Archive for October 2010 | Monthly archive page
Okay, so part of the reason I think many people choose to eat the wrong foods is because they honestly don’t know how to read a label. It can be confusing to look on the back of a package label to see what all is in there to determine whether or not this particular food would be acceptable for your family. Especially since most of the companies try and hide many of the ingredients that you wouldn’t want your kids eating so you would never know that they are in there. You really almost need an entire class on the different names of chemicals and FDA rules on labeling to really get how they have changed the labels so much in the past few years. So let’s spend some time going through the different names of certain compounds you need to stay away from and then I’ll give you some specific examples of labels to look at.
1. MSG: Let’s start basic with one that pretty much everyone has heard is bad for you and that you shouldn’t eat because MSG is a neurotoxin. On a label, the different names of MSG include:
|Monosodium glutamate||Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)||Textured Protein|
|Monopotassium glutamate||Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)||Yeast Extract|
|Glutamate||Autolyzed Plant Protein||Yeast food or nutrient|
|Glutamic Acid||Sodium Caseinate||Autolyzed Yeast|
|Vegetable Protein Extract||Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)|
2. Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO): These are the oils that will compete with the good fats in your body. They are harmful to your cardiovascular system and can cause your liver to become overloaded and toxic. Other names for PHO include: trans fats, hydrogenated soybean oil, hydrogenated safflower oil, margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, etc.
Before I go on I think I should point out…all of these things I’m showing you and telling you to look for are not in the main part of a label…..they are in the “other ingredients” list that is at the very bottom, super small print, slightly out of focus so you have to squint. Most people don’t look that far down to see what they are trying to hide in their food. Let me show you an example….let’s take a Kellogg’s Pop Tart and even look at one of their “healthier” ones, the whole wheat:
Ok, if you look at the label, but only look at the top of it, it doesn’t look too bad right?? I mean, it has all your basic nutrients in it. It has a decent amount of fat, shows it has zero trans fats, a lot of sugar but some decent protein in it as well. Then you roll down to the bottom to check out some of the hidden ingredients. First thing you see is that the print is so small and there’s so much of it that you don’t want to read it at all!! Most people don’t and skip it. The first couple ingredients look great (whole wheat flour). But then you get to vegetable oil which in perenthesis says “Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil” which is a trans fat (I thought there was zero??). The next ingredient which we’ll cover is High Fructose Corn Syrup…yikes!! And you can keep going to see other chemicals and sugar all through the product.
So you can see how they’ll put unhealthy ingredients further down the page to make you not want to look for them and some of the time you’ll even miss them as you scan the page.
This one is the same but has a better look at how they hide ingredients people don’t want to see. If you look 5 lines into the ingredients you’ll see at the left “Monosodium Glutamate” Sounds pretty and must just be an amino acid right?? WRONG!! This is MSG!! One of the most potent poisons that attacks your nervous system. Anything with a powder on it normally has this. The next 2 lines have all the dies (Red 40, Yellow 6) and the partially hydrogenated oils AKA trans fats. Noticed how both of the labels have had “Contains Soy ingredients” interesting huh??
How about one more just for kicks. This is one you guys are going to hate me for….especially the midnight snackers, but sorry! This is the label for Blue Bell Ice Cream (Vanilla). Ice Cream is just milk and sugar right??? Not quite. And actually, the 5th ingredient is high fructose corn syrup!! It has artificial flavoring and tons of sugar. So sorry about ruining that awesome after thanksgiving snack, but I wanted to show some different labels.
So start looking at the foods you are picking up at the store. And it’s not just if you’re shopping at Aldi or Wal-Mart that you need to be checking the foods. Wholefoods and Central Market have foods that aren’t perfect as well. So make a habit of really checking your foods to see what’s in them. You’ll be glad you did and your family will be healthier for it!!
