MY TOP Tips for Staying healthy in today's toxic world
Eat Food that is unrefined and unprocessed, whenever possible. Stay close to nature and thousands of years of healthy eating before modern agriculture produced cheap, transportable, easy to store, "beige" foods. These have heralded in all the modern western nutritional diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer!
If it has to be made in a factory or uses ingredients that could only be made in a factory then that is a clue that it is not for you! When in doubt, go without. Traditional diets all consumed nutrient dense animal foods like meat and dairy, vegetables and some had fermented grains or nuts and seeds depending on the locations. Stick to your genetic ancestral heritage (with a modern twist) as much as you can as that is your optimal diet.
2. Start the day with a good filling breakfast.
Some healthy options are: Eggs, meat, avocado, full fat plain yoghurt or sour cream/cream cheese, cheese or nuts. Starting the day with a low carb high fat/protein breakfast will provide you with satisfying, slow releasing energy that doesn't spike insulin levels, which will help curb hunger, and enable you to go all day without an energy slump in the afternoon as blood sugar drops. If you are wanting to lose weight, simply skip an early morning breakfast (ie. break-fast) and opt to break your fast a little later on, which will help you keep your insulin levels lower for longer, enabling your body to access fat stores for energy, and thus helping to lose weight easier. This is a relatively easy way to include intermittant fasting into your daily routine, which has been shown to improve weight loss, and can be therapeutic for a number of other health conditions.
2. Eat plenty of healthy fat and protein.
Despite Carbohydrates being encouraged as the bulk of the food pyramid for the past 50 years there is actually no scientific or metabolic reason for their being the main part of our diet! Protein and healthy fats are essential nutrients. Carbohydrates simply are not. Glucose can be made in the body from all the protein and fat you eat. Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other inflammatory diseases including Alzheimers, immune disorders and infertility. The research being done on the links between carb/sugar consumption and insulin, inflammation, and dysfunction is gaining momentum and it cannot be ignored.
Each meal or snack should contain a good portion of at least one kind of high fat/protein food from any of these categories: meats, poultry, dairy & cheese, eggs, nuts and seeds, coconut & coconut creams.
Limit fruit and starchy vegetables to small portions, and as a side dish rather than the main focus of the meal.
3. Avoid eating refined carbohydrate foods. This includes: white rice, white flour, breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, chips, pastas, sugars, honey, chocolates, candies, breakfast cereals, etc. Ready made refined carbohydrate products are the result of our over-processed modern world and are virtually devoid of any real nutrition. They are produced with the starchy part of the grain, minus the bran and germ, and are very low in essential nutrients, while containing most of the sugar and starch. They spike insulin levels as a result of carbohydrates breaking down into glucose in the body and promote inflammation, diabetes, and obesity.
If you eat any whole grains or starchy foods they should only be eaten in small portions to compliment a meal and technically should be fermented or sprouted in order to increase nutrient content, de-activate the anti-nutrients and lower the phytate content.
Many people are becoming intolerant to gluten and refined carbohydrates due to a lack of stomach acid production and reduced enzyme content in foods eaten resulting in a much greater digestive burden.
4. Only eat when hungry, and then only eat enough to be satisfied.
Overeating of any food will cause weight gain as your body will have to store any un-utilized energy from your food as fat. Match your intake with your activity level and overall calorie needs. That being said, a high fat/low carb diet is usually self limiting in terms of intake as you can only consume so much fat before you become very full. Carbs on the other hand don't stimulate satiety so overeating them is very easy and will trigger weight gain easily, especially around the middle section, which is a sign of insulin resistance.
The most important thing to do is to learn to listen to your body. Take note of when you feel hungry soon after eating to know if you have had enough fat/protein, helping you feel full, or too many carbohydrates which will stimulate your hunger via the over release of insulin. Don't be afraid to experiment with quantities. Do what makes you feel the best and gives you the most sustained energy.
5. Choose organic produce whenever possible. Beware of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables as pesticides & herbicides cannot be completely washed off or removed by peeling. They are taken up by the roots into the plant itself from the ground water. The fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide contents are: Peaches, Apples, Bell peppers, Celery, Nectarines and Strawberries. (In order from worst to least)
Unfortunately there are whole new classes of pesticides that are being used systemically so the old advice to simply wash the produce doesn't often apply anymore as the pesticides are within the fruit/plant itself. Glyphosate, the ingredient in Roundup has just been listed officially as a probable carcinogen and it is the most widely used pesticide.
6. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, and cucumbers, zucchinni, beans, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peas. These vegetables are packed with nutrients but are low in sugar and will not impact on insulin production as much as starchy vegetables.
Eating pickled or fermented vegetables is also another great way to consume them as fermentation increases nutrient availability and absorption, as well as enhancing vitamin C content and beneficial bacteria.
7. Limit Fruit. It is very high in natural sugars and will spike your blood sugar resulting in stimulated hunger, and possible cravings. We all have been told to have 5 fruits a day, but this is actually not good advice as many people don't even tolerate 1 piece of fruit a day in terms of its impact on blood sugar. If you consumed 5 fruit a day like the recommendations you would be consuming more than 20 teaspoons of sugar!
Fruit is basically just sugar and fibre! - So for those who need to reduce insulin in order to lose weight, reduce inflammation and deal with many different health issues like diabetes, alzheimers etc. Limiting Fruit is a wise choice.
Berries, relatively unripe bananas and green apples or pears are the best options. If you do eat fruit, eat it in conjunction with something like cheese, yoghurt, peanut butter or other high fat/protein foods. You can get the nutrients you would be missing from limiting fruit by increasing your fresh vegetable intake instead.
8. Use good quality (preferably virgin) coconut oil, olive oil and (preferably raw) butter liberally when cooking, and as spreads, salad dressing, and on foods. The addition of these healthy fats are helpful to the immune system as they contain caprylic acid and lauric acid which have antimicrobial properties. Saturated fats are also important for providing energy and cholesterol which is the precursor for making hormones as well as aiding in optimal brain function and maintaining cell membranes.
Traditional cultures prized animal fats like butter, Ghee, lard and tallow for their nutrition content and uses in food preparation. Recent research is confirming that animal fats are the most stable when heated for frying and produce the least rancid and toxic byproducts. So when you fry, it is wise to use saturated fats.
9. Avoid all processed vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils (which produce trans fats), and margarine as they are heated, chemically treated and deodorized, producing a rancid and toxic product even before it is sold. These oils are damaging to the cell membranes in the body, and among other things, lead to cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. This includes corn oil, cottonseed, rapeseed, sunflower, soybean, canola oil, and any other seed or nut oil that is not cold pressed, virgin or extra virgin and stored in dark glass bottles.
10. Raw Organic full fat dairy products are the best. Pasteurization kills all the beneficial bacteria and reduces the vitamin content by approximately 50%. Healthy raw milk contains beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus that prevents bacterial infection in the milk and that also helps to digest lactose when turned into a fermented dairy product. When raw dairy products are not available, fermented (& organic) pasteurized dairy products are the second best option. (eg. Plain/Natural Yoghurts, kefirs, buttermilk, cheese) When possible choose un-pasteurized cheese such as Gruyere, Emmental and Comté. Always choose full fat varieties.
11. Avoid UHT and homogenized dairy products.
Homogonizing reduces the size of the fat molecules to prevent them from separating in the milk but this causes an enzyme - Xanthine Oxidase (XO) also present in milk to bind to the tiny fat molecules and unnaturally pass into the bloodstream during digestion. The XO enzyme has been linked with atherosclerosis and heart disease. Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurization damages the fragile milk proteins and produces other unhealthy and toxic substances in the milk.
12. Know the quality of the meat you buy. Where budget and availability allows, buy organic poultry (chicken & turkey) and eggs (Where possible) to avoid hormones, antibiotics and toxins from commercial feeding practices. The quality of the animal products you eat is very important, organic is always best. In countries where animals are raised using unhealthy factory farming practices, the quality of the nutrients in the meat suffers. Organic animals should be fed natural diets specific to species. eg. grass, hay etc. The difference between being healthy on a high fat/protein diet or leading to toxicity issues, digestive or endocrine disruptions is the quality of the products.
13. Beef, lamb, goat, deer and wild game are the best meats for high fat/protein diets. Pork is the least preferable meat due to pigs non-ruminant digestive systems and therefore the easier build up of toxins in their bodies, as
well as common infection by the trichinella parasite - a very harmful parasite that can cause serious infection in humans. A recent study showed that approximately 50% of pork from eastern Europe was infected.
14. Limit Fish and Shellfish intake. Most wild and farmed fish (Especially large fish like Tuna) and shellfish are contaminated with PCB's, dioxins and toxic heavy metals such as mercury. Farmed fish and shellfish are also fed unnatural diets often containing grains, chicken feaces, antibiotics and agricultural waste products and are more susceptible to infection with parasites and bacteria.
Their fat composition is also lower in Omega 3's and higher in Omega 6 due to grain consumption. Wild Alaskan Salmon and smaller species of wild fish are the safest options, consumed occasionally. You could compensate for decreased fish consumption by taking a good quality, Mercury and PCB free Fish oil or Cod liver oil supplement to provide essential Omega 3's as well as a good dose of Vitamins A, D and E.
