Interview with a Nutritarian: Jessica

I first read Jessica’s story on the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com. I was thrilled to read it, because many of us wait until we are well into our middle age years or beyond to consider getting our health back. She sought the path early on as a young mother in her twenties, and is not only setting a great example for her family, but is now a role model for many others. Welcome to Disease Proof, Jessica.   

young mother who lost weight

Tell about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back.

I am a 26-year-old mother of one, military wife and homemaker. Since childhood, I’ve always had an issue with my weight, self-image, nutrition, and energy levels. I was always fatigued, and regularly woke up more exhausted than when I went to bed the night before. Over time my allergies grew worse, and asthma induced by activity dominated my desire to exercise. I felt like a shell of a person.

In my early twenties I had a laundry list of prescription meds for everything: depression, migraine headaches, allergies (including 2 allergy shots/week and an inhaler); and a medication to wake me up in the morning and one to put me to sleep at night. I had the resume of a hypochondriac, only I wasn't one. Western medicine just kept throwing meds my way instead of looking at causes for the ailments. Doctors had me believing that, "These things just happen" for no apparent reason. They wanted me to take meds for the rest of my life.

After I had my son, the extra weight really hurt so I began seeking a different path. In my search, I thankfully discovered Eat to Live. The book was my inspiration, and helped guide me to lose 43 lbs in five months. [158 lbs to 115 lbs] I am now off all meds except for one allergy medication, which is being used less frequently. I have no migraines, acne, depression, and best of all the sleep disorder has completely vanished! 

 

How did you feel before starting ETL?

I felt empty. I was disgusted at myself for being so unhealthy at my young age. My life was out-of-control and I felt helpless. One minute I would have the strength to eat healthy, and the next minute I would cave in and eat junk food. The food addiction set me up for a ritualistic "try and fail" dance that chipped away at my self-worth.

 

How do you feel now? 

I’m jubilant now that I’m in control of my life! I’m in the driver’s seat instead of being the hijacked victim of food cravings. I can feel the difference immediately when I eat something that is full of nutrients, like romaine lettuce or a green smoothie. My skin even glows instead of being plagued with blemishes. I also go out more, because I don’t have to try on fifty different outfits; looking fat in all of them. 

Becoming a nutritarian has changed me from being sad, angry, and wishing I were somebody else to loving myself. I feel alive. I’m in tune with my body now, and I feel like I’ve been born into a whole new life that’s full of possibilities!

before and after portraits of female

Do you have any success tip(s) to share?

Yes, read Eat To Live, and then take the six-week challenge to see how much your toxic addictions have been running (and ruining) your life. In fact, keep learning and read all of Dr. Fuhrman’s books and articles. You will never regret it!

 

Congratulations Jessica! 

Beginning Gardening Tips

Spring is arriving, which means it’s time for planning and preparing gardens. With the rebirth of healthy eating, many want to grow their own vegetables. However, there's a science and an art to it so I’ve asked 85-year-old master gardener, Robert Taylor, to share a few tips with us. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue University’s Agricultural and Horticultural programs; and has spent most of his life successfully growing all varieties of plants, and professionally teaching and helping others do the same. Welcome to Disease Proof, Mr. Taylor.    

      

What’s the first thing to consider when starting a garden?

Make sure the location is sunny, and the top soil is highly organic without pollutants such as mercury and lead. Most every county in the US has a County Extension Office directed by the agricultural university of that state. For a nominal fee, soil samples can be taken to them for testing and recommendations. 

Urban and suburban developments have a lot of clay soil, so most likely black top soil will need to be purchased. Many landscaping companies can haul truckloads of garden soil for a fraction of the cost of bagged soils bought from stores. However, if space is limited, and soil is poor quality, it's best to grow plants in containers filled with bags of potting soil.

 

What’s next?  

At the county extension office you can also pick up a garden planning guide, because it’s important to plan your garden before purchasing seeds and/or seedlings. You can purchase packs of seeds from most any store, including grocery stores. However, I highly recommend buying seeds from reputable garden catalogues such as Burpees, Gurneys, or Henry Fields. Seeds from nurseries are the best as they have been tested and dated for quality germination. To help avoid diseases such as tomato wilt and cucumber wilt, select hybrid seeds that are disease-resistant. They cost a bit more, but are worth the investment. Now is the time to be placing orders for seeds. 

