To Mammogram…Or Not

Indeed, cancer is a scary thing. For as long as I can remember, women have been advised to start getting mammograms over the age of 40 as part of a preventative program for reducing the risk of breast cancer and/or detecting it early enough to be able to go on the appropriate program to be able to remove it should it be found (i.e., chemotherapy, radiation).

Most people, including health educators, doctors, and patients in health communities believe that a major component of cancer development comes down to lifestyle habits. Yet, very little emphasis is actually placed on education about traditional foods as a healing tool and critical component of healthy living. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that breast cancer is responsible for affecting 1 out of every 8 women.

This last week, some breaking information was released from the mainstream medical communities cautioning women to receive fewer mammograms before age 50 than was previously recommended. This bulletin is not in keeping with the American Cancer Society’s recommendations.

As everyone knows, cancer is a complex disease and many factors are considered in the development of this disease, whether it be environmental, stress, genetic, diet, and other lifestyle habits. It is one of the most pervasive and deadly killers in the modern world.

There is an entire movement of health care professionals, patients, activists, and organizations working toward a “cure” for cancer. There are endless fundraisers and events centered around cancer prevention.   Billions upon billions of dollars are spent yearly on scientific research, drug development, and other activities – all in the name of curing cancer.

So why hasn’t a cure been found? Is it possible that a “cure” may not ever be found because we’ve been going about this at all the wrong angles?  Everything to do with cancer research is about removing it after it has already become a problem. And there’s a lot of money to be made in this realm.

What about preventing a problem before it happens? Sounds like a novel idea, doesn’t it?  Let’s take a look at what’s been happening on the mainstream medical fronts with cancer.

The National Cancer Institute reports the following:

“The most common type of cancer on the list is non-melanoma skin cancer, with more than 1,000,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2009. Non-melanoma skin cancers represent about half of all cancers diagnosed in this country.”

The skin cancer connection

Something many people aren’t aware of and doctors don’t certainly don’t emphasize is that most of these cancers are the benign variety – such as basal cell carcinoma, which is 99% treatable and slow-growing. My mother had one on her nose about 3 years ago, had it removed with outpatient surgery, and has not had a recurrence since.

Many people believe sun exposure causes skin cancer. So they slather on the sunscreen, blocking out the Vitamin D, which is, ironically, largely responsible for preventing cancer. And, it’s also strange that people who live in tropical locations experience the lowest rates of skin cancer in the world. Another fact that many people don’t know is that Melanoma – which is malignant – is most often found on parts of the body which receive the least amount of sun (National Library of Medicine).

New research suggests that a deficiency in Vitamin D is rampant in many countries and that lacking this important nutrient contributes to a myriad of diseases and conditions including Melanoma, Breast Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s. Over 40,000 Americans die annually as a result of  Vitamin D deficiency.  But we don’t hear the American Cancer Association talking about this. And, the risk of cancer actually lessens with more sun exposure – and no, we’re not talking about getting a severe sunburn, we’re talking about regular, repeated exposure to build up Vitamin D levels in the body.

Exposure to sun actually affects over 14 different types of cancer – including breast, prostate, bladder, ovarian, and digestive (source, Dr. William B. Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized expert and researcher on Vitamin D – SUNARC. Dr. Grant is the director director of SUNARC – the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, an organization which is involved in education, research, and advocacy relating to the prevention of chronic disease through changes in diet and lifestyle).

What can YOU do?

In my opinion, we can drive ourselves crazy reading statistics from mainstream health sources, or we can actually do something proactive to prevent cancer. So what can we do? What sort of power do we have over this disease?

As usual, mainstream medical communities offer little to no practical advice about what people can do to prevent cancer and live proactively. General statements are often made about living a healthy lifestyle and getting “health screenings”- but no emphasis WHATSOEVER is placed on reducing the toxic load of the body and eating nourishing, traditional foods.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s web site, this is how you should go about preventing cancer:

  • stay out of the sun
  • avoid tobacco and limit alcohol consumption
  • eat “healthy” by limiting fat (with no mention about sustainable, organic foods or avoiding conventional or processed foods)
  • get immunized
  • avoid risky behaviors like drug use and unprotected sex
  • undergo screening procedures such as colonoscopies, pap tests, and mammograms

I believe people must take charge of their own health, and make definitive decisions about what kind of health they are going to have. As long as you leave the fate of your health in the hands of a medical doctor or any practitioner alone, you are risking your health.

Yes, I’m serious. And here’s why:

As a society, we have been made to feel powerless and helpless, and that we are unable to learn or know things for ourselves about our own bodies; and that we must rely upon some other expert to preserve our health.

My “cancer” scare

For the last five years, I’ve had a benign breast cyst. When I first discovered it, my lifestyle habits were pretty poor. Like most women, the discovery of a lump in my breast was terrifying. I read all I could about breast cancer and lumps in the breast before making an appointment to see a doctor. I spent about two weeks living in a panic as to whether I would be diagnosed with cancer. The stress of a situation like this alone can put the body under tremendous strain. In fact, stress directly contributes to disease. How many people have been in a similar situation –  waiting to hear from the doctor to receive a clean bill of health so you can “breathe a sigh of relief”?

My doctor was a GP, so he couldn’t give me a definitive answer. He ordered a mammogram. Until the procedure the following week at the hospital, I was a mess. My husband was unable to accompany me to the procedure, so I had to go alone. Sitting in that room waiting to have it done was awful. The procedure was long and painful (compression from the machine is not good for your breasts). After it was over and I got the result that the lump wasn’t cancerous, but only a fluid-filled cyst, I was relieved…but there was no information given about what could be done to reverse it or make it disappear. And that’s what I wanted.

Another year went by. The cyst got bigger and again I started to worry. I went back to the same doctor who ordered a second mammogram. Once again, I went to the hospital alone because my husband was unable to accompany me and endured one of the most stressful days of my life. This time, the lab technician performed an ultrasound as well as the mammogram. The results showed no cancerous findings.

The following year, the lump changed yet again, so I went back to the doctor. This time he referred me to a breast specialist and suggested yet another mammogram.  I had to wait about three weeks to see the specialist, but I decided against getting another mammogram.