Since we provide nutritional counseling and support for our patients in the office, we run across our fair share of organ issues. One of the most common, especially dealing with the pregnant patient is gallbladder issues. Almost everyone knows someone (or is that someone) who had had gallbladder attacks and many unfortunately have had to have their gallbladder removed. So why does this happen?? Are there any natural alternatives to surgery and gallbladder attacks?? What’s so special about the gallbladder anyway? Can’t I live without one?
Let’s start with what the gallbladder really does for us. Medicine has deemed the gallbladder an expendable organ an routinely removes them (even on 33 week pregnant moms!!). But the gallbladder is not just an extra organ, it has some very important roles in the body.
What exactly does the gallbladder do??
One of the biggest misconceptions/scams of our time has been the whole cholesterol issue. ”Good” cholesterol vs “Bad” cholesterol and what that means for heart disease and stroke has created an entire generation of drugs and of people who stay away from much needed fats in their diet thinking that will prevent cholesterol build-up in the body. Contrary to this theory, fats are very VERY necessary in the body and for normal function and healing in the nervous system. Interestingly enough, one of the organs in the body most responsible for allowing our bodies to absorb fats out of our diet…..the gallbladder. In digestion what happens is that when you eat fats (like some coconut oil for example), the fat is not broken down at all until it gets to your small intestine. It actually skips the mouth and the stomach and goes straight to the small intestines. When it gets there it causes the release of a hormone called Cholecystokinin. The job of this hormone is 2 fold: 1. Close the pyloric sphincter to the stomach to basically prevent some of the fats from re-entering the stomach once they are in the intestines and then keeping more stuff from joining them and 2. Signaling the gallbladder to release bile to help with fat breakdown. Once the bile is released it helps to emulsify the fats or really to spread them out so that we can absorb them through the lining in the small intestines (the site for which most of everything we absorb in the body is absorbed). Without the gallbladder we would have no way of prepping the fats we eat for absorption and would be deficient in these healing fats. Also, if you can’t absorb your fats correctly, then you will become deficient in fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, K, E, and D (makes you wonder if the Vitamin D deficiency in our country is really a fat deficiency doesn’t it??). The bile your gallbladder produces is also a powerful antioxidant for the liver, helping to remove toxins from the organ.
So what causes the gallbladder to become congested and to begin malfunctioning?? Here’s a list of many of the things that can lead to gallbladder problems:
- Rapid weight loss
- Estrogen intake and birth control pills(estrogen increases the concentration of cholesterol in the bile)
- Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease
- Over age 40 and increase in risk as one ages
- Female especially those who have had children
- Ethnicity (Pima Indians and Mexican-Americans)
- High triglycerides, high LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol, (look at ratio, not levels)
- Alcohol intake
- Family history of gallbladder disease (Heredity)
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs, immunosuppressive drugs and others
- Very Low Calorie Diets
- Diet high in saturated fats (not good animal fats, bad fats from fried foods, etc.)
- Diet high in refined foods and sugars
- Diet low in fiber (which is what the refined diets are) and not enough vegetables
- Non-fat diets (diets of no fat at all will create pressure in the gallbladder)
- Low-fat diets
- Diseases such as chronic inflammatory bowel disease, chrons disease (ulcerative colitis is controversial) Hemolytic anemias
So the biggest issues out of that list that I see in the office are overweight, estrogen dominance (due to either birth control pills, hormone replacement, or general estrogen dominance due to environment), horrible diets (no fats or bad fats), and major stress for years.
Well, over long periods of time with either bad diet, stress, or lack of function and circulation, the flow of bile becomes sluggish and gallstones are formed, known as Cholelithiasis. Gallstones are made up of calcium, cholesterol, and bilirubin. As the size and amount of gallstones increases over time, the main bile duct that the gallbladder uses to transport bile to the intestines can become blocked causing inflammation to the bile duct (Choleangitis) or inflammation in the gallbladder (Cholecystitis).
So what are the symptoms I would experience?