A new product this year from several catalogues is a seed starting kit. Each kit includes a cell growing tray, humidity dome, water reservoir tray, and 55 grow plugs. This combination allows each seedling to take in the proper amount of water for healthy root development and uniform germination of the seeds. This is a great tool for beginning gardeners.

 

In a few weeks, after seedlings are started, Mr. Taylor will discuss tilling, gardening tools, when to plant outdoors, spacing, staking, composting, and controlling insects, diseases and fungus. Also, if you enjoy the aesthetic beauty of flower beds, you can grow vegetables right along with flowers that require full sun. Some gorgeous combinations are spring lettuces and pansies, tomatoes and marigolds, peppers, Swiss chard, kale, and eggplants. 

Enjoy your gardening endeavors!  

 

image credits: chiotsrun.com; coopext.colostate.edu

Diabetes alert

Today, March 23, 2010 is the 22nd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, and the American Diabetes Association reports sobering statistics:

Over 20 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. That doesn’t count the 6 million who have diabetes and don’t know it yet.1 Type 2 diabetes has been called the most challenging health problem of the 21st century. The dangerously high prevalence of overweight and obesity is at the heart of this problem.

Testing blood glucose

In the last five months, over 600,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes. That's one person every 20 seconds.2  The ADA is correct – it is time to stop diabetes. The problem is they have no idea how to do this. They have no idea that in over 90% of patients, type 2 diabetes can be effectively and relatively quickly reversed through my nutritarian diet-style and exercise. 

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults and the leading cause of kidney failure. Sixty to 70 percent of diabetics have nervous system damage. Diabetes doubles risk of heart attack and stroke.1 This suffering is tragic because excellent nutrition and exercise can reverse diabetes, and are much safer than conventional care. Taking glucose-lowering medications does not prevent diabetes complications. In fact, they often cause weight gain, exacerbating insulin resistance. Some of these medications even increase the risk of heart failure. Diabetics who take medications and continue to remain overweight and consume their disease-causing diet continue to damage their organs, develop complications, and die prematurely.

Did you know that type 2 diabetes also increases the risk of cancer?  Scientists believe that this is at least in part due to insulin therapy. A new review that analyzed data from several studies found that diabetic patients are 30% more likely to develop colorectal cancer, 20% more likely to develop breast cancer, and 82% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.3  It is time to stop diabetes. So how do we stop it?

Simple. The ADA may encourage you to make small changes, afraid that you will give up if it looks difficult. But the truth is, a radical improvement in your health will require a radical improvement in your lifestyle. Some physicians may assume that patients will not be willing to adopt a diet that is based on unrefined plant foods, but they are wrong – a study comparing the American Diabetes Association guidelines to a whole-food, plant-based diet found exactly the opposite. Subjects assigned to the ADA diet reported that they felt more restricted in their dietary choices, and the rate of adherence was greater in the plant-based diet.4 Once people start to see positive changes in their health, they are enthusiastic about sticking to their plan.  The nutritarian diet-style I teach to my diabetic patients is even more effective. In fact, we just completed a study, soon to be published,which demonstrated that 9 out of 10 diabetics were able to come off all medications and have normal glucose readings. That essentially means they became non-diabetic. 

My Eat For Health dietary protocol is simply the most effective remedy for those with all types of diabetes. The type II can get completely well and the type I diabetics reduce their insulin by about half and stop the huge swings in glucose and prevent the devastating complications of diabetes.

The best diet for longevity, heart disease and cancer prevention, and a high level of overall health is also the best diet to prevent or reverse diabetes. It is a diet with a high nutrient per calorie ratio:

  • lots of non-starchy vegetables like greens, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and garlic

  • beans

  • raw nuts and seeds

  • limited fresh fruit

  • limited animal products

  • no sweeteners

  • no white flour

When those with diabetes follow my recommendations, it becomes relatively easy for them to eat liberally – not feeling deprived or restricted – and still lose their excess weight easily. Their diabetes will melt away astonishingly quickly, reducing or eliminating their need for medications.

Tony is no longer diabetic. He succeeded in restoring his health despite the failures of conventional diabetes care. Read his incredible story below.

“I am 57 years old. I have always had a weight problem like everyone in my family. In December of last year, after feeling strange for several months, my sister (who has been diabetic for 25 years) tested me with her meter & my blood sugar was 491. 

She dragged me to the ER where I got 2 shots of insulin & a meal that included turkey, gravy, a box of sweetened cranberry juice & chocolate pudding which my sister advised me not to eat. After paying the $2,400.00 tab, I was instructed to make an appointment with an endocrinologist & sent home with a prescription for Metformin, daily aspirin & NO dietary advice. My sister suggested buying a meter on the way home. None of the two doctors or RN’s suggested getting a meter & testing. I started taking the Metformin as instructed.

