If You Want to Be Lean You Have to Eat Clean
This morning I had a consultation with a twenty-eight-year-old woman from the Ukraine, who told me that she’d gained twenty pounds over the course of a few short months. She attributed the sudden weight gain solely to her transition from Ukrainian to American food. She said that while living in the Ukraine, she ate exclusively farm-fresh, organic food. Though it may be hard to believe, our foods have been denatured, processed, and, in some cases, even toxically designed to increase their addictive potential. Experts now tell us that as many as 250 million Americans are addicted to artificial food chemicals. Simply stated, food is a drug. Drugs can save lives, and drugs can take lives. Moreover, the dangerous drugs that are our most toxic foods are destroying our metabolisms and contributing mightily to the overweight and obesity epidemic.
All foods fall into one of three categories: toxic, neutral, or medicinal. Whether your nutritional goal is to beat cancer or lose weight, the quality of your food must be medicinal. When it comes specifically to weight loss, the energetic properties of food exert a powerful influence on rate of metabolism. The WHD emphasizes that in order for your diet to be healthy, holistic, and metabolically balanced, it must comprise only the most healthy, nontoxic, and anti-inflammatory foods. This can be a tall order.
Today, our foods are chemically and biologically engineered beyond recognition. Concerned only about minimizing their losses and maximizing their sales, the commercial “food factories” are hell-bent on preserving, texturizing, flavor enhancing, coloring, and conditioning our foods. In all, the FDA now permits over eighty thousand chemicals to be added to American food. Furthermore, our foods are in serious trouble long before they ever reach the marketplace. The problem begins with the ravaged soil in which our food is grown. Experts estimate that due to depleted farming soil, our produce is now losing as much as 10 percent of its nutrient value every decade.
Until the mid-1940s, American farmers returned vital nutrients to the soil by age-old means of mulching, crop rotation, and manuring. All of these methods represent successful means of enriching soil, and thus foods’ nutrient quality, employed since the beginning of time. By the end of the Second World War, drug conglomerates had stockpiled vast amounts of nitrates and phosphates, originally manufactured for weapons development. Hard-pressed to find markets for these leftover chemical compounds, many of these companies turned to the agricultural industry to sell their wares. Experiments at that time had proven that crops would thrive on a blend of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Armed with this information, war chemicals manufacturers descended upon the farm industry of America with nitrate-phosphate fertilizers at attractive, dramatically reduced costs. By the early 1960s, the American farm industry had become totally converted to synthetic fertilizing. Today, the sad realities of chemical fertilizing, hybridizing, and quick growing time continue to deplete our foods of their nutrients long before they leave the farm. Once they reach the marketplace, our foods are then assaulted by food manufacturers who proceed to cold store, dry, salt, pickle, sugar, ferment, smoke, freeze, can, preserve, artificially enrich, and irradiate them. Studies show that such treatment accounts for nutrient loss reaching levels of up to 80 percent.
Far worse than the nutrient depletion of our foods, manufacturers are now poisoning our foods with dangerous toxic chemicals. Among the stockpile of chemicals added to our foods today are dyes, bleaches, emulsifiers, antioxidants, preservatives, flavor enhancers, buffers, sprays, acidifiers, alkalizers, deodorants, gases, drying agents, curers, fortifiers, hydrolyzers, antifoaming agents, anticaking agents, and hydrogenators. One Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health estimated that as many as ten thousand cancer deaths per year were very possibly due to food additives.1 This is especially disconcerting when you consider that recent studies show that the average American consumes approximately 140 to 150 pounds of food additives per year.2 It’s a dark and dismal picture.
Our foods are fatted, sugared, and even genetically modified. Ninety percent of our produce is grown on synthetic fertilizers, injected with growth hormones, sprayed with inordinate concentrations of deadly pesticides, doused with antibiotics, or even DNA altered. According to the organization Healthy Child Healthy World, 70 percent of the total calories consumed by Americans come from highly processed foods—a fivefold increase since the 1950s. They tell us that the average American child consumes more than five servings of pesticides and 150 mg of artificial food coloring every day.3 These disturbing facts about the deteriorating state of American food are clearly getting the attention of the whole world. Up to 80 percent of the prepackaged foods on our grocery shelves are banned in most other countries. In fact, there are currently fifty countries in the world that refuse to import American food—and there are only 196 countries in the world today. The website GlobalResearch.ca recently highlighted a story that exemplifies just how poorly the world now views the deteriorating and toxic quality of American food:
“It’s sad when one of the biggest ‘super powers’ can’t even export a quintessentially American food to another country because it is too toxic to eat. But apples treated with diphenylamine (DPA), a substance which keeps them from turning brown for months at a time when they are kept in storage, is now a sore spot for importers of American apples.
“DPA isn’t harmful all by itself, but it breaks down into carcinogenic elements. It’s been used since 1962, but was banned in the European Union in 2012 since producers couldn’t answer inquiries about its safety. European food safety regulators wanted more information on it, but none could be summoned. The apple industry simply responded with one study ‘that detected three unknown chemicals on DPA-treated apples, but it could not determine if any of these chemicals, apparently formed when the DPA broke down, were nitrosamines.’
