Below are the two lists I give to patients with regards to eating. They are principles, not a strict diet plan, though that may be required in certain instances.
BUILDING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Do not over eat! This is perhaps the most important guideline. As I observe those who live long and healthy lives, no matter how they eat they usually have one thing in common: they do not over eat. Consequently, these folks are often thin. They eat desserts and other less than optimal foods but only in small amounts.
Eat a wide variety. Of the 4,000 or so edible plants that have fed people for thousands of years, only 150 are widely cultivated today and just three of them provide 60% of the world’s food. Allergies often result from eating too much of the same food – even a healthy food. I have had to take patients off of good foods because over time, they were creating problems. I had a patient who ate basically the same thing everyday. She was complaining of a skin lesion on her leg that would not go away despite considerable attention. I questioned her about her diet and was not surprised to discover that she daily ate the same handful of things. I had her bring in some samples of those foods. Applied Kinesiology testing clearly showed that she was reactive to Brazil nuts and a freshly made “healthy” juice, both of which she had eaten everyday for the last 7 years.
Eat whole, natural foods. Whole foods are simply foods that are naturally complete. They can be picked from a tree, pulled out of the ground, or cultivated from animals. Whole foods contain chemicals within themselves that aid in their own digestion. They also contain a great number of nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, butter, some cheese, and organic meats are all examples.
Eat foods that will spoil (but eat them before they do). Most of the foods in the center isles of the grocery store can stay on the shelf for months at a time and still taste fresh. This is because of the many food preservatives and hydrogenated oils. On average, people in America eat 124 pounds of preservatives per year.
Eat naturally raised meats. The hormones and antibiotics used in making animals big and fat are beginning to take their toll. In 2002, 750,000 cows were injected with bovine growth hormone. Hormones in beef and other meats are causing unwanted changes in people including very early menarche in girls.
Eat whole, naturally produced milk products (not milk by itself, unless raw) from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented. Milk is also full of hormones and antibiotics. It is also a highly processed food. Instead of milk eat whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream. See SECTION IV: Resources.
Use traditional fats and oils. These include butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups. Raw or lightly steamed is ideal.
Use whole grains and nuts. Prepare them by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize harmful and hard-to-digest agents.
Prepare homemade meat stocks. Use the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use the stock liberally in soups and sauces.
Use filtered water for cooking and drinking. Our water is heavily contaminated with chemicals. This is good for killing microorganisms but bad for our bodies.
Use unrefined Celtic sea salt. Believe it or not, I have had several patients who needed to have salt added to their diet. The sodium found in natural salt greatly assists the adrenal glands when they are overworked.
Make your own condiments. Salad dressing can be made using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil. Condiments are a high source of artificial colorings and preservatives.
Use natural sweeteners in moderation. These include raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder. Stevia now comes in convenient packs that can be added to an herbal tea or mixed up in a healthy shake.
Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel. Aluminum cookware is easily compromised when heated leading to the release of aluminum and other metals into the food. The same is true for copper.
BREAKING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Avoid highly refined foods like white flour, white flour products and white rice. This also includes sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup. Americans eat approximately 170 pounds of sugar per year. These are not just empty calorie foods, they are negative calorie foods. This means that they require nutrients and additional energy from your body in order to be digested properly. This type of eating will take its toll quickly.
Avoid pasteurized milk. Milk is difficult to digest and one of the most common foods I have to remove from patient’s diets.
Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils. (see: Common Chronic Conditions: Cholesterol)
Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed. These all contain high amounts of omega 6 fats. In our society there is a great imbalance of essential fatty acids. We need more omega 3 fats that come from fish or flax seeds.
Limit soy products. Soybeans are high in substances called phytates, which block the absorption of essential minerals like iron. They are also enzyme inhibitors unless properly prepared by soaking in water. This means that certain proteins will not be digested properly – another cause of allergic reactions. Soybeans are best used fermented in products like miso, natto, and tempeh. Tofu is high in phytates. It should be eaten in small amounts and not as a substitute for meat. The same goes for soy milk, which consumed regularly, may lead to mineral deficiencies. The most alarming thing concerning soy and soy products are the high levels of phytoestrogens ( » see: Common Chronic Conditions: Women Health «). These substances mimic human hormones. This can often lead to disrupted endocrine gland function. For this reason, I often counsel mothers to reduce or eliminate the amount of soy given to their pre-pubescent children.
Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauces and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labeled.
Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Caffeine causes many problems including: addiction, over-working the adrenal glands and reducing calcium in the bones.
Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bio-engineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables. These processes are designed to preserve the shelf life or speed the ripening of the food.
Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing nitrites and other additives.
Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick-rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them. I am no longer amazed at the success of advertisers. For years they have been deceiving the public. Cereals promoted to children are perhaps one of the worst foods available. However, it never fails, at some point during the commercial you will be told how this product is fortified with vitamins and mineral; it contains natural fruit juices; is that a part of a healthy breakfast etc. What they don’t tell you is the vitamins they use are synthetic and highly processed and therefore of little or no value to the body. They also don’t tell you that their cereal is loaded with hydrogenated fats and oils; that it could sit on the shelf for four months and that as a whole it has next to no health value at all.
Do not eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sautéing or baking. This means avoid fried foods. The high heat causes the fats to turn rancid, removing potential health benefits.