My appointment with an endocrinologist a few days later was another eye opener. As soon as he walked into the room, without even looking at me or my meter which I brought with me with 80 stored blood sugar readings, he said “You need insulin.” Then he started to do a physical & said “You need to be hospitalized with an IV because you’re dehydrated; do you have medical insurance?” When I said “no,” he said “Get some Pedialyte and Gatorade & drink 6 glasses of each per day.” I asked “Don’t those drinks have sugar in them?” He said “Not really.” He gave me a prescription for “Januvia” ($400.00 for 100 tablets) & directed me to take two/day. He then handed me an 1800 calorie/day diet & disappeared. 

After paying the $1,200.00 for the visit & labs, I started taking the medication as directed. After two weeks, the medication made me too ill to drive or exercise & somehow caused my intestines to become obstructed (gas or something) & I spent all night trying to go to the bathroom. Only being low on cash kept me from going to the E.R. again. I also had to get up 3 or 4 times each night to eat. I phoned the doctor several times over the next week to get a different medication but he never returned one single call so I stopped taking the medication. 

Naturally, I was afraid to eat anything because I was afraid my blood sugar would climb. At my next visit, when I told him the medication was making me sick, he said “Just keep taking it, the symptoms will subside when your body gets used to it.” He said my A1C was 8.9%. One week later, I found a different doctor but my new doctor wasn’t interested in seeing me unless I paid him another $1,200.00 to repeat the physical & labs from two weeks ago even though I had a copy of my labs & he could consult with the other doctor. 

I was running out of money after spending $4,000.00 in two weeks. I’m not insurable due to “preexisting conditions” – diabetes and carpal tunnel. Here in CA, an HMO has the right to deny coverage to anyone with an illness. You can imagine how stressed I was, having to choose between constant expensive medication & the illness it caused or high blood sugar with its consequences. 

While doing research on the web, I came across Dr. Fuhrman’s website and ordered Eat to Live and Eat For Health and started the program. With all the weight loss/nutrition books out there from Atkins & a bunch of others, I was skeptical. 

I started following the recommendations in the section “Advice for the Diabetic Patient” weighing 220 lbs on 1-8-09 – the same day I stopped taking all diabetes medication. Within 3 months, I weighed 195. I had new blood work completed on 4-8-09 with a new doctor. She downloaded my blood sugar numbers from my meter & said “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it because it’s working." I explained Eat to Live, my typical meals & snacks & told her I stopped taking medication on my own three months ago. She later phoned me with my lab results: A1C: 6.0% which she said was in a non-diabetic range (4 - 6%) The improvement from 8.9% to 6.0% in 3 months on “Eat to Live” was far better than I expected. I would have been happy with 7.0%.

I have even found it easy to maintain these guidelines while eating out – even though my diabetes class educators said “If you’re diabetic, it is impossible to eat right at restaurants so try to avoid eating out altogether.” Yesterday, my family took me out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for my birthday. I had grilled vegetarian fajitas with tofu and black beans. Remembering the information in Eat to Live about fiber, I left the pasty processed rice alone, I had ONE tortilla chip, ate the whole cup of Salsa & left the flour tortillas alone. Just as you stated in Eat to Live, by doing that, I had room for the grilled vegetables, mushrooms & tofu. I tested my blood sugar two hours later, expecting it to be around 180 because I overate. It was 124. 

The next morning, after your suggested breakfast without processed cereal, substituting raw nuts & a diced, unpeeled apple, I was shocked to test at 78 two hours after breakfast & 30 minutes of exercise (NordicTrack cross-country skier). I was so astounded that I re-tested with another meter & it indicated 90. The biggest revelation was the fact that I HAD NEVER ACHIEVED THESE RESULTS WITH MEDICATION - Metformin and Januvia (which made me ill). 

I have attended five diabetes “education” classes & I am appalled that the “Certified Diabetes Educators” constantly hand out suggested meals with eggs & toast or processed cereal & milk for breakfast, daily roast beef or turkey sandwiches for lunch & more chicken or other meat at dinner & limiting fruit to 1-2/day. They also teach that protein stabilizes blood sugar so it’s important to eat meat & dairy at each meal. After those dietary recommendations, she then spoke at great length about the evils of high cholesterol, high blood pressure & high blood sugar, then she spent two hours talking about the various drugs available to treat them. I have always wondered about the notion that if you are eating the right foods, why would you need drugs to protect yourself from the damage they cause? I now weigh 188 pounds. 