“British scientists, John Barnes and Peter Magee, in 1956, reported that dimethylnitrosamine produced liver tumors in rats, and later went on to test other nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds. They found that the compounds caused all kinds of problems, including liver cancer, lung cancer, and even botulism.”4
Many of our foods also contain known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals such as bisphenol A, bromates, phthalates, bovine growth hormone, and vinyl chloride. The efficiency of our general chemistry, including our metabolic calorie-burning chemistry, is dependent upon the efficiency of the chemistry in our foods. In simple terms, a machine is only as good as its fuel. In order to support our miracle machine’s efficient burning of calories, we must first ensure that the fuel we feed it is of the highest nature.
The WHD emphasizes that all foods are classified as either toxic, neutral, or medicinal. One of the most important first steps of the WHD journey is to eliminate toxic foods, reduce neutral foods, and increase the more beneficial medicinal foods. To keep things simple, there are four major classifications of toxic foods:
1. POISONOUS FOODS:
Any food that is not classified as USDA organic, free range, and wild
2. JUNK FOODS:
Processed sugars and high-sugar products (including candies, cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, and soft drinks)
Processed, high-starch products (including crackers, pretzels, and chips)
Fast food (including commercial hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza)
High-fat foods (including cream soups, condiments, gravies, cream sauces, and toppings)
3. FERMENTED FOODS. Before going on to the fermented food list, we should have a brief discussion about fermented foods. At present, many people are encouraging the use of fermented foods, pointing to their well-noted health claims. Advocates note that fermented foods, because of their ability to produce an abundance of healthy, living enzymes and beneficial bacteria in the body, were a natural part of our ancestors’ diets and supported their health and longevity. I feel it’s very important to understand that all foods have dual properties. That is, every food under the sun is representative of both yin and yang simultaneously. By this I mean that every food—not unlike every person and every other dynamic living thing in the world—possesses the potential to produce both good and bad results. The downside of fermented foods is that they can, in some cases, increase bloating, gas, single-cell bacteria buildup in the intestines, and yeast infections. It depends upon who’s consuming them. The WHD emphasizes that, unlike us, our ancestors weren’t weaned on high concentrations of sugar, yeasted bread, pizza, baked goods, marinades, condiments, processed vinegars, beer, wine, and champagne. Therefore, their ability to tolerate limited amounts of “natural” fermentation was far greater than ours today. Their bodies, much cleaner than ours, were better able to benefit from the positive, healthy aspects of clean fermentation.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve worked with over the years who lost incredible amounts of weight, but still looked like they were overweight because of bloating around the midsection from too much fermentation in the gut. When you work that hard to lose weight, you shouldn’t have to contend with what I call “belly puff.” So let’s take a look at the fermented-food list:
Mushrooms, morels, truffles
Vinegars and marinades
Nuts and seeds
Beer, wine, and champagne
Fermented soy (including miso, tempeh, tamari, and soy sauce)
Aged cheeses (especially blue, Limburger, cheddar, Parmesan, and Asiago)
People are often confused by this list of fermented foods to avoid. Melons themselves are not fermented, but because they contain such a high concentration of water and are grown so close to the ground, they’re inclined to produce mold. Consuming an abundance of high-mold foods increases one’s likelihood of intestinal bloat from fungal proliferation in the intestines.
4. INFLAMMATORY FOODS. It’s important to keep in mind that the word “inflammation” no longer merely refers to achy joints. We now know that inflammation refers to a process in which dietary fats from foods are transformed into bad eicosanoids—hormones capable of turning on disease gene switches. Many experts now believe that inflammation is responsible for nearly 75 percent of all diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. The most important point regarding inflammatory foods and weight loss is that inflammatory foods drive up the ratio of bad to good eicosanoids in the body. This dramatically increases the likelihood of fat storage. Let’s have a look at the inflammatory foods list:
Nuts, especially peanuts (but see note below)
Most vegetable oils (except for olive and flaxseed)
Processed sugars and high starches
Let’s take a minute to clear up any confusion regarding nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, which are generally not listed as inflammatory. Almonds are typically categorized as a neutral food, while walnuts are considered anti-inflammatory. Following the lead of Whole Health, the WHD underscores the point that because fat represents the most vital nutrient in nuts, nature places them in a protective shell. The shell protects the prized, nutrient-rich fats in nuts from heat and moisture. Overexposure to high heat makes fats susceptible to potentially disease-causing free-radical peroxides, and moisture makes them susceptible to a mutation-triggering single-cell fungus. Thus, by removing the shells from nuts to make them more consumer friendly, the food industry is unwittingly increasing their inflammatory potential. So as you can see, once exposed to heat and/or moisture, anti-inflammatory nuts like walnuts can go from anti-inflammatory to inflammatory.
Do Not Trust the Food Industry!