15. If you don't eat organ meats (or plenty of full fat dairy) regularly, you probably need to supplement with Vitamins A, D, K and E (Fat soluble nutrients).
Traditional cultures around the world all consumed animal foods as part of their diet and when they did they ate the whole animal, consuming all parts. This ensured maximum nutrient assimilation from the animal foods they consumed and prevented deficiencies of vital nutrients like Vitamin A, which is currently a very deficient vitamin in the western world due to our fear of healthy fats, animal products and LOW FAT intake for many years.
Vitamin A is a critical nutrient for eye, skin and immune function, as well as hormone signalling and lung health. Asthma, Rashes and skin problems along with poor eye health has been linked with both low vitamin A and D status.
16. Avoid Soy Products. Soy's original agricultural purpose was as a nitrogen fixing plant used to fertilize the soil, not as a food. In Asia, soy products were traditionally only ever consumed after being altered through fermentation and then only in small quantities as condiments. Soy contains many anti-nutrients that negatively affect Calcium, Zinc, and Iron levels. Soy provides excessive amounts of Manganese and Fluoride that can lead to toxicity.
Processed soy products also contain many heavy metals, especially Aluminium, Cadmium and Lead. High levels of Phytoestrogens in soy off balance the endocrine system and can lead to breast cancer in women and reduced fertility in men. Soy Products are goitrogenic - depressing thyroid function. They also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
17. Avoid Processed Foods as they lack nutrients and are often full of sugars, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Many artificial colours, flavours and preservatives cause reactions in sensitive individuals. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), "Natural Flavour", E621 - E635 are all flavour enhancers that should be avoided. (Almost all commercial chips, soup mixes, bouillon and instant meal mixes contain MSG)
Chips and fried carbohydrate foods contain carcinogenic acrylamide substances and damaged fats - only purchase fried products using palm, coconut or beef tallow as these produce the least due to much more stable fat molecules.
18. Limit Caffeinated beverages as much as possible. Caffeine is the drug of choice for the masses, used to mask the real level of tiredness most people feel as a result of too little sleep, stress, and physical health problems. Deal with those things and the need for caffeine goes away all together and then can be enjoyed occasionally as a lovely beverage! Coffee has many health benefits, but only for those not dependent on it as a stimulant and over using it.
Excessive consumption of caffeine depletes the body of magnesium, and increases production of stress hormones and adrenalin which stresses the heart and excites the brain as well as having a laxative effect. One cup of coffee a day first thing in the morning is the least likely to disrupt stress and the production of sleep hormones later in the night. Choose organic wherever possible as conventional coffee and tea production both show very high levels of pesticide and herbicide use.
19. Avoid Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame-K and other artificial sweeteners. They break down in the body to form toxic substances that destroy brain neurons and have been linked with mental problems.
20. Avoid Teflon coated cookware. Teflon releases many toxic fumes from the fluorinated polymers that break down when heated, even at low heat *anything about 70 degrees). Budgies and canaries are particularly susceptible to teflon off gassing and they can die if in the vicinity of teflon coated cookware being used. It is that bad. Many people are affected by Teflon off gassing and don't realise it as it can cause a thing called Teflon Flu. Stainless steal, glass, cast iron or enamel are best as they leach less. *Nothing is completely inert, but its a matter of minimising risks.
21. Avoid Aluminium cookware, foil, canned drinks, antacids and anti-perspirant deodorants. Aluminium is a toxic metal that has been associated with headaches, Alhzheimers disease, and many other conditions as it builds up in the body disrupting normal function. There is too much to mention when it comes to why not to use aluminium for storing or cooking food. No level of regular aluminium exposure is safe.
22. Avoid storing wet food in plastic containers. All plastic leaches chemicals, the amount and danger depends on the type of plastic and what it is in contact with. Avoid PVC (#3), Polystyrene (#6) and Polycarbonates (#7) which are known to leach carcinogenic dioxins, endocrine disrupting pthalates, Bisphenol A and toxic styrenes. As alternatives store food in glass or ceramic containers or paper/cardboard bags and boxes.
23. Regular exercise helps to optimize your body's performance. Exercise also lowers insulin levels, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances and offers benefits to the immune system. Exercise also releases feel good endorphins helping prevent depression.
24. Get a good 7-8 Hours of sleep each night. Sleep is important not only for restoring energy, but also for controlling appetite and food cravings as it helps control blood sugar levels. Adequate deep sleep each night also helps the immune system function at its optimum and allows the body to repair and detoxify while increasing memory and mental function. The hormone Melatonin which helps put you to sleep and stay asleep is only produced as it gets dark, so limit exposure to BLUE light producing bulbs, electronics and Televisions after dark as they interfere with melatonin production.
Melatonin has been shown to have anti-cancer effects, particularly for hormone driven cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.