When I chat on WebMD’s diabetes message boards, some people with Type 2 Diabetes want to know how I’m managing my blood sugar without medication & I always tell them about www.drfuhrman.com !”

The human body has an amazing capacity to heal, even from diabetes. All we have to do is establish the optimal nutritional environment for healing with nutrient-rich foods and let the body do its work. A long, healthy life, free of diabetes and its tragic complications is possible, and it can be yours. 

You are the one who chooses whether you are going to live with your diabetes or get rid of it.

 

References:

1. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/

2. American Diabetes Association: Stop Diabetes http://stopdiabetes.diabetes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SD_homepage

3. Eurekalert: Experts call for further research into the relationship between insulin therapy and cancer

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/w-ecf030210.php

Pollak M, Russell-Jones D. Insulin analogues and cancer risk: cause for concern or cause célèbre? Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Barnard ND, Gloede L, Cohen J, et al. A low-fat vegan diet elicits greater macronutrient changes, but is comparable in adherence and acceptability, compared with a more conventional diabetes diet among individuals with type 2 diabetes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Feb;109(2):263-72.

Interview with a Nutritarian: Scott

Can you imagine losing 333 lbs? Scott realized that bariatric surgery was not a solution for him, and after much research, embraced Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient rich eating-style. He has an incredible story of hope; especially for anyone caught in the dark pit of morbid obesity. Welcome to Disease Proof, Scott.   

                              before and after picture of a male nutritarian

Tell about yourself and the events that led up to getting your health back.

Starting in puberty, I put on weight. Even though I was a competitive swimmer, rode my bike everywhere, and played pickup games of football and baseball, I still packed on the pounds.

Eventually I got married and became a stay-at-home Dad, which was a privilege, but also very isolating and lonely.  My weight increased dramatically, yet I denied the seriousness of the problem. However, one day I woke up and admitted that I had fallen directly into a huge, black pit. In November of 2005, I weighed 501 pounds.

I was unable to walk more than a few feet. My knees, lower back and feet suffered greatly, causing my independence of movement to be completely gone. My wife, who is a nurse, had to help me shower, dress, walk, etc., and consequently, I had no self-esteem. She also noticed that I had developed serious sleep apnea.

I went to three, different surgeons for consultations regarding the possibility of bariatric surgery, but couldn't and wouldn't commit to it.  The surgeries seemed like handing my problems over to someone else to fix. This was my problem and I had to solve it, or else live with the negative consequences. I chose to solve it.   

I read books and contemplated ways to get out of my precarious situation. In my quest, I discovered Eat to Live and decided to commit to it, because it’s not a diet to get to a certain goal weight, but about learning to take care of one’s health for life. Dr. Fuhrman’s teachings dovetailed perfectly into my plans to totally restructure my life. I found peace in doing simple things like cooking, biking, taking care of myself, and taking care of my family. By February of 2009, I had lost 333 lbs and got my health and life back. 

 

Before

After

Weight

501 lbs

168 lbs

Cholesterol

170

 65

Blood pressure

126/72

109/65

Resting heart rate

88

50

Body fat

62%

 8%

 

How did you feel before starting ETL?

A better question would be, “How did I possibly survive?"

Life was intolerable. Weighing as much as I did, I couldn’t move without a lot of pain and exhaustion. I stepped outside my house, at the most, four to six times a year; and only then at the begging of my wife and daughter. I would sit on the stoop for fifteen minutes, and then the stares would begin; whether real or imagined, it was deep, unending uncertainty and sadness.

 

How do you feel now?

I have a life. Physically I feel great. My wife even admits that she can’t keep up with me now.  

However, I also feel angry at times due to the scorn and ridicule against fat people, and the false hope and lack of understanding the dieting industry throws at them. When I was morbidly obese, I felt worthless, unclean, stupid, unacceptable, and rejected. I was judged according to my size; therefore, it produced a lot of resentment.   

Now, when I look in the mirror, I only recognize my eyes and teeth.  When I’m in public places, I am no longer noticed, because now I fit in and look “normal.” This prejudice still makes me mad. My mind seems unable to embrace the lack of stares now, because psychologically, I still feel like I weigh 501 lbs.

 

fit male with bikeTell us how you got involved in cycling and how much you ride now.