Even as I write this, the food industry is feverishly at work trying to find new ways to hijack our brain chemistry and program us for addiction. Companies now employ an army of chemists, physicists, and neuroscientists who are contracted for the express purpose of engineering their foods to have the capability of stimulating our brain’s reward center (nucleus accumbens), to ensure that we keep going back for more. They’re researching ways to create the perfect blend of salt, sugar, fat, and additives to produce negative changes in heart rate and blood pressure that can only be stabilized by eating more. Most processed foods are now being flavored, textured, shaped, and sized to affect our brain’s pleasure centers. This futuristic science has given rise to a whole new lexicon, as they evaluate foods for “mouth feel,” “maximum bite force,” “sensory specific satiety,” and “the art of more-ish-ness.” Their ultimate goal is to help us reach what they call “the bliss point.” The industry now salaams to the mantra that “satiety is the enemy of food products.”
Former industry executive Bruce Bradley, who spent fifteen years at General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco working with some of the world’s top scientists, one day discovered that he simply couldn’t do it anymore. He has openly admitted that there were times he felt uncomfortable and troubled by what he was doing. He started to think about the products he was developing and how consumers were being chemically manipulated by them. He began to feel guilty about how his work was likely contributing to rising obesity trends and health problems. He now writes a blog critical of the food industry.
Make no mistake about it: they are now fully committed to proliferating generations of addicted consumers. Once they have us hooked, the mere sight of their product packaging will trigger our cravings. The food industry clearly has no conscience. Its chicanery is destined to dramatically increase the rate of food addiction in this country. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that addictive overeating contributes mightily to obesity, which leads to heart disease and diabetes, which ultimately lead to untimely death. Any way you look at it, the food industry is getting away with murder.
Avoid Nonorganic Foods
We’ve all had those moments in life that we won’t soon forget. I experienced one such occasion with my entire family many years ago. We’d just enjoyed a glorious family day at the beach, and we were all preparing dinner together in the kitchen. While dicing up bell peppers, my wife decided to take a little nibble. Within ten seconds of ingesting a small chunk of bell pepper, her throat began to close up. The entire family panicked, and what was a nice moment together had suddenly become an alarming experience. Fortunately, the ambulance arrived in the nick of time. She was attended to and stabilized within a matter of minutes. The cause of all this life-threatening mayhem was toxic pesticide exposure. This experience was a lesson for us all. It is truly astounding to think that such an innocent moment could be swiftly turned into a tragedy because of potentially life-threatening chemicals added to food.
I’m continually amazed at the number of patients I meet with who are still not completely sold on the idea of eating organic. Most point to the added expense, when they should be looking at the negative health potentials of eating nonorganic. Not only do nonorganic foods pose a threat to the immune system, but mounting research confirms that they may impair metabolism as well.
Most nonorganic foods are toxically laden with pesticides like malathion, diazinon, parathion, and chlorpyrifos. These pesticides are now referred to as obesogens. The term “obesogen” refers to an endocrine-disrupting chemical, or EDC, that leads to weight gain—and weight-gain-related diseases. They are also commonly found in food packaging plastics and additives. These obesogens mimic human hormones by disrupting the programming of stem cells so that they become fat cells, and by altering natural gene function. In so doing, they create severe glandular imbalances, disrupting the body’s ability to regulate weight. In short, obesogenic pesticides common to nonorganic foods make us fat.
Every day, the average American is exposed to up to thirteen pesticides. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found that animals exposed to pesticides tend to have higher levels of fat cell formation and are generally more likely to gain weight later in life. The research team believes the same holds true for humans.5 Similarly, a recent human study showed that the adult daughters of women who were exposed to the highest levels of DDT during their childbearing years were found to be twenty pounds heavier on average than the daughters of women who had the lowest exposure levels.6 The causal connection to all this weight-gain-causing endocrine disruption appears to be thyroid deficiency.
As covered on nbcnews.com, “Researchers have noted a link between organochlorine pesticides and impaired thyroid function. According to the Endocrine Society’s 2009 report on EDCs, changes in thyroid function can result in metabolic effects. Indeed, the authors of a 2009 Thyroid Research article cited hypothyroidism, a symptom of which can be weight gain, as a possible effect of organochlorines on the thyroid.
“The authors of a study in the journal BioScience found that tributyltin, a fungicide, activates components in human cells known as retinoid X receptors, which are part of the metabolic pathway necessary for fat-cell formation. They also found that tributyltin causes the growth of fat cells in mice exposed to it. Although tributyltin is no longer used on crops, experts suspect that a similar compound still used on produce, called fenbutatin, is at least as potent.
“The authors of a recent study in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology note that organophosphates and carbamates, two common classes of pesticides, cause obesity in animals.”7
One recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology established a connection between an increased risk of thyroid disease and exposure to pesticides among women. The study looked at North Carolina and Iowa women who were married to men who routinely used pesticides like aldrin, DDT, and lindane in their work. The researchers found that these women were at a significantly higher risk of developing thyroid conditions than were women in nonagricultural areas. Of the 16,500 wives studied, over 12 percent were ultimately diagnosed with thyroid disease, compared to between 1 and 8 percent of the population at large.8 The nonprofit group Beyond Pesticides reports that some 60 percent of the pesticides commonly in use today have been shown to affect the human thyroid gland’s production of T3 and T4 hormones.9
The good news is that experts say we can reduce our pesticide exposure by nearly 80 percent simply by choosing organic versions of the twelve fruits and vegetables shown in tests to contain the highest pesticide load. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group has termed them the Dirty Dozen. In order of highest to lowest pesticide load, they are: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and potatoes. The group also lists what they call the Clean Fifteen, those conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide residue: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.10
Detoxify Your Produce
One antidote to all this toxic pesticide exposure is to become a better label reader and to purchase only USDA organic food. If you feel you can’t afford organic foods or if for some reason you don’t have access, the WHD offers a simple, helpful solution. Purchase two sixteen-ounce spray bottles from your neighborhood hardware store and fill each with fifteen ounces of tap water. In one bottle, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and in the other bottle add one teaspoon of baking soda. Label them both and keep them readily available. Next, a natural bristle brush and a colander are needed. Simply spray produce first with the cider vinegar solution and follow that with the baking soda solution. Finally, brush the produce briskly, place in the colander, and rinse with cold tap water. This simple procedure will both cleanse and neutralize many of the insecticide residues and poisons that coat your fresh produce. Even though there are a number of other methods, I’ve always found this one to be the simplest and most convenient.
Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
Like many, I am of the belief that food is medicine. I can remember back to the 1976 McGovern Senate subcommittee’s groundbreaking diet and human needs findings. After having heard testimony from 1,100 of the world’s most respected doctors and researchers from eight different countries, the subcommittee stated in its findings that we could prevent 30 percent of all cancer, heart disease, and diabetes-related deaths with diet alone. This was the first government-organized, taxpayer-funded program that clearly established that nutrition is indeed a viable form of preventive medicine.
Nowadays, millions of Americans are eating more fruits and vegetables and low-fat soy products to improve their health and prevent disease, but most of us do not fully understand the complexities of such a task. The food you’re eating today is not your grandmother’s food. In fact, most of what you’re eating has been genetically altered.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) are those whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques—generally known as “recombinant DNA technology”—use DNA from different sources that are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This newly formed DNA is then transferred into living organisms, providing them with a modified genetic structure. In short, this is an experiment in manipulating DNA to create novel proteins. To most, this would seem like an exercise fraught with peril, but proponents have a different view.
The world population is over seven billion, and it’s predicted to increase by 50 percent over the next fifty years. GMO advocates, like the Monsanto Company, insist that the genetic engineering of food will ensure an adequate food supply for the world’s booming population. They also underscore the GMO benefits of pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, freeze tolerance, and drought tolerance. While the technology of genetic modification has its advocates, many people are gravely concerned about the potential of human health risks. Questions have been raised about cancer, allergies, unknown immune effects, and ecological oversight.
The Monsanto Company is a U.S.-based, multinational, agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and provides the technology for 90 percent of the world’s GEO seeds. Over the past three decades Monsanto has been on a fast track to genetically modify and patent the world’s crops. The company first announced its intentions to insert genetically modified organisms from viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, and even humans into the DNA of crops and animals in 1983. Monsanto is also positioning itself to buy up all the world’s available heirloom seeds with the aim of controlling the world’s food supply.
Currently, 90 percent of our soy, 88 percent of our corn, and 80 percent of all processed foods on our supermarket shelves are genetically modified. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are over forty plant varieties for which companies have fulfilled federal requirements for genetic commercialization. Monsanto is not alone in this exploit. Its vision is shared by many other companies, large and small, worldwide. A company from Massachusetts called AquaBounty is presently working on genetically modifying salmon to speed up the growth cycle in order to get it to market faster.
Proponents of this technology are often quick to point out that only nine foods are currently being genetically modified full scale: soy, corn, cottonseed oil, canola oil, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, zucchini, and summer squash. However, truth be told, genetic modification is seeping into our food supply by an array of other means.
Many of us are being exposed to GMOs via dairy, beef, poultry, and pork livestock feed. Most of our food additives, flavor enhancers, excipients (bulking agents), binders, and fillers are also genetically modified. As if that’s not enough, many of our alcoholic beverages, baked goods, and juices are also genetically modified. Perhaps most disappointing of all, 99 percent of vitamin C and most of our vitamin E in virtually all of our gel-coated vitamins are now genetically modified. Big Pharma’s also gotten into the act. In 2012, the FDA approved the first GMO prescription medicine, Elelyso, which was developed to treat an enzyme deficiency condition called Gaucher. The replacement enzymes provided by Elelyso are derived from GMO carrots. There are a host of other GMO pharmaceuticals about to appear on the scene. The scientific journal Nature recently published a report on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stating that GMO medicines, or “biologicals,” are potentially twice as dangerous as the average pharmaceutical drug.11 This is especially disturbing when you consider that currently, one hundred thousand Americans are killed and three million are hospitalized because of the negative side effects of prescription drugs each year. Genetic modification is becoming insidious in our foods, as it’s showing up just about everywhere.
Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH, also called rBST) is being injected into cows in order to increase milk production. Milk from those cows treated with growth hormone contains significantly higher levels (up to ten times) of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). IGF-1 has been linked to a sevenfold increased risk for breast cancer among premenopausal women under the age of fifty and a fourfold increased risk for prostate cancer among men, as well as generally increased risks for colon and lung cancers.12
A number of other studies have demonstrated that GMOs may pose serious risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immunosuppression, environmental pollution, and genetic contamination. The first long-term study of the effects of GMOs, performed at the University of Caen in France, found that genetically modified foods consistently caused large tumors in animals. Additional French studies discovered that three varieties of Monsanto GMO corn were linked to kidney and liver damage in rats.13 A 2009 Russian study linked GMO soy to sterility, birth defects, and growth and reproduction problems in animals.14 Over the past thirty years, I’ve counseled tens of thousands of patients, many with serious health conditions rooted in serious food allergies. Once a patient identifies and avoids using an allergenic food, his or her health generally tends to improve significantly. I’ve seen patients diagnosed with serious diseases who went on to experience complete recovery—and the first step was discontinuing their use of toxic, allergenic foods. Now with so many unlabeled GMO foods in play, the whole game’s been changed.
The industry is genetically inserting such a wide variety of foods and organisms into so many of the foods we eat, without labeling, that it’s becoming virtually impossible to avoid potential symptoms. Suppose, for example, you’re allergic to a specific species of North Atlantic fish. Over millennia, that fish has developed genes that protect it from freezing to death in frigid waters. The GMO food industry might well be attracted to the prospect of isolating the “antifreeze” genes from that fish, for the purposes of inserting them into something like strawberries to protect them from freeze damage. This may be great for the grower, but not for you. You eat the strawberries and before long you’re on your way to the emergency room. Moreover, the ER doctors will never know what’s causing your inflammatory, anaphylactic reaction, because there was no labeling on the cross-contaminated berries you just ate.
To date, Congress has not passed any legislation to protect you, the consumer, and your family from such potential disaster, and the FDA has imposed no safety testing requirements. When it comes to GMO technology, there is not a single safety standard required of the food industry. According to a recent national poll, 91 percent of the American public don’t want to eat genetically modified food. The problem is, there are no guidelines in place to assist consumers in their attempts to avoid purchasing GMO foods.
The agribusiness industry continues to push against the idea of voluntary GMO labeling. It supports a more free market approach to product labeling. Consumer groups, however, believe that people simply have the right to know. They support efforts for a mandatory labeling plan.
Currently, the FDA’s outdated position on GMO labeling is governed by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which contends only with food additives. The FDA takes the position that there is no appreciable difference between GMO and non-GMO foods. In order for foods to be labeled as GMO and non-GMO, Congress would be forced to engage in a behemoth bureaucratic effort that would demand sweeping changes in the present food labeling policy. There are also important questions regarding how to determine acceptable limits as well as effective detection.
That said, every consumer should know these all-important guidelines. Don’t count on any “All Natural” labels; they offer the consumer virtually no protection whatsoever! Also, don’t count on the “Made with Organic Ingredients” label. This label indicates only that the food in question is required to be 70 percent organic. The “Contains Organic Ingredients” label means exactly the same thing. Look for the USDA Organic seal. Only foods that are 95 to 100 percent organic and GMO-free can bear this label.
There are also important environmental questions that must be answered. Environmental activists, public interest groups, religious organizations, and green lobbies have all raised concerns regarding GMO agribusiness from the standpoint of potential hazardous toxins, environmental concerns, and conservational risks. There have been a number of studies that have correlated insect and other species extinction with GMO technology. Most noteworthy here is the recent controversial research that implicates GMO corn pollen in monarch butterfly/caterpillar extinction.
The problem of gene transfer to nontarget species is also of growing concern. Crops engineered for herbicide tolerance have interbred with weeds, resulting in “superweeds” that have drawn a good deal of recent legal attention in a rash of newly filed farmer lawsuits against Monsanto. While the farmers cry foul about the cross-pollination nightmare, Monsanto has gone on the offensive, claiming that these farmers have obtained Monsanto-licensed seeds from an unknown source, for which it claims they have failed to pay royalties. The GMO wars rage on.
Regardless of your position on GMO foods, there should be no doubt that the consumer deserves to be better supported by a government that claims to be “for the people.” We the people deserve to be better informed with proper GMO labeling. Let the buyer beware, but first arm buyers with the facts as to exactly what they are purchasing. If GMO is a consumer-safe technology, then there should be nothing to hide.
According to a number of recent studies, genetically modified foods may contribute to weight gain and obesity. A recent comparative analysis of animal blood and organ systems data showed that rats that were fed GMO corn experienced an increase in overall body weight of about 3.7 percent, with an increase in liver weight of approximately 11 percent.15 In another study, Norwegian researchers fed one group of rats genetically modified corn while another group was fed GMO-free corn. After only ninety days, the rats that were fed the GMO corn grew much fatter and developed much bigger appetites than the non-GMO-fed rats. The researchers repeated the same experiment, but they replaced the rats with mice, fish, and snakes, and were surprised to find that they ended up with the exact same results.16 Researchers from the nations of Austria, Hungary, Ireland, Turkey, and Australia participated in the study, while the United States was not represented.