Well, interestingly enough, most of the gallbladder issues I’ve uncovered in the office came in complaining of back pain!! That’s right. There’s a neurological phenomenon that occurs with organs called “referral pain”. Basically, every organ has a site that it will refer pain to if in trouble. The gallbladder will refer pain under the right shoulder blade. The pain is an intense, cramping pain that patients describe as feeling like someone is driving a spear straight through from the front to the back. So with the back pain you could experience associated pain in the abdomen on the right side, just under your rib cage, in the area of the gallbladder. Other symptoms include intense itching all over the body, jaundice or yellowing of the skin due to stress on the liver, fatty stools and clotting problems in the blood.
So how do you know if you have problems with your gallbladder??
Unfortunately, most people will have some congestion in their gallbladder just from years of living. But you don’t have to have major symptoms to be having some issues with the organ. The best way to know is to have it tested, either by your chiropractor (we do a specific pressure test for it), or an ultrasound by your primary doc to see if you have any stones forming at all.
If you find that you have problems with your gallbladder or you’ve been having problems and attacks for awhile is surgery the only option?? Absolutely NOT!! Luckily, the body is created so perfectly that as long as we give it what it needs, it will heal on its own. There are a couple things you can do to help your gallbladder repair itself:
1. Gallbladder flush: This is a quicker, more direct way to address gallbladder congestion and stone formation. Before you do this cleanse you really need to check with your doctor (chiropractor or GP) to make sure they feel you are ready for this cleanse and can handle it. It is only a day an a half, but is pretty intense. It works really well to re-set the gallbladder though and help move congestion and sludge through the body to help it function better. Go here to check out this cleanse to see if it is something for you.
2. Nutritional Support: To take a more gradual approach that is easier on the body but still seriously effective, try the following supplements:
A-F Betafood/Betafood: These two supplements are made up of concentrated betain or beet juice enzymes which have been found to help dissolve gallstones and help to clean out the gallbladder and liver ducts responsible for creating and producing bile. Take regular Betafood if you’re pregnant because the A-F Betafood has extra Vitamin A in it and you don’t need that much extra “A” getting to the baby because their liver is so sensitive. We’ve used this product many many times and it works really well. We carry this product in the office but you can also find it at Sunflower Shop as well with a referral.
Cholacol: If you’re truly going to help support the gallbladder then you need to take this product with the Betafood because this product contains the bile salts your gallbladder needs to help produce normal bile. Taking this helps to take the pressure off of the gallbladder to produce so much so that it can rest and repair.
I normally recommend going through one entire bottle of each and then re-evaluating how you’re feeling. If you’re doing great then stop them, if you’re still queasy or having problems with digestion, then go through another bottle of each.
So what if you’ve already taken yours out?? What then??
Well, you’ll never digest or process fats the same again, that’s for sure. But luckily, since your body is so amazing, your liver will take over some of the gallbladder’s job and help to produce more bile. This taxes the liver more so you need to be diligent to support the liver by doing liver cleanses or supplements throughout the year. Also, if you’ve had yours taken out, I recommend my patients to take Cholacol indefinitely. This allows your body the extra support to help produce the bile to help you process the fats that you need.
Hopefully that clears up some of the misconceptions about the “extra organ” commonly referred to as the Gallbladder. We need this organ so much so at all cost you want to heal and preserve yours!!
Hopefully this isn’t a question you are asking yourself after reading my other posts about toxins in the body and what we need to do about them. The questions you should be asking are “When to cleanse?” and “What cleanse should we do?”.
There are several different options on how to cleanse and on what products to actually purchase for a cleanse. Detox cleanses usually range in duration from 3 days to a month with the majority of the cleanses you can purchase being about 2-3 weeks long. I really recommend that you pick a cleanse that is at least a couple weeks long so that it gives your body ample time to re-set your blood sugar and help you actually make long lasting changes and not just lose a few pounds of water weight.