When I was a kid, I loved to ride my bike. Then it all came to an abrupt halt on my 16th birthday when driving became my “right of passage.” Consequently, my bike became a fading, dusty memory stored in back of the garage. 

To get my health back, I needed a way to exercise.  For me, biking made complete sense as it was a way to move around without further destroying what was left of my body. It also reconnected me with all the best parts of childhood; that sense of adventure and freedom.  It was, is, and always will be great for me. That first year I rode approximately 1,400 miles. Last year I rode 19,700 miles, and this year I’m shooting for 25,000.  Now, as a family, we do almost all errands via our bikes. Anywhere we used to go by car, we now take a bike. 

 

Do you have any success tip(s) that you’d like to share? 

  • First and foremost, find a way back to believing in your true and honest self. However, the path must work for you. Take and borrow suggestions from others, but until it becomes 101% yours, it's not going to stick.
  • Make a sacred pact to commit to this new lifestyle. Do it at any and all cost. This is the only way out.

 

 Congratulations Scott! We applaud you with a standing ovation! 

Women taking Fosamax for several years may be prone to femur fractures

Bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast), along with calcium and vitamin D supplementation, are a common conventional treatment for osteoporosis. These drugs are even used for prevention of osteoporosis in those with osteopenia.x-ray
Bone tissue continually goes through a cycle of formation of new bone and breakdown of old bone. Bisphosphonates increase bone mineral density in the short term by reducing bone breakdown, essentially reducing bone loss. However, it is not the same as building natural, healthy bone with exercise.  Exercise is essential, and, in particular, exercising the back and legs. Muscle strength is the most accurate way of predicting bone strength and of predicting risk of falls. Strengthening muscles has been shown to be the most effective way to strengthen bone and protect against osteoporosis-related fractures.1 Compared to exercise, medications are relatively ineffective and may cause harm.

Since bisphosphonates accumulate in bone tissue and suppress bone turnover, there has been a concern about the strength and integrity of the medically treated bone. Apparently, the use of bisphosphonates actually causes the bones to become brittle despite the increase seen in bone mineral density. 

Several studies have reported the occurrence of specific and rare types of femur fractures in individuals (mostly women) who had been taking bisphosphonates, specifically alendronate (Fosamax), for approximately 4-8 years.2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9Two new studies presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons national meeting this week have drawn more attention to this potential hazard.10 Long term users of alendronate (Fosamax) – were found to be at significantly higher incidence of fractures.11 A frightening detail of these reports is that the fractures had occurred under minimal trauma – these fractures are not from falls. In fact, in most cases, these women were performing low-energy exercise, sometimes just walking down a flight of stairs.12,13

These medications have other serious side effects as well, such as atrial fibrillation a heart rhythm disturbance. Prevention of osteoporosis and bone fractures does not need to involve potentially dangerous drugs. 

Primary causes of hip fractures

  • Poor nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Muscle weakness
  • Side effects of prescription drugs
  • Declining vision
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Vitamin D deficiency

Exercise is a crucial component of my recommendations - most hip fractures result from falls. So, naturally, by increasing muscle strength and balance you can improve stability and prevent these falls.14 

My recommendations for osteoporosis protection: 

1.      Eat a high nutrient diet

2.      Take the right supplements.

3.      Do the right osteoporosis fighting exercises. Swimming and biking will not do it. The best bone building exercises designed to strengthen muscles and bone and to improve balance, reducing the risk of falls are demonstrated in my DVD  Osteoporosis Protection For Life

Osteoporosis Protection for Life                                

Dr. Fuhrman's Osteoporosis Protection For Life DVD is an educational and invigorating program for combating osteopenia and osteoporosis that offers a significant improvement over drug-treatment. In this video, Dr. Fuhrman offers advice regarding diet, supplements, and exercise, and demonstrates the best exercises to effectively build strength and bone mass.

DVD

1 Rubin C, Turner AS, Muller R, et al. Quantity and quality of trabecular bone in the femur are enhanced by a strongly anabolic, noninvasive mechanical intervention. J Bone Min Res 2002;17:349-357.

2 Cermak K, Shumelinsky F, Alexiou J, et al. Case Reports: Subtrochanteric Femoral Stress Fractures after Prolonged Alendronate Therapy. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Dec 18. [Epub ahead of print]

3 Capeci CM, Tejwani NC. Bilateral low-energy simultaneous or sequential femoral fractures in patients on long-term alendronate therapy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2009 Nov;91(11):2556-61.