The WHD emphasizes the point that a number of studies continue to demonstrate that GMO foods are linked to weight gain and obesity. Consider the fact that nutrition is a biochemical game of pitch and catch. Whenever we eat, foods and nutrients are “pitched” into our bodies. We have chemical receptors and enzymes that will then “catch,” or absorb and assimilate them. Common sense suggests that those little nutrient “catcher’s mitts” in our bodies were designed from millions of years of genetic evolution, and that over that period of time they became accustomed to catching the same foods and nutrients as have always been provided by nature. Suddenly, out of the blue, they’re being asked to recognize and catch something that they’ve never seen before. Now the foods and nutrients they have to contend with have undergone such a genetic makeover, the old game of pitch and catch has likely been changed forever. And if our bodies cannot recognize, absorb, and assimilate foods, then they are more likely to simply store them. Also, it’s not just a case of weight gain caused by genetic confusion. It’s also a case of poor food generally meaning more food.
According to a recent landmark study, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data on forty-three different vegetables and fruits and found reliable declines in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B2, and vitamin C over the past half century.17 This is believed to be due to the fact that genetically modified crops are being bred for higher yields. The more food we are pressed to produce within shorter windows of time, the less efficient or lower the nutrient concentrations. The lower the nutrient concentrations, the more our bodies have to consume in order to make up the difference. If you wish to keep your calorie count from going up, you’ll have to put the GMO foods down!
Avoid High-Fructose Corn Syrup
The current processing of our food is creating metabolic mayhem. It’s becoming very clear that our overweight and obesity epidemic is directly related to our toxic food. Most of our processed foods today contain high concentrations of bioengineered high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a proven metabolic saboteur. Composed of over 50 percent fructose, HFCS is said to be over 70 percent hidden from us—that is to say, it’s been given a variety of different chemical names to hide behind. So, when reading food labels, if you see names like maize syrup, glucose syrup, glucose/fructose syrup, tapioca syrup, roasted dahlia syrup, fruit fructose, or crystalline fructose, then run the other way! Many experts estimate that the average American today consumes up to sixty pounds of HFCS per year. Not so coincidentally, since HFCS first appeared in the standard American diet, obesity rates have tripled and diabetes has increased sevenfold. The primary reason for its likely contribution is that high-fructose corn syrup contains free-form monosaccharides of fructose and glucose, which represent a fructose-glucose bond that dramatically slows its metabolic breakdown in the body. This means a nightmare weight loss metabolism. Fructose is delivered directly to the liver. The high concentrations of this poorly assimilated sugar ultimately sabotage the liver’s efforts to perform the all-important function of anaerobic glycolysis, resulting in a slowing down of metabolism and a higher rate of fat storage.
According to a study published online in February 2010 in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, a Princeton University research team demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than counterparts who were given access to table sugar. Both groups consumed the same amount of total calories. The researchers also noted that the rats fed high-fructose corn syrup also experienced highly abnormal increases in body fat, especially around the abdomen, from high concentrations of circulating triglyceride blood fats. One of the researchers, Bart Hoebel, who is a psychology professor and a specialist in the neuroscience of appetite, weight, and sugar addiction, went on to say, “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests. When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese—every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”18 A second study was conducted by the same research team and similar results were found. The animals who were given access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a diet free of the substance.
Avoid Trans Fat
When it comes to dietary needs, there is no fat that poses a greater threat to our health than trans fat, or trans-fatty acids (TFAs). Trans fat has been shown to raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. This deadly combination dramatically increases the risk of heart disease. TFAs are produced through a process called hydrogenation, in which hydrogen molecules are added to vegetable oils to extend their shelf life. Once again, the food industry has found a way to protect its investment at the cost of our health. The extra hydrogen molecule that’s added to these fats may prevent spoilage, but it also has a way of confusing the human body, which is unable to detect the unnatural molecule, as it’s only designed to recognize natural fats. Thus, the body doesn’t fully break down these processed fats, which then remain stuck in the arteries and all around the heart. Unfortunately, most of the foods that are highest in TFAs tend to be favorite kid foods. Among those foods highest in TFAs are cookies, cakes, pies, crackers, doughnuts, and french fries. And if you think you’re safe by reading labels, guess again. For example, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the food label is legally permitted to read “0 g.” Thus, if a person were to consume multiple servings of products that are said to contain zero grams of trans fat, he or she could still actually exceed safe recommended limits. The key when reading labels is to search for the term “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” This is the only way to identify the presence of trans fat in a product. The word “partially” is very important. Avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils. This might seem a little confusing, but if the label reads “fully” or “completely” hydrogenated oil, it doesn’t contain trans fat.
Avoid Toxic BPA Plastics
Many of our drinking water bottles and leftover food storage containers are made of plastics that contain bisphenol A (BPA). The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences considers BPA research a high priority because of its demonstrated potential for adverse effects. BPA is a toxic faux estrogen and an endocrine disrupter, and a number of animal and human cross-sectional studies have shown that it increases appetite, slows metabolism, causes weight gain, and contributes to insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction, and obesity. The WHD advises that you replace all your plastic, carbon-based drinking water bottles and food storage containers with glass, ceramic, and stainless steel alternatives. Klean Kanteen water bottles are among the best options for the safe, affordable storage of your drinking water. An 18 ounce bottle is generally priced at around twenty dollars.
The WHD Nutrition Primer (Clean and Healthy Eating)
Now that your pantry, cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer are all safe and clean, we can get ready to move on to the WHD basic diet design, but just before we do, we’ll need to get our nutritional bearings with the WHD primer.
