Three decades ago, the food available was mostly fresh and grown locally. Today, the majority of foods served, whether at home, in school or in restaurants, are highly processed foods, filled with sugars, harmful processed fats, and chemical additives.
During that same time, obesity rates have skyrocketed, and one in five American deaths are now associated with obesity. Obesity-related deaths include those from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, dementia, and depression, as nearly all have metabolic dysfunction as a common underlying factor.
The featured1 article contains 11 telling charts and graphs, illustrating how the modern diet has led to an avalanche of chronic disease. As its author, Kris Gunnars says:
“The modern diet is the main reason why people all over the world are fatter and sicker than ever before. Everywhere modern processed foods go, chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease soon follow.”
Sugar Consumption, Especially Soda and Juices, Drives Disease Rates
Of all the dietary culprits out there, refined sugar in general, and processed fructose in particular, win top billing as the greatest destroyers of health. The amount of refined sugar in the modern diet has ballooned, with the average American now getting about 350 calories a day (equivalent to about 22 teaspoons of sugar and 25 percent of their daily calories) from added sugar.
This level of sugar consumption has definitive health consequences. One recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine,2 which examined the associations between added sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths, found that:
Among American adults, the mean percentage of daily calories from added sugar was 14.9 percent in 2005-2010
Most adults (just over 71 percent) get 10 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar
Approximately 10 percent of American adults got 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar in 2005-2010
The most common sources of added sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, and candy
According to this study, those who consume 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar are TWICE as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who get seven percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar.
Needless to say, with all this added sugar in the diet, average calorie consumption has skyrocketed as well, having increased by about 20 percent since 1970.
A primary source of all this added sugar is soda, fruit juices, and other sweetened drinks. Multiple studies have confirmed that these kinds of beverages dramatically increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and mortality. Diet sodas or artificially sweetened foods and beverages are no better, as research reveals they appear to do even MORE harm than refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), including causing greater weight gain.
Abandoning Traditional Fats for Processed Vegetable Oils Has Led to Declining Health
Fats help your body absorb important vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and fats are especially important for infants and toddlers for proper growth and development. Moreover, when your body burns non-vegetable carbohydrates like grains and sugars, powerful adverse hormonal changes typically occur. These detrimental changes do not occur when you consume healthy fats or fibrous vegetables.
As explained by Dr. Robert Lustig, fructose in particular is “isocaloric but not isometabolic,” which means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. Furthermore, saturated fats, although supplying more calories, will NOT actually cause you to get fat, nor will it promote heart disease.
Unfortunately, the healthiest fats, including animal fats and coconut oil, both of which are saturated, have been long portrayed as a heart attack waiting to happen. Meanwhile, harmful hydrogenated vegetable oils such as corn and canola oil have been touted as “healthful” alternatives. Ditto for margarine.
Boy, did they get this wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The hydrogenation process creates incredibly harmful trans fats, which the US Food and Drug Administration is now finally considering banning altogether. (I’ll review the health hazards of trans fats in further detail below.) Clearly, switching from lard and grass-fed butter—which contains heart-protective nutrients—to margarine and other trans-fat rich hydrogenated oils was a public health experiment that has not ended well.
Low-Fat Fad Has Done Unfathomable Harm
Conventional recommendations have also called for dramatically decreasing the overall amount of fat in your diet, and this fat aversion is yet another driving factor of metabolic disease and chronic ill health. As I and other nutritional experts have warned, most people (especially if you’re insulin or leptin resistant, which encompasses about 80 percent of Americans) probably need upwards of 50-85 percent of daily calories from healthful fats. This is a FAR cry from the less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats recommended by the US Department of Agriculture.3 As stated in the featured article:
“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.
The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”
There’s no telling how many have been prematurely killed by following these flawed low-fat guidelines, yet despite mounting research refuting the value of cutting out fats, such recommendations are still being pushed.
Increased Vegetable Oil Consumption Has Altered Americans’ Fatty Acid Composition
The increased consumption of processed vegetable oils has also led to a severely lopsided fatty acid composition, as these oils provide high amounts of omega-6 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50. Eating too much damaged omega-6 fat and too little omega-3 sets the stage for the very health problems you seek to avoid, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. To correct this imbalance, you typically need to do two things:
Significantly decrease omega-6 by avoiding processed foods and foods cooked at high temperatures using vegetable oils
Increase your intake of heart-healthy animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.
The Dangers of Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
About 95 percent of soy is genetically engineered to have resistance to glyphosate and is loaded with this highly toxic herbicide. But even if you have organic soy, most of it is hydrogenated. Hydrogenated soybean oil has, like sugar, become a major source of calories in the US diet. Americans consume more than 28 billion pounds of edible oils annually, and soybean oil accounts for about 65 percent of it. About half of it is hydrogenated, as soybean oil is too unstable otherwise to be used in food manufacturing. In 1999, soybean oil accounted for seven percent of consumed daily calories in the US.
Part of the problem with partially hydrogenated soybean oil is the trans fat it contains. The other part relates to the health hazards of soy itself. An added hazard factor is the fact that the majority of soybeans are genetically engineered. The completely unnatural fats created through the partial hydrogenation process cause dysfunction and chaos in your body on a cellular level, and studies have linked trans-fats to:
Cancer, by interfering with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer Chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, auto-immune disease, cancer, and bone degeneration
Diabetes, by interfering with the insulin receptors in your cell membranes Heart disease, by clogging your arteries (Among women with underlying coronary heart disease, eating trans-fats increased the risk of sudden cardiac arrest three-fold!)
Decreased immune function, by reducing your immune response Increase blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol
Reproductive problems, by interfering with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones Interfering with your body’s use of beneficial omega-3 fats
Besides the health hazards related to the trans fats, soybean oil is, in and of itself, NOT a healthy oil. Add to that the fact that the majority of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered, which may have additional health consequences. When taken together, partially hydrogenated GE soybean oil becomes one of the absolute worst types of oils you can consume. Unfortunately, as stated in the featured article:4
“[M]ost people don’t have a clue they’re eating this much soybean oil. They’re actually getting most of it from processed foods, which often have soybean oil added to them because it is cheap. The best way to avoid soybean oil (and other nasty ingredients) is to avoid processed foods.”
Wheat – A Bane of the Modern Diet
Modern wheat is not the same kind of wheat your grandparents ate. The nutritional content of this staple grain has been dramatically altered over the years and is now far less nutritious than the varieties of generations past. As Gunnars states:5
“Modern dwarf wheat was introduced around the year 1960, which contains 19-28 percent less of important minerals like Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Copper. There is also evidence that modern wheat is much more harmful to celiac patients and people with gluten sensitivity, compared to older breeds like Einkorn wheat. Whereas wheat may have been relatively healthy back in the day, the same is not true of modern dwarf wheat.”
Wheat lectin, or “wheat germ agglutinin” (WGA), is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive ill effects. WGA is highest in whole wheat, especially sprouted whole wheat, but wheat isn’t the only grain with significant lectin. All seeds of the grass family (rice, wheat, spelt, rye, etc.) are high in lectins. WGA has the potential to damage your health by the following mechanisms (list is not all-inclusive):
Pro-Inflammatory: WGA lectin stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers, even at very small concentrations Neurotoxic: WGA lectin can pass through your blood-brain barrier and attach to the protective coating on your nerves, known as the myelin sheath. It is also capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain neurons
Immunotoxic: WGA lectin may bind to and activate white blood cells Cardiotoxic: WGA lectin induces platelet aggregation and has a potent disruptive effect on tissue regeneration and removal of neutrophils from your blood vessels
Cytotoxic (toxic to cells): WGA lectin may induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) Research also shows that WGA may disrupt endocrine and gastrointestinal function, interfere with genetic expression, and share similarities with certain viruses Flawed Assumptions About Eggs Have Worsened Health
According to USDA data, Americans ate more than 375 eggs per person per year, on average, in 1950. Egg consumption dipped to just over 225 eggs per capita between 1995 and 2000, and as of 2007, it was just over 250 eggs per capita per year—a 33 percent decline since 1950.
Like saturated fats, many naturally cholesterol-rich foods have also been wrongfully vilified. Eggs, which are actually among the most nutritious foods you can eat (provided they come from organically raised, pastured hens) have long been accused of causing heart disease simply because they’re high in cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol has little to do with the cholesterol level in your body, and numerous studies have confirmed that eating eggs does NOT raise potentially adverse LDL cholesterol in your blood. Studies have also failed to find any evidence that eggs contribute to heart disease.
Testing6 has confirmed that true free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs. The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. In a 2007 egg-testing project, Mother Earth News compared the official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs with eggs from hens raised on pasture, and found that the latter typically contains:
2/3 more vitamin A
Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
Three times more vitamin E
Seven times more beta-carotene
Barring organic certification, which is cost-prohibitive for many small farmers, you could just make sure the farmer raises his chickens according to organic, free-range standards, allowing his flock to forage freely for their natural diet, and aren’t fed antibiotics, corn, and soy.
You can tell the eggs are free range or pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you’re getting eggs from caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet. Cornucopia.org offers a helpful organic egg scorecard that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers. According to Cornucopia, their report “showcases ethical family farms, and their brands, and exposes factory farm producers and brands in grocery store coolers that threaten to take over organic livestock agriculture.”
People Eat More Processed Food Than Ever Before
Overall, about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods.7 This includes restaurant foods (i.e. food away from home) and processed grocery foods that require little or no preparation time before consuming at home.
When looking at the ratio of money spent on store-bought groceries only, Americans spend nearly a fourth of their grocery money on processed foods and sweets—twice as much as they did in 1982—according to Department of Labor statistics.8 Pricing of meats, sugar, and flour has had a great influence our spending habits. These items have actually seen a decrease in price per pound, which has had an inverse effect on Americans’ spending habits, in that cheaper prices encourage people to buy more.
The result is obvious. Compared with shoppers 30 years ago, American adults today are twice as likely to be obese, and children and adolescent three times as likely to be overweight. Pediatric type 2 diabetes—which used to be very rare—has markedly increased along with the rise in early childhood obesity. According to previous research, early onset type 2 diabetes appears to be a more aggressive disease from a cardiovascular standpoint.9
Take Control of Your Health
Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions now confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development. Sugar, and fructose in particular, has been implicated as a culprit in the development of both heart disease and cancer, and having this information puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to prevention. A diet that promotes health is high in healthful fats and very, very low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates.
Understand that excessive sugar/fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most chronic disease. So far, scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and health problems,10 including heart disease and cancer.
Many also eat far too little healthy fat, and the combination of too much sugar and too little fat is driving disease rates through the roof. If you’re still unsure about what constitutes a healthy diet, please review my free optimized nutrition plan, which starts at the beginner level and goes all the way up to advanced.
Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
SAO PAULO — Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday.
Producers want four major manufacturers of so-called BT corn seeds to reimburse them for the cost of spraying up to three coats of pesticides this year, said Ricardo Tomczyk, president of Aprosoja farm lobby in Mato Grosso state.
“The caterpillars should die if they eat the corn, but since they didn’t die this year producers had to spend on average 120 reais ($54) per hectare … at a time that corn prices are terrible,” he said. ($1 = 2.223 reais)
Large-scale farming in the bug-ridden tropics has always been a challenge, and now Brazil’s government is concerned that planting the same crops repeatedly with the same seed technologies has left the agricultural superpower vulnerable to pest outbreaks and dependent on toxic chemicals.
Experts in the United States have also warned about corn production prospects because of a growing bug resistance to genetically modified corn. Researchers in Iowa found significant damage from rootworms in corn fields last year.
In Brazil, the main corn culprit is Spodoptera frugiperda, also known as the corn leafworm or southern grassworm.
Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.
Dow Agrosciences, a division of Dow Chemical Company, has programs in Brazil to help corn farmers develop “an integrated pest management system that includes, among other things, the cultivation of refuge areas,” it said in an email.
Another company, DuPont, said it had not received any formal notification from Aprosoja. The company’s Pioneer brand has been working with producers to extend the durability of its seed technology and improve efficiency since Spodoptera worms were found to have developed resistance to the Cry1F protein, it said in a statement.
