Choose the Best Way of Eating for You

How you eat is so important for your health that some prominent functional medicine practitioners have claimed that a good enough diet would prevent all disease. I think they’re getting a little carried away but the point is, eating in a way that is really healthy for your body is one of the primary pillars of your health. The problem is, no one can say what that best diet is. Because of different genetic make-ups and environmental demands, the best diet for you is highly personalized. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

How do you find the diet that works the best for you? I suggest you choose one of two main strategies.

1.      Since most of the major diets that have gained traction on the world stage are research-based and time-tested, look at several of them and pick one that appeals to you…and then stick to it come Hell or high water. Use the Seven Tools, especially Rule Number One and the Three ‘A’s, to deal with any feelings that come up, such as deprivation or urges to emotionally eat. Recent studies trying to find the best diet for people with type II diabetes revealed that all the diets tested worked and all of them didn’t work. The determining factor was adherence. So, most any sensible diet will work for you if you stick to it. Practicing the Seven Tools of Healing is a reliable way to get to know yourself well on deeper and deeper levels. The practice also enables you to use your feelings as messengers for how you are working inside instead of as automatic determinants of your eating and other behaviors. Because of this, when you practice the Seven Tools of Healing along with your diet, your chances of sticking to it go up. Some diets you might consider include

a.      The Paleo diet

b.      The ketogenic diet

c.      The Ornish diet

d.      Weight watchers

e.      The Pericone prescription

f.       The plant paradox diet (low lectins)

g.      The Mediterranean diet

h.      The specific carbohydrate diet

i.       A low histamine diet

j.       There are many more diets designed to address specific issues. See if there is one for yours.

2.      The second strategy, and this is the one that allows you to personalize your diet as much as possible, is to learn to listen clearly and carefully to your body about what it wants you to eat and then try your best to give it that. Then listen again in half an hour to see how you feel because you ate that. Over time, this strategy helps you develop very good listening skills, which can be applied to listening to your body in the many different ways it talks to you, and it helps you develop the ability to discern your higher-interest voice from your saboteur voice. (Because they can sound very much alike.) This one skill alone can keep you out of a lot of trouble.

Please take the time to find the best way of eating for you. Your efforts will pay you dividends for years and years to come.

Corporate Hijinks Cost Millions of Lives

Recent evidence found in library archives proves that, in the Sixties, the sugar industry paid top-ranking nutrition experts at Harvard Medical School, to do an exhaustive literature review and prove that sugar had nothing to do with heart disease. The experts did as they were paid and the review was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.

This review swayed the entire research community away from sugar and toward fats as the culprit. So, for the last fifty years, cardiovascular research has focused almost exclusively on the role of fats and cholesterol on the development of hardening of the arteries; and the pharmaceutical industry has focused on fat and cholesterol lowering drugs.

The food industry, meanwhile, has focused on low fat foods, often replacing the fat with sugar. Just what the sugar industry wanted.

So, now we have an epidemic of diabetes while heart disease is still the number one killer in our society with strokes, also caused by hardening of the arteries, running at third. (All cancers put together is second.)

Back in the Sixties, studies linking sugar to heart disease were starting to accumulate, that was what had the sugar industry worried. Their hijinks put off the truth for fifty years, but science, when done correctly, is self-correcting, and, finally, the truth about sugar is coming out.

What we now know is that it is the rate of change of sugar levels in your blood stream that causes the initial harm to the membrane that lines the inside of your arteries. Once injured, fats do get deposited under the membrane which then go on to form the arterial plaques. So it is easy to understand how fats could have been blamed, since they are what make up the plaque. But if the arterial lining doesn’t get injured in the first place, the plaques don’t form, no matter the cholesterol level.

Most integrative physicians and naturopaths have known about the sugar connection all along and now the conventional medical system is catching up. Many diabetes clinics now treat pre-diabetes and type II diabetes with a no GPS diet. That stands for no Grains, Potatoes, and Sugar diet. Those are the foods most likely to cause rapid swings in the level of blood sugar. They recommend filling in those lost calories with, you guessed it…fat. And they’re getting great results.

Think about all the people who developed heart disease and strokes over the past fifty year who maybe didn’t need to. Those kinds of corporate hijinks are still going on; some say more than ever. As government funding for research continues to get cut, private special interests are funding the research more and more. And they like to get what they pay for.