Proteins. The word “protein” comes from the Greek word for “primary.” I often refer to proteins as the body’s department of public works, because their primary responsibility is to build, regulate, and repair. As we repair, we offset aging. Therefore, quality dietary proteins are essential for longevity. As dermatologist Nicholas Perricone writes, “The building blocks of our cells are composed of amino acids. As protein is digested, it breaks down into amino acids that are then used by the cells to repair themselves. Without adequate protein, our bodies enter into an accelerated aging mode. Our muscles, organs, bones, cartilage, skin, and the antibodies that guard us from disease are all made of protein. Even the enzymes that facilitate all-important chemical reactions, from digestion to building cells, are made of protein. This simple fact of life can change the way you look beginning with your next meal. If your cells do not have complete availability of all essential amino acids, cellular repair will not only be incomplete but also will be much slower than it should be.”19
Proteins are made up of amino acids, catalysts that activate, direct, and energize cells. In all, there are twenty amino acids. The human body produces only eleven of them; therefore, nine amino acids that are considered essential for human health need to come from outside sources. The building block amino acids that make up proteins represent a primary reason why proteins burn calories and carbohydrates generate fat. A number of studies show that amino acids are essential for metabolic management and weight loss. Among the most important weight loss amino acids are L-tyrosine (which supports healthy thyroid function), L-phenylalanine (which helps the brain to regulate appetite), and L-carnitine (which mobilizes fats from a storing to a burning mode). A balanced intake of quality proteins is an essential component to a fit, healthy diet plan.
Carbohydrates. Whereas proteins are responsible for building and repairing, carbohydrates provide fuel. The rate at which different carbohydrates provide the body with fuel is very important when it comes to healthy eating. Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel in the form of sugar. Some provide immediate fuel, while others provide a gradual release. The quicker a carbohydrate releases fuel (sugar), the more the body is inclined to store the remainder as fat. The slower a carbohydrate releases fuel, the less the body is inclined to store fat.
According to a report in Time,“New research suggests that it’s the overconsumption of carbohydrates, sugars, and sweeteners that is chiefly responsible for the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Refined carbohydrates, like those in wheat bread, hidden sugar, low-fat crackers, and pasta, cause changes in our blood chemistry that encourage the body to store the calories as fat and intensify hunger, making it much more difficult to lose weight.”20 Dietary fat has been a focus of human health for nearly seventy years, but we’ve only recently implicated carbohydrates.
The world has long been convinced that fewer calories, less fat consumption, and more exercise are the three simple keys to weight loss and heart health. From the 1950s until the mid-1980s, thanks in large part to the research of army doctor Ancel Keys, saturated fat and cholesterol consumption had been tagged as the leading causes of weight gain, obesity, and heart disease. We now know that fat is not the demon. Nutritional science has since discovered that 80 percent of the cholesterol in the human body is manufactured by the liver, triggered by the body’s production of insulin that results from sugar and processed starch consumption. The key message here is: if you want to lose weight and lower your risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, you need to cautiously monitor your carbohydrate consumption.
The WHD reminds us that there are two types of carbohydrates: low starch and high starch. Low-starch carbohydrates are best represented by low-sugar vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and zucchini. First of all, yes, vegetables are carbohydrates! But due to the fact that these carbohydrates are low in sugar, they don’t tend to be stored as fat. High-starch carbohydrates, on the other hand, are stored as fat. High-starch carbs, such as carrots, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals, and breads, contain a higher concentration of sugar than do low-starch carbs; therefore, they store as fat at a significantly higher rate. A diet that’s low in fat but high in starch carbohydrates is a diet that’s high in fat storage. So, the lesson with carbohydrates is that it’s not just what’s on the plate, it’s what it converts to once it’s in the body. This is important when it comes to fruits as well.
It seems the whole world is of the opinion that fruits can do no wrong. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, fruits generally appear to be perfect foods for superior nutrition. But, truth be told, some fruits are major contributors to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Not unlike vegetables, fruits also fall into two categories: low-sugar and high-sugar fruits. Low-sugar fruits, like blackberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, and mangoes, contain only about six to eight grams of sugar per serving (¾ cup). Once again, as with low-starch vegetables, low-sugar fruits tend to be stored significantly less as fat. High-sugar fruits, like oranges, pineapples, pears, bananas, and raisins, on the other hand, store as fat at a much higher rate.
Fats. Dietary fats are a form of stored energy. Too much fat-energy storage leads to an overweight condition, obesity, and heart disease. Interestingly enough, it takes a certain amount of healthy fat to burn unwanted stored fats. There are good fats and there are bad fats. Saturated fat, trans fat, and rancid fat are among the unhealthiest of all food sources. Unhealthy, stored body fats are readily burned and converted into fuel within our cellular mitochondria, but only when healthy, essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are abundant in the body.