4 Goddard MS, Reid KR, Johnston JC, Khanuja HS. Atraumatic bilateral femur fracture in long-term bisphosphonate use. Orthopedics. 2009 Aug;32(8). pii: orthosupersite.com/view.asp?rID=41933..

5 Ing-Lorenzini K, Desmeules J, Plachta O, et al. Low-energy femoral fractures associated with the long-term use of bisphosphonates: a case series from a Swiss university hospital. Drug Saf. 2009;32(9):775-85.

6 Lenart BA, Lorich DG, Lane JM. Atypical fractures of the femoral diaphysis in postmenopausal women taking alendronate. N Engl J Med. 2008 Mar 20;358(12):1304-6.

7 Sayed-Noor AS, Sjödén GO. Case reports: two femoral insufficiency fractures after long-term alendronate

therapy. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Jul;467(7):1921-6. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

8 Neviaser AS, Lane JM, Lenart BA, et al. Low-energy femoral shaft fractures associated with alendronate use. J Orthop Trauma. 2008 May-Jun;22(5):346-50.

9 Kwek EB, Goh SK, Koh JS, Png MA, Howe TS. An emerging pattern of subtrochanteric stress fractures: a long-term complication of alendronate therapy? Injury. 2008 Feb;39(2):224-31. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

10 LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/03/bisphosphonates-osteoporosis-medications.html

 

11 Somford MP, Draijer FW, Thomassen BJ, et al. Bilateral fractures of the femur diaphysis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis on long-term treatment with alendronate: clues to the mechanism of increased bone fragility. J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Oct;24(10):1736-40.

12 Somford MP, Geurts GF, den Teuling JW, et al. Long-Term Alendronate Use Not without Consequences? Int J Rheumatol. 2009;2009:253432. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

13 ABC News: Fosamax: Is Long Term Use of Bone Strengthening Drug Linked to Fractures? http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/fosamax-long-term-bone-strengthening-drug-linked-fractures/story?id=10045179

14 Ueki S, Kasai T, Takato J et al. Production of a fall prevention exercise program considering suggestions from community-dwelling elderly. Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 2006;53(2):112-121.

 

Hidden salt in chicken

Giant chickenThe practice of chicken “plumping” by the industry has many consumers outraged. Plumping is term used to refer to injection of salt water, chicken stock, seaweed extract, or some combination of these into chickens – this increases the weight and price of the chicken – plumped chicken can be up to 15% salt water by weight. Of course, cost is important, but even more important is that this practice can also increase the sodium content of the chicken by up to 700%. About 30% of the chickens sold in the U.S. are plumped.

Sodium is not only associated with hypertension – high sodium intake contributes to heart disease, hemorrhagic stroke, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer as well. Conscientious consumers or those with elevated blood pressure who are restricting salt intake to avoid these dangerous outcomes are not expecting there to be anything other than chicken in the package of chicken. The industry is taking advantage of that fact, and adding even more salt into the diets of Americans in the process. Chicken producers say that consumers prefer the taste of plumped chicken, that adding salt water increases moistness and enhances taste - of course it tastes better to most Americans – it’s full of salt!

Taking into account the popularity of chicken among most Americans, this is a serious concern – especially since reducing salt intake in the U.S. by approximately one-third has been estimated to reduce cases of heart attack and stroke by tens of thousands each year. The last thing Americans need is more salt in their diets.

Of course, I recommend minimizing animal products. But if you do occasionally eat chicken, it is simple to make sure that you are paying for only chicken and not salt water. First, remember that “100% Natural” and even “Organic” does not mean that the chicken has not been injected with salt water. Check the ingredient list and the sodium content - chicken meat contains approximately 75 mg sodium per 4-ounce serving – plumped chicken may list up to 440 mg sodium for the same serving size.

 

References:

  1. Salt-Water-Soaked Chicken Not at all Natural, Says CSPI: http://www.cspinet.org/new/201002241.html
  2. Lifescript: Is Your Chicken too Fat? http://www.lifescript.com/Body/Diet/Eat-well/Is%20Your%20Chicken%20Too%20Fat.aspx?utm_campaign=2010-03-06-46296&utm_source=healthy-advantage&utm_medium=email&utm_content=healthy-well-wise_Is%20Your%20Chicken%20Too%20Fa&FromNL=1&sc_date=20100306T000000

Susan's Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Many members of DrFuhrman.com have fine tuned their culinary skills and Susan is no exception. In fact, she has even created a blog documenting some favorite nutritarian recipes that she’s developed. Below is one of her favorite, high nutrient salad dressings. She said the pomegranate concentrate can be found in many Whole Foods stores as well as in Mediterranean grocery stores. Other members have successfully made this dressing and love it also. 

