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By Debbie Roberts, LMT

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Puzzling Food Reports: An Explanation of the Nutrition Within Our Foods

I have been helping people lose weight and make healthier lifestyle choices since the 1980s. Food is just like any other part of our holistic approach and my aphorism at the moment. The individual needs to be considered as a whole being, not pieces and parts of organs that are now diseased.

They must be assessed again as a whole to determine the best suited course of action that might include and not be limited to general lab work, saliva tests, food allergy tests, applied kinesiology, activity levels, nutritional intake, geologic background etc. Then and only then can the appropriate nutrition from foods be applied, followed by a healthy stable internal environment for that individual.

That being said I want to offer some basic considerations when it comes to living a more healthy and vibrant lifestyle. I watched my uncle loose both of his feet from diabetes and pass away at the age of 52. I saw my father have a mild stroke from the consequences of high cholesterol, and I now have my own set of issues caused by a dose of antibiotics.

Seeking a healthy organ environment is an act of empowerment and should not be looked upon as a painful list of foods I now can't eat. You're taking your health into your own hands and healing your body. The plethora of whole foods far outweighs the list of restricted ones.

Type 2 Diabetes

vagetable - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Let's tackle the first one I mentioned, type 2 diabetes. What is it? According to the Mayo Clinic type 2 diabetes is when the body's cells become resistant to insulin in direct proportion to the amount of fatty tissue. Obesity is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, which is what my uncle suffered from.

When I look back at our Friday night dinners together at my grandmothers, it was hamburgers, topped with cheese, topped with the buns that were warmed on top of the hamburger grease, along with some homemade fried potato chips—and never without some sugary dessert or sweet iced tea. My family said my uncle couldn't stay away from the sweets, but no one really talked about the fact that the sweets were a contributing factor to his diabetes, and subsequent health problems.

Diabetes fits into the category of disease that is created by human choices of poor diet and lifestyle. The diet choices in our society today is full of sugar and processed carbohydrates that damages the natural process in the body that regulars blood sugar. Diabetes has become an epidemic in our society, and food choices are the key treatment strategy.

Food Recommendations

The following are some simple basic proven recommendations that have to be tailor-made per each individual.

  1. Just a 7 percent reduction in bodyweight reduces the risk for diabetes, notes the Mayo Clinic. Getting out and taking a walk every day helps individuals control their weight and burn glucose for energy, making cells more responsive to insulin. People who exercise cause their bodies to need additional energy from their stored glucose, notes WebMD. Once you get some endurance built up, it has been shown that performing moderate exercise for a longer period of time, such as going for a bike ride, joining in on a dance class, taking a moderate hike, uses much more glucose from the muscles, helping lower overall blood sugar levels.
  2. Keep blood pressure below 140/90.
  3. How much sugar is just right? The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that's not more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it's 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons.
  4. A balance of healthy organic proteins, healthy low-glycemic carbohydrates, and natural occurring fat sources do not cause damaging spikes in blood sugar if they are balanced. If you already have diabetes you will need to check your own blood sugar counts.
  5. Wholesome unprocessed organic foods (without toxins), refined sugar, dairy or gluten do not cause inflammation—an autoimmune response in the body, which is also linked to diabetes.
  6. Consult with the glycemic index on foods when planning your meals to ensure that you control what you eat.  The glycemic index determines the effect a particular food has on blood sugar.
  7. What foods are the best? Foods that are at the farmers market, not foods that are out of season and have been stored in boxes, cans, or frozen for months at a time.

Confusing Food Factors

Here is some insight to some of the confusion when it comes to making food choices. Dark leafy greens contain vitamin E and may be a key in protecting the body against pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. One of the best sources of this vitamin is dark green veggies, such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli. Dark greens and cruciferous vegetables also have higher concentrations of certain nutrients—like calcium, iron and disease-fighting flavonoids—than veggies with lighter-colored leaves.

The confusing factor, you can be allergic to anything and some people even have an allergy to spinach. It can cause the same anaphylactic reactions as a bee sting sending people heading to the ER. Nuts are a source of inflammation-fighting healthy fats. Just keep in mind that you should know personally how much fat is appropriate for you based on the amount of calories you need to intake for your body weight. There are plenty of charts on the internet to help. Almonds are particularly rich in fiber, calcium and vitamin E, and walnuts have high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat.

The food confusion here is even almonds can be bad for you. I came across an article that a doctor wrote about himself and his bout with kidney stones. I became curious after a client of mine came in and stated her doctor had told her to stay away from almonds. As it turns out for some people the almonds which are full of oxalates, is the most important component of forming kidney stones.

As the intake of almonds has increased in the U.S. and several other countries, the prevalence of kidney stones has also increased. In Turkey, where it is customary for young children to eat almonds, the prevalence of kidney stones might be the highest in the world. So if you have a history of kidney stones, almonds might not be such an ideal snack.

In traditional Chinese medicine food is considered for its energetic properties. Cookbooks, TV programs and magazine articles are trying to convince you that certain food properties are good for you and certain food properties are bad. Which is it? If I listed foods with their claimed nutritional properties as I did above without their warnings as well I would be doing an injustice to all of the readers who are new to the study of nutrition.

So how can I simplify this? If you don't feel well, sleep well, or have plenty of energy, keep a food log, write down after every meal or food how it made you feel. Use it as a creative personal journey to empower yourself. "If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him." — Hippocrates

Happy therapy, Debbie.

Resource

  • Levine E. Warning: Almonds May Be Dangerous to Your Health. The Leftist Review, June 2012.
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