Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Sugar and Refined Grains

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Sugar & Refined Grains
from Maximized Living Nutrition Plans by Dr. BJ Hardick, Kimberly Roberto and Dr. Ben Lerner
1.  Sugar is the primary dietary cause of the obesity epidemic.
Fat doesn’t make you fat — but sugar that turns into fat will.

2.  Sugar causes hormonal and metabolic imbalance.
Swinging Insulin and Cortisol levels in the body (to decrease, then increase blood sugar) not only cause your system to “crash,” but set up a cascade of abnormal hormone functions which lead to premature aging and illness.

3.  Sugar is your fast track to diabetes.
On the Standard North American Diet, it is only a matter of time before Insulin receptors burn out, unable to handle the onslaught of sugar.

4.  Sugar increases the acidity of the body.
All disease thrives in acidic environments.
5.  Sugar causes inflammation.
 Inflammatory enzymes are elevated on higher-sugar diets.  Inflammation is at the heart of 98% of disease.
6.  Sugar is the primary reason for high cholesterol.
Your body’s innate healing system, which uses cholesterol, goes into high gear when the body is traumatized at the cellular level by high sugar, insulin, and inflammation.  The solution to high cholesterol is not to forcefully lower it, but remove the interference in the body causing it to rise in the first place.
7.  Sugar leads to heart disease.
 Elevated inflammation in the arteries increases the risk of high blood pressure, hemorrage, stroke, and heart attacks.

8.  Sugar is an anti-nutrient.
Your body’s expenditure to manage sugar is greater than the energy it gains from it.  In fact, in order to process high sugar foods, your body must pull valuable vitamins and minerals from it’s stores.  If you think you are better off eating a chocolate bar (or piece of white bread) than going hungry, think again.

9.  Sugar is a known toxin.
Like all toxins, your body is constantly trying to eliminate it from the bloodstream.  You can assist your body by not giving it more sugar to deal with.
10.  Sugar promotes cancer.
Feeding cancer cells their primary fuel is like pouring gas on a fire.



The Skinny on Fats

Fats – The Myths and the Truths

Not all fats are created equally.  This may be news to some based on the bad rap that fats have received over the years.  However, it is imperative to make the distinction between good fats and bad fats or as author Udo Erasmus likes to say “Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill” which he titled his book.  Even if you look at the USDA food pyramid which is designed to help us know what to eat and in what proportions lump all fats together in one big category.  What a mistake.  

Let’s look at a few things that should get our brains thinking in a new way about fats. (By the way, the human brain is made up of 60% fat)

1-      The low-fat craze has been in full force since the late 70’s yet the rates of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are higher than ever before.  Logical conclusion: low-fat diets are not the answer

2-      55% of the nutrients in breast milk are fats.  If fats are necessary for a developing baby and result in them growing and thriving, how can they be bad for the rest of us?  Logical conclusion:  fats are necessary for a healthy body at any age.  

3-      Cultures that eat a great deal more fat than we do- even saturated fat don’t suffer from the same ailments we do.  For instance, some African tribes eat up to 1 full pound of saturated fat per day.  Polynesian and Sri Lankan cultures eat tremendous amounts of coconut oil (very high in fat).  Yet amazingly, both of these cultures have little if any heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.  Logical conclusion:  fat is not the problem.

Take a minute to really think about these things.  If common sense kicks in it should be apparent that some of the notions we have about fats could actually be incorrect.  Let’s break through these myths about fat.

Myth #1:  Fat makes us fat

Myth Buster:  as seen above, society has done a great job of pushing a low-fat diet as the answer to avoiding heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  However, this plan has actually caused the things it was touted as being able to prevent.  Fat does not make you fat.  It is the inability to burn fat that makes you fat.  There are many factors involved in being unable to burn fat but many of them are dietary in nature.  You may be asking “if fat doesn’t make us fat, what does?”   The answer is Sugar!  It is the overabundance of sugar that is making us fat, not the fat.  In the next newsletter we will tackle subject of sugar. 

Myth #2 – Dietary Fat causes heart disease

Myth Buster – While it is true that bad fats do contribute to clogged arteries, scarring, and heart disease, good fats actually prevent heart disease!  That’s right- the right kind of fats are preventative in nature.  The good fats actually protect your organs (including your heart), keep your hormones functioning properly, boost your metabolism and fat burning ability, improve cognitive function, allow for proper cellular detoxification, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Remember the breast milk?

So let’s break down the list of good and bad fats.  You will notice that the good fats are found in nature, unadulterated by man, and much less processed than the bad fat counterparts.  It is also important to consider heat, light, and air as both can cause the fats to become damaged. 

Good Fats/Oils:  Raw Nuts & Seeds, Grass Fed Beef, Fish, Eggs, Butter, Organic Dairy Products, Olives, Avocados, Coconut Products.  Do Not Heat:  Flax Oil, Cod Liver Oil (supplement) Hemp Seed Oil, Walnut Oil, Avocado Oil; Moderate Heat:  Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil; High Heat:  Coconut Oil 

Bad Fats/Oils:  Roasted Nuts & Seeds and Nut Butters, Non-organic Dairy Products, Trans Fats (margarine, synthetic butters & shortenings), Corn Oil, Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Soybean Oil, Safflower Oil, and Sunflower Oil), Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils.

Today’s Nutrition Tip:  Coconut Products 

Coconut products have acquired a very bad rap because of the high saturated fat content.  However, not all saturated is fat is bad.  In fact, here are some benefits that make coconut and coconut oil one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet.

  • Contains MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids)- these types of fats are readily usable by the human body.  It is converted into quick energy and is less likely to be stored as fat & obesity.
  • Shown to support the thyroid, heart, and immune system.
  • Has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties!

3 Basic Changes for Nutrition

For this post, I want to focus on some common sense nutrition principles.  When you look at the current state of American health, it should elicit some degree of wonder.  We are the most powerful country in the world with more technology, more resources, and more enterprise than anywhere in the world.  Yet we seem to be completely missing the mark on health.  In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the US  37th in terms of healthcare.  That is pretty pitiful.  

The Standard North American Diet

The typical North American diet just is not working.  This is evidenced by the skyrocketing statistics of heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and obesity (the five chronic diseases that North Americans are most likely to die from).  If you look back, even as close as 100 years ago, these problems didn’t even exist.  So what has gone so wrong?  It is a complex question that has many different answers but when it comes to nutrition, there are some definite stand outs.  Our food supply is so far removed from the way it originated that I am sometimes hard pressed to even call some of it “food”.  Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are exposed to extreme health hazards just by eating the Standard American diet.    It is crucially important to avoid the 3 Dangers that are compromising our health:    

Sugar, Bad Fats, and Toxins

These three things are the landmines out there that must be avoided.  The sugar and the toxins are pretty well understood but there are so many misconceptions with regards to fats that there will be a lot of focus on that throughout my newsletters.  Most processed foods contain all three.  Your body is an amazing thing but it cannot handle the constant onslaught of sugar, bad fats, and toxins.  Eventually, it breaks down and you get sick.      

A Better Way

There are specific things you can do nutritionally that can absolutely change your current state and completely transform your future.  The principles that work to accomplish this are not new.  There are other cultures out there that are free of America’s chronic conditions.  In fact, less than 100 years ago, America was one of them.  It has been within the last 100 years that things have fallen apart.  Look at what and how your grandparents or great grandparents ate.  Much of it was fresh, unprocessed, and homemade.  Families sat down at the dinner table together and took their time eating.  Nothing like what we see families doing today. 

The things it takes to eat a healthy diet and keep a healthy body are not new but they are VERY DIFFERENT than what has become the norm!  It does take some getting used to and that is why my focus and passion has always been on the practical tools, resources, tips, and guides to walk people through the changes.  This is precisly why I compiled everything into the book I just co-wrote.  It is years worth of research and practical application.  Maximized Living Nutrition Plans Book   

In addition to avoiding the 3 dangers, there are 3 Basic Changes that everyone should make, regardless of age, gender, genetic background, or medical history. 

3 Basic Changes

Fat – eat more healthy fats, eliminate all bad fats. (next week, we will focus on good and bad fats)

Protein– change the quality of your proteins.  When it comes to animal products, go with naturally raised vs. commercially/unnaturally raised  (more on this to come)

Carbohydrates – Eat more vegetables and eliminate refined grains and sugars

Although these changes can be a challenge for many because of being so entrenched in the Standard American Diet, it can be done.  It takes commitment and a willingness to change.  I can tell you from experience that taking even baby steps in these directions can have dramatic results. 

Today’s Nutrition Tips: 

  • Get rid of the soda, sweet tea, and juice
  • Change from white bread and rice to whole wheat and brown rice
  • Invest in good quality meats- hormone/antibiotic free, naturally raised
  • Eliminate ALL trans-fats (don’t rely on the marketing claims!  Check labels- look for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anything– that means trans fat!
  • Cut WAY back on sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Check labels- anything ending in –ose is also sugar.
  • Start cooking at home more!

Why I Do What I Do

Recently, I have co-authored a book entitled Maximized Living Nutrition Plans.  Being abl to do so was a culmination of years of research and practice in the area of nutrition.  I started by learning for myself, then applying what I have learned to my own family, and lastly sharing what works with others.  I have been blessed with the amazing reward of seeing people truly change their lives through nutrition and the other essentials necessary for health (more on that to come). 

The biggest thing I have found in teaching people about nutrition over the years is that information is useless without the tools, resources, inspiration, and confidence needed to change.  That is my true goal- to not only give people information but to also empower them with the tools they need to make lasting changes.  I am happy to open the lines of communication with anyone reading this.  Feel free to email me any time.

In any of my posts and communication, I will do my best to break through the myths of nutrition, expose the truth about our current food supply, lay out exactly what you can and should be doing to prevent and even reverse disease, give you practical tips and recipes that can fit into your busy lives, and give you the inspiration to change.  Your common sense meter should always be on and engaged in matters of health and nutrition.  For instance, natural is always better than man-made, unaltered foods are always better than altered, fresh is always better than preserved, etc.

Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is mostly man-made, adulterated, preserved, nutrient deficient, and full of sugar, bad fats, and toxins.  (These are the “Big 3” dangers we you will hear about often.)  It is buyer beware out there!   People need to know what they are eating and what the consequences are. 

I don’t think anyone can deny that the current health of our nation and especially of our kids is in a crisis state.  Right now, for the first time ever, it is projected that this will be the first generation where parents will outlive their children!  That is a frightening thought yet it is the reality.  Also frightening are the skyrocketing statistics on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, etc.  Unfortunately, there are no magic bullets, no easy fixes, and there is certainly no one who will constantly “have your back”.  It is up to each one of us to take back control of our family’s health and to make the necessary changes.  As you will see, what works are:  timeless principles modified for today’s realities, simple to understand changes that anyone can make, and the application of practical tools that many people have used to drastically change their lives and their futures.

Whatever Americans have been doing up to this point is not working!

Bogus Claims

I am always harping on using common sense and this news story just doesn’t make any common sense.  Cocoa Krispies boosts immunity.  Seriously?  Are there people out there that would pick up a box of Cocoa Krispies and say, “cool, I’ll buy this because it will boost my kids immunity”.  Are you kidding me?  It is loaded with sugar which is a punch to your immune system!  Thank goodness they are being forced to take this crap off of the label.  It is so bogus it is criminal!

Health Tip – A matter of opinion

Well, after this weekend I had to dust off my soapbox again.  I want to share a portion of my church bulletin from Sunday.  I was excited to hear that our parish had formed a Wellness Committee and my husband gladly joined but soon found that he was left off of correspondence about meeting dates and basically excluded from the group.  While that was frustrating, our hope was that the wellness committee would make some positive change.

Unfortunately, one of the first things they did was to sponsor a “flu shot” clinic between masses.  You know our stance on that issue.

Another thing is that they instituted a Health Tip of the Week which sounded great.  Unfortunately again, it is a bit misguided.  Although much of the information is right on, baking a pie or cookies to promote healthy eating?  I’m not thinking those things are healthy from any prospective.  Anyway, here it is:

Health Tip of the Week:  Healthy Habits Make Healthy Homes

We all want to be good parents and good role models.  By making smart choices everyday for your kids you are setting them up for a fit future.  It is important to eat well.  Do things together as a family and set good examples.  Teaching kids to cook healthy foods promotes bonding together while having some fun.  Explore the outdoors.  Marvel at God’s hand in the coloring of the leaves and the wonderful smells of the fall harvest.  Bake a pie or some cookies.  Phone a neighbor or friend stressed with illness, financial or mental problems.  As a family, offer to mow their lawn and clean up their yard.  This will promote good neighbor relations, strengthen a friendship and will result in a sense of well being for all.  Take time to enjoy the Octoberfest and thank God for all his wonderous works.  For more information contact….NAME WITHHELD

Remember, homemade does NOT equal healthy!