                                                        

Ingredients:


8 fluid ounces of 100% pure pomegranate juice
(no sugar added)

1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (start with less and add to taste)

2 T. pomegranate concentrate (100% pomegranate, cooked down to a syrupy texture)

½ cup chopped parsley

1 raw garlic clove, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

2-3 T. tahini (ground sesame paste, no oil or salt added)


Mix the first three ingredients in a blender or food processor until well blended. Then add the parsley, garlic, scallions, and tahini. Pulse to incorporate, but do not liquify.

The dressing has a sweet, tart taste and coats lettuce leaves without using a lot of it.

 

 

image credit: www.susanscooking.com

Antioxidants in almonds keep your arteries clean

Nuts are nutrient dense – they contain a spectrum of micronutrients including LDL-lowering phytosterols, circulation-promoting arginine, minerals - potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and antioxidants including phenols, resveratrol, tocopherols (vitamin E), and carotenoids.

Almonds

Nuts, and almonds in particular, are some of the most beneficial foods for decreasing heart disease risk: 

  • A 2009 meta-analysis confirmed that almond consumption of at least 25 g per day (about 1 ounce) is associated with a 7 mg/dL decrease in total cholesterol.1 
  • Collectively, the data from the four most recent U.S. studies estimates that Americans who eat five or more servings of nuts per week have a 35% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.2 

There are many potential mechanisms by which nuts might exert these beneficial effects on heart health – the dramatic decrease in heart disease risk from nut consumption can’t be explained by cholesterol lowering alone. Scientists are now investigating the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of nuts for their potential cardioprotective effects.

Almonds may have powerful antioxidant activity, in addition to their cholesterol-lowering activity. As well as their vitamin E, the skins of almonds contain a large and varied collection of phenol antioxidants. 

A study of hyperlipidemic individuals fed either almonds or a snack with a similar fatty acid profile each day for 4 weeks compared markers of oxidative stress in these two groups. The subjects fed almonds showed reductions in markers of oxidative stress.3 

This alleviation of oxidative stress was reflected in reduces serum levels of oxidized LDL.4 Since oxidation renders LDL more likely to be taken up by inflammatory cells, oxidized LDL is more dangerous in relation to atherosclerotic plaque formation. The synergistic effects of the healthy fats, antioxidants, and surely many other phytochemicals in almonds help to prevent this early and important step in the development of atherosclerosis. Though this study was reported on almonds, other nuts and seeds have similar marked effects that protect the heart.   

 

References:

1. Phung OJ, Makanji SS, White CM, Coleman CI. Almonds have a neutral effect on serum lipid profiles: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 May;109(5):865-73.

2. Kris-Etherton PM et al. The Role of Tree Nuts and Peanuts in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease: Multiple Potential Mechanisms. J. Nutr. 138: 1746S–1751S, 2008.

3. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Almonds Reduce Biomarkers of Lipid Peroxidation in Older Hyperlipidemic Subjects. J. Nutr. 138: 908–913, 2008.

USDA/Agricultural Research Service (2008, November 4). Antioxidant Effects From Eating Almonds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/10/081031213057.htm

4. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Circulation. 2002;106:1327–32.

 

Conventional prenatal vitamins may do more harm than good

It is imperative for me to make women aware that they may be endangering their health and the health of their unborn children by using conventional supplements.

Nearly all multivitamins and prenatal vitamins contain folic acid.

Unlike most physicians, I do not recommend folic acid supplementation for pregnant women.  Folic acid supplementation can damage the health of women and their children.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a member of the family of B vitamins that is involved in regulating DNA synthesis and gene expression. Because of these crucial functions, folate plays an important role in fetal development - folate is essential during pregnancy, especially early on in pregnancy, for the prevention of neural tube defects. Folate is abundant in green vegetables like spinach, collards, bok choy, artichokes, and broccoli.spinach

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is so nutritionally inadequate that the U.S. government and most physicians encourage women to take folic acid supplements, assuming that they do not eat green vegetables and are folate deficient.

Taking synthetic folic acid is not the same as getting natural folate from vegetables.

