Gluten Intolerance & Food Sensitivities in 60 seconds….

Food Sensitivities are not the same as Food Allergies. A Food Allergy is a peanut causing anaphylaxis. A Food Sensitivity (or Intolerance) is about inflammation. It is a slow, internal process that causes global inflammation all over the body.  Inflammation causes discomfort and symptoms. It spreads to other parts of the body and destroys delicate tissues. It causes cancer.

What does this look like? Digestive Issues – people with constipation, diarrhea, and diagnosis of IBS or Crohn’s. Headaches. Fatigue. Inability to lose weight despite diet and exercise.  Any inflammatory condition (arthtiris, aching joints, and so forth). Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rashes.  Allergies (sinus infections, ear infections, sneezing, cough).

What foods would most likely cause this? Well, the “heavy hitters” of Food Sensitivities are Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar. Each of those are actually not a single item, it’s a category. Example: Gluten is actually: Barley, Brewer’s Yeast, Gliadin, Gluten, Hops, Malt, Oat, Rye, Spelt, and/or Wheat. Dairy is: Caesin, Cow’s Milk, Egg Yolk, Egg white, Goat’s Milk, Sheep’s Milk.  And if you’re thinking that you don’t even eat these items, think again. Cow’s milk is ice cream. Sheep’s milk is the primary ingredient in yogurt. Eggs are in practically anything that comes in a wrapper or box.

Why do you need a test to find all of this out? Simply because it would be extremely difficult to choose one item at a time and test it out to see if removing it makes a change. AND, if you can be sensitive/intolerant to Cow’s Milk…. Why couldn’t you be to Broccoli? Or Olive Oil? It’s not just foods that are “bad” for you – it can be anything and everything. The testing I use is the gold standard, and it even includes household chemicals, medications, herbs and supplements.

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Sweet Deceit: High-Fructose Corn Syrup

This country consumes more sweetener made from corn than from sugarcane or beets, gulping it down in soft drinks and juice, as well as in packaged foods and baked goods. Popular items like bread, spaghetti sauce, breakfast cereal, ketchup, pickles and barbecue sauce are laced with high-fructose corn syrup, the most common added sweetener today.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we consumed almost 63 pounds per person, per year of high-fructose corn syrup in 2001, and today that number has shockingly risen to 129 pounds per year.

It’s made by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing the starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose. Enzymes are then added that convert some of the glucose to fructose. Almost all nutritionists identify high-fructose corn syrup consumption as a major culprit in the nation’s obesity crisis. So why are we using so much of it?

It’s incredibly cheap! Sugar is twice as expensive as high-fructose corn syrup. The inexpensive sweetener flooded the American food supply in the early 1980s, just about the time the nation’s obesity rate started its unprecedented climb. What a coincidence!

Given how ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup has become, and the misleading television commercials funded by its producers that may have fooled some of us, some people are becoming aware and concerned about possible adverse health effects.

Researchers at Princeton University found that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. A study demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say this work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States. The steady increase of high-fructose corn syrup into our diets has effected our perception of flavor and is contributing to our overall intake of empty calories, and sugar addiction.

Other health concerns lie in the quality of the corn being used to produce the finished product. Usually high-fructose corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn that has been exposed to pesticides, which come with their own well-documented side-effects and health concerns. Yuck!

Recently, I made it my personal goal to avoid eating foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup. This plan proved much harder than I thought. Reading labels was enlightening. I found that nearly everything on the shelves of the grocery store contains some form of hfcfs, including some items labeled as “natural foods.” You’ll find it on the labels of everything from salad dressings to protein bars, even most fat-free coffee creamers have it! Eating less processed foods is an easy way to avoid it. I buy the product with the least number of ingredients and eat as much fresh, unprocessed meals as possible. Pick up the book The Whole Truth Eating and Recipe Guide by Top Chef and nutritionist Andrea Beaman.

I am challenging you to try this for a week. If you don’t decide to boycott high-fructose corn syrup completely, at least become aware of how prevalent it is and how much better off you could look and feel without it. This is one more step towards living well!

Got Organic Milk?

All mammals get nutritious milk from their mothers when they’re born. Humans grow up and swap nutrient-rich breast milk for cow’s milk.
got organic milk?
As growing children, we are encouraged to drink our milk for the calcium, with the hopes of building strong bones and later preventing osteoporosis. Our life long devotion to milk can be problematic to our health because milk contains bacteria, antibiotics, and pesticides. “A 1988 FDA survey of milk samples from grocery stores in 10 cities found that 73% of the samples contained pesticide residues.” Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 1991; 47

A high percentage of cows are infected with viruses, bacteria and other harmful toxins, which can make for unhealthy milk. Cows are commonly injected with harmful growth hormones to stimulate milk production, and elevated amounts of these have been associated with cancer in humans. We already eat the meat that comes from these animals, so by drinking their milk, we’re getting a double dose of these potentially harmful toxins.

The protein that milk provides has been shown to inhibit calcium absorption and has actually been shown to be hard to digest. Milk is also mucus producing and a common link to childhood allergies, sinus infections/congestion, skin problems, ear infections, diabetes, worsening arthritis symptoms and heart disease. As a milk substitute, I like organic rice or almond milk.

It’s true- we do need calcium. What are some other ways to get it? Try increasing your intake of high quality calcium-rich foods, like leafy green vegetables (kale, collard greens, broccoli) or add mackerel, sardines, navy beans, hazelnut and sesame seeds to your diet. Get sunshine because it gives you vitamin D, which aids in absorbing calcium. Try decreasing foods that block calcium absorption, like soda.

The bottom line when it comes to milk‒ even if you have to pay more, it’ll be worth it for both you and your family in the long run to go organic. Milk may not be as crucial to our health or strong bones as a balanced diet of good quality, chemical-free food.