

The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized, damaged cholesterol, which your immune system identifies as bacteria. In response, your immune system sends out macrophages to attack it, which creates inflammation inside your artery walls. A major factor driving heart disease is this oxidized cholesterol, which you introduce into your body every time you consume vegetable oils, or foods cooked in them.

Many vegetable and seed oils are also genetically engineered, which only compounds their health risk. More than 90 percent of US canola oil is GE. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the one of choice for cooking because it’s close to a completely saturated fat—meaning, much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most nutritionally beneficial fats. For more information about coconut oil, please see our special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.

Lie #4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss

Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The irony is that nearly all of the studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gainthan caloric sweeteners. Studies also show that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.

In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain much more so than regular soda.[2] On average, each diet soda the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:

  • Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
  • Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced, leading to further problems with weight control[3]
  • Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced by multiple studies. For example, a Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.[4]

The list of health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, continues to expand. I maintain an ongoing list of studies related to the detrimental effects of aspartame, which I recommend you review for yourself if you are still on the fence. I invite you to watch my aspartame video, as well.

Lie #5: Soy Is a Health Food

The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, regardless of your age or gender. I am not opposed to all soy—properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto, offer great health benefits, courtesy of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) the fermentation process produces.

Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to a number of health problems, however. More than 90 percent of American soy crops are also genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.[5] If you find this information startling, then I would encourage you to review some of the articles on my Soy Page. The following table lists a number of the damaging health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:

Breast cancer Brain damage and cognitive impairment Heart disease
Thyroid disorders Kidney stones Immune dysfunction
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies Malnutrition Digestive problems
Problems with pregnancy and breastfeeding Reproductive disorders and impaired fertility Developmental abnormalities in infants

Lie #6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone

The use of whole grains is an easy subject to get confused about, especially for those with a passion for health annutrition. For the longest time, we’ve been told that whole grains are highly beneficial. Unfortunately, ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels, even whole grains and organic varieties—and elevated insulin/leptin increases your risk of chronic disease. This is especially true if you already struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, which would manifest as high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol ratios, being overweight, or diabetes).

It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin and leptin levels and have one or more of the symptoms listed above. You may be one of those if you struggle to maintain an ideal body weight and body composition, tend to accumulate fat around you belly, or have a suboptimal lipid profile. In fact, insulin/leptin dysregulation is a common indicator for many of the diseases so prevalent today, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.

Many whole grains also contain gluten, which is a common trigger for allergies and sensitivities. Subclinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, with symptoms that are not always obvious. I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains from your diet, as well as sugars/fructose, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above. As a general rule, the higher your insulin levels are, the greater your grain restriction should be.

#7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods

Genetic engineering (GE) of our food may be the most dangerous aspect of our food supply today. I strongly recommend that you avoid ALL GE foods. Since more than 90 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the soy grown in the US are GE, then you can count on virtually every processed food having at least one GE component if it doesn’t bear the “USDA 100% Organic” or non-GMO label.  Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of them is that the crops are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate, to the tune of nearly a billion pounds per year. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.

No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders. The first-ever lifetime feeding study showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan. It’s important to realize that, unless you’re buying all organic food or growing your own, you’re probably consuming GE foods on a daily basis. In order to avoid as many GE foods as possible, be aware that the following common crops are likely to be GE unless otherwise labeled:

Corn Canola Alfalfa
Soy Cottonseed Sugar from sugar beets
Zucchini Crookneck squash Hawaiian papaya

Lie #8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart

Eggs are one of the most demonized foods in the US… thanks to the cholesterol myth. The misguided belief that cholesterol, such as in egg yolks, will give you heart disease is simply untrue (see Lie #1). Studies have shown that eggs do NOT have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels and are actually one of the most healthful foods you can eat. In one Yale study,[6] participants were asked to consume two eggs daily for six weeks. Researchers found that this egg consumption did not spike cholesterol levels and did not have a negative effect on endothelial function, a measure of cardiac risk.

Choose pasture-raised organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are also more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs. Some of the many nutritional benefits of eggs are summarized for you in the table below.

One egg contains six grams of high quality protein and all nine essential amino acids Beneficial for eye health due to lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in your lens and retina that help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts Good source of choline, a member of the vitamin B family (essential for nervous system, cardiovascular system, and prenatal brain development)
Vitamin D: eggs are one of the few foods that contains naturally occurring vitamin D (24.5 grams) Sulfur (essential component of glutathione, also promotes healthy hair and nails) Many other vitamins and minerals (B vitamins, vitamins A and E, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc)

Lie #9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease

Conventional recommendations over th

e past 40 years or more have called for drastically decreasing the overall fat in your diet, but this fat aversion is a driving force behind today’s metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and ill health. As discussed earlier, most people need between 50 and 85 percent of their calories from fats—a far cry form the less than 10 percent from saturated fat recommended by the USDA!7 Kris Gunnars stated it quite nicely:8

“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”

Let’s face it, if low-fat diets worked, the United States would be the healthiest nation on the planet—folks have been following them since the late 1970s! But if you look at the following graph, you can see that America’s waistline has done nothing but expand since then. There’s no telling how many people have been prematurely killed by following these flawed guidelines. Yet, despite mounting research to the contrary, low-fat diets are stillbeing pushed as “heart healthy” by the majority of nutritionists, cardiologists, and the like.

Lie #10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories

I have already covered how insulin resistance is a key factor in disease (see Lie #4). A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates—particularly processed grains and sugar—leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When your highest percentage of calories comes from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch, not vegetables. When the low-fat mantra swept over the country, the high-carb craze soon followed. When fat was removed from foods, something had to be added back in to make foods more palatable—and that something was sugar. Particularly, highly concentrated forms of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, which spell metabolic disaster for your body.

With fat being the identified villain (albeit falsely accused), sugar was completely ignored—even though sugar was the real culprit behind inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease. America’s love of sugar was a boon to the processed food industry—which added fructose to practically everything from soup to nuts… literally. If you want to see what effects this had on the country’s health and belt size, just turn on your national news.

A high-carb diet disrupts your insulin and leptin signaling, and over time may very well result in type 2 diabetes. By contrast, a diet higher in beneficial fats corrects these metabolic issues. Recent research has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet—one marked by carbohydrate restriction and substantial healthful fats—extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent, because it optimized their insulin sensitivity and other metabolic processes. There is evidence that low carbohydrate diets, combined with appropriate amounts of protein, can even slow down Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Now for the #1 Truth…

The more you can eat like your ancestors, the better—fresh whole foods, locally and sustainably raised, and foods that are minimally processed or not processed at all. These are the types of foods that your genes and biochemistry are adapted to and will provide you with the ability to reverse and prevent most diseases. You will find these at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, or in your own backyard garden. And you will be amazed at the positive changes you’ll see in your health when you “clean up” your diet!  Be wary of nutritional advice from mainstream “experts” as it may not be based on science—or based on bad information that is several decades outdated. Truthful, accurate information is your number one weapon in taking control of your health.

 

from:    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/16/top10-nutritional-myths.aspx