“Nutrition is a young and ongoing science. Sometimes in science it’s best to let go of the past, evaluate the present evidence, and embrace what there is to look forward to. One thing that holds true, whichever food path people choose, demonizing food does not work to encourage others to alter their dietary habits.” –Low Dog MD
Several nutritional goals in this lecture were 1) reduce neurological damage 2) reduce inflammation; and therefore, the severe diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer and 3) reduce growth factors in our lives to reduce our risks for cancer.
So what are the variables we are dealing with? 35 percent of our life is genetic. The remaining 65 percent is environmentally influenced. In other words, we can influence our health roughly 65 percent of the time with the food we choose to consume. Another variable is culture. As Americans, we have a tendency to discover something good for our bodies and then over do it. So, it is important to consume good foods in moderation.
That being said, the first goal to reduce neurological damage is to improve our iodine consumption. Iodine deficiency is on the rise and is the single most preventable cause of mental retardation. Sources of iodine include Morton’s iodized salt, seaweed, and seafood. If you are going to cook with salt, use the iodized salt rather than regular sea salt.
Next, we want to reduce our pesticide consumption, which is strongly linked to ADHD—attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The foods lowest in pesticides are asparagus, avocado, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, pineapple, sweet peas, sweet potato, and watermelon. You can refer to www.foodnews.org.
Third, is Bisphenol A. This compound exhibits hormone-like properties that alter neurologic development and metabolic end points over life. They can be found in plastics and the lining of canned foods. It’s recommended to not microwave your food in plastic, Styrofoam, or in plastic saran wrap which will release this compound into your food. It is also recommended that limited intake of canned foods is essential because there’s 100% integration of Bisphenol A into the food that lines the cans of canned food.
Last, in this lecture is Omega 3 and fat consumption. Fats were often thought of as the main culprit for heart disease, and so became discouraged by many people for consumption. Current research suggests otherwise which will be discussed further in goal number 2–inflammation prevention. Regarding neurologic damage, fat consumption demonstrated significant reductions in dementia with age. As such, eating fish twice a week is recommended. The benefits of fat consumption, specifically omega 3 from fish, for people with coronary disease already being aggressively treated is not significant.
The second and third nutritional goals of this lecture go hand in hand. They were reducing inflammation, specifically obesity, and reducing growth factors for cancer. Obesity is NOT just a disease of fat. It is an inflammatory disease. It drives inflammation in our fat cells, which lead to other life destructive disease processes namely heart disease, diabetes, gum disease, and cancer.
To combat inflammation, it’s important to not focus on weight but rather on health. The two main variables we can use to prevent inflammation, disease, and cancer are exercise and diet. The best thing to do is get your children out of the house and keep yourself physically active at least 30 minutes a day. The objective is to reduce the blood sugar levels in the body known as the glycemic load.
There are two natural ways the body reduces our blood sugar levels. The first is with the use of insulin. The second is muscle. Physically active muscles remove blood sugar without the need for insulin. Our other organs and cells require insulin to reduce our blood sugar levels.
Reducing blood sugar levels reduces inflammation and the amount of growth factors in our body. This is a key point. When we eat and insulin is being produced, growth factors are also being produced and this is what encourages cancer overtime. The more growth factors in our body, the greater our risk for cancer.
Diet has been shown to reduce oral cancer by 63 percent, lung cancer by 36 percent, stomach cancer by 47 percent, pancreatic cancer by 39 percent, breast cancer by 38 percent, and kidney cancer by 24 percent.
The diet of choice today is similar to the Atkin’s diet. It’s known as the Paleo diet—similar to Atkin’s but with a strong reduction in grain consumption. The goal is to reduce a person’s glycemic load and subsequent growth factor production by reducing their grain and sugar intake. Carbohydrates have been discovered to double the risk of heart disease, not fat.
Ways to reduce glycemic load is to increase vegetable intake to at least 50 percent of one’s diet, eat proteins with carbohydrates, reduce fructose intake such as high fructose corn syrup (55% fructose) and agave nectar (70% fructose), reduce sugars and honey, reduce dried fruit intake, and eat fish twice a week.
An example of a person who thought they were eating healthy but had a significantly high glycemic load was a person whose breakfast consisted of granola, toast, and a banana. This had an extremely high glycemic load, which was significantly reduced with the addition of fresh berries and nuts (fresh fruit and protein) and hard boiled eggs (more protein).
This also briefly led to a discussion on milk and bovine growth hormone. The hormone itself is not harmful for human consumption. What it does to the cows producing the milk is increase the likelihood that the milk will contain growth factors in it, therefore leading to possible cancer risks. It was recommended that Shamrock Farms produces good milk for consumption and that Horizon doesn’t fully disclose their production practices.
Finally, I asked Dr. Low Dog what her feelings were regarding GMO’s—genetically modified organisms. She felt that GMO’s should be redefined. In the past, GMO’s were resourceful and more of a hybridization to develop bigger and more fruitful crops. Now, GMO’s are actually genetically engineered organisms, which the effects are still being studied. These effects of mixing different specie genes into seeds will be widespread even if Europeans do not allow them in their country due to nature, insects, birds, and animals that will spread this genetically engineered food. So, as a consumer, try to stay away from the genetically engineered foods until their effects have been established and maintain a diet that reduces your glycemic load to give your body the best chance of a healthy disease free life!
Near the end of the movie, FEARLESS, based on the true story of martial arts master and country unifier Huo Yuanjia, Jet Li says “I’ve learned from my mistakes…why do foreigners look down upon us? Because we are not united. For years, we fought. But it was against ourselves. That is why we are belittled. But that is not the worst of it. Some of us do not realize how sick the country is…So our motto is to cultivate ‘Body, Mind, and Soul.’ Respect all disciplines equally. By working together we can better ourselves and stand strong as a nation through cooperation, not intimidation…I do not like categories. What is the purpose of grading? All teas are grown in nature with little discernable differences. Tea does not judge itself, people judge the tea. I do not want to do that. When you are in a good mood, the grade of the tea does not matter…Uncover our weakness and lead us to a path of self discovery… For, our true enemies are but ourselves…”
And after his tea was laced with poison during his final fight, Jet Li continues, “We must not take revenge. Revenge only brings more bloodshed. That is not what I want. We must strive to better ourselves. It took me years to understand the true meaning of life and its purpose…One cannot choose how one’s life begins. But one can choose to face it with courage…Listen to the people. It’s not just about me. It would be my honor to fight for the people.”
Therefore, I leave you with these thoughts in mind regarding nutrition and FEARLESS…Be conscious of what you eat 80:20 percent, exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day, love your family, be your best, care for those around you, do not judge, cooperate with one another, be unified for the health of your children, yourself, and those around you, and live positive, selfless, courageous, compassionate, and to the fullest!
Sincerely, Dr. Brent Ching