Scientific studies have revealed the dangers to women and their children involved in taking folic acid supplements:

  • Women who followed the typical recommendations to take folic acid during pregnancy and were followed by researchers for thirty years were twice as likely to die from breast cancer.1   Another study following women for ten years concluded that those who took multivitamins containing folic acid increased their breast cancer risk by 20-30%.2   Folic acid in supplement form may contribute to producing a cancer-promoting environment in the body – in addition to breast cancer, synthetic folic acid has been linked to dramatic increases in prostate and colorectal cancers, as well as overall cancer incidence.3
  • Folic acid supplementation by pregnant women has been associated with incidence of childhood asthma, infant respiratory tract infections, and cardiac birth defects.4

However, food folate is associated with benefits for both women and children:

  • Women with lower levels of food folate intake are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.5
  • The children of women who consumed more food folate during pregnancy were less likely to develop ADHD.6
  • Several studies have made connections between vegetable intake during pregnancy and lower risks of childhood cancers.7

This is too important an issue to ignore, and women are simply not told the facts here.

I needed to take action and supply a prenatal and other supplements that did not contain folic acid as well as other supplemental ingredients with documented risk. 

 My Gentle Prenatal contains the same carefully designed combination of vitamins and minerals present in my original multivitamin and mineral, Gentle Care Formula, but has been uniquely tailored to the needs of child-bearing and pregnant women. 

Read more about my Gentle Prenatal

 

 

 

References:

 [1] Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375-6

[2] Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904.

[3] Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111

Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10.

Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126

[4]   Whitrow MJ. Effect of Supplemental Folic Acid in Pregnancy on Childhood Asthma: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Källén B. Congenital malformations in infants whose mothers reported the use of folic acid in early pregnancy in Sweden. A prospective population study. Congenit Anom (Kyoto). 2007 Dec;47(4):119-24.

[5] Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8.

Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nutr Rev. 2006 Oct;64(10 Pt 1):468-75.

[6] Wiley-Blackwell (2009, October 28). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Problems Associated With Low Folate Levels In Pregnant Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/10/091028134631.htm

[7] Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14.

Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42.

Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9.

Jensen CD et al. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Aug;15(6):559-70.

Huncharek M et al. A meta-analysis of maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Apr;23(1-2):78-84.

 

 

 

Excuses are Irrelevant

before and after pic of couple

Eating for health is a mindset. We make firm choices based upon correct information that’s been proven to restore health to the body.

However, if food choices are determined by our circumstances or fluctuating emotions, we will suffer the consequences of decisions that will never lead to optimal health.  

 

obese femaleWhen I first started the journey to get my health back, I was obese, unfit and didn’t feel well. It was an effort just to get out of bed in the mornings, let alone enthusiastically eat for health. I knew that if I was ever going to succeed, I had to have something simple and concrete to follow. 

After thoroughly studying Eat to Live, using a small font, I typed out the six week eating plan on page 179. I then printed off three copies, and laminated them at an office supply store. I kept one in my purse, one next to my bed, and one under a magnet on the refrigerator. The plan made all of my decisions. Period.

 

  • Those first couple of weeks I didn’t feel like eating romaine lettuce, collard greens or brussel sprouts. I followed the plan.
  • I was heavily addicted to salt, creamy cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and crunchy peanut butter. I followed the plan. 
  • I craved diet cola and diet pudding. I followed the plan.
  • I was addicted to creamy ranch dressing. I followed the plan.
  • My bedtime snack was always a large bowl of cereal and milk. I followed the plan.
  • My son became seriously ill. I followed the plan.
  • Life suddenly became an out-of-control roller coaster. I followed the plan.  
  • He had to be transferred to another hospital in another state. I followed the plan.
  • I had to find my way around in a new city. I followed the plan.
  • I hit rock bottom with sadness and fear of the future. I followed the plan.  
  • The hospital cafeteria food looked comforting and inviting. I followed the plan.
  • The candy in the gift shop called out my name. I followed the plan. 

 

overweight femaleThree months later, back home, I got on the scales. Even though the picture on the left shows the strain of crisis on my face, I was forty pounds lighter; and more importantly, I was no longer addicted to toxic foods. I now craved fresh greens and fruits. Diet soda, diet desserts and salty foods tasted disgusting to me. I could walk for ½ hour every morning and evening, and feel great. My body was thoroughly refreshed after a good night’s sleep, and brain fog had completely disappeared.

The crisis eventually subsided. My body was well-nourished. I had newfound energy to try recipes. I had a bounce in my step to attempt challenging exercises. I knew I was well on the way to getting my health back. I was free.   

       

 

“Success or lack thereof is not based upon circumstances; therefore, excuses are irrelevant.”  Emily Boller