The other two companies, Monsanto Co and Syngenta AG did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Tomczyk, who also spoke for Brazilian farmers during a dispute over seed royalty payments to Monsanto that ended last year, said Aprosoja encouraged the planting of refuge areas. But he said the seed companies have not given clear instructions.
“There are barely any non-GMO seeds available … it is very uncomfortable that the companies are blaming the farmers,” he said. Aprosoja hopes to reach a negotiated agreement with the seed companies, but if all else fails farmers may sue to get reparations for pesticide costs, he added.
Brazil is harvesting its second of two annual corn crops and expects to produce 78 million tonnes this crop year, slightly less than last season’s record. Domestic prices recently hit their lowest in four years due to abundant supplies.
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
(NaturalNews) The single greatest fear of GMO pushers has just been revealed. In the days after I wrote my now-famous article comparing GMO advocates to Nazi collaborators, the blogosphere erupted with a heated discussion of Monsanto, journalism, the scientific dictatorship of the Nazi empire and the parallels with modern-day GMO pushers.
This story thrust the topic of GMOs back into the minds of millions of people, which was of course the whole point. It also helped introduced terms into the minds of the public like “Monsanto collaborators” and “agricultural holocaust.” Critics of the article only helped this effort by pointing to it and bringing more traffic to Natural News, causing our email subscriber list to rapidly explode over the last few days.
Lists of GMO skeptics are acceptable, but lists of GMO collaborators cause panic
Naturally, I expected to be attacked and vilified for daring to make such a comparison, but what I didn’t expect was to discover just how freaked out GMO pushers would be when they found their names being added to a list. The list, hosted by a still-fishy website called MonsantoCollaborators.org (which appears to be offline at the moment), contained a list of names of a selection of pro-Monsanto bloggers, journalists and scientists. The list seemed
somewhat random, and I didn’t even recognize half the names on it. But the mere existence of such a list freaked out the GMO pushers to an extreme. Essentially, they panicked.
This I find truly funny at one level because the Monsanto collaborators in the media are constantly listing the names of those they claim are “quacks” or anti-GMO skeptics. I can’t even think of how many hate lists my name is probably on by now due to my outspoken criticism of GMOs, vaccines, chemotherapy and psychiatric drugs. I think it’s fair to say I have somehow achieved the dubious honor of being the most polarizing person in alternative media today, loved by millions of readers and fans and yet absolutely despised by biotech bloggers and journalists. Or, perhaps, Alex Jones still retains the title and I’m a close second. That’s why I still honor Alex Jones for his willingness to tell the truth about what he believes, even though I’m not associated with his show anymore.
Who should be held responsible for GM crop failures and farmer suicides?
All this brings up a truly important discussion into the question of who should be held responsible when GMO crops fail and lead to farmer suicides?
GMOs lead to far greater numbers of farmer suicides following crop failures because the steep price of GM seeds places a far higher financial burden on the farmer. If the crop doesn’t succeed, the farmer finds himself in far worse financial straits than if he had planted conventional seeds which cost considerably less.
So far, farmer suicides in India that have been linked to genetically modified crops are approaching 300,000 farmers, a horrifying number that justifyably invokes the phrase “agricultural holocaust.”
The real question that’s now being raised in all this is: Who is responsible for the failures and devastating effects of GMOs?
This is a crucial question for the obvious reason of corporate liability. Once, Big Tobacco sold products that caused cancer. For decades, the tobacco industry paid off scientists to publicly proclaim cigarettes were not only safe but even healthy! This set the precedent of evil corporations buying off scientists to control the conversation and obfuscate the facts.
Eventually, the mountain of evidence against Big Tobacco became so large and irrefutable that the companies were driven into a multi-billion-dollar settlement that gutted their profits and tightly restricted their future marketing of tobacco products. Right now, the biotech industry is pulling out all the stops, desperately attempting to whitewash the cancer effects of its own products in order to avoid the same fate as Big Tobacco.
In fact, if you start to ask a few reasonable questions about GMOs, you begin to understand just why there is so much fear among those paid-off corporate shills and sellout scientists who are fronting the biotech agenda:
• Who should be held accountable for the farmer suicides caused by failed GM crops?
• Who is responsible for the wave of cancer being caused by exposure to bt corn and glyphosate?
• Who will be held responsible for the devastating environmental effects of GM crops in the case of runaway genetic pollution or a systemic crop failure leading to starvation?
It is these questions that the biotech industry is desperately trying to avoid. The industry knows that both Big Tobacco and Big Pharma have been haunted by lawsuits stemming from consumers who were harmed or killed by those products. One tobacco company was recently hit with a multi-billion-dollar judgment stemming from the death of one man from cancer.
That’s why the Seralini study was so aggressively attacked by the biotech operators: it was the first study to show the devastating cancer-causing effects of GMOs and glyphosate in rats. The immediate pressure that was exerted to engineer a contrived retraction of the study was unprecedented in the history of science (and also one of the most shameful anti-science campaigns in the history of science). Fortunately, the Seralini team was not to be intimidated, and they found another science journal that republished the study.
But consider the consequences to companies like Monsanto is lawyers can begin to argue that cancer cases across the world are being caused by GM corn. Suddenly you’ve got the biotech industry in the same position as Big Tobacco in the early 1990′s, with law firms lining up to file an endless stream of lawsuits.
Are GMOs “defective products?”
See, the real kicker here is what happens when GMOs are recognized to be defective products. In the automobile industry, when a car is defective and causes loss of life, the car manufacturer is liable for the damages. The same is true in the tobacco industry, to an extent. What happens when GMOs are established in the courts to be defective products that cause harm?
Think about it: GMOs are sold under a collection of false promises that claim that will produce more food, not less. They’ve been sold with claims that they require fewer chemicals, not more. They’ve been celebrated as the answer to starvation and a “miracle” technology that will feed the world.
But in the real world, GMO crops are quickly failing. The typical pattern is to see a 1-2 year increase in crop production followed by a sharp drop as the glyphosate kicks in. Then the superweeds take hold and the farmer is forced to spray with as many as 4-7 different chemical herbicides instead of just one. Crop production falls, soil health plummets and future yields are compromised. This is the pattern we’re seeing with many GM crops, and this doesn’t even take into account the long-term health effects on humans.
Will the biotech industry follow in the footsteps of the vaccine industry and lobby Congress for total legal immunity? Watch for that tactic to be attempted as the biotech industry begins to see signs of growing legal liability.
Whistleblowers and journalists
Throughout the 1950′s, 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, there were countless journalists who were paid off by Big Tobacco to write stories insisting “smoking cigarettes is safe.” Those journalists operated with the same arrogance and indignation as GMO journalists today, but in retrospect all they did was bring shame upon themselves for furthering the destructive scientific dictatorship of the tobacco era.
The most horrifying thought in the minds of today’s GMO-fronting journalists is that they, too, will be called out for their role in the massive global harm caused by GMOs. The day is coming, of course, when the link between bt corn and cancer tumors can no longer be denied. The day is coming when glyphosate’s systemic destruction of soils and the environment can no longer be covered up. When that day comes, it is important that history remember the names of those who actively participated in furthering that destruction. That’s why I suggested the idea in the first place.
It’s also true that history will owe GMO skeptics a massive apology in the same way that history owed Big Tobacco whistleblowers an apology. Whistleblowers are always disparaged and vilified for telling the truth or sounding the alarm. Just look at the endless attacks on heroic truth-tellers like Edward Snowden, Jesse Ventura or David Icke. In an age of deceit, telling the truth really is a courageous act, and I thank all those anti-GMO activists who continue to tell the truth in our collective fight for protecting life, health and the environment against corporate poisoners and their paid-off shills.
Click on this link to help raise money for the Institute for Responsible Technology every time you shop at Amazon.com. It costs you nothing and allows you to make a difference with every purchase you routinely make!
The nutritional myth that saturated fat is bad for you continues to fall apart as a steady stream of new books and studies on this topic hit the media. The latest work to challenge the old dogma is a book called The Big Fat Surprise by journalist Nina Teicholz, interviewed above.
Her book comes alongside new research that raises questions about the long-held but false belief that cardiovascular disease is related to fat and cholesterol intake.
Teicholz points out the flaws in the original Ancel Keys study; how saturated fat has been a healthy human staple for thousands of years, and how the low-fat craze has resulted in excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, which has resulted in increased inflammation and disease.1 Teicholz tells the Wall Street Journal:2
“There has never been solid evidence for the idea that these [saturated] fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias.”
Are We Seeing the Cholesterol Myth in a Scientific Free-Fall?
The cholesterol myth has suffered a bit of a triple whammy of late, making it harder and harder for heart specialists to uphold the company line. This information is just the latest in a long line of science disproving the need for the saturated fat phobia.
In 2012, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology examined the health and lifestyle habits of more than 52,000 adults ages 20 to 74, concluding that women with “high cholesterol” (greater than 270 mg/dl) had a 28 percent lower mortality risk than women with “low cholesterol” (less than 183 mg/dl).
Researchers also found that, if you’re a woman, your risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke are higher with lower cholesterol levels.3
In 2013, a prominent London cardiologist by the name of Aseem Malhotra argued in the British Medical Journal that you should ignore advice to reduce your saturated fat intake, because it’s actually increasing your risk for obesity and heart disease.4
Then in March 2014, a new meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using data from nearly 80 studies and more than a half million people, found that those who consume higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less.
They also did not find less heart disease among those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including both olive oil and corn oil.5, 6
Fat Has Been Blamed for Sugar’s Evil Deeds
What do these journalists and scientists know that your physician might not? Going back forty years or more, fat has been misidentified as the culprit behind heart disease, when all along it’s been sugar.
A high-sugar diet raises your risk for heart disease by promoting metabolic syndrome—a cluster of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, insulin and leptin resistance, high triglycerides, liver dysfunction, and visceral fat accumulation.
Insulin and leptin resistance is caused by factors inherent in our modern lifestyle, including diets heavy in processed carbohydrates, sugars/fructose, refined flours, and industrial seed oils.
Making matters worse, the average American gets inadequate exercise, suffers from chronic stress and sleep deprivation, is exposed to environmental toxins, and has poor gut health (dysbiosis). This is the perfect storm for chronic disease.
Cholesterol Is Not Only Beneficial for Your Body—It’s Absolutely Mandatory
About 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually. A quarter of these deaths could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and managing insulin and leptin levels.
By reducing your cholesterol, you may actually be increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease. Your body needs adequate cholesterol to perform a number of critical functions, and there is strong evidence that people have a higher risk for heart attacks by having their cholesterol levels driven too low, as is being done by drugs like statins.
Cholesterol plays important roles such as building your cell membranes, interacting with proteins inside your cells, and helping regulate protein pathways required for cell signaling. Having too little cholesterol may negatively impact your brain health, hormone levels, heart disease risk, and more. Therefore, placing an upper limit on dietary cholesterol, especially such a LOW upper limit as is now recommended, is likely causing far more harm than good.
The Truth About Saturated Fats
Just as your body has requirements for cholesterol, it also needs saturated fats for proper function. One way to understand this is to consider what foods humans consumed during their evolution. Many experts believe that since the Paleolithic Era, we evolved as hunter-gatherers. Paleolithic nutrition states that we have eaten animal products for most of our existence on Earth. To suggest that saturated fats are suddenly harmful to us makes no sense, especially from an evolutionary perspective.
As recently as 2010, the current recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) call for reducing your saturated fat intake to a mere 10 percent of your total calories or less. This is astounding, and quite the opposite of what most people require for optimal health! The latest science suggests healthy fats (saturated and unsaturated fats from whole food, animal, and plant sources) should comprise anywhere from 50 to 85 percent of your overall energy intake. Saturated fats provide a number of important health benefits, including the following:
Providing building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances Mineral absorption, such as calcium Carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
Conversion of carotene into vitamin A Helping to lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids) Acts as antiviral agent (caprylic acid)
Optimal fuel for your brain Provides satiety Modulates genetic regulation and helps prevent cancer (butyric acid)
Seven Good Tests for Assessing Cardiac Risk
The best indicators for heart disease risk are outlined in the table that follows. Be aware that these same indicators have also been found to be fairly accurate in predicting your dementia risk.