The morning of my appointment, I was so worried I didn’t eat breakfast, and my stomach being empty only added to the growing sensation of nausea. This time, my husband came with me. I was asked all the usual questions by the nurse about my family history of breast cancer. She reviewed all the other items such as regular self-breast exams and checkups, etc. Then the doctor came in, checked the lump, and then reviewed the mammogram from the year before.  I was a shaking wreck as he did this, and wished more than anything that this moment in time would be gone and this would all go away.

His diagnosis was that he didn’t believe I had cancer, but that the finding was consistent with fibrocystic breast disease and I should have another mammogram. Keep in mind that at this point I was only 36 years old (age at which women are recommended to have annual mammograms is 40) with no history of breast cancer in my family, and had now received two mammograms showing no sign of cancer, yet this doctor was recommending that I go and have yet a third. So I explained my reasoning to him, along with my concerns about the exposure to radiation and compression of breast tissue in the x-ray device used for mammograms which could actually cause cancer.

All objections to the procedure were dismissed, and the the only response he could provide was that I had a responsibility to myself to perform this preventative measure. I had a responsibility? What about the doctors? Aren’t they responsible for providing the patient with reasonable answers and alternatives? The recommended “solution” didn’t solve my problem.  I pressed on, asking about environmental toxins and diet, and their effects on the development of cancer. His answer was brief and he insisted that there were just too many factors to solve for, and did not recommend any specific preventative measure…and that really it all boiled down to getting that mammogram.

By this time, I was crying and very angry. The nurse came back in as the doctor was leaving. She said she wanted to help me understand the importance of getting mammograms and prevention of problems before they occurred. She really believed what she was saying, but none of it made any sense to me. My husband even agreed that another mammogram seemed pretty pointless.

Although the nurse tried her best to be kind, and thought she was reassuring me that it was the right thing to do, I wasn’t buying it. She explained that she received mammograms each year because her mother died of breast cancer, and she had already had two lumps removed in her own breasts. To her, not getting another mammogram was like leaving the door open at night when criminals were out on the street. I came out and told her that I thought mammograms were dangerous and why. Of course, she thought I was insane.

Breast thermography

It really was just like talking to a wall. On the way out, she asked me to seriously reconsider the mammogram, and that she was going to give me a call in a week or two to see if I was willing to change my mind. If I had known then what I know now, I would have asked her why doctors place so little effort or educational emphasis on real food and healthy diets, and about breast thermography.

By the year 2007, I was learning even more about diet and lifestyle as it related to cancer and health. I also learned about an exciting procedure -FDA approved and has been used in Europe for decades – thermography. It is less expensive than mammograms, and can detect cancer up to 10 years before a mammogram. Why is this technology not being talked about more in medical communities? Because it doesn’t present any incentives for the drug companies. It is safe, painless, doesn’t compress the breast tissue, and doesn’t use radiation. The device is sensitive to blood vessel changes and measures heat temperatures in the body – temperature changes that are so subtle, it can indicate a development of pre-cancerous tissue.

I’m still living with the cyst, but I’m always living a preventative lifestyle and performing detoxification to help my body eliminate it over time. Because of poor lifestyle choices I made over many years, helping my body to remove the cyst and keep it from becoming cancerous will also take time.

Here’s my cancer prevention program:

  • Eat a healthy diet – and by healthy, I am referring to the absence of processed foods and refined sugars. My diet includes plenty of real, traditional foods such sustainable-raised grass-fed meats, raw, organic dairy from a clean source, poultry, game, lamb, safe-source fish and seafood, organic vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, oils, and fruits. I also occasionally eat sprouted/soaked, organic grains.
  • I receive as much sun exposure as possible, and I don’t wear sunscreen. I also take Green Pastures Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil. This fantastic natural food contains Vitamins A, D, E, and K. My family also takes this supplement. Visit the Weston A. Price web site for detailed information about dosages for Vitamin D and Vitamin A, as well as other natural sources for these nutrients.
  • I drink plenty of filtered water (not bottled water) and avoid tap water.
  • I take Iodoral, an iodine supplement daily. My family also takes this supplement. Most people in developed countries are deficient in iodine, and iodine deficiencies are directly connected to the development of cancer and many degenerative diseases.
  • I have been using Gesterone Cream by Premier Research Labs. Natural progesterone is something many women are deficient in – usually due to hormonal imbalances which can cause cancer, and this nutritional supplement is more potent than synthetic pharmaceutical drug varieties of progesterone. The skin absorbs up to 10 times more than the digestive tract.
  • I am by no means a skilled athlete, but I maintain a schedule of regular exercise including horseback riding, bicycle riding, walking, hiking, and gardening.
  • I try to maintain a reasonable sleep pattern.  This is an area I need work on, because like many people, I stay up too late a lot and then have to rise early the next day. I don’t usually find that I am fatigued much, though, and I attribute this to my healthy diet and lifestyle.
  • I use few personal care products and chemicals in my home – I don’t use anything on my hair except organic shampoo, which I use only once or twice a week (I have dreadlocks, so hair washing is fairly infrequent…and no, my husband doesn’t think I smell). I don’t use expensive creams and solutions on my body except for extra virgin, raw coconut oil or olive oil. We use organic soaps and cleaning solutions in our home – and much of what we clean with is apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and water. For more information about toxic load, read Your Toxic Load…How Does it Affect your Health?
  • We have completely eliminated plastic dishes and many other items from our home. We use as little plastic as possible in our refrigerator to store foods. Most of our kitchen dishes and materials are as follows: glass, pyrex, ceramic, cast iron, wood, stainless steel, wooden spoons, bamboo cutting boards, parchment paper for baking and wax paper and foil for storage.
  • We do not own a microwave oven. All of our food is prepared at home from scratch, unless we are heating up leftovers from food we have already made in our oven.
  • We do not use clock radios in our home. All clocks in our house are battery-operated with faces except for one digital readout we have on our oven in the kitchen. Clock radios, particularly close to your body for extended periods of time (as in, near your bed where you sleep) can emit continued, harmful amounts of radiation.

There are so many other sources of toxins, radiation, and other harmful substances which can lead to cancer. These items include but are not limited to: televisions, cell phones, land line-cordless phones, clock radios, wireless devices, and other electronic equipment, clothing, drapes and window treatments, bedding, furniture, toys, paint, and flooring in your home.