EFAs are considered essential because we cannot naturally synthesize them on our own. We can obtain them only from proper nutrition. Two of these fatty acids are considered essential for human health: alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid). These two all-important essential fatty acids, often referred to as “vitamin F,” form eicosanoid hormones that regulate immunity, inflammation, mood, behavior, and cell communication. In addition, essential fatty acids have been shown to suppress appetite and to increase metabolic function in the body by blocking genes that produce and store bad fats. Moreover, there is one form of essential omega-6 fatty acid naturally formed from a bacterium of meat and dairy products via an enzyme process called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown in a number of studies to help increase lean body mass while decreasing body fat.
One such study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed at the University of North Carolina and published in the Journal of Nutrition. This study found that supplementation with 6.4 grams of CLA per day for twelve weeks increased lean body mass among obese adult subjects.21
In another study, performed by the Scandinavian Clinical Research Group and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, CLA supplementation was proven to assist in lipid reduction, as one group of overweight women lost 9 percent of their body fat in one year.22
There is also an omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid, called palmitoleic acid, that’s often referred to as the “essential nonessential fatty acid.” Omega-7 fatty acid may be found in freshwater fish, macadamia nuts, and sea buckthorn berries and is purported to have numerous skin and health benefits. Omega-7 fatty acids are best known for their unsurpassed support for cholesterol reduction and weight loss metabolism.
The WHD—Basic Design
It’s important to mention that this section of the book is intended to present you with the basic WHD design. Chapter 6 provides all the details of the WHD’s Electromagnetic Muscle Testing (EMT) and Acutrition systems, which will teach you how to customize your very own personalized diet, enabling you to fully maximize your metabolic and nutritional energies. Remember, as you read the following pages, that this is only the basic diet design. As you will clearly see in chapter 6, the WHD is the anti–one-size-fits-all plan.
Before outlining the basic design, it’s important to keep in mind that the WHD is based on tens of thousands of successful private, corporate, and group weight loss consultations performed over the past three decades. And while there may be hundreds of weight loss theories and philosophies, few have been as successfully time-tested.
Please remember that all foods must be exclusively USDA organic, free range, and wild!
The WHD basic diet design might generally be described as a predominantly lean-protein, low-starch-vegetable, and low-sugar-fruit plan. The program is generally composed of three ¾-cup servings of protein, three ¾-cup servings of low-starch vegetables, two ½-cup servings of low-sugar fruit, one ¾-cup serving of high-starch carbohydrates, 3 tablespoons of monounsaturated oil, and 60 ounces of pure water per day.
Let’s take a closer look at a sample day of general WHD eating:
BREAKFAST: Omelet (five egg whites) with ¾ cup low-starch vegetables; or a smoothie blend of two scoops of egg white protein (or brown rice protein powder), 10 ounces organic coconut milk, and ½ cup low-sugar fruit.
MIDMORNING: ½ cup berries, papaya, peaches, nectarines, and/or fresh apricots.
LUNCH: ½ cup poultry, wild fish, or organic beans with ¾ cup organic salad or low-starch vegetables. (If salad, dress with 2 tablespoons organic olive oil and lemon juice only.)
MIDAFTERNOON: Repeat midmorning snack.
DINNER: ½ cup wild fish, poultry, or beans, with ¾ cup low-starch vegetables, steamed.
EVENING: Try to avoid eating after dinner. Allow for twelve hours between the last bite of dinner and the first bite of breakfast.
WHOLE HEALTH DIETERS MAY CHOOSE FROM ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STARCH OPTIONS TO EAT AT ANY ONE MEAL OF THE DAY: ¾ cup brown rice, brown rice pasta, quinoa, quinoa pasta, or baked white or sweet potato; or two slices of gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free bread.
LOW- TO MEDIUM-SUGAR FRUIT LIST: apples, fresh apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, guavas, raspberries, strawberries, papayas, peaches, and nectarines.
A NOTE ABOUT FRUITS: High-sugar fruits are four to six times higher in sugar than low-sugar fruits. High-sugar fruits convert to and store as fats more readily than low-sugar fruits.
FATS: 2 tablespoons of either extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grape-seed oil, or flaxseed oil per day.
PREFERABLE SWEETENERS: 1 teaspoon of manuka honey or rice syrup, or 6 drops of liquid stevia per day.
SPICES: Basil, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and turmeric. (Limit the use of salt and pepper.)
A NOTE ABOUT SPICES: Researchers at the National Institute on Aging developed a unit of measurement for antioxidants called the ORAC value (for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity”). In 2006 researchers at the USDA used the ORAC factor as a means to evaluate hundreds of common foods and spices for their antioxidant values. Eight of the top ten highest-antioxidant foods were berries and beans. The single highest food was wild black raspberries, which totaled 19,671 ORAC points. Meanwhile ¼ teaspoon ground cloves totaled 290,283 points! The average serving of spice was ten to twenty times higher than the most antioxidant-rich foods. When it comes to building up your disease-preventing antioxidant factor, organic spices are equally, if not more, important than food and nutritional supplementation.
BEVERAGES: 60 ounces of pure water per day (distilled or reverse-osmosis treated, with maximum 50 ppm total dissolvable solids), coconut water, herb teas, freshly made juices, and/or coconut milk.
ADULT BEVERAGES: Unflavored top-shelf vodka (Chopin, Tito’s) with effervescent mineral water and lime; tequila (Don Julio, Patrón). Do not exceed two drinks, two nights a week.