1. HDL/total cholesterol ratio: HDL percentage is a very important heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. This percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent, it’s a significant indicator of heart disease risk.
2. Triglyceride/HDL ratios: Divide your triglyceride number by your HDL. This ratio should ideally be below 2.
3. NMR lipoprofile: Possibly the most powerful test for evaluating heart disease risk, this test determines your proportion of smaller, more damaging LDL particles. Small LDL particles get stuck easily, cause more inflammation, and are tied to insulin and leptin resistance. This test is not typically ordered, so you might need to request it from your physician or order it yourself through a third-party. (For more information on the NMR Lipoprofile, please watch my interview with Chris Kresser, above.)
4. Fasting insulin: A normal fasting blood insulin level is below 5, but ideally, you’ll want it below 3. If your insulin level is higher than 5, the most effective way to optimize it is to reduce or eliminate all forms of dietary sugar, particularly fructose, and processed grains.
5. Fasting blood glucose: Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dl had nearly three times the risk of coronary artery disease of people with a blood glucose below 79 mg/dl.
6. Waist-to-hip ratio: Visceral fat, the type of fat that collects around your internal organs, is a well-recognized risk factor for heart disease. The simplest way to evaluate your risk here is by simply measuring your waist-to-hip ratio. (For further instructions, please see the link to my previous article.)
7. Iron level: Excess iron can exert very potent oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron in your blood, you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should monitor your serum ferritin level and make sure it is below 80 ng/ml. The simplest ways to eliminate excess iron are blood donation and therapeutic phlebotomy.
What REALLY Constitutes a Heart-Healthy Diet?
The following table outlines my version of a “heart-healthy diet,” which minimizes inflammation, reduces insulin resistance, and helps you reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you want further details, I suggest reviewing my Optimized Nutrition Plan, which will guide you through dietary changes in a step-by-step fashion, moving from beginner to intermediate to advanced.
1. Limit or eliminate all processed foods
2. Eliminate all gluten and highly allergenic foods from your diet
3. Eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals, such as glyphosate
4. Avoid genetically modified ingredients (GMO), which wreak biological chaos on a cellular level and are linked to abundant health problems, including chronic inflammation and heart disease
5. Eat at least one-third of your food uncooked (raw), or as much as you can manage; avoid cooking foods at high temperatures
6. Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet, locally grown and organic if possible
7. Eat naturally fermented foods, which help optimize your gut bacteria and prevent inflammation-causing superantigens from pathogenic bacteria, as well as providing valuable vitamin K2, B vitamins, and other nutrients
8. Avoid all artificial sweeteners.
9. Limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day from all sources, including whole fruits. If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, you’d be well advised to keep your fructose consumption below 15 grams per day until your insulin resistance has normalized
10. Swap all trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine etc.) for healthy fats like avocado, raw butter, cheese, and coconut oil; avoid consuming oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked scrambled eggs)
11. To rebalance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of processed omega-6 fats from vegetable oils
12. Drink plenty of pure water every day
Five Other Heart-Healthy Moves
In addition to following the heart-healthy plan discussed above, there are several more strategies that can be profoundly helpful in reducing chronic inflammation and thereby lowering your cardiovascular risk:
Exercise regularly. One of the primary benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize and maintain healthy insulin and leptin levels. Exercise also boosts HDL, increases your growth hormone production, helps curb your appetite, and improves your mood and sleep.
Intermittent fasting. Fasting is an excellent way to “reboot” your metabolism so that your body can relearn how to burn fat as its primary fuel, which helps you shed those excess fat stores. Intermittent fasting has a far greater retention and compliance rate compared to conventional all-day fasting regimens. Another version is alternate-day fasting.
Grounding yourself to the earth. When you walk barefoot, free electrons are transferred from the earth into your body, and electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known. Grounding (also called Earthing) helps alleviate inflammation, as well as thinning your blood and causing your red blood cells to repel each other, making them less likely to clot.
AVOID statin drugs. Statin drugs can reduce your cholesterol to dangerously low levels, while doing nothing tomodulate LDL particle size. Statin drugs may even accelerate heart disease. A 2012 study showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent higher prevalence of calcified coronary plaque compared to those not taking them.7 And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease. Antidepressants have also been associated with heart disease.
AVOID chemicals whenever possible. BPA, for example, has been linked to heart disease: adults with the highest levels of BPA in their urine are more than twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease as those with the lowest levels.
Strength training is an integral part of any well-rounded exercise program, regardless of your age or gender.
Unfortunately, many ignore strength training when designing their exercise plan, thinking it’s only for those who want to “bulk up.” However, nothing could be farther from the truth!
Put to rest any worries that weight training is going to make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, because your muscle growth is controlled mostly by your genes and food intake, and very few have the potential to become muscle bound.
The size of your muscles is also limited by your age, gender, body type, and many other biological and genetic factors.
Strengthening your muscles through resistance exercises has many benefits, from losing excess fat to maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing muscle loss as you age.
Strength training produces a number of beneficial changes at the molecular, enzymatic, hormonal, and chemical levels in your body, helping to slow down and even reverse many of the diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Weight Training IS Cardiovascular Training
If you have heart disease, you should not shy away from strength training. While the fitness industry divides exercise into two categories (anaerobic and aerobic), fitness experts like Dr. Doug McGuff and Phil Campbell point out that in order to actually benefit your cardiovascular system, you have to perform mechanical work using your muscles.
Research over the past several years has really revolutionized the way we look at exercise. Not only have studies found that traditional aerobic exercise is one of the least effective forms of exercise, it’s also one of the most time consuming and may even be counterproductive.
High intensity interval training (HIIT), on the other hand, has consistently risen to the top as the most effective and efficient form of exercise. And HIIT seamlessly integrates with strength training to maximize your cardiovascular benefit. Intensity is the key, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly.
Strength Training Offers Abundant Anti-Aging Benefits
Not only is strength training extremely beneficial for your heart, but it can slow down your aging as well. While it’s never too late to start exercising, the earlier you begin and the more consistent you are, the greater your long-term rewards. Having an active lifestyle is really an investment in your wellness and longevity.
Interestingly, strength training has been found to have a beneficial impact on your gene expression—not only slowing aging but actually returning gene expression to youthful levels in seniors who start employing resistance training.
One study showed that strength training in the elderly reversed oxidative stress and returned 179 genes to their youthful level. In other words, it genetically turned back the clock about 10 years.
Not only does strength training increase your muscle strength and elasticity, but it also builds strong connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments. It helps improve muscle tone, which from a biomechanical perspective is the ability of your muscles and connective tissue to hold your body in position.
With good muscle tone, you will be better able to perform everyday activities like climbing stairs and getting out of a chair, as you age. Strength training also benefits the following:
Strength and muscle mass (which helps improve balance as you age) Body composition Blood lipids
Bone density Cardiorespiratory fitness Blood pressure
Blood glucose control Aerobic capacity Gene expression and telomere length
Strength Training Can Help You Lose Weight
Are you having trouble trimming down? In addition to high intensity exercise, strength training is an excellent way to get rid of that stubborn, excess body fat, because working your muscles is the key to firing up your metabolism.1 Your muscles follow the “use it or lose it” principle. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. Unlike traditional cardio, strength training causes you to continue burning more calories for up to 72 hours after the exercise is over through a phenomenon called after-burn. High intensity strength training or super-slow weight training also has profound effects on your insulin and leptin sensitivity and gives you an excellent boost in human growth hormone (HGH), otherwise known as the “fitness hormone.”
Where Do I Start?
Now that you understand how amazing strength training is, you’re probably itching to get started. But how do you start, especially if this is totally new to you? There are two basic terms you must understand before planning your strength training routine: reps and set. A rep (repetition) indicates one complete motion of an exercise; a set is a group of reps. So, if you performed two sets of 10 reps of bicep curls, this means you did 10 bicep curls, rested, then did 10 more.
The number of reps you should do depends on your fitness level and your goals. For building strength and bulk, it’s generally recommended to do fewer than eight to 10 reps per set with heavier weights. But for tone and general conditioning, aim for 10 to 12 reps using more moderate weight. Doing dozens of reps with ultralight weights (weights you can barely even feel) does not bring good results of any kind, because you’re not adequately stressing your muscles.
You will want to adjust the amount of weight you use for each exercise depending on which muscles you are working. Larger muscles such as your thighs, chest, and upper back are stronger and will require a bit heavier weight. Smaller muscles, such as your shoulders and arms, require less weight. Just make sure that, regardless of how many sets you do, your last rep is challenging. In other words, you fully fatigue that muscle—you still maintain control of the weight, but you feel like you might not be able to make it the rest of the way. As your fitness progresses, you’ll want to carry each exercise to “muscle failure”—where you just can’t complete all of the last rep.
Strength Training Comes in Many Flavors
Rule number one: the most effective form of strength training is the one you will actually do. There are plenty of options for designing your strength-training program, tailored to every living situation, body type, age, interest, and economic profile. The number of exercises you can do in your home or office is unlimited—with very little or no equipment. In the table that follows, some great options are suggested, and you can get even more ideas from this article at Nerd Fitness.2 One thing is certain—strength training need not be boring or monotonous, and if you incorporate several different types of activity, your fitness will progress faster and you’ll have a lot more fun doing it. Strength training is anything but boring!
Body weight exercises Body weight exercises have the advantage of being very flexible and convenient, requiring no equipment and no special place or schedule, and the price is right—they’re free. They are great to do at your office or while traveling, because you always have your “exercise gear” with you! Some of my favorites are squats, pushups, and planks.
Hand weights Hand weights are inexpensive, portable, and readily available for purchase in just about any department store. Keep them next to your sofa and do a few sets of shoulder presses, bicep curls, and tricep presses during commercial break.
Kettlebells A kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The kettlebell allows for ballistic movements and swinging motions you can’t do with traditional weights. Kettlebells can help you develop power in your hips, legs, and glutes as well as strength, flexibility, and stability for your back and shoulders. Kettlebells also build wrist and forearm strength.
Resistance bands Resistance bands allow you to get a full-body strengthening workout without weights. They are inexpensive, easy to store, and perfect for exercising while traveling—just toss them into a pocket in your overnight bag.
Medicine balls (exercise balls) Medicine balls look like a kickball—but much heavier! They come in varying sizes, from a couple pounds up to 150 pounds. Medicine balls can be thrown, swung, caught, or lifted. Since they have no handle, you have to coordinate a number of different muscle groups to maneuver them.3
Water jug workouts These are basically “poor man’s dumbbells.” A plastic gallon jug weighs about eight pounds when full of water and 13 pounds if filled with sand. The unevenness of the weight produces the benefit of strengthening your smaller, stabilizing muscles, which you must engage to maintain control of the bottle.4, 5
Resistance machines at the gym If you have access to a gym, you may want to experiment with some good-quality resistance equipment. The benefit of a machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed to the mechanics of the movement. The various machines each feature a different muscle group and usually bear diagrams explaining how to use the equipment, but don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you are a newbie.
Strength classes at the gym Gyms often offer a variety of strength training classes, and if you are more of a “social exerciser,” this might suit you well. Group fitness is evolving and now you can find some very interesting classes, such as Smart Bells, Forza, Urban Rebounding, water–based exercise, Pilates, and Bosu.6
Rope climbing or rock wall climbing There is a reason climbing has been a staple exercise in military training and combat fitness for thousands of years—it’s one of the best upper-body strength exercises. Climbing targets many muscle groups (hands, arms, shoulders, abs, and back), and builds coordination and agility skills.7, 8
You Can Supercharge Your Strength Training with Super-Slow Techniques
Now that you have the basics, you can kick up the intensity several notches with super-slow strength training. By slowing your movements down, you’re actually turning them into high intensity exercise. The super-slow movement allows your muscle, at the microscopic level, to access the maximum number of cross-bridges between the protein filaments that produce movement in the muscle. You can perform the super-slow technique with many of the strength training exercises already discussed, such as hand weights, resistance machines, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands.
You only need about 12 to 15 minutes of super-slow strength training once a week to achieve the same HGH production as you would from 20 minutes of Peak Fitness sprints, which is why fitness experts like Dr. Doug McGuff are such avid proponents of this technique.
