How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

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There are plenty of reasons to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) foods. In fact, after reading just 10 pages or listening to an hour-long lecture about their health dangers, most people are ready to change their diet on the spot.

If genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not yet on your radar screen, go to www. GeneticRoulette.com for a full presentation. Here is a teaser of what you’ll find:

  • The only human feeding study on GMOs ever conducted showed that genes “jumped” from GM soy into the DNA of human intestinal bacteria and continued to function. That means that long after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have GM proteins produced continuously inside of you. (What if the pesticide-producing “Bt” gene found in GM corn chips were also to jump? It might transform our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—possibly for the long term.)
  • Most offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to a 10 percent death rate in the non-GM soy group). Similarly, when a lab switched to rat feed with GM soy, most of the offspring at the facility died within two weeks.
  • Studies with mice also show reproductive problems. Mice fed GM soy had altered sperm cells and the DNA of their embryos acted differently.
  • Hundreds of farm workers complain of allergic reactions when touching GM cotton.
  • After sheep grazed on GM cotton plants after harvest, about one in four died; about 10,000 deaths in one region in India.
  • Farmers on three continents say their livestock became sterile, sick or died, after eating GM corn varieties.

Could such unsafe food get past our Food and Drug Administration? It probably wouldn’t have, if the decision were in the hands of the scientists. Memos made public from a lawsuit reveal that the consensus among FDA scientists in the early 1990s was that GMOs were inherently unsafe and could lead to toxins, allergens, new diseases and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require long-term safety studies before any GM foods were allowed on the market. But the political appointee in charge of FDA policy was the former attorney of the biotech giant Monsanto and later the company’s vice president. The scientists’ warnings were ignored and today the FDA does not require a single safety study on GM foods.

The FDA is also the agency that decides whether or not GM foods need to be labeled. But the White House told the FDA to promote the biotech industry, so they nixed labels. Thus, our government ignores the desire of nine out of ten Americans who want the labels, to support the financial interests of five biotech seed companies. We’re on our own.

How to Make Safer Non-GM Choices

There are four major GM crops: soy, corn, cotton, and canola. The majority of acreage for each of these crops is genetically engineered. Herbicide-tolerant varieties of each have their DNA inserted with bacterial genes that allow the crops to survive otherwise deadly doses of herbicides. This gives farmers more flexibility in controlling weeds and gives the GM seed company lots more profit. When farmers buy GM seeds, they sign a contract to buy only that seed producer’s brand of herbicide. Herbicide tolerant crops comprise about 80 percent of all GM plants.

The other popular trait is found in corn and cotton varieties that are engineered to produce a pesticide in every cell. Their DNA contains a gene from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt, which produces a natural insect-killing poison called Bt-toxin.

In addition to these two major types of GM crops, there are also disease-resistant GM zucchini, crook neck squash and Hawaiian papaya, but these comprise well under 1 percent of GMO acreage. But if sugar beet growers have their way, they will add GM sugar to our diets starting in late 2008.

Here are four tips for avoiding GM products.

Tip One

Buy organic. Organic standards do not allow the use of GM inputs.

There are three types of organic labels:

  1. “100% organic” means all ingredients are organic
  2. “Organic” means that at least 95% of the ingredients are organic. The other 5%, however, still have to be non-GMO
  3. “Made with organic (ingredient name, such as soy)” This label means that at least 70 percent of the ingredients are organic, but the remaining 30 percent still have to be non-GMO.

If the term organic is only in the list of ingredients and not found anywhere else on the package, then there is no required overall percentage for organic ingredients in the product, and any non-organic ingredient may be GMO.

Tip Two

Look for “Non-GMO” Labels. Companies may voluntarily label products as Non-GMO. Some labels state “Non-GMO” while others spell out “Made without genetically modified ingredients.” Some products limit their claim to only one particular “at-risk” ingredient such as soy lecithin, listing it as “Non-GMO.”

Tip Three

Avoid at-risk ingredients. The seven GM crops—soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, Hawaiian papaya, and a small amount of zucchini and yellow crook neck squash—look just like their non-GMO counterparts. You can’t see a difference by looking at them. (Novel products such as seedless water-melons, pear/apple combos and tangelos are products of natural breeding and are not genetically engineered.)

Most GM ingredients eaten by US consumers are in the form of products made from corn and soybeans, used in processed foods. Perhaps 90 percent of all non-organic processed foods contain at least some small contribution from soy or corn, or perhaps some cooking oil from cottonseed or canola. Go to www.responsibletechnology.org for a long list of derivatives. Shopping with that in your hand will help you navigate around the genetically modified organisms (GMOs). See the sidebar on page 72 for a small list.

