September 27, 2021

Are You Eating Healthy?~ Misconceptions about “healthy food”

Whole Wheat Breads

What’s wrong with wheat?

Oh, what a loaded question!  We think we are eating healthy food, but are we really?  Well, for starters, Canadian wheat may (usually does) contain a chemical called glyphosate.  https://environmentaldefence.ca/2018/09/09/glyphosate-food-children/Check it out for yourself.  Seriously, this is too much to cover in this blog, but rest assured I will be coming back to this atrocity!  We need to keep our children (and ourselves) safe.  Change your purchasing habits while they’re young.  These chemicals have no business being in our food, yet producers seem to care more about the almighty dollar than they do the health of the public, of their community, even their own families, clearly.  

Now, you know I’m going to mention gluten.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat that some people just cannot seem to process properly.  But the question should be, are we actually supposed to process gluten?  Or by “processing” does it really mean your body is just tolerating it for now?  See, gluten is just one of many other proteins called lectins. 

Wheat Germ is another trouble-maker; a small protein that is found in bran and therefore in your whole wheat bread.  Because wheat germ is smaller, it can sneak into the intestine walls and do significantly more damage. 

In his book The Plant Paradox, Dr. Steven R. Gundry explains that “lectins bind to carbohydrates (sugars)” in the body.  When lectins bind to these sugars “they can interrupt messaging between cells or otherwise cause toxic or inflammatory reactions”.  Lectins can be responsible for your too-frequent colds and flu illnesses, because they help move the “viruses and bacteria to their intended targets.”  If you seem to get sick more often than other people, check your intake of both sugar and wheat.  

White Bread vs Wheat Bread/ White Rice vs Brown Rice

We’ve been told that whole wheat is better.  Maybe not!  While white bread and white rice do contain gluten, they do not contain wheat germ.  If wheat germ is a bigger trouble-maker than gluten alone, doesn’t it make sense to remove wheat germ?  Who knew? White bread made from organic ingredients without pesticide residue, baked at home- not the processed, “enriched” white bread in our grocery stores- just might be a more healthy food than that whole wheat goodness that advertisers try to convince us of.  

 

DIG DEEP~ What are lectins & how do they affect us?

Ripe cherry tomatoes

Lectins are proteins in most plants, toxic to it’s predators, insects and small animals. Lectins provide protection against the plant’s predators, insects and animals. Granted, humans are much larger beings than insects and small animals. However the toxins can still affect us, although it may take longer. Lectins are present in the leaves, skins and seeds of plants. There is a higher concentration of lectins in fruit that is not yet ripe, to ward off those predators. As the fruit or vegetable ripens, that signals the plant to reduce the concentration of lectins in the seeds. It is important to eat fruits and veggies that are in-season, which explains why our ancestors did so much canning; preserving ripe and in-season food ensures that we are eating healthy food during the off-seasons.

Produce is often picked before it’s ripe and gassed to make the fruit or vegetable look like it’s ripe. Inside, the lectins are still full force, creating the afore-mentioned issues when we eat them. Have you ever bought tomatoes that look ripe in the store? When you cut them, they are still firm, colorless and tasteless. They’ve been gassed. Maybe their not worth eating. However, the way we prepare and cook our veggies also has an effect on lectins. Cooking can reduce or kill the lectins altogether. That’s a good thing. You have to do the research and do what works best for you.

Okay, so lectins cause trouble.  Sometimes we notice trouble imediately, which alerts us to the fact that we are sensitive to it. Sometimes it’s years or decades before our bodies suddenly react, but you have no idea it’s related to lectins.  Here are some issues that can be caused by lectins, taken from Dr. Gundry’s book (p.p.68-70):

  • acid reflux/gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)/heartburn
  • allergies/sinus issues
  • brain fog
  • bloating/gas/constipation/diarrhea
  • cramps/tingling/numbness
  • depression
  • dementia
  • diabetes/pre-diabetes/insulin resistance
  • fibromyalgia
  • headaches
  • heart disease
  • infertility/irregular menstrual cycle/miscarriage
  • irritability/behavior changes
  • low iron levels
  • memory loss
  • parkinson’s desease
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • skin rashes (dermatitis, exzema, psoriasis)
  • sore/swollen joints (arthritis)
  • unexplained dizziness or ear ringing
  • vitiligo (disease causing loss of pigment in hair or skin)
  • weight loss/ weight gain

Sadly, this is just a partial list.  

You are what you eat

I apologize to those of you who are vegetarians, although the following may propel some people toward vegetarianism or veganism.

Let’s look at where our meat comes from.  If you eat beef, or drink milk, guess what?  Cows don’t have a healthy food diet.  They are fed food that they shouldn’t be eating.  They are supposed to eat grass.  Please check out the Dairy Farmers of Canada website for info on dairy cattle.  https://dairyfarmersofcanada.ca/en/dairy-in-canada/dairy-excellence/canadian-dairy-cow-diet# 

For information on beef cattle, this site provides a fairly detailed summary. https://www.ontariobeef.com/uploads/userfiles/files/what%20do%20beef%20cattle%20eat.pdf  

A cow’s natural diet is grasses.  It’s not natural for them to eat corn or soybeans, yet this is what they are often fed because the lectins facilitate weight gain.  Lectins cause heartburn and indigestion in cows too, so they stop eating the food that hurts them.  Smart.  According to Dr. Gundry, fully “half of the world’s production” of calcium carbonate (an ingredient in Tums) is produced for cattle so they will continue to eat.

I do not pretend to know about farming business. Farmers have a job to do, and families to raise.  I get it.  I just wish that it was acceptable to raise animals in a more natural environment and at a more natural pace.

If the animal is eating corn, soybeans and grains with traces of pesticides…so are we.  We are what the animal ate.  

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~

Are we supposed to go gluten-free?  Dairy-free? Eat plant-based?  Eat meat and ditch fruits and vegetables?  There are so many conflicting points of view, it can make your head spin.  

Well, as with low-fat and sugar-free processed foods, gluten-free foods often contain other ingredients and chemicals that are just as bad or worse, than the original offender.  If you don’t have celiac disease, then you have choices.  I recommend that you do some research on healthy food.  Read books, investigate some online sources.  Believe me, you will see that some doctors and researchers tell us that whole wheat is best.  Some will contradict that.  Julie Daniluk has a contrasting opinion of whole grains in her book Slimming Meals That Heal (XII).  Others suggest that we must eat animal protein or suffer from malnutrition.  Then there will be information about why eating a plant-based diet is best for us and how eating animals is inhumane and cruel.

You must judge for yourself what is best for you.  One thing that I do have an opinion about is this; we must find a better way to grow and transport our whole foods, reduce dangerous chemicals, and I believe it is every farmer’s and every food processing company’s obligation to disclose every chemical used in the growing, raising and processing of food.  It is your responsibility to eat whole, fresh, healthy food as often as possible, and to read and investigate the labelled ingredients of your processed foods.  Know what you are eating.  I recommend reading this guide called Good Food on a Tight Budget, suggested by Dr. Mark Hyman in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet (100).

 

Thanks for reading!  Check back every Sunday for my next post.  

Carol Paino~ Parts Of Ourselves

 

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REFERENCES

Gundry, Steven R. with Olivia Bell Buehl.  The Plant Paradox, Harper Collins Publishers, 2017

Daniluk, Julie.  Slimming Meals That Heal.  Random House Canada, 2014

Hyman, Mark.  The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, Little, Brown Spark, Hachette Book Group, 2014

 

 

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