The key to making this work for you is intensity, which needs to be high enough that you reach muscle fatigue. If you’ve selected the appropriate weight for your strength and fitness level, your goal is to have enough weight that you cannot do more than 12 reps, but not so much that you can’t complete at least four. Ideally, you will be somewhere in the neighborhood of seven to eight. When the intensity is this high, you can decrease the frequency of your strength training sessions. In fact, the higher your fitness level, the less often you should do them.
As a guideline, when you start out, allow your body at least two days to rest, recover and repair between high-intensity sessions, and do not exercise the same muscle groups each time. As your strength and endurance increases, decrease how often you do the sessions, as each one is placing greater stress on your body (provided you keep pushing yourself to the max). As a rule, avoid doing high intensity exercises more than twice or three times a week. You can enjoy other activities on the off-days, such as swimming, Pilates, yoga, biking, gardening, or whatever other activities tickle your fancy.
How to Perform the Super-Slow Technique
I recommend using four or five basic compound movements for your super-slow (high intensity) exercise set. Compound movements are movements that require the coordination of several muscle groups—for example, squats, chest presses, and compound rows. Here is my version of the technique:
Begin by lifting the weight as slowly and gradually as you can. In the video above, I demonstrate doing this with a four-second positive and a four-second negative, meaning it takes four seconds, or a slow count to four, to bring the weight up, and another four seconds to lower it. (When pushing, stop about 10 to 15 degrees before your limb is fully straightened; smoothly reverse direction)
Slowly lower the weight back down to the slow count of four
Repeat until exhaustion, which should be around four to eight reps. Once you reach exhaustion, don’t try to heave or jerk the weight to get one last repetition in. Instead, just keep trying to produce the movement, even if it’s not “going” anywhere, for another five seconds or so. If you’re using the appropriate amount of weight or resistance, you’ll be able to perform four to eight reps
Immediately switch to the next exercise for the next target muscle group, and repeat the first three steps
Now All You Have to Do Is Find a Program That Works for You
In terms of fitness, you’ll want to include a variety of physical activities. A well-rounded fitness program includes high intensity interval training, strength training (including your core), dynamic stretching, multi-joint movements and moving in three dimensions. Also, sitting for long periods of time has been shown to shorten your lifespan, even if you are fit and exercise regularly, so get up often throughout the day and implement one of these intermittent movement exercises a few times every hour while sitting.
This may be the most important issue of Cancer Defeated we’ve ever published. The reason is that now – for the first time, really – there’s undeniable proof that the alternative cancer treatment community has been on the right track. The conventional approach to cancer treatment is wrong. And the proof emerges from the heart of the conventional scientific establishment, not from the fringes of alternative medicine.
If you read this article, you’ll understand for the first time what causes cancer, what you need to do about it for either prevention or cure, and why the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the “war on cancer” have been largely wasted.
This is privileged, valuable information. If you read this, you’ll be among the few people who know about it. As far as I can tell, only a few alternative and integrative doctors realize that a revolution has now occurred. As for conventional oncologists, almost none of them realize the ground is crumbling under their feet.
No doubt it will take many years before mainstream medicine absorbs the implications of the new research and changes its way of doing things. You don’t want to wait for that because it may be too late for you.
The new revolution emanates from a book published two years ago called Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, written by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD. Its 400 pages don’t make for easy reading, even if you’re a biochemist or a cell biologist, which most of us aren’t.
I’ve seen the book mentioned in just a few places. We first brought it to the attention of members of our “platinum club,” The Alternative Cancer Research Institute, late last year. I have to admit I didn’t grasp its full importance at the time.
Dr. Seyfried’s key finding is that mainstream scientists are mistaken in their theory of what causes cancer – and indeed what cancer is, in its essence. And they’re not just a little bit mistaken, they’re entirely wrong from top to bottom. Meanwhile, Dr. Seyfried largely confirms the theory of cancer causation held by most alternative cancer experts, although he tweaks the theory and takes it to a more refined level.
How cancer happens, according to your conventional oncologist
The mainstream theory, which has held sway for more than 30 years, is that cancer is caused by genetic mutations – damage to the DNA. The damage may be caused by radiation, chemical toxins, heavy metals or other factors.
Whatever the origin, the damage changes the set of instructions that’s encoded in our DNA and tells our bodies how to operate. The damaged – mutated — cells cease to be “you” anymore. They become a sort of alien organism within you. They begin to divide uncontrollably; they live virtually forever instead of dying off naturally (apoptosis); they develop their own network of blood vessels (angiogenesis).
Now, you have to realize DNA is damaged all the time, without turning a cell cancerous, because in healthy DNA there are certain genes that repair the DNA strand when it’s damaged, and other genes that tell the cell it’s time to die after it’s been around for a while. Conventional experts believe that these specific genes have to be disabled before cancer can occur.
In brief, that’s the theory of cancer that’s held sway most of the time since President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971. The “war” currently spends an estimated $15 billion a year on scientific research, when you add up all sources public and private (no one knows the exact figure). Over the years hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into the effort.
Most of the money has been wasted digging a dry hole. The DNA theory is mistaken, and as a result almost no progress has been made in cancer treatment. But despite the obvious failure, all the money flows into “advancing” this mistaken theory and all the scientific prestige and news stories flow out of it. Scientists, like most people, dream of becoming famous, and a discovery related to gene research is the fastest way for a cancer scientist to get his 15 minutes of media attention.
As far as that goes, a scientist can’t even get a grant to conduct research in the first place if the proposed project isn’t an offshoot of the DNA theory.
The DNA theory has had other harmful effects. It’s led to a public obsession, encouraged by the medical profession, with the idea that you can inherit a tendency to get cancer from your parents. This belief has a particular grip on the breast cancer industry because there is, in fact, a gene that increases a woman’s risk of this disease. But very few women possess this gene and it accounts for a small percentage of breast cancer cases.
But the theory that “your ancestors did this to you” doesn’t stop with breast cancer. It seems that several times a year the news media take up some discovery that this or that inherited gene can predispose a person to this or that cancer. It’s mostly a tempest in a teapot because inherited gene mutations account for maybe one out of ten cancers. I think, when all the facts are in, the figure will be even lower.
And generally the dreaded gene mutations merely contribute to cancer, they aren’t a death sentence. Many people who have them don’t get cancer.
To make things worse, it’s now possible to have your genome sequenced for a few hundred dollars, so everyone can get in on the act of worrying over gene mutations.
I’m all in favor of learning about genetic biology. It’s exciting, cutting edge science. But it hasn’t led to much progress in the war against cancer because genes are not the enemy.
And now, what really causes cancer
Dr. Seyfried exposes the failure of the DNA theory and reveals the true cause of cancer. He was formerly a cancer researcher at Yale University, is currently a full professor of biology at Boston College, and is the author of more than 150 PubMed-indexed scientific articles. He doesn’t advocate or practice alternative medicine. As far as I can gather, he doesn’t have much interest in it. He’s “just” an unbiased scientist seeking the truth, wherever it may lead.
What he’s found is that cancer is caused by damaged mitochondria, not damaged DNA. Mitochondria are sometimes called the cell’s batteries or energy factories. They are delicate, complicated pieces of cell machinery that convert the foods we eat – fats, proteins and carbohydrates – into horsepower that enables us to move, breathe, think – to do everything we do.
In some ways, a car engine might be a better analogy than a battery. Your food is like gasoline in a car. It makes the car move – but how? By way of an engine that converts gasoline into energy, similar to the way mitochondria convert food molecules into energy.
Healthy mitochondria break open food molecules and use their electrons – their electrical energy – to create ATP molecules that store the energy until the cell needs it to do something. At the end of the ATP assembly line that exists inside a mitochondrion, oxygen waits to bind with the electrons to form water, a harmless byproduct of this energy production process.
The process is called oxidative phosphorylation or simply respiration. Respiration is the process by which a healthy cell generates energy.
As Dr. Seyfried demonstrates in his book – almost beyond doubt – the fundamental difference between a healthy cell and a cancer cell is the way they make energy.
In other words, cancer is not a genetic disease, it’s a mitochondrial disease.
Cancer cells are different: They make energy by fermentation, not respiration. In this process, the mitochondria turn glucose i.e. sugar (mainly from carbohydrates) into small quantities of energy.
Can a cancer cell live on anything else besides carbs? Yes, to some degree. The mitochondria can ferment certain parts of proteins (specifically an amino acid called glutamine), but it can’t ferment fats at all. Carbohydrates and especially sugar are the foods cancer needs to feed on.
Fermentation is a primitive, fallback process for generating energy that the mitochondria will use only when they’re damaged and unable to perform respiration – or when there’s a temporary lack of oxygen, a key component in the normal respiration process.
Here’s a neat fact: deep sea diving mammals like whales generate energy by respiration – using oxygen – when they’re on the surface. But when they’re under water for long period they generate oxygen by fermentation. As I said, it’s a backup energy generator.
No cell that’s working right would ever fall back on fermentation when oxygen is available. Fermentation is inefficient. It doesn’t produce nearly as much energy and creates toxic byproducts – lactic acid and ammonia.
Cancer cells are different – they’re sick – not because their DNA is damaged but because they use fermentation even when plenty of oxygen is around. That’s what Dr. Seyfried means when he posits that cancer is a metabolic disease rather than a genetic disease.
Why do good mitochondria go bad?
So what is it that causes the mitochondria in healthy cells to go haywire and resort to the second-rate fermentation process? According to Dr. Seyfried, the most likely source of the damage is the same list of carcinogens we’re all familiar with – tobacco smoking, radiation, toxic chemicals, viruses… the usual suspects.
The respiration “machinery” inside the mitochondria is just as delicate as the famous DNA double helix inside the cells’ nucleus. When it’s disabled, the cell may die, but some cells are able to fall back on fermentation and stay alive. Cells that turn permanently to fermentation become chronically inflamed and flooded with toxic lactic acid.
But these damaged – cancerous – cells are able to thrive and replicate as long as the patient provides them with an abundant supply of glucose. In essence, people who eat a carbohydrate-rich diet are making themselves fertile ground for cancer. If you deny them glucose, it’s a challenge for cancer cells to stay alive. Those that do survive can most likely be managed (i.e. eliminated) by your immune system.
So what’s the proof?
Dr. Seyfried’s book cites over a thousand scientific references. All I’ve given you is a quick gloss of what he has to say. But his most telling piece of proof is easy to explain and understand.
When mitochondria from cancer cells are fused with normal cells – those with healthy DNA in their nuclei – and then injected into animals, 97% of them develop tumors. In other words, cancerous mitochondria turn healthy cells into cancer cells. No genetic damage needed. DNA didn’t cause these cancers.
And the process works in reverse: If you transfer mitochondria from healthy cells into tumor cells, it reduces cancerous behavior and reduces tumor formation.
He cites other research showing that if you transplant a nucleus containing mutations from a cancer cell into a normal cell from which the nucleus has been removed, the process does not produce cancer cells. But if you put a normal nucleus into a cancer cell, the cell remains cancerous and can generate tumors.
Case closed. There’s no question about it: When it comes to cancer, damaged mitochondria are in the driver’s seat, not damaged DNA.
“But wait,” you might say, if you know anything about mainstream cancer research. “The DNA in cancer cells is loaded with mutations. How can it be that DNA damage has nothing to do with cancer?”
The most likely explanation is that most of the damage to DNA comes AFTER the damage to mitochondria, when the cell is sick and the fermentation process is bombarding the nucleus with massive amounts of toxic fermentation byproducts.
What all this means if you want
to beat cancer or avoid it
All of this may sound simple the way I just described it, but it has far-reaching implications. And it has eluded our multi-billion-dollar scientific establishment for 50 years even while alternative doctors have tried to point them in the right direction.
I have never proposed changing the way you eat as a standalone cure for cancer, and Dr. Seyfried certainly doesn’t. But if you have cancer it’s imperative to stop eating all sugar, in any form, as well as refined carbohydrates like flour and other high-glycemic foods like potatoes and rice. You can thereby starve cancer cells of glucose, the food they need to live.
On the other hand you can eat all the fats you want. Here Dr. Seyfried and I part company on the types of fats that are best. He seems to think that fat is fat and you can eat any kind you want. I recommend healthy fats like olive oil, nuts (preferably raw), coconut oil and avocado. Dr. Seyfried recommends about 80% fats, 20% protein and a very small amount of carbohydrates.
Personally, I think you can get your protein from meat (organic), but I’m probably in a minority on that.
The last point I want to make for now is that if you have high blood sugar it’s imperative to get it under control now – and not with drugs or even natural treatments but by cutting sugar and other carbs to practically nothing.
I will have more to say about this “cancer revolution” in the next issue. It’s a big, important topic. If you’ve delved deeply into alternative cancer medicine, you will have noticed that Dr. Seyfried’s theory resembles that of Dr. Otto H. Warburg, which has been around for nearly a hundred years. But there are important differences, and some good reasons why Dr. Warburg’s theory couldn’t be accepted as proven fact – until now. There’s also a great deal more to say about what a cancer patient should eat, and why the fancy new targeted chemotherapy drugs are disastrously off the mark.
The United States lags far behind many other nations when it comes to food safety and nutritional recommendations, and this is perhaps particularly true when it comes to raw milk.
The fact is, large dairy farmers operating under the factory farm model simply cannot produce raw milk safe for human consumption.
They’re too large, and therefore end up being hotbeds for pathogenic contamination. They also cannot provide enough open pasture for tens of thousands of cows to continually graze on.
Cleanliness and pasture are critical parameters for producing healthy milk fit for raw consumption. So really, the war on raw milk boils down to control—controlling the competition, which is selling a superior product. It’s NOT an issue of safety at all.
In fact, several studies have demonstrated the superior safety of raw milk compared to pasteurized, yet the vilification of raw milk continues unabated—science and statistics be damned…
Europeans Can Buy Raw Milk from Vending Machines
In sharp contrast to the US, some European nations sell raw milk in vending machines! And contrary to popular (American) belief, the bodies are NOT piling up as a result. As reported by Modern Farmer:1
“Europe’s embrace of raw milk vending machines isn’t new. Such daring dispensers of unpasteurized dairy can be found in France, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and, as one map2 shows, all over the place in Italy.”
The safety measures are remarkably simple. If the temperature of the milk rises above the regulated level, the machine will stop dispensing milk, and the farmer is notified via text message. The milk spout is sterilized by a UV light between each purchase.
In the US, several states have outright banned the sale of raw milk for fear of contaminated milk despite the fact that, statistically, such fears are completely and udderly unfounded (pun intended).
Research by Dr. Ted Beals, MD,3 featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are actually about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!
Pasteurized Dairy and Processed Foods Top the List of ‘Most Dangerous’
The vast majority of foodborne illnesses in the US are linked to factory farmed and highly processed foods, not raw foods. For example, late last year, Chobani Greek yogurt was recalled following reports of gastrointestinal illness.4 The yogurt, which is pasteurized and not raw, was found to be contaminated with a fungus called Murcor circinelloides.
In 2011, Cargill recalled a whopping 36 million pounds of ground turkey.5 An antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella in the meat ended up causing 107 illnesses and one death.
An investigation revealed that this strain of Salmonella had been found four times over the course of one year, yet the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), took no action against the producer. And, from the time the first illness was reported and the recall took effect, five months passed, allowing over a hundred more people to become ill from the contaminated meat.
A major part of the problem is that, despite being in charge of food safety oversight of meat and poultry, the USDA does not have the authority to take action against a meat or poultry producer—even if the permissible limits of pathogenic contamination are repeatedly exceeded.
Clearly, this does not bode well for food safety. As explained in a previous Food Safety News article discussing this case:6
“For example, take ground turkey. When USDA tests for Salmonella, they take individual 1-pound samples on 52 consecutive days of production. Sometimes it takes a year to complete a set — and the establishment gets a heads up that a sample is going to be taken!
In addition, if 26 or fewer are positive, the sample set passes. If more than 26 are positive, the sample set fails.
Basically, these are like open book exams — not pop quizzes — where a 50 percent is still passing! And even when a sample set fails, USDA does another set of testing. And they keep doing testing until a set passes.”
What this means is that if 50 percent of the samples are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, it’s deemed “safe.” But if it hits 51 percent, it’s tagged as “unsafe.” And testing simply continues until illness is reported. What sense does this make?
Yet anytime the lack of food safety is discussed, the focus is suddenly turned to raw milk! It’s almost as though US agencies are using raw milk as a scapegoat to keep you from looking at the real problem, which is that factory farms produce inherently unsafe foods. It’s like a propaganda machine sleight of hand maneuver…
CDC Stance on Raw Milk—As Biased as It Gets
Mark McAfee, CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy and an internationally recognized expert in raw milk production and safety, has on numerous occasions tried to set the record straight with US authorities, to no avail. In a 2012 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he writes:7
“As a grade A producer of retailed-approved raw milk in California, I find your raw milk page filled with highly erroneous and very misleading information… In California, we have legal retail-approved raw milk in 400 stores consumed by 75,000 consumers each week. This retail legal raw milk is tested and state inspected and far exceeds pasteurized milk product standards without any heat or processing.
It is clean raw milk from a single source dairy. There have been no deaths from raw milk in California in 37 years. Two years ago, I submitted a FOIA request to the CDC to request data on the two deaths that the CDC database claims were from raw milk. The data I received back from the CDC showed that in fact there had been no death from raw milk at all.
The two deaths had been from illegal Mexican bath tub cheese and not raw milk from any place in America. Why does the CDC persist in publishing this erroneous information? …The last people to die from milk died from pasteurized milk at Whittier farms in 2007, not from raw milk.”
While both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC warn that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, they completely overlook the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk.
They make no distinction whatsoever between disease-riddled factory farmed milk and the milk from clean, healthy, grass-fed cows. This is indeed a key issue, as raw milk from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) IS dangerous and must be pasteurized in order to be fit to drink, whereas raw milk from cows raised on pasture IS NOT dangerous and DOES NOT need pasteurization. The source of the milk makes all the difference when it comes to raw milk.
What the CDC Doesn’t Tell You About Raw Milk Is Worth Knowing…
The CDC also fails to inform visitors in its website that legal raw milk producers oftentimes adhere to stricter safety standards than CAFOs do. California, specifically, has its own special set of standards for raw milk for human consumption, in which farmers must meet or exceed pasteurized milk standards, without pasteurizing.
Instead of giving you the facts, the CDC lists raw milk as one of the riskiest foods in America, without any real proof to back up such a proclamation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has even called for a complete ban on raw milk because it is so “dangerous.” But on what do they base their assumptions? On the CDC’s unproven opinion? If safety was truly the issue, then pasteurized dairy would be banned, as that’s what’s causing the most disease.
So you’ve got to ask yourself, is this really about our personal safety or the safety of the milk industry? Eating directly from the farm is prohibited by industry so they can control our food supply. They make it very difficult for farmers to sell directly to us, whether dairy products or meat products. They claim this is done for our safety, but it’s really just a plot to control our food system.
“The FDA does not mention raw milk on their top 10 most risky foods in America list,” McAfee notes. “Pasteurized ice cream and pasteurized cheeses make the top 10 risky foods list… According to the Cornell study performed on CDC data, there were 1,100 illnesses caused by raw milk between 1973 and 2009. There were 422,000 illnesses caused by pasteurized milk. No deaths from raw milk and at least 50 deaths from pasteurized milk or pasteurized cheese—the CDC left out the 29 or more people that died from the pasteurized Jalisco cheese listeria incident in 1985.”
Raw Milk Has Many Health Benefits
The CDC, as McAfee notes, is absolutely riddled with bias. While most of it is obvious, some of the bias is hidden by the way the CDC counts its statistics. For example, it counts outbreaks rather than the number of people affected by the outbreak. In one outbreak caused by pasteurized milk, 200,000 people fell ill! Yet it’s only counted as one incident. Its website also makes no mention whatsoever to studies showing how raw organic milk differs, nutritionally, from CAFO milk, and how it improves health. For example, raw milk is:
Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract High in omega-3 and low omega-6, which is the beneficial ratio between these two essential fats
Full of more than 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies). These enzymes are destroyed during pasteurization, making pasteurized milk much harder to digest Loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) in highly bioavailable forms, and a very balanced blend of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron) whose absorption is enhanced by live Lactobacilli
Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism Rich in healthy unoxidized cholesterol
Rich in beneficial raw fats, amino acids, and proteins in a highly bioavailable form, all 100 percent digestible It also contains phosphatase, an enzyme that aids and assists in the absorption of calcium in your bones, and lipase enzyme, which helps to hydrolyze and absorb fats
Pasteurizing milk, on the other hand, destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, and actually promotes pathogens.
Max Kane’s Self-Healing Is a Testament to the Power of Raw Dairy
In the video above, I interview Max Kane, a local raw dairy farmer from whom our office purchases a variety of raw dairy products from. Max was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 10. Through years of study, he eventually healed himself through nutrition and lifestyle changes. He now consumes only 100 percent raw, 100 percent organic, and 100 percent pasture-raised dairy products. Raw dairy makes up about 50 percent of his diet.
“The cream is perhaps the most important part of the milk because the cream is where all the energy is that’s needed to digest the milk protein casein,” he explains. “That’s why it’s important to consume full-fat dairy products instead of non-fat or skim dairy products. The cream is also responsible for regulating the sugar absorption into your blood. It decreases the likelihood of insulin spikes. The cream naturally floats to the top of the milk, and it can be skimmed right off the top. Traditionally, people would use the cream line as a visual aid to help them assess the quality of the milk…
Homogenization [is] an industry process that fractionates the cream molecule, the fat molecule, into small little pieces. This was done for the purpose of making the cream line non-detectable to the human eye… That’s how they standardized the milk, by taking away the viewable quality assessment from the consumer, and ultimately left the consumer with no real visual way to assess the quality and the value of the milk.”
The quality of grass-fed milk, butter, and yogurt can easily be ascertained by its color. The carotenoids in the plants cows eat on pasture gives grass-fed products a more yellow-orange cast. When cows are raised on dried grass or hay, opposed to fresh-growing grass, you end up with a whiter product, which is an indication of reduced carotenoid and antioxidant content. Raw milk yogurt is also very thick and creamy, compared to pasteurized commercial varieties. The same goes for pastured eggs, which can be ascertained by their deep orange yolk. CAFO chickens, which never go outdoors, and are fed grains rather than bugs and insects, produce eggs with pale yellow yolks.
ABOUT Max Kane – Max Kane was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 10, and through years of study, healed himself through nutrition and lifestyle changes. 100% of his dairy products and over 50% of his other foods are purchased directly from farms. When it comes to dairy, he only consumes 100% raw, 100% organic, 100% grass-fed. Dairy makes up about 50% of his diet. After realizing the healing power of fresh farm foods, Kane teamed up with Amagisoft to create FarmMatch.com.
ABOUT FarmMatch — It’s free to create an account, but no account is required to use the system.
FarmMatch is built over the Google mapping system and makes local food searchable worldwide, making it easy to find a local farmer. Not only are specific farm products searchable, but products are searchable by quality standards as well… 100% grass-fed, non-GMO, etc. You can connect with farmers and buy online as well. The order management system is consumer funded. Buyers pay a $2.95 fee when placing an order or can opt into a $3.95/month plan that allows unlimited ordering with no $2.95 fees. Through these small affordable consumer fees, FarmMatch delivers a state-of-the-art software suit to every small scale farmer at no charge to the farmer. The FarmMatch business model not only helps individual small farmers, but it also lifts the entire local food movement as a whole.
Join the Fight for Food Freedom
The fight over raw milk stands as a symbol of the much larger fight for food freedom. Who gets to decide what you eat? You? Or the FDA? If the FDA and other government agencies are allowed to impose their view of “safe food” on consumers, raw milk won’t be the only thing lost—all food will be pasteurized, irradiated, and genetically engineered. The effort to reclaim our right to buy and consume raw milk is leading the way for everyone who wants to be able to obtain the food of their choice from the source of their choice. So please, get involved! I urge you to get involved with the following action plan to protect your right to choose your own foods:
1. Get informed: Visit www.farmtoconsumer.org or click here to sign up for action alerts. To review the raw milk laws in your state, see the Farm-to-Consumer.org’s Raw Milk Nation page.
2. Join the fight for your rights: The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is the only organization of its kind. This 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization provides a legal defense for farmers who are being pursued by the government for distributing foods directly to consumers. Your donations, although not tax deductible, will be used to support the litigation, legislative, and lobbying efforts of the FTCLDF.
3. Support your local farmers: Getting your raw milk from a local organic farm or co-op is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting high-quality milk. You can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Website. California residents can find raw milk retailers by using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
There is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless—but others are outright dangerous and can lead you down the road to chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.
It is critically important to decipher fact from fiction. Many nutrition myths get repeated over and over until they are mistaken for truth, especially when perpetually spread by public health authorities.
But the good news is that slowly, the real truth finally appears to be reaching mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the eagerness of satirists to take a jab at the food industry, as in the clever Coca-Cola parody featured above.
In an article addressing destructive nutrition lies, Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition1 is among those admirably trying to bust the dangerous dietary myths that continue being spread by so many nutritionists. I agree with the majority of his points, but have added a few others that I believe to be important. Read on for my own top 10 list, which builds upon his.
Lie #1: Breakfast Is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day
How many of you had mothers who would not let you leave the house without breakfast? Mother may have known best about some things—but as it turns out, this wasn’t one of them. There is now a good deal of research supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting—which is what you were really doing by zipping out of the house without breakfast.
Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction which many studies have shown to dramatically increase life span in animals. It may also be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.
Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone production (aka the “fitness hormone”) by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men.
Intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have both been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance.
Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increased lean body mass. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by increasing levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There are several types of intermittent fasting to choose from, so I recommend experimenting to see what style works best for you. One of the easiest, however, is to simply skip breakfast, and limit your eating to a narrow window of time each day—say between 11am and 7pm, to start. You can review my more comprehensive article on intermittent fasting for more details.
The advice to “eat six small meals per day” comes from seemingly logical principles (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilizing blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits. We seem to need periods of fasting for optimal metabolic function.
And if you think about it, our ancient ancestors never had access to a grocery store 24/7 and they went through regular periods of feast and famine. The problem is that most of us are in 24/7 feast mode. Implementing intermittent fasting is the quickest way I know of to jump start your body into burning fat as its primary fuel again.
Lie #2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease
The dangerous recommendation to avoid saturated fat, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming people’s health for about 40 years now. As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:
“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”
Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is the polar opposite of an ideal fat to carb ratio and virtually guarantees you a heightened risk of disease.
Most people benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthful fats. However, you need very few, if any, carbohydrates for optimal health. Although that amount of fat may seem like a lot, fat is very calorie-dense, and will therefore still constitute the smallest amount, in terms of volume, on your plate.
The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.
Fats also serve as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals, and a host of other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart! Good sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:
Avocados Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk Raw dairy Organic pastured egg yolks
Coconuts and coconut oil Unheated organic nut oils Raw nuts, especially macadamia, and raw seeds Grass-fed and finished meats
Lie #3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You
Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oils are some of the worst. When consumed in large amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort your important omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. In a perfect world, this ratio is 1:1—but the average American is getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods significantly increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses.
The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized, damaged cholesterol, which your immune system identifies as bacteria. In response, your immune system sends out macrophages to attack it, which creates inflammation inside your artery walls. A major factor driving heart disease is this oxidized cholesterol, which you introduce into your body every time you consume vegetable oils, or foods cooked in them.
Many vegetable and seed oils are also genetically engineered, which only compounds their health risk. More than 90 percent of US canola oil is GE. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the one of choice for cooking because it’s close to a completely saturated fat—meaning, much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most nutritionally beneficial fats. For more information about coconut oil, please see our special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.
Lie #4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss
Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The irony is that nearly all of the studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gainthan caloric sweeteners. Studies also show that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.
In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain much more so than regular soda.2 On average, each diet soda the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:
Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced, leading to further problems with weight control3
Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced by multiple studies. For example, a Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids4
The list of health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, continues to expand. I maintain an ongoing list of studies related to the detrimental effects of aspartame, which I recommend you review for yourself if you are still on the fence. I invite you to watch my aspartame video, as well.
Lie #5: Soy Is a Health Food
The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, regardless of your age or gender. I am not opposed to all soy—properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto, offer great health benefits, courtesy of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) the fermentation process produces.
Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to a number of health problems, however. More than 90 percent of American soy crops are also genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.5 If you find this information startling, then I would encourage you to review some of the articles on my Soy Page. The following table lists a number of the damaging health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:
Breast cancer Brain damage and cognitive impairment Heart disease
Thyroid disorders Kidney stones Immune dysfunction
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies Malnutrition Digestive problems
Problems with pregnancy and breastfeeding Reproductive disorders and impaired fertility Developmental abnormalities in infants
Lie #6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone
The use of whole grains is an easy subject to get confused about, especially for those with a passion for health and nutrition. For the longest time, we’ve been told that whole grains are highly beneficial. Unfortunately, ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels, even whole grains and organic varieties—and elevated insulin/leptin increases your risk of chronic disease. This is especially true if you already struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, which would manifest as high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol ratios, being overweight, or diabetes).
It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin and leptin levels and have one or more of the symptoms listed above. You may be one of those if you struggle to maintain an ideal body weight and body composition, tend to accumulate fat around you belly, or have a suboptimal lipid profile. In fact, insulin/leptin dysregulation is a common indicator for many of the diseases so prevalent today, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Many whole grains also contain gluten, which is a common trigger for allergies and sensitivities. Subclinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, with symptoms that are not always obvious. I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains from your diet, as well as sugars/fructose, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above. As a general rule, the higher your insulin levels are, the greater your grain restriction should be.
Lie #7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods
Genetic engineering (GE) of our food may be the most dangerous aspect of our food supply today. I strongly recommend that you avoid ALL GE foods. Since more than 90 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the soy grown in the US are GE, then you can count on virtually every processed food having at least one GE component if it doesn’t bear the “USDA 100% Organic” or non-GMO label. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of them is that the crops are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate, to the tune of nearly a billion pounds per year. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.
No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders. The first-ever lifetime feeding study showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan. It’s important to realize that, unless you’re buying all organic food or growing your own, you’re probably consuming GE foods on a daily basis. In order to avoid as many GE foods as possible, be aware that the following common crops are likely to be GE unless otherwise labeled:
Corn, Canola, Alfalfa
Soy, Cottonseed, Sugar from sugar beets
Zucchini, Crookneck squash, Hawaiian papaya
Lie #8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart
Eggs are one of the most demonized foods in the US… thanks to the cholesterol myth. The misguided belief that cholesterol, such as in egg yolks, will give you heart disease is simply untrue (see Lie #1). Studies have shown that eggs do NOT have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels and are actually one of the most healthful foods you can eat. In one Yale study,6 participants were asked to consume two eggs daily for six weeks. Researchers found that this egg consumption did not spike cholesterol levels and did not have a negative effect on endothelial function, a measure of cardiac risk.
Choose pasture-raised organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are also more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs. Some of the many nutritional benefits of eggs are summarized for you in the table below.
One egg contains six grams of high quality protein and all nine essential amino acids Beneficial for eye health due to lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in your lens and retina that help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts Good source of choline, a member of the vitamin B family (essential for nervous system, cardiovascular system, and prenatal brain development)
Vitamin D: eggs are one of the few foods that contains naturally occurring vitamin D (24.5 grams) Sulfur (essential component of glutathione, also promotes healthy hair and nails) Many other vitamins and minerals (B vitamins, vitamins A and E, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc)
Lie #9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease
Conventional recommendations over the past 40 years or more have called for drastically decreasing the overall fat in your diet, but this fat aversion is a driving force behind today’s metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and ill health. As discussed earlier, most people need between 50 and 85 percent of their calories from fats—a far cry form the less than 10 percent from saturated fat recommended by the USDA!7 Kris Gunnars stated it quite nicely:8
“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.
The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”
Let’s face it, if low-fat diets worked, the United States would be the healthiest nation on the planet—folks have been following them since the late 1970s! But if you look at the following graph, you can see that America’s waistline has done nothing but expand since then. There’s no telling how many people have been prematurely killed by following these flawed guidelines. Yet, despite mounting research to the contrary, low-fat diets are stillbeing pushed as “heart healthy” by the majority of nutritionists, cardiologists, and the like.
Lie #10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
I have already covered how insulin resistance is a key factor in disease (see Lie #4). A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates—particularly processed grains and sugar—leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When your highest percentage of calories comes from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch, not vegetables. When the low-fat mantra swept over the country, the high-carb craze soon followed. When fat was removed from foods, something had to be added back in to make foods more palatable—and that something was sugar. Particularly, highly concentrated forms of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, which spell metabolic disaster for your body.
With fat being the identified villain (albeit falsely accused), sugar was completely ignored—even though sugar was the real culprit behind inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease. America’s love of sugar was a boon to the processed food industry—which added fructose to practically everything from soup to nuts… literally. If you want to see what effects this had on the country’s health and belt size, just turn on your national news.
A high-carb diet disrupts your insulin and leptin signaling, and over time may very well result in type 2 diabetes. By contrast, a diet higher in beneficial fats corrects these metabolic issues. Recent research has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet—one marked by carbohydrate restriction and substantial healthful fats—extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent, because it optimized their insulin sensitivity and other metabolic processes. There is evidence that low carbohydrate diets, combined with appropriate amounts of protein, can even slow down Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Now for the #1 Truth…
The more you can eat like your ancestors, the better—fresh whole foods, locally and sustainably raised, and foods that are minimally processed or not processed at all. These are the types of foods that your genes and biochemistry are adapted to and will provide you with the ability to reverse and prevent most diseases. You will find these at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, or in your own backyard garden. And you will be amazed at the positive changes you’ll see in your health when you “clean up” your diet! Be wary of nutritional advice from mainstream “experts” as it may not be based on science—or based on bad information that is several decades outdated. Truthful, accurate information is your number one weapon in taking control of your health.
Great Britain, like the United States, has seen a remarkably rapid rise in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes over the last decade. According to a recent BBC News1 report, more than one-third of British adults are now pre-diabetic.
In 2003, 11.6 percent of Britons had pre-diabetes. By 2011, that figure had more than tripled, reaching 35.3 percent. Researchers warn that this will lead to a massive avalanche of type 2 diabetics in upcoming years, which will have serious consequences for health care and life expectancy.
In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What’s worse, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed.
The most recent data,2, 3 reveals that, between 2001 and 2009, incidence of type 1 diabetes among children under the age of 19 rose by 21 percent. Incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 10-19 rose by 30 percent during that same timeframe!
Conventional Medicine Has It All Wrong…
Statistics such as these point to two very important facts. First, it tells us that diabetes cannot be primarily caused by genetics, and secondly, it literally screams that something we’re doing, consistently and en masse, is horribly wrong, and we need to address it.
In this case, that “something” is a seriously flawed diet and lack of physical activity. Unfortunately, Dr. Ron Rosedale wrote in 2005, doctors cause diabetics to D.I.E from their flawed prescriptions, which stem from a basic lack of insight into the root cause of this disease. D.I.E., here, is a clever acronym for “Doctor Induced Exacerbation,” which does indeed include early death.
Conventional medicine has type 2 diabetes pegged as a problem with blood sugar rather than the underlying problem of improper insulin and leptin signaling. The reality is that diabetes is a disease rooted in insulin resistance4 and perhaps more importantly, a malfunction of leptin signaling, caused by chronically elevated insulin and leptin levels.
This is why the medical community’s approach to its treatment is not getting anywhere. Treating type 2 diabetes with insulin is actually one of the worst things you can do…
Recent research has come to the same conclusions that Dr. Rosedale warned us about nearly a decade ago, which is that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin can lead further to the development of type 1 diabetes.
And, not only are conventionally-trained doctors wrong about the cause of the disease, but they continue to pass along seriously flawed nutritional information as well, which allows the disease to increase to epidemic proportions.
Definitions of Terms
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of causes and treatments for diabetes, let’s clarify the difference between type 1 and type 2, and the emergence of what some are now referring to as “type 3″ diabetes. The terms “pre-diabetes” and “metabolic syndrome” also need to be explained.
Pre-diabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance, is a term used to describe an earlier state of progressing insulin resistance. It is conventionally diagnosed by having a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dl.
Pre-diabetes is very easy to turn around. Simply swapping processed foods for whole organic foods lower in sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates combined with a few minutes of daily exercise will quickly put you on the road to reversing this condition.
Metabolic syndrome. As your insulin resistance progresses, your liver makes too much sugar and fat, and your skeletal muscles are less able to burn them and make glycogen, which is how glucose is stored in your muscles and liver. In turn, there is an increase in sugar and fats in your bloodstream which leads to high triglyceride levels and increased body fat–especially abdominal fat, and higher blood pressure.
Having 3 or more of a group of symptoms caused by insulin (and now we also know leptin) resistance — high triglycerides, low HDL, higher blood glucose and blood pressure, and increased belly fat—is referred to as metabolic syndrome (in the past it was called Syndrome X).
Type 1: insulin-dependent diabetes. Traditionally, type 1 diabetes develops before the age of 20. It used to be relatively uncommon, but as noted above, its incidence is rapidly rising.
Type 1 diabetes is classically an autoimmune disease in which your immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of your pancreas, resulting in an inability to produce any significant insulin which that, if left untreated, will cause death in days to weeks from a hyperglycemic coma.
This deficiency of insulin is why type 1 is called “insulin-dependent” diabetes. There is currently no known way to completely reverse this.
However recent research suggests glimmers of hope. For example, Columbia University scientists claim that by turning off a particular gene, human gut cells can be converted into cells that produce insulin in response to dietary sugar.5, 6
Type 2: non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing some insulin, in fact usually too much, but is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. This is an advanced stage of insulin resistance, which is typically caused by a diet that is too high in sugars and sugar-forming foods.
When you have inadequate insulin signaling, sugar cannot get into your cells and instead builds up in your blood. While anyone can get type 2 diabetes, you are typically considered at highest risk if you are overweight, sedentary, if you are a woman who had gestational diabetes, have family members with type 2 diabetes, or have metabolic syndrome. However, all of these really have the same underlying root of insulin and leptin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of all diabetics, and contrary to conventional medical and media teaching, it’s nearly 100 percent curable7 through lifestyle changes alone (if these are instituted before conventional medical therapy/drugs kills the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin, causing type 1 diabetes too; see below).
Study Confirms: ‘Insulin Therapy May Do More Harm Than Good’
A study published in the June 30, 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine8 concluded what Dr. Rosedale has been saying for two decades, that insulin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients may indeed do more harm than good. As reported by Medical News Today:9
“In the US, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when hemoglobin A1c levels reach 6.5 percent or higher. The higher A1c levels are, the greater the risk of other health problems. Sometimes the condition can be managed through changes in diet, but other patients with type 2 diabetes may need medication – such as insulin or metformin – to help lower their blood sugar levels, and ultimately, reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
But the researchers of this latest study… claim that the benefits of such treatment – particularly for people over the age of 50 – may not always outweigh the negatives. ‘In many cases, insulin treatment may not do anything to add to the person’s quality life expectancy,’ says study co-author John S. Yudkin… ‘If people feel that insulin therapy reduces their quality of life by anything more than around 3-4 percent, this will outweigh any potential benefits gained by treatment in almost anyone with type 2 diabetes over around 50 years old.’
For example, they estimate that a person with type 2 diabetes who begins insulin therapy at age 45 and lowers their hemoglobin A1c levels by 1 percent may experience an extra 10 months of healthy life. But for a patient who starts treatment for type 2 diabetes at age 75, they estimate the therapy may only gain them an additional 3 weeks of healthy life. The researchers say this prompts the question – is 10-15 years of pills or injections with possible side effects worth it?”
New Kid on the Block: Type 3 Diabetes, or ‘Brain Diabetes,’ May Be Responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease and Glaucoma
A growing body of research suggests there’s a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma,10 via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers learned that the pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin. Your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.
A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have now discovered that insulin does far more than simply regulating blood sugar. Your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones. In fact, Dr. Rosedale believes that it is the constant burning by the brain of glucose that is primarily to blame for Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders
Insulin is actually a “master multitasker” that helps with neuron glucose-uptake, and the regulation of neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition. Other research11 shows that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia. “Brain diabetes” may also be responsible for glaucoma, according to recent research. As reported by Medical News Today:12
“Researchers [in India]… have proposed a new mechanism of glaucoma which suggests that diabetes can occur in the brain and may be the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders including glaucoma… an irreversibly blinding disorder with almost 65 million sufferers worldwide. There is no cure…
The recent paper titled ‘Glaucoma: Diabetes of the brain – a radical hypothesis about its nature and pathogenesis’, published in Medical Hypotheses… explore glaucoma and related neurodegenerative diseases from many perspectives and come up with a multifaceted and internally coherent concept of glaucoma being ‘the diabetes of the brain.’”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.
Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Contrary to type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not may not be rooted in insulin and leptin dysfunction caused by excessive sugar (and carbohydrate) consumption. However, over the past several years, research has given us important clues about its predisposing conditions. Two important ones that you have more or less complete control over are:
Vitamin D deficiency. Research suggests that sun avoidance may play a major role in the development of insulin dependent diabetes. The further you move away from the equator the greater your risk of being born with, or developing type 1 diabetes. A major key to preventing type 1 diabetes in children is to ensure that pregnant mothers have optimal vitamin D stores. There is also strong evidence that this can decrease your child’s risk of autism. Once your child is born, ensuring he or she gets optimal sun exposure (and/or wise use of oral vitamin D supplementation) could virtually eliminate the risk for type 1 diabetes.
Abnormal gut flora. An excessive focus on a germ-free environment is another potential contributing factor that impairs immune function. In 2008, animal research13 suggested that beneficial bacteria could protect against the development of type 1 diabetes. There is a good deal of evidence that a contributor to the rising rates of type 1 diabetes is raising our children in too sterile an environment. Many parents religiously use antibacterial soaps and keep their children away from the natural dirt, germs, viruses and other grime of childhood.14
Antibiotics, which kill all of the good and bad bacteria in the gut, are also overused in childhood. The lesson here is, it’s okay to let your child get dirty. Use plain soap and water for washing. Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, and feed them naturally fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut.15
Root Causes of Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity. This makes it easily preventable and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs. One of the driving forces behind type 2 diabetes is excessive dietary fructose, which has adverse effects on all of metabolic hormones—including two key players: insulin and leptin.
There is no question in my mind that regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of insulin/leptin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. It’s important to realize that even though fructose is relatively “low glycemic” on the front end, it actually reduces the receptor’s affinity for insulin, leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system’s ability to function properly behind the scenes…
Another major cause of type 2 diabetes is the consumption of the vast amount of glucose derived from the high carbohydrate diet that has been recommended for the last half century by conventional medical and media recommendations. All carbohydrates that are not fiber will be quickly metabolized into sugar, and it makes little sense to eat large amounts of sugar to keep your blood sugar lower.
The misconception of the cause of diabetes may be the biggest problem. Conventional medicine describes diabetes as a disease characterized by elevated blood sugar. This “dysregulation of blood sugar control” is typically explained as “an inability of your body to produce enough insulin.” To control diabetes with that view, it would be rational to prescribe insulin or drugs that raise insulin to counteract the elevated blood sugar. The reality however is that type 2 diabetes is NOT the result of insufficient insulin production. It’s actually the result of too much insulin being produced on a chronic basis primarily from eating the high carbohydrate, low fat diet recommended by the ADA and AHA to prevent and treat this.
This overwhelms and “deafens” your insulin receptors, hence the term “insulin resistance.” It’s the chronically elevated insulin levels that make your body “resistant” to understanding the signals sent by the insulin. This also occurs with leptin. It’s really important to realize that T2 diabetes is not caused by elevated blood sugar or “insulin deficiency” per se. The root cause is insulin and leptin resistance which is why prescribing insulin is one of the WORST things you can do for type 2 diabetes, as it will actually worsen your insulin and leptin resistance over time. You do not need more insulin. You need to restore the sensitivity of your insulin and leptin receptors by keeping their levels low!
If you’re still having trouble understanding why taking insulin is a terrible choice in type 2 diabetes consider this; when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy (sugar) into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen, but the majority is stored as fat. Therefore, insulin’s primary role is not to lower your blood sugar, but rather to store this extra energy as fat for future needs when food may not be available. The fact that insulin lowers your blood sugar is merely a “side effect” of this energy storage process. Taking more insulin just makes you fatter!
Your body’s cells become desensitized to insulin, leptin, and other hormones, by being overexposed to these hormones—be it by eating food that causes excessive secretion, or by injection. Diabetes treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar by adding insulin therefore tend to worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
As Dr. Rosedale has previously stated: “Type 2 diabetes is brought on by constantly having too much insulin and leptin circulating secondary to the same diet that has been recommended to treat diabetes and heart disease, a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Then giving these diabetics more insulin is adding gasoline to the fire. Doctors couldn’t be doing more harm if they tried.”
Leptin—An Oft-Ignored KEY Player in Type 2 Diabetes Development
While much conventional advice centers around insulin, leptin is another hormone that plays an integral role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Leptin is produced in your fat and other cells, and one of its primary roles is regulating your appetite and body weight. Leptin tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly, when to stop eating. Leptin also instructs your brain as to what to do with the available energy.
Now remember, when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage—the majority of which is stored as fat, and leptin is produced in these fat cells. The more fat you have, the more leptin is produced. Furthermore, as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat releases further surges in leptin. This is why I typically talk about insulin and leptin resistance, as they work in tandem. Moreover, leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether or not you become insulin-resistant. If you’re insulin resistant, you’re more than likely leptin resistant as well, especially if you’re overweight or obese.
Because when you develop leptin resistance, your brain can no longer hear leptin’s signals, resulting in chronic hunger, overeating, inability to properly burn fat and, typically, obesity. Insulin resistance, and ultimately type 2 diabetes, follow suit. Just as with insulin, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin signaling is through proper diet. High consumption of carbohydrates, especially fructose, are again the prime culprit and the root cause of leptin resistance. Lack of exercise and abnormal gut flora also contribute and/or exacerbate insulin and leptin resistance. Leptin’s importance in blood glucose control and diabetes is powerfully illustrated by recent studies that show its ability, even in low doses, to lower blood glucose in both type 1 and 2 diabetics, and this is an exciting new potential treatment.
Magnesium Deficiency—Another Factor That Raises Your Risk for Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium deficiency is also worth mentioning while still on the subject of root causes of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium actually plays an important role in glucose and insulin homeostasis,16 and magnesium deficiency is widespread these days. Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors.
It is well known that people with insulin resistance also experience increased excretion of magnesium in their urine, which further contributes to diminished magnesium levels. This magnesium loss appears to be secondary to increased urinary glucose, which increases urinary output.17 Therefore, inadequate magnesium intake seems to prompt a vicious cycle of low magnesium levels, insulin resistance, elevated insulin and glucose levels, and excess magnesium excretion. In other words, the less magnesium your body has, the less it appears to you’ll be able to “hang onto it.”18
Rarely do so many studies,19, 20, 21 from around the world find universal agreement on a subject, but here the evidence is clear: if you want to optimize your metabolism and keep your risk for type 2 diabetes low, one of the things you need to do is consume adequate magnesium. One 2013 study involving pre-diabetics found that most had inadequate magnesium intake, and those with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by a whopping 71 percent.22
Current government guidelines for magnesium intake among adults call for 300 to 420 mg per day (depending on your gender, age, pregnancy and lactation), but many people consume less than 300 mg per day. Research suggests many would benefit from a much higher intake, about 700 mg per day or more. Magnesium is lost in sweat during exercise and used up in higher amounts when you’re stressed.
I believe that magnesium threonate is one of the best supplemental sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.
New Warning: Insulin Can Rapidly Produce Type 1 Diabetes in Type 2 Diabetics
Please understand that medications and supplements are not the answer for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes drugs fail to address the underlying problem, and many, like Avandia, can have dangerous side effects. Avandia is linked to 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared with other treatments. Instead, type 2 diabetes is best controlled by restoring your insulin and leptin sensitivities. This is done by eliminating grains and sugars—especially fructose—from your diet, getting plenty of healthy fats, exercising, and sleeping well. Further details on this will be provided below, in the treatment section.
As noted earlier, recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism23 confirms what Dr. Ron Rosedale has stated for the last two decades, which is that insulin treatment can provoke otherwise reversible type 2 diabetes to progress into type 1 insulin deficient and therefore insulin-dependent diabetes. The study found that giving genetically engineered recombinant insulin to type 2 diabetics with certain genetic susceptibility can trigger their bodies to produce antibodies that destroy their insulin producing cells (pancreatic islet cells). You may not realize that all human insulin, the type typically used, is GMO or genetically modified which might be responsible for this autoimmune reaction.
Basically, it triggers an autoimmune disease response, producing a condition in which you have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes simultaneously. The average time of type 1 diabetes onset was 7.7 months. One study participant developed type 1 diabetes in just over one month! According to the authors, acute deterioration of blood glucose control after administering insulin is a warning sign of this problematic side effect. According to this study, the genes predisposing you to this autoimmune-type response to insulin are:
Type 1 diabetes high risk HLA class II (IDDM1), thought to play a role in about half of all type 1 diabetes cases
VNTR genotype (IDDM2), which is believed to predispose you to type 2 diabetes
This is yet another way conventional diabetic treatment pushes diabetics into premature death… Research24 published last year revealed that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin more than doubled patients’ risk of all-cause mortality. It also leads to:
Twice as many myocardial infarctions 1.4 time more strokes 2.1 time more neuropathy 1.4 times more cancer
1.7 time more major adverse cardiac events 3.5 times more renal complications 1.2 times more eye complications 2.2 times more deaths
Another study published in Diabetologia25, 26 in May of this year, found that diabetic cancer patients also have a significantly elevated risk of death. Diabetic patients using insulin at the time of their cancer diagnosis had a four times higher mortality rate one year after cancer diagnosis, compared to non-diabetic patients, or those who did not use insulin to control their diabetes. While this was an observational study, which means it cannot establish causality, it is worth noting nonetheless.
Dr. Rosedale has also said; “All of these increased rates of chronic diseases caused by taking insulin may be because it is doing exactly the opposite of what has been shown in many studies to reduce cancer, total mortality, and extend lifespan; reducing insulin. In fact, T2 diabetes is often considered to be a model of accelerated aging because of the high insulin. In other words, treating diabetics by overly raising insulin, either with drugs or insulin itself, is only further accelerating their aging, associated chronic diseases, and death, and should be considered malpractice.”
Warning #2: Beware of Future Diabetic Vaccines
As noted by GreenMedInfo.com,27 these findings also raise serious warnings against diabetic vaccines:
“[T]here are a number of trials underway to produce vaccines containing insulin intended to induce a ‘tolerogenic immune response’ and therefore ameliorate autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Clearly, however, their findings run contrary to this expectation, revealing that it is possible that introducing exogenous forms of insulin may stimulate the opposite reaction and induced autoimmunity against the hormone, or the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing it.”
It also raises questions about the safety and effectiveness of synthetic insulin. Virtually all of the insulin sold in the US is synthetic, synthesized from recombinant DNA technology, which differs considerably from natural animal-derived insulin. Interestingly, it could be that it’s the “inactive” ingredients or additives, such as polysorbate 20, that produce an exaggerated immune response in susceptible individuals—similar to that encountered with vaccines. Sayer Ji also notes that:28
“Furthermore, synthetic insulin does not have the same conformational state – i.e. it does not assume the same complex folded form – of natural human insulin, or more closely related pig insulin. This presents a ‘recognition’ problem from the perspective of the immune system which may identify the foreign protein as ‘other’ generating acute or sustained autoimmune reactions to it as a result…
Research29 dating back to the early 1980s compared synthetic E. Coli derived insulin with porcine (pig) derived insulin in diabetic children and found that porcine insulin was more effective at lowering HbA1 values (a marker of damage associated with elevated blood sugar), superior at reducing fasting glucose concentrations, and less antibody reactive to insulin than synthetic insulin. While pig derived insulin has its limitations, especially considering there are limits to how much can be produced, clearly it is more appropriate than synthetic versions if it is true that the latter is incapable of reproducing the same therapeutic outcome for diabetics.”
How to Prevent and Treat Insulin/Leptin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
Now that you have an understanding of the root causes of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, it’s time to outline a program to reverse this condition. Remember, type 2 diabetes is curable, and in the vast majority of cases does not require any form of medication.
The following nutrition and lifestyle modifications should be the foundation of your diabetes prevention and treatment plan. Also, make sure to monitor your FASTING insulin level. This is every bit as important as monitoring your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the greater your insulin resistance and the more aggressive you need to be in your treatment plan, especially when it comes to altering your diet.
Swap out processed foods, all forms of sugar—particularly fructose—as well as all grains, for whole, fresh food. A primary reason for the failure of conventional diabetes treatment over the last 50 years has to do with seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Fructose, grains, and other sugar forming starchy carbohydrates are largely responsible for your body’s adverse insulin reactions, and all sugars and grains—even “healthful” grains such as whole, organic ones—need to be drastically reduced.
If you’re insulin/leptin resistant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or are overweight, you’d be wise to limit your total fructose intake to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has resolved. This includes about 80 percent of Americans. For all others, I recommend limiting your daily fructose consumption to 25 grams or less, to maintain optimal health.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by swapping processed foods for whole, ideally organic foods. This means cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. Processed foods are the main source of all the primary culprits, including high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, processed grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and other synthetic additives that may aggravate metabolic dysfunction.
Besides fructose, trans fat (NOT saturated fat) increases your risk for diabetes30 by interfering with your insulin receptors. Healthy saturated fats do not do this. Since you’re cutting out a lot of energy (carbs) from your diet when you reduce sugars and grains, you need to replace them with something. The ideal replacement is a combination of:
Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. When selecting animal-based protein, be sure to opt for organically raised, grass-fed or pastured meats, eggs, and dairy, to avoid potential health complications caused by genetically engineered animal feed and pesticides.
Most Americans eat far too much protein, so be mindful of the amount! I believe it is the rare person who really needs more than one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Those that are aggressively exercising or competing and pregnant women should have about 25 percent more, but most people rarely need more than 40-70 grams of protein a day.
To determine your lean body mass, find out your percent body fat and subtract from 100. This means that if you have 20 percent body fat, you have 80 percent lean body mass. Just multiply that by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.
Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly. You could use the chart below or simply Google the food you want to know and you will quickly find the grams of protein in the food.
Red meat, pork, poultry and seafood average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.
An ideal amount for most people would be a 3 ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18-27 grams of protein Eggs contain about 6-8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12-16 grams of protein.
If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
Seeds and nuts contain on average 4-8 grams of protein per quarter cup Cooked beans average about 7-8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average 5-7 grams per cup Most vegetables contain about 1-2 grams of protein per ounce
As much high-quality healthy fat as you want (saturated31 and monounsaturated). For optimal health, most people need upwards of 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fats. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. (Remember, fat is high in calories while being small in terms of volume. So when you look at your plate, the largest portion would be vegetables.)
As many non-starchy vegetables as you want
Exercise regularly and intensely. Studies have shown that exercise, even without weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity.32 High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a central component of my Peak Fitness program, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by as much as 24 percent in just four weeks.
Improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Today’s Western diet has far too many processed and damaged omega-6 fats, and is far too little omega-3 fats.33 The main sources of omega-6 fats are corn, soy, canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oil (the first two of which are typically genetically engineered as well, which further complicates matters). Our bodies evolved for an optimal 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. However, our ratio has deteriorated to between 20:1 and 50:1 in favor of omega-6. This lopsided ratio has seriously adverse health consequences.
To remedy this, reduce your consumption of vegetable oils (this means not cooking with them, and avoiding processed foods), and increase your intake of animal-based omega-3, such as krill oil. Vegetable-based omega-3 is also found in flaxseed oil and walnut oil, and it’s good to include these in your diet as well. Just know they cannot take the place of animal-based omega-3s.
Maintain optimal vitamin D levels year-round. New evidence strongly supports the notion that vitamin D is highly beneficial not only for type 1 diabetes as mentioned before, but also in type 2 diabetes. The ideal way to optimize your vitamin D level is by getting regular sun exposure, or by using a safe tanning bed. As a last resort, consider oral supplementation with regular vitamin D monitoring, to confirm that you are taking enough vitamin D to get your blood levels into the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Also please note that if you take supplemental vitamin D, you create an increased demand for vitamin K2.
Get adequate high-quality sleep every night. Insufficient sleep appears to raise stress and blood sugar, encouraging insulin and leptin resistance and weight gain. In one 10-year long study34 of 70,000 diabetes-free women, researchers found that women who slept less than five hours or more than nine hours each night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept seven to eight hours each night. If you are having problems with your sleep, try the suggestions in my article “33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep.”
Maintain a healthy body weight. If you incorporate the diet and lifestyle changes suggested above you will greatly improve your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and a healthy body weight will follow in time. Determining your ideal body weight depends on a variety of factors, including frame size, age, general activity level, and genetics. As a general guideline, you might find a hip-to-waist size index chart helpful. This is far better than BMI for evaluating whether or not you may have a weight problem, as BMI fails to factor in both how muscular you are, and your intra-abdominal fat mass (the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around your inner organs), which is a potent indicator of leptin sensitivity and associated health problems.
Incorporate intermittent fasting. If you have carefully followed the diet and exercise guidelines and still aren’t making sufficient progress with your weight or overall health, I strongly recommend incorporating intermittent fasting. This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits, including improved insulin/leptin sensitivity, lowered triglycerides and other biomarkers for health, and weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Intermittent fasting has also been identified as a potent ally for the prevention and perhaps even treatment of dementia. Ketones are released as a byproduct of burning fat, and ketones (not glucose) are actually the preferred fuel for your brain. Keep up your intermittent fasting schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (or your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, you only need to do it “as needed” to maintain your healthy state.
Optimize your gut health. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and cultured vegetables).
You CAN Prevent and Treat Diabetes
You don’t have to be a part of the diabetes epidemic that is taking place before your eyes; you merely need to make some lifestyle changes and be mindful about your habits. The changes, detailed above, will prevent you from heading down the diabetes path, and can be the U-turn you’ve been looking for if you’re already insulin resistant or diabetic. None of these strategies are expensive or overly time-consuming. However, they do require a measure of honest reflection and discipline.
Now that you have an understanding of what diabetes really is and how it develops, you can steer clear of behavior patterns that harm your health, and incorporate those that will enhance your quality of life. Again, type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is easily preventable, and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs, by addressing your diet and other lifestyle habits, such as exercise, sleep, and intermittent fasting. I suggest taking a lifestyle inventory to see where you might have room for improvement. For example:
Review your eating patterns. How much sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates are you eating daily? Is corn syrup a primary staple of your diet, hidden in the processed foods you buy on a regular basis? Are you spending your time in the middle of the grocery store, or around the periphery? (Most processed foods come from the middle aisles.)
Are you an “emotional eater”? Do you tend to overindulge in comfort foods when you are feeling sad or angry? If so, review the information on my website about EFT, which you might find very helpful.
Evaluate your activity level. Are you getting enough exercise each week?
Are you getting enough sunlight? Have you measured your vitamin D levels lately? Unless you are deeply tanned, that is the only way to know your level. Do you need to consider a vitamin D supplement?
Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including muscle spasms and abnormal heart rhythms. To learn more, please see my interview with Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle.
What patterns are you inadvertently passing along to your children? What example are you setting for your kids, in terms of nutrition and exercise? Are they getting the message that health is a priority? Getting healthy can and should be a family activity! When everyone is involved, you can support each other and give kudos for positive strides, making it more fun for everyone. The payoffs to your health will be great, and you will be passing along good lifestyle habits to your children, which will serve them for years to come.