It’s true that we do have some of these items in our lives – in particular, cell phones, wireless devices, and computers because by profession my husband was in the computer science field for nearly 20 years. We have now switched gears and own a solar business, but find that the necessity for all of those devices has not gone away.  But I feel better knowing that as careful as we are in the other aspects of our lives, we are doing the most we can to reduce our toxic load and prevent cancer the best we can.

Have a story or advice you’d like to share that has been successful? I’m interested to hear everyone else’s tales about natural cancer treatments and prevention involving traditional foods and natural supplements that have assisted you on your journeys to better health.

Update! Breaking news about CT scans from the medical community – they are finally reporting that these procedures are linked to an increased risk in cancer.

This article is part of The Kathleen Show’s Prevention Not Prescriptions Carnival, and Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit these sites and read the informative posts featured there.

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American Academy of Family Physicians Strikes an Agreement with Coca Cola to “Educate” Consumers

The image to the left and others like it have over the last century and more become synonymous with American values. It is an icon that has become associated with having fun, being glamorous, and cool. But is it really cool to foist your poisonous product upon an organization that is supposed to be responsible for helping to influence the betterment of health of the overall populace? You decide.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has made a partnership with Coca-Cola to promote an “educational movement” to consumers about the use of various products in moderation for good health. The campaign will focus on teaching people about different sweeteners and their continued use “in moderation” as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Smells like money to me.

Is it really any different than what Philip Morris did back in the 80’s where they emphatically stated that no one could sue them for heart disease or lung cancer since they had health warnings on their products?

Well – there are actually two major differences. Coca Cola won’t actually come out and say that their products harm people – and, Philip Morris lacked the blessing of the AAFP.

This development should come as no surprise to those of us who are food activists and in the traditional food camps. But it’s no less maddening that a health organization which has influence over so many people is being allowed to provide consumers with false information about a toxic, unhealthy product.

It’s clear that companies will stop at nothing, even the ruination of the health of billions of people, to whore themselves out like prostitutes just to keep their stocks up.

Here is the message written by Dr. William Campbell Douglas to consumers, alerting them to yet one more stick in the fire for big corporations and Agribusiness:

Do you want the Coca-Cola Company getting into bed with your family doctor?

Too late.

In the ultimate betrayal of family medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians has accepted a six-figure payment from Coca-Cola. In return, the soda pusher gets to help “educate” people about sweeteners.

This is like Dracula buying his way into the blood bank.

At least 20 doctors have resigned from the organization in protest, with hopefully many more still turning in their cancellation notices.

Already, the spin is in full swing.

Dr. Douglas Henley, executive vice president of whatever remains of AAFP, said, “We will move forward with this commitment together by providing educational materials on sweeteners and how to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while still enjoying many of the foods and beverages consumers love.”

Sorry, doc – but you should take your degree, stick it in an envelope and send it back to your medical school. Consumers may love sodas and diet sodas – but these drinks are in no way part of a “healthy, active lifestyle.”

Remember, Coke’s idea of health food is adding small amounts of vitamins to its concoctions and giving them new names, like “Diet Coke Plus.”

We haven’t seen the results of their joint propaganda effort yet, but the ingredients in Coke’s sugar-free products speak volumes.

Aspartame is one of the worst substances ever put into our food with Uncle Sam’s blessing. This artificial sweetener has been linked over the years to everything from migraine headaches and memory loss to seizures and even cancer.

One new study even finds that artificially sweetened sodas can cause kidney damage. Just two drinks a day can impair the kidneys’ ability to filter blood, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s annual conference.
And we’re going to let the people who sell this stuff educate us about it? It doesn’t take much to see this plan was flat the moment they opened the bottle.

Proving again that Coke ISN’T the real thing,

William Campbell Douglass, M.D.

PS: Another win for common sense! The “Smart Choices” program is being flushed down the toilet of history. I told you about this scandalous food-labeling scheme just a few weeks ago. The food industry created a fancy new logo to make some products look like health food – when, in fact, they were nothing but junk. You didn’t fall for it – and now, the program is being cancelled.

Read an account of one family physician who believes this move is a-okay, and that responsible consumer education is the word of the day. Having worked with Coke and other companies on other “educational endeavors,” she says, “we [the AAFP] know that we share common goals.” In this particular case, she notes, the goal is “to talk about sweetened and unsweetened beverages, and how you integrate that into a healthy, active lifestyle.” Don’t you just want to shake her?

Some physicians have actually been reported to have left the AAFP over this occurrence.

“I resigned in protest of (AAFP’s) judgment this time of epidemic obesity,” Dr. William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services said, “Our public health department has been waging a battle against pediatric obesity.”

Wow, that says something. I guess even this is too much for some conventional doctors.  I hope this sends the right message to the world about this debacle. Are they finally coming to their senses? Probably not.

Here is the press release from the AAFP.

This article is part of Cheeeseslave’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit her site and read the other real food posts linked there.

This article is also part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival.

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Whole Foods and Natural Solutions, Bolster Your Immune System this Winter

Looking for natural ways to avoid illness this season? Here are 14 ways to strengthen your body and keep yourself healthy during the winter months:

  1. Go organic!  Foods that come from the earth and are organic have a higher percentage across the board of nutrients per serving. Nutrients help your body stay in optimal condition, which makes staying healthy easier.
  2. Eliminate sugar.  Sugar is an immune depressant and can cause your immune system’s ability to lower its strength for 5 or more hours after you consume it.
  3. Eliminate processed foods, prepare from scratch and with real, whole ingredients as often as possible. For example, use real butter and healthy oils for cooking such as extra virgin, organic coconut, palm oil, and cold-pressed grapeseed oil (for good Omega 6s essential fatty acids). Avoid trans-fats and genetically-modified oils like canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, and butter substitutes. Use real organic extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil in home-made salad dressings with garlic, salt, pepper, and other seasonings, lemon juice, and vinegars like red wine, balsamic, and apple cider.
  4. Drink plenty of filtered water (8 eight-ounce glasses daily). Learn more about how how fluoridated water suppresses the immune system.
  5. Eat citrus fruits – lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits – at least one daily. If you prefer, you can squeeze the juice of 1/2 to a whole lemon or lime (or both) in cold water and add Stevia to taste. You can also add it to a cup of hot water in the morning and sip during morning activities and breakfast. Citrus fruits contain flavonoids and help your body perform natural detoxification.
  6. Get adequate rest. Retire by 10 p.m and rise between 6 and 7 a.m. daily to keep a regular schedule.
  7. Consume fermented cod liver oil. Vitamin D helps reduce the chance of developing many illnesses including colds, flus, and cancer.
  8. Eat fermented foods – yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and lacto-fermented vegetables. Homemade varieties are superior because many store-bought brands are pasteurized and good bacterias are destroyed. The naturally occurring friendly bacteria in these foods gives your immune system a leg up during cold and flu season.
  9. If you are unable to obtain enough friendly bacteria in your diet, you can take a probiotic supplement. Best brands are Biotics Research (from a licensed, healthcare practitioner), Prescript-Assist, and Bio Kult.
  10. Eat plenty of healthy oil, fat, and cholesterol – grass-fed meats (dark and organ meats included), game meats, poultry, lamb, and pork; real butter and milk (raw is a plus!), coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil, lard and tallow from meat and poultry.
  11. Use herbal and natural remedies when you get sick – oil of oreganol (oil of oregano) grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, garlic and eucalyptus ear oil, homeopathic remedies, thieve’s oil (used during the Black Plague), Chinese Herbal Medicine and acupuncture, and naturopathic care. If you are taking care of yourself with proper diet and lifestyle habits, these remedies will not be needed often.
  12. Get out in the sun as much as possible to obtain natural Vitamin D. Sunlight is most potent between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you should be getting about 20 minutes of exposure. Your diet should consist of the following to supplement for less available sunlight in the winter:  fermented cod liver oil, raw milk from pasture-grazing cows, eggs from pasture-raised hens, seafood like wild-caught salmon, makerel, anchovies, herring, tuna, oysters, shrimp, sardines, and sausage and bacon from pasture-raised hogs. These foods contain Vitamins A, D, E, and K – all important for fighting off disease and illness.
  13. Get up and move. You don’t have to be an exercise fanatic and spend 7 days at the gym to be active and healthy. Even though it’s difficult to get motivated to go out in the cold weather, bundle up and find something you enjoy doing outside. Walking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and bike riding can all be done throughout the winter, depending on the weather.  If you must be indoors, try a low-impact exercise video you do at home such as yoga, pilates, or warm-up ballet. Gyms are toxic places – from chlorine filled pools to the closed in environment that recirculates germ-filled air – that cause more health issues than they solve.
  14. Give up unhealthy habits such as cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or drug use (including prescription). Many health issues can be solved by eliminating these from your life, and prescription drugs are often just a band-aid for the real problem which is to improve dietary habits and lifestyle.

Want more information about nutrition and changing your diet to affect real change in your health?

Nutrients you are probably lacking in your diet

Feed your children real food…don’t they deserve it?

Whole and healthy meat…does it really exist?

Know your food? Find out!

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Feed Your Children Real Food – Don’t They Deserve It?

It breaks my heart to see the kinds of things children eat – especially when I know what I do about the nutritional content of most of the choices they are provided with to eat.

I’m certainly not trying to criticize anyone when I say this, but it’s very apparent that many children are being done a disservice when they are fed meals and snacks. Children deserve real, whole foods as it is the foundation upon which their growth and development are constructed, and will dictate everything about their physical, mental, and spiritual worlds for the rest of their lives.

When I see children eating fast food and other items like Goldfish, Ritz Crackers with “peanut butter”, boxed cereals and other extruded grain products like pretzels, crackers, and bagels, processed pasteurized dairy products like Yoplait or Dannon Yogurt…even juices that read “100 percent juice” (which is no better than sugar water), quick-to-prepare meals like Chef-Boyaredee Beefaroni, frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets, hot dogs from industrial sources with nitrates, and fruit roll-ups, I become very concerned.

www.mypicshares.com

So what’s so unhealthy about these foods? The label may tell us that they are nutritious…so they must be, right? I believe people go on feeding unhealthy foods to their children not because they don’t care. Most parents care about their children and want the best for them. I just think they lack the knowledge about what exactly their children are eating. I really believe in my heart of hearts, if they knew what their kids were eating, they might make different decisions.

And, a few fundamental changes really can be made, without a huge expense. Check out this Food Stamp Challenge article, very inspiring!

So, I’ve decided to highlight three of these commonly-eaten foods and go through the ingredients to find out exactly why they are far from healthy to eat.

1. Chef-Boyaredee Beefaroni ingredients:

Tomatoes (Water, Tomato Puree), Water, Enriched Macaroni (Semolina, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2] and Folic Acid), Beef, contains Less than 2% of : High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Enzyme Modified Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cultured, Salt, Enzymes] Flavorings, Soybean Oil.

  • All ingredients are from factory sources, including the meat. Meat comes from cattle who live in the worst conditions – are fed genetically-modified, unnatural feeds like grains, soy, corn, and silage from other toxic sources like orange peels heavily covered in pesticides. Cattle are not meant to consume grains, but grass. The consumption of grains causes an acidic environment in the digestive tract of the animal eating it, making a perfect environment for virulent bacteria like E. coli. Read this article about a girl who was sickened and probably permanently paralyzed for life because of eating an industrially-produced hamburger. The same cattle are administered hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.
  • Pasta is from genetically-modified, processed grains that are not sprouted nor soaked, and the high phytic acid content from improperly prepared grains causes mal-absorption of nutrients in the body.
  • Tomatoes used for the sauce are covered in pesticides and are from a conventional source – making the nutrient content of the tomatoes lower than an organic source.
  • Cheese comes from factory-sourced milk – containing many of the same elements as the meat – from cows pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and fed improper feed (genetically-modified grain, soy, and/or corn).
  • This “food” has been stripped of all the natural nutrients that would be present in healthy food, from overprocessing (see bullet items above) and has been fortified to include synthetic vitamins and minerals – all of which are isolated elements which the body cannot absorb – with none of the necessary cofactors and enzymes present in real, organic food to make the food nutritious.
  • High Fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, and soybean oil. All genetically-modified, highly processed, and too high in Omega 6s (soybean oil – too much Omega 6s are an inflammatory-causing agent in the body). High fructose corn syrup is an artificial sweetener that causes an overproduction of insulin in the body.
  • The label reads “good source of protein”, yet the ratio of carbohydrates to protein is unbalanced – 27 grams of carbs to 8 grams of protein. This is usually because the bulk of what you are getting in a container of Beefaroni is pasta, not meat.
  • 700 miligrams of sodium – and it’s processed sodium with all the minerals removed.  When you hear that sodium is bad for your health, it’s due to the overly high sodium content of processed foods. When you salt food at home, you don’t normally add this much to your home-cooked meals.
  • “Flavorings” are an excitotoxin. On a basic level, these substances cause damage to neurotransmitters in the brain, among other health problems.