So, as a medical consumer, how can you protect yourself? After all, research is important. Researchers are required to reveal sources of research funding, but this is small protection. If the results of the research flies in the face of common sense, like the large study funded by General Mills that “proved” that sugar consumption has no influence on children’s behavior at school, or contradicts the ways of nature, you might be suspicious of it. You can always check in with your own deep inner knowing and trust what is right for you, no matter what the “experts” say. Research has shown that the people who do that are the ones who get better.

GMOs: A Bigger Picture

The topic of GMOs can bring up a lot of different responses and emotions. Many people don’t think about GMOs much, or just believe the conventional party line that they are safe and nothing to be concerned about. But anyone who thinks for themselves and looks into the issue generally gets all fired up.

I can see their point of view, but we need to approach GMOs with reason as well as emotion. The topic of GMOs is complex. There are many different ways that foods are genetically modified and different strategies have different potential health consequences. What is true for one kind of GMO may not be true for another. GMOs cannot be lumped all together as a single sound bite.

But, no matter their health consequences, we have a right to know what is in our food. GMOs should be clearly labeled, just as the protein, fat and carb contents ought to be clearly labeled. You have a right to choose what to put into your body. (Even in the current climate, you can still choose, if you are willing to do the research and shop and eat out in the right places.)

On one hand, if GMOs are as safe as Big Ag claims that they are, they ought to be able to convince us with clear, unbiased scientific studies. On the other hand, that Big Ag is so actively involved in controlling what studies get done and what studies get published, cutting off the funding for any institution that does not do their bidding, putting their executives on the boards of scientific journals and forcing the retractions of damaging studies that have been published, spending millions of dollars fighting state GMO labeling initiatives, and other such behaviors just raises the suspicions of those of us who are skeptical that we are being told the truth about GMOs.

But, like I said, GMOs are a mixed bag. For example, the first genetically engineered food product approved by the FDA in 1990 was a form of E. coli engineered to make the enzyme chymosin, which promotes the ripening of cheese. Roughly 80% of hard cheeses sold in the US are made using chymosin from these E. coli. But this is the same technology that is used to train E. coli to make human insulin. The vast majority of the insulin now used in the US comes from genetically engineered E. coli. Does using a genetically engineered enzyme in the production of cheese make the cheese more harmful to you? I would find that difficult to believe.

On the other hand, one strategy used to make corn less susceptible to soft-bodied caterpillars is to genetically engineer the corn to make Bt toxin within its tissues, so that when the caterpillar eats the corn, it dies. Bt toxin is thought to be safe for humans. In fact, farmers can spray the bacteria that make Bt toxin on their plants and still meet government criteria for being organic.

But there are two problems I see with eating corn impregnated with Bt toxin. First, Bt toxin kills the caterpillars by increasing the permeability of the membrane lining their intestines. Increased intestinal permeability is called “leaky gut syndrome” in people. It eventually leads to body-wide inflammation and the development of food allergies and auto-immune diseases. Bt toxin, by itself, probably does not cause leaky gut in humans, but it has recently been discovered that Bt toxin binds with a protein commonly found in mammalian intestines and the Bt-protein complex causes leaky gut. ( Since conventional medicine ignores food allergies and leaky gut, these influences would not be noticed in any food toxicity studies. The rate of auto-immune diseases in the US has skyrocketed since the introduction of Bt corn in the US. (Just a correlation, so far, not a proven causation.)

The second problem is that a bacterium that causes tumors in plants, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, can transfer genes into plant and human cells. It is used in genetic engineering. It is a natural bacterium in soil and in your intestines. It can move the gene that makes Bt toxin from the corn you eat to the friendly bacteria in your intestines, turning your own microbiome into a pesticide-producing factory ( Once your own friendly bacteria start making Bt toxin, how do you get them out? This may be one more cause of leaky gut syndrome and, thus, chronic inflammation.

Also, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round Up®, was first patented as an antibiotic. It kills the bacteria in the soil and in your gut. Very little is yet known about the microbiome of the soil and your intestines so, again, adverse reactions to altering these things would likely be missed in toxicology studies. Yet, all of your physical health starts with the health of the soil. And the more we learn about your gut microbiome, the more important it looks. Eating foods with glyphosate residues and spraying glyphosate-containing compounds around your yard are very likely detrimental to your health and the health of everyone else.

There are many more details about the health effects of foods with different GMO strategies, I just presented a couple for illustration.

So, some strategies for genetic engineering are probably safe and other are probably not. It is not accurate, nor wise, to lump all GMOs into one category. What is clear is that GMOs are here to stay. So we really need to get politics and corporate profits out of the way of good, unbiased science and take a clear, honest look at what we are doing to ourselves and the planet with this technology.