This actually brings up a good point about cleansing….you have to figure out your motives for doing this. Cleansing is NOT FOR WEIGHT LOSS!! Losing weight is a great added bonus to the results you will attain on a cleanse, but this shouldn’t be your main focus. You cleanse to improve the health of your body. The goal is health, not skinny. Ok, just had to get that straight.
There are also different cleanses that target different areas of the body. For example, there are whole body cleanses that pretty much effect all your digestive system (liver, gallbladder, colon, kidney), or there are focused cleanses that focus on one specific organ group like a gallbladder flush or kidney cleanse. Unless you have problems in one organ specifically and have been diagnosed with something, I recommend doing a whole body cleanse. This ensures that you effect each different area of your digestive tract.
There are so many companies out there, but I’m going to just point out 3 that I’ve had experience with.
1. Standard Process 21 Day Purification Program: This cleanse is (in my and Cindy’s opinion) the best cleanse on the market. Every cleanse that we’ve recommended in the office we’ve tried on ourselves first to see what kind of results we would get and how our bodies responded to each different program. We’ve seen the best results on ourselves and on our patients on this cleanse compared to every other cleanse out there that we’ve tried. This is a 3-week detox program that consists of a 10 day mostly raw, no other liquids but water (and some green tea), shake and supplement regiment. That is followed by an 11 day rebuilding phase where you slowly add some of the foods (like meat) back into your system. This cleanse is radical in the change you make to your diet, but it is easier on your system and isn’t a “violent” cleanse where you need to sleep next to the toilet all night and cancel everything for the next 3 weeks! Speaking of that, I don’t recommend cleanses that are that fast. For one, they’re pretty rough on your digestive tract and effect your normal bacteria you have in your system, and two, they don’t allow for your body to get enough nutrients in the cleanse for rebuilding so you usually end up deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. The Standard Process cleanse is also like I said 3 weeks long, which I like because it gives you enough time to really change your dietary habits over. Cindy and I have done this cleanse at least once per year for about 8 years and really truly love it. Go to her blog here to see how we did recipes and our schedule during on of our times on the cleanse. We carry the products for this cleanse and the whole program for one person will run you around $160. It is cheaper if you have someone like your spouse to do it with you because you can share some of the products so contact the office if you’re interested or have any questions at all.
2. Enzymatic Therapy: Whole Body Cleanse: This is another cleanse we’ve used several times that is a much cheaper cleanse (so less results honestly), but is still a decent cleanse especially if you’ve never cleansed before and need a good “starter cleanse”. This is a 2 weeks cleanse and is a box cleanse that has 3 or 4 supplements and the instruction booklet in with it to show you what to do. It is an easy cleanse that is easy on the body so it is a good one to try out if you’re nervous about how you’ll do on a cleanse or want to start off really really slow at first. You can get this cleanse at Whole Foods, Central Market, or Sprouts.
3. Liver/Gallbladder flush: For a specific cleanse, this one isn’t fun at all, but is very VERY effective. Most of us have congestion in our gallbladders just due to every day living so this cleanse is really good. I’ll write an entire post on gallbladder issues hopefully this week so stay tuned to that to see more reasoning behind why this gallbladder is so important. This cleanse is a day and a half cleanse so super fast, but you’re glad that it is by the end!! The idea of this cleanse is to soften and decrease some of the stones that build up in your gallbladder and then flush them out of the gallbladder and push them into the digestive system. This frees up your gallbladder to do its job much better. Go here to see this cleanse.
So there are 3 of the cleanses (not all of them) that we’ve tried ourselves. We consistently use the 21 Day Program from Standard Process and the Liver/Gallbladder flush. So check these out and read my other post on toxins to decide whether you and your family could benefit from a good cleanse. In my opinion (based on physiological fact I might add.. ), everyone needs to cleanse!
Ok, so this is a pretty long video, but it is soooo worth the watch if you have time. This goes through everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sugar and most of what you didn’t!! Check it out and share this video for all your sugar-addict friends and family. We have to break the sugar addicted cycle we’ve created in our country and education and knowledge are the best first step. So check it out!