2. Yoplait yogurt ingredients:

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Lowfat Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Cornstarch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored With Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

  • This is a highly processed “food” which contains mostly chemicals and sugar. Milk is from a factory source from cows pumped full of steroids, antibiotics, hormones, and fed genetically-modified feeds (grain, soy, corn). Milk is pasteurized, low-fat, and non-fat which renders nutrients in the milk denatured (damaged) and removes important enzymes and fat-soluble vitamins necessary for digestion.
  • When this “food” is stripped of its few nutrients from processing, the synthetic ones are added back in. Again, these elements aren’t recognized by the body and are mostly unabsorbed.
  • High fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch – see Chef Boyardee Ravioli above.
  • “Natural flavorings” are an excitotoxin – see Chef Boyardee Ravioli above.
  • Sugar – what can we say about sugar that is good? Nothing. Like other sweeteners, refined sugar is hard on the pancreas and causes insulin resistance, and eventually heart disease and diabetes. If fruit is one of the ingredients, why does this need sugar? And then it also contains high fructose corn syrup!
  • Strawberries are from a conventional source, and strawberries on the conventional market are heavily treated with chemicals and pesticides. These substances are known to cause neurological, reproductive, and endocrine damage, and birth defects.
  • Pectin – another ingredient that makes the excitotoxin list in Dr. Russell L. Blaylock’s book, Excitotoxins, The Taste that Kills
  • Carmine – an insect-based additive used for coloring and pigment color that causes allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock in some individuals.

3. Goldfish (Pepperidge Farm) ingredients:

Unbleached Wheat Flour, Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron,  Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin B1, Riboflavin,Vitamin B2,  Folic Acid, Cheddar Cheese, Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes,  Water, Salt, Vegetable Oils, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Salt, Yeast, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Leavening, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate,  Ammonium Bicarbonate, Spices, Annatto Color, Onion Powder.

  • This product is one of the most unnatural you can buy! Where to begin – extruded, genetically-modified grains, all the worst oils (vegetable – canola, soy, sunflower, which have too high Omega 6 content) from genetically-modified sources – plus, even though the label might read “no trans-fats”, the very method used to process these industrial oils causes them to be a trans-fat! Pasteurized milk from factory sources (see other two items listed above), about a half a dozen synthetic nutrients, sugar, and other artificial ingredients and color. Oh, and ammonium bicarbonate – an industrial ingredient used widely in the rubber and manufacturing industries and as a fertilizer, it is cheap replacement for baking soda, which contains – you guessed it – ammonia.

Back to the drawing board. What can we feed our kids that is delicious and nutritious? Here are some ideas:

  • Organic fruits and vegetables with homemade or organic salsas, almond butter, or plain, organic whole milk yogurt (made from raw milk is a plus!)
  • Grass-fed meats or pasture-raised poultry, range-raised game meats, pasture-raised pork and lamb, and eggs from pasture-raised poultry – dark and organ meats are a very important source of nutrients as well
  • Kids need real, whole fats and proteins – whole, raw dairy and meat with the skin and bones, lard from bacon, and tallow from beef. See our article about The Importance of Dietary Fats
  • Organic, whole, sprouted and soaked grains – breads, hot cereals, home made granola, and home-made, healthy desserts
  • Healthy oils – extra virgin, organic olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, real butter

To read more about nutritional wellness for families and some snack ideas for children – read our article here.

As much as you can, eliminate the following from your kitchen (if the temptation is gone, it is much easier to make a transition effective):

  • Boxed cereals, pop tarts, and frozen breakfast items
  • Fruit roll-ups, “food bars,” packaged desserts, cookies, frozen desserts, and candies
  • Processed breads, flour, and pastas
  • Soy foods unless they are fermented like tempeh or miso soup
  • Chips, crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, packaged popcorn
  • Lunch meats and processed fake cheeses
  • Low-fat, homogenized and pasteurized dairy products like yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese
  • Canned and boxed “meals” like Chef Boyardee or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (as well as generics)
  • Frozen fast foods like pizzas, chicken nuggets, taquitos, veggie burgers, and other soy products
  • Soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, flavored waters, and other sugary beverages

Wondering how to make the transition? Here are some hints:

If all organic isn’t in your budget, buy it when you can and stop buying processed foods. Even conventional fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy are somewhat better for your child than buying processed, packaged foods. Making everything from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult if you plan ahead, and it is so much healthier for your child. You’ll notice a difference right away if you make just a few basic changes.

Don’t assume your children won’t eat real food. If they have spent any amount of time eating a lot of processed foods from the SAD (Standard American Diet), realize the transition won’t occur overnight. My son was one of the most finicky eaters and it took some time when we converted from our SAD to traditional foods.

  • Patience and persistence is the key. Just keep exposing your child to new, nutritious foods. Sooner or later they will start to develop a taste for healthy foods that you want them to eat. I’ve talked to many parents who say, “my child would never eat that.” But the fact is, they are not giving their children enough credit, and kids need time to change and adjust.  Realize too, that you are the parent and are in control. If you make good food available to your child, and make it a fun, educational experience, he or she will start to become interested in eating healthy foods.
  • Remember, if you continue to offer special or processed meals full of salt and sugar to your child when he or she is eating, you are training your child to be a picky eater that won’t eat wholesome foods.

Keep eating out at restaurants to a minimum. Have you ever wondered why restaurants have special kid’s menus? Children are accustomed to ordering salty, processed, deep fried items that are nutrient-depleted when they go out to eat. If you give your kids junk, pretty soon all they’ll be satisfied with eating…is junk.

  • For the most part, restaurants are not known for using healthy ingredients. If you are in a restaurant with your children, an alternative to a kid’s menu selection would be to order an adult meal and split it with he or she, or if you have more than one child you can split an adult serving between two or more people.
  • You can count on most restaurants to serve processed food. The more processed foods they eat, the more damaged their digestive tracts become. First a yeast overgrowth will take over their immune system. Then it will slowly start to invade their whole bodies. And this yeast needs to be fed. That’s where sugar cravings come in. Your kids are just giving in to the yeast that has taken over.

If your child has behavioral or mood issues, keep a journal of the foods they are currently eating for one week. Then make a switch the next week to a healthier diet. Keep track of the foods he or she has changed, and observe whether the behavior or mood issues start to improve.

  • Many disorders such as ADD, ADHD, and irritability, fatigue, lack of focus, hyperactivity and even Autism are directly related to diet. If you are seeking answers to your child’s health disorders and suspect he or she might have some of these issues, check out the following video by Donna Gates and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and the GAPS diet philosophy.
  • This same idea applies to children who have other health problems, too such as digestive disorders like IBS, gluten-sensitivity, celiac disease, acid reflux, headaches, frequent colds and flus, cold or canker sores, and much more. When children stick to a diet that eliminates processed, refined foods with sugar and eat a diet replete with whole, traditional foods, health problems are kept to a minimum.

My son used to get terrible canker sores fairly frequently when we were eating the SAD (Standard American Diet). I could always trace the occurrence of sores back to processed, sugary foods he had recently eaten. When he is eating healthy, he does not get canker sores, period!

I am also happy to report that in the past, by this time of year my son has come down with a stomach virus, cold/cough/sore throat combo or some other illness that keeps him down for at least several days with a high fever.  So far this season, he’s been completely healthy!

Need even more ideas?

Nutritional Wellness for Families

Breakfast Makeovers

Recipes

Fluoride in the water

School lunch topics

This article is part of Cheeseslave’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit her site and read all the other real food articles linked there.

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Are You Addicted to Healthy Food Shopping?

I have to admit, one of my favorite things to do is go to the health food store and shop for healthy food. Yes, it sounds very geeky, and I guess it probably is.

I also enjoy going to the farmer’s market, although I don’t get there as often as I’d like. Some of the foods I buy regularly that are sold at the farmer’s market are also sold at the health food store where I shop, and because the times the farmer’s market are occurring are times I don’t typically shop, my visits are fewer and further between. That’s not to say I don’t love the farmer’s market too, because I most certainly do.

The other factor is that in our city, food at the farmer’s market tends to be more expensive. In these tough economic times, and because my husband and I have recently switched gears and started a new solar business, we are watching every dime we spend.

So I started thinking about addictions that people have and wondered just how many different kinds there were, and how varied those addictions could be. I realized that there are endless things people can become addicted to…and that if you replace something unhealthy for something healthy, it’s got to be a definite improvement.

It’s easy to say to yourself that you are replacing something unhealthy for something healthy – but it’s another thing entirely to actually put it into action. And, it’s another thing entirely to actually do something healthy. In a society where we are so health obsessed but so unhealthy, the term “healthy” is used ubiquitously…but its true meaning has been degraded.

For instance, if you say you are going to replace eating meat for eating “low fat foods” to “lower your cholesterol”, that replacement will be detrimental to your health because it will deprive your body of important nutrients necessary for all types of bodily functions such as maintaining normal weight and cardiovascular health. But of course, most people believe the opposite to be true. Remember, it’s important to learn what is healthy and what is not.

Habits are difficult to break, but if you can take a negative or unhealthy lifestyle habit that isn’t working for you, perhaps it’s just a simple matter of trading one thing for something else  – to fill that void where the negative thing once existed, and in its place install something that affects you in a positive way.

Because variety is the spice of life, you can fill up your “void” with all the wonderful variety of delicious, healthy foods and choices. Don’t think that because you are giving up something you once loved that is bad for you that there isn’t something equally as wonderful waiting in the wings that is good for you.

Addicted to junk?

For instance, if you are addicted to eating cookies from the dessert aisle at the grocery store, what could you do to replace this unhealthy choice? First, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Cravings for carbohydrates often mean a yeast overgrowth which is actually caused by eating too much refined sugar and processed carbohydrates in the first place.  So, you are not getting full (and also not getting enough nutrients, period). Because of the yeast, you are developing cravings for carbohydrates – particularly the processed variety, which feed the yeast.

There are several things you can do, depending on your desire to make changes in your eating habits and health. You can start on a yeast removal program, which involves removing most carbohydrates from your diet for a period of time and taking dietary supplements to kill the yeast. This can be difficult to do, but well worth the effort.

If you are not ready for a yeast removal protocol at this time, you can think about the things you can replace the unhealthy dessert with such as home-made desserts. When you make things at home, you have control over what you put in and how much you use. Home made desserts provide the opportunity to use less sugar and alternatives to sugar that are healthier such as: real maple syrup, organic unrefined sugar, sucanat, rapadura, or Lakanto (Body Ecology diet).

Other ingredients you can start to use which would replace the unhealthy items in store-bought desserts and confections would be sprouted grain flours, real fats like extra virgin coconut oil and palm oil, and butter.

And this should go without saying, but if you are making your own treats at home, use other real ingredients like organic fruit, eggs from pastured hens, sea salt, real cream, real vanilla, and unrefined organic raw nuts or cacao powder.

The bright side of healthy food addiction

Sure, many healthy foods tend to be more expensive. But buying cheap food has hidden costs. The smart consumer knows that paying more for healthy food now means less health problems later. Eating industrial food has its price – and that price is what you will have to pay later for health damage incurred because of eating it. One of the advantages to being a healthy shopping “addict” is the fact that it gives you an opportunity (hopefully) to be more aware of what foods and products are truly healthy. It probably means you are more likely to do the necessary research to find what you need that is not only the healthiest choice, but also at the best price available. In other words, your interest in healthy food and living leads you to become a sleuth – not only to find the best deals but to uncover the truth about what’s healthy to eat and what’s not!

Having an awareness of healthy food will give you the opportunity to find better foods for yourself and your family – which means many good things – such as enjoying foods you love, exploring new cooking techniques, methods, and recipes, and sharing the food with those around you. One of the best benefits of loving healthy food, is of course, the many health benefits you will gain from eating the food in the first place.

So if you are a person who becomes giddy with excitement at the prospect of spending some time shopping at your favorite health food store, farmer’s market, or online scouting for the best in healthy food at a good price, embrace it! If you love the idea of finding good deals on organic, local, and sustainable foods, let that desire become the foundation of a healthy diet.

It also means you will more than likely develop relationships with others who share your interest and zest for finding healthy food and feeding nutritious meals to your family.  This development can only help to increase your knowledge, network, and opportunities to find more healthy items to add to your menu and schedule for a healthier life.

And don’t forget, as far as addictions go, possessing one for the love of shopping for healthy food can work in your favor – unlike many other addictions you could have!

Need some ideas for where to get healthy foods on the Internet and in the stores?

Here’s a list:

U.S. Wellness Meats – Meats, dairy products, poultry, game meats, soaps, candles and many other great, natural products

Eat Wild – directory of pastured products such as meat, dairy, poultry, honey, produce and much more

Eat Well – directory of sustainable, local, organic food growers and sellers

Azure Standard – quality bulk and natural foods

Pure Indian Foods – grass-fed ghee

Sol Grains – germinated brown rice

Local Harvest – sprouted flour and many other natural food products

American Spice – sprouted flours and other foods

Shilo Farms – sprouted and organic flour, rice, honey, rice beans, cereal, couscous, goat cheese, seeds, soups, and more

For more sprouted grain products, visit the list at the bottom of What are Sprouted and Soaked Grains?

Cultures for Health – starter cultures for making kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, lacto-fermented vegetables, and other fermented foods, buttermilk starter, sourdough starter, cheese making

Organic Pastures – sells certified grass-fed, organic milk to California residents only, also sells raw almonds

Organic Valley and Organic Prairie – certified organic pasture-raised meats, eggs from pastured hens, dairy products, and more

Trader’s Point Creamery – 100% organic grass-fed milk and milk products – their yogurt is to die for!

Nancy’s Yogurt – organic dairy products from grass-fed cows

Stonyfield Farm – organic, grass-fed dairy products

Brown Cow Farm– organic grass-fed dairy products

Kerrygold – Irish butter, grass-fed!

Zukay – live, cultured foods bursting with probiotics such as sauerkraut, salsas, and lacto-fermented vegetables

This article is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit this site and read all the other great real food articles listed there.

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What are Sprouted and Soaked Grains?

If you have ever thought you might have an intolerance to grains or wheat, in particular, you may be surprised to find out that you can eat foods containing sprouted or soaked grains.

Sprouted grains are a raw, living food with enzymes intact, and therefore contains more nutrients and is easier to digest. Soaked grains are those that have been soaked overnight in water with some type of catalyst such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt or kefir which neutralizes the phytic acid in the grain to render it more digestible.

Both soaked and sprouted grains are full of nutrients needed by the body, and those elements are made more available because the process of soaking or sprouting achieves the following amazing transformation –

Protein and fiber content goes up while reducing enzyme inhibitors, total carbohydrates, and anti-nutrient content – which occurs in all grains.

The process of sprouting actually alters the state of the grain from a starch into a vegetable. How magnificent is that??

What’s so bad about the refined, processed types of grains? Many of these foods are extruded (damaged through processing, which renders them indigestible) and stripped of most of their nutrients. Also, the bran and germ are removed during processing.  The method of processing most flours causes over half of the the vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fibre to be removed. These types of grains are the ones you’ll most likely find in the grocery store in the form of these foods – most breads, cereals, crackers, bagels, English Muffins, pastas, desserts, and any other food you might find that is packaged containing grains.

What happens when a person eats refined grains over time? Eating refined grains has dire effects on your health. It directly contributes to many health issues like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and a host of auto-immune disorders which are more common than most people believe.

There are many people diagnosed with a wheat allergy or celiac disease who, because they are told they can no longer eat wheat or gluten, begin to start eating breads and other grain products containing alternative grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth, sorghum flour, rice flour, and even almond or hazelnut flour, or soy flour. The problem with “alternative” grains or flours is that since they are processed and nutrients are still locked in the food (due to phytic acid content), over time consuming those foods will also cause health problems. Read more about gluten-free mania and how it is primarily a marketing term used to sell products to consumers.

Why should you soak and sprout grains? Doesn’t it take too much time? What if my schedule is too busy? Well, our ancestors prepared grains, legumes, seeds, and rices in the traditional way of sprouting. Sprouted foods contain as much as ten to twenty times more nutrients than their processed counterparts. Historical evidence shows that over 2000 years ago, wheat seeds were processed (not soaked or sprouted) and eaten by people. However, this practice was done only in times of famine or by large groups of people on the move such as armies. The predominant practice of eating grains included soaking and sprouting.

So yes, it does take a bit more time and planning. But the nutritional benefits you gain by soaked and sprouted grains is significant! It’s enough of a difference that once you understand just how unhealthy eating processed grains is, you may never want to go back to eating them.

Here are some important reasons why soaking grains is helpful for your health:

  • Soaking and sprouting alters the composition of starches in grain. This converts starch sugars into vegetable sugars – making it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients because they are in vegetable form, not grain form.
  • The process of soaking and sprouting creates enzymes to help your body digest the food. It breaks down complex sugars so absorption of nutrients increases, and abdominal issues decrease (i.e., bloating, cramping, and bowel problems).
  • The presence of phytic acid in grains is neutralized through soaking and sprouting. Phytic acid actually inhibits absorption of important minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and copper. It also prevents enzyme inhibitors and carcinogens contained in phytic acid from having free-reign in the body.

You can choose to buy processed grains at the store and greatly increase the chances you will develop chronic health problems over time, or you can learn about the traditional methods of preparing and serving grains at home that are healthier and over time will yield much better health for you and your family.

How do you soak grains?

This is something anyone can do, even someone who is not terribly comfortable in the kitchen. Here’s what to do:

1.   Place the seeds or grains in a large pot overnight in filtered water. To help neutralize the phytic acid in the grains, use a bit of plain, whole milk yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Cover the container with a clean towel.

2.   When you come to look at your grains after soaking overnight, you will notice that your grains have expanded and some, if not all of the liquid, has soaked into your grains. Pour grains into a colander or sieve and rinse with filtered water.

If you want to use your soaked grains for hot cereal, you can now pour your rinsed grains into a pot and add a bit of fresh, filtered water. Cook your grains on the stove.

If you would like to continue on to the sprouting process, rinse the seeds or grains two to three times daily until you see sprouts forming. Sprouts should be about a quarter inch in length.  Here is a wonderful description of this process from GNOFGLINS. She explains it much better than I can, since I have not yet attempted this procedure. All grains and seeds take different times to complete the sprouting process.

You can use your sprouts fresh or you can dehydrate them to use in breads or for baking purposes. If you’d like to dehydrate the sprouts, rinse them one more time and place them in a dehydrator (Excalibur is a great brand and you can buy one for just over  $100). This process can take four to six hours.  Avoid using the oven as the lowest temperature on most ovens is about 170 degrees. Dehydration temperatures generally need to be at around 150 degrees. Use them right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

What about the taste? Don’t worry, flavor and texture won’t be compromised in sprouted and soaked grains. In fact, I think the quality is better than conventionally processed breads and grain products. And remember, taste and texture vary widely in different preparations of soaked and sprouted grains and breads.

Looking for places to buy sprouted flours and breads?

Here are some good resources.

I’d love to hear your comments and reviews of any of these products:

To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co.

Shilo Farms

Local Harvest

Silver Hills

Ezekiel

Essential Eating

Benefit Your Life

Good Health Naturally

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Want to Prevent Flu and Health Problems? Eat more Fat and Cholesterol!

Besides all the warnings we constantly hear about eating low-fat, low cholesterol diets for heart and cardiovascular health, we are also receiving many reports about the flu and colds and how dangerous this particular season will be for the majority population’s health.

Typically, we are told to get flu vaccines, wash our hands, and stay away from others who are visibly ill and carry symptoms. But did you know that one of the best ways to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and ward off flus and colds is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating real, healthy foods that are nutrient dense – and in particular – replete with fat and cholesterol? It’s true! Don’t be fooled by what so-called experts say about “prevention methods”.

Listen to this informative interview from Underground Wellness about the distortions we’ve been taught by the medical, health, and food industries regarding the effects of cholesterol on our health:

One of your best weapons against disease and illness is and always will be a healthy lifestyle – which is usually headed up by a healthy diet. Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fats and cholesterol are two of your main allies against becoming sick.

For decades, so-called health experts have warned against the dangers of consuming too much fat and cholesterol. People now live in fear of receiving the diagnoses of high cholesterol by their physicians. Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation states that in fact, the opposite is true: “Having adequate cholesterol levels in the body is key to good health. The notion that cholesterol is a villain in the diet is a myth, based on flimsy evidence and opposed by many honest scientists, including prominent lipids researcher, Dr. Mary Enig.” This untruth about fats and cholesterol has in fact been perpetuated by two parties – the industrial food industry to sell unhealthy, processed vegetable oils and the pharmaceutical industry to promote the sale and use of drugs to counteract the effects of consuming industrial food. It’s an ingenious, money-making system, and one that has all the health communities fooled.

Despite the way the food system has been constructed, having proper levels of cholesterol is essential to good health.  Cholesterol remains an important fundamental component of cell structure and provides integrity to the cell membrane to render it waterproof. “Without adequate cholesterol in the cell membrane, our cells become ‘leaky’ and cannot function properly,” says Sally Fallon Morell. A variety of critical body substances are composed of cholesterol such as the reproductive hormones estrogen, testosterone, stress hormones like cortisol, and bile salts produced by the liver and used in the gallbladder to digest fats and Vitamin D.

So what foods cause health issues? The very substances which cause the cell membrane to weaken are the foods we are told to eat by mainstream health experts, such as the following:

  • polyunsaturated oils, such as canola, soy, and cottonseed, which break down the integrity of the cell wall structure, causing it to become permeable and soft
  • artificial trans fats in vegetable shortening, margarine, artificial “butters” and other partially hydrogenated oils – found in a wide range of processed foods – which alter the structure of the cell wall
  • commercially produced meats and dairy from factory farm environments – including many low-fat, non-fat, or skim products

In simple terms, these foods are bad for our health because the nutritional structure of the foods has been altered to something that the digestive process and human body does not recognize. Natural fats and cholesterol from real food can be absorbed and used by the body as nature intended, to provide support for all bodily functions.

Not only does cholesterol play an important role in hormonal and digestive processes, but it also ensures the success of neurological processes and regulates many proper functions like the formation of memory and hormone uptake in the brain that uses chemicals such as seratonin – the chemical responsible for a sense of well-being in the body. When cholesterol levels are not optimal, seratonin receptors fail to fire. This is one leading cause of depression and mood disorders.

If you know about someone taking medication for a mood disorder, the problem could very well be linked to a deficit in cholesterol in the body. The brain is mostly composed of fat and cholesterol, and the lack of this important nutrient can lead to a myriad of health issues.

The best way to supply your body with necessary cholesterol and fats is to eat real, whole foods from organically and sustainable produced sources. Here is a list of some of those foods:

  • Grass-fed meats
  • Pasture-raised poultry and eggs from pasture-raised hens
  • Cod liver oil
  • Dairy products from grass-fed animals – milk, butter, cream, cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Healthy organic oils and fats like extra virgin olive, coconut, and palm, cold-pressed flaxseed, grapeseed, and pumpkin seed
  • Raw, sprouted nuts and seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and Brazil Nuts

For more information on cholesterol and its role in health, visit the web site of Chris Masterjohn, author of various publications and knowledgeable researcher on the subject. Chris is completing his PhD in Nutritional Science with an emphasis on Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition at the University of Connecticut.

Also visit the non-profit web site, Weston A. Price to learn more about the intensive research conducted by doctors and scientists into the importance of these critical nutrients.

This article is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit this site and read all the other real food articles linked there.

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