Tip Four

Use Non-GMO Shopping Guides. The True Food Guide offers non-GMO brand choices at www.truefoodnow.org. The guide has also been reproduced as an insert in the back of the book, Your Right to Know by Andrew Kimbrell. The book is available at www.seedsofdeception.com.

Our Campaign for Healthier Eating in America will put out a more up-to-date series of free guides, beginning in the summer of 2008. Check www.responsibletechnology.org.

Other GMOs to Look Out For

  • GMO sweetener aspartame. Aspartame is created in part by GM microorganisms. It is also referred to as NutraSweet and Equal and is found in over 6000 products, including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts and mixes, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.
  • Animal products: Meat, dairy products, farmed fish and eggs are usually from animals fed GM feed. To avoid them, buy “organic,” wild caught, or from “100 percent grass-fed” animals. Avoid dairy products from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone (called rbGH, or rbST). See www. responsibletechnology.org for brand listings.
  • Honey and bee pollen may have been gathered from GM plants. In fact, a small percentage of the alfalfa in the US is GM, but plantings were stopped by a court order in 2007.
  • There are many additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents that are used in food and which are produced by GM bacteria, yeast or fungi. To avoid them, either buy organic or stick to non-processed foods.

Avoiding GMOs in Restuarants

Go to restaurants that cook meals from scratch and don’t use packaged processed mixes and sauces that likely have GM ingredients. For those that cook from scratch, most at-risk ingredients are visible like corn chips and tortillas, tofu, soy sauce, and sweet corn.

The big exception is vegetable oil, which is probably from soy, corn, cottonseed or canola. If the restaurant uses one of these, ask whether they can cook your meal in some other oil like olive oil, or in butter, or without oil at all. And let them know why, so they can learn about GMOs too.

*This article was written by Jeffrey Smith, and was published on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. To view the original article and sources, please visit.

The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority.

Preventing and Treating the Flu

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Question: There is so much pressure on us to get a flu vaccination. Is this wise, or are there better ways of preventing and treating the flu?

Answer: True influenza is an infectious disease, transmitted through the air in infected secretions (i.e., mucus), caused by an RNA virus in the Orthomyxovirus class of viruses. There are three subtypes of viruses in this class, called A, B and C with the subtype A associated with the most severe symptoms in humans. The global influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed millions of people all over the world, but especially in Europe, was supposedly a type A influenza virus. There have been lesser outbreaks of other type A viruses occurring from time to time since then.

It is important to note that not all cases of sickness in the winter are the “flu” type, and it is virtually impossible for a doctor to tell an individual patient whether he is suffering from illness caused by the true influenza virus or some other variation of the common cold. Typically the distinguishing features of true influenza versus the usual cold are higher fever, body aches, sore throat and the tendency to get pneumonia. While these may occur in the common cold they are more severe in classic influenza.

It is important in understanding influenza to go over some basic principles of infectious disease and how our immune system functions. We have two immune systems, the cell-mediated or Th1 (thymus derived) immune system is responsible for eliminating intracellular (meaning inside the cell) organisms. It primarily works through the production of white blood cells that essentially digest and then excrete cells (for example, in our throat or bronchial tubes) that have been infected with a virus or bacteria. The consequences of a cell mediated response, that is, the digestion and excretion of dead and infected cells, are what we call sickness. In other words, fever, rash, cough, mucus and so forth are not caused by the virus but by the body’s response to the virus.

In contrast, the humoral or Th2 immune system targets extracellular (i.e., outside the cell) infecting agents (such as worms) or foreign proteins and produces antibodies that call for a killing response before the offending agent gets into our cells and makes us sick.

There are several important points to note here. First, with every naturally occurring infection both immune systems respond, first the cellmediated to clear the virus, then the antibody or humoral system to make antibodies to remember what happened so our cells don’t get infected with the same pathogen more than once. Second, the severity of any particular illness is a function of how many cells are infected and the strength of our cell-mediated response. Finally, whether we get repeated sickness is related to whether we can make an effective antibody response.

The influenza virus, being an RNA virus, can only replicate inside other mammalian cells; this is why it causes illness. If we haven’t encountered a particular strain before it gets into our cells and replicates, the cell-mediated response comes into play and leads to sickness.

The cell-mediated response usually lasts a week to ten days; then the virus is cleared, we make antibodies and are immune for life. This is what happens in the vast majority of cases. In the process of the cell-mediated response, a kind of cellular house-cleaning takes place, in which a lot of weakened and otherwise diseased cells are cleared from our tissue. This is why we say after the flu that “we are better.” In fact, the cell-mediated exercise is largely responsible for immunity to cancer, auto-immune disease and other chronic conditions. In other words, the dictum “give me a fever [that is, the cell-mediated response] and I can cure any disease” speaks to the power and efficacy of the cell-mediated immune system.

In contrast, when we give a vaccine, any vaccine, we are deliberately trying to bypass the cell-mediated immune system and only provoke a humoral response. (If a vaccine provoked the cell-mediated immune system, it would just make us sick and no one would agree to them.) Although in theory this process might work, the problem is that this shifts the vaccine recipient into what is called a Th2 dominant mode, an imbalance in which the humoral immune system is too strong and the cell-mediated immunity is suppressed.

This leaves us with no avenue to clear the poisons that we have just been injected with from our tissues; it leaves us with chronic inflammation as our bodies struggle to clear these inflammatory toxins, such as mercury, formaldehyde, and dead viruses, and an increased susceptibility to chronic disease. An overactive humoral immune system often leads to auto-immune disease, where the humoral immune system attacks our own tissues.

In all, flu vaccines have too many problems to recommend them against an illness that should be fairly straightforward to overcome.

As far as flu prevention, the best approach is, of course, a nourishing traditional diet with an emphasis on good fats, lacto-fermented foods and gelatin-rich bone broth. Sugar and refined carbohydrates both blunt the immune response and should be avoided as much as possible. Highvitamin cod liver oil, rich in fat-soluble vitamins, helps the immune response, the dose is one-half to one teaspoon per day. The other proven preventative is some elderberry extract, my favorite being elderberry/thyme syrup from True Botanica, one teaspoon twice per day.

If you should get the flu, increase the cod liver oil to one teaspoon three times per day while you are sick, and give the elderberry extract one tablespoon four times per day until better.

I recommend two homeopathic remedies for the first three days or as long as you have a fever. The first is Oscillococcinum from Boiron, given one tube of little pills twice per day; the second is meteoric iron/prunus from Uriel pharmacy, five pills four times per day. The meteoric iron should be continued at this dose until all symptoms are gone. Of course, you should take plenty of bone broths and nourishing soups as appetite permits.

The important point to remember about the flu is that this is a annoying but self-limiting disease which, through its activation of our cellmediated immune system, strengthens us and prevents us from going down the road of chronic disease. Vaccines do just the opposite and should be avoided. When it comes to the flu, we need to keep our eyes on the big picture and the true road to good health.

*This article is written by Dr. Tom Cowan, and is published in the Weston A. Price Foundation journals.
For more information and sources, please visit the original article.

Cleansing Myths and Dangers by John Kozinski

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The idea of cleansing the body and soul is a very old one. In both Eastern and Western traditions, cleansing the body to atone for or rid the body of one’s sins was an ancient notion tied to the Western Judeo-Christian-Islamic and Eastern Buddhist-Hindu religious traditions. Methods to cleanse the body utilizing herbs and other means were practiced throughout the world. The elaborate routines of Panchakarma from India are one such example of an ancient cleansing therapy.

The idea of cleansing the body to eliminate our physical dirtiness is more alive and well today than it’s ever been. While the history of detoxing the body from its ills through physical cleansing is an old notion, the modern roots of cleansing can be traced to the early natural hygienists. Dr. John Kellogg, of Kellogg’s corn flakes fame, was an early American pioneer of bodily purification.

Kellogg ran the Battle Creek health sanatorium in Michigan, which was owned and operated by Seventh Day Adventists. At the sanatorium, Kellogg recommended yogurt enemas, strict vegetarianism and a bland diet because he believed that spicy, protein-rich foods increased sex drive while bland foods reduced it. He and his brother developed flaked cereals along with a number of super-bland foods for consumption at the sanatorium including, by accident in 1896, corn flakes. Corn flakes, with their high fiber content, were created to be an anti-aphrodisiac.

In the early twentieth century, John Tilden and others promoted many ideas to cleanse the body of toxins. Toxemia or blood pollution was thought to be the cause of all diseases. Cleansing through diet, fasting, juicing, herbs, colonics, exercise and other methods were taught to be the cures.

During this time, many erroneous nutritional theories were conceived to explain the cause of toxemia. These included concepts such as the putrefying effect from eating meat and dairy foods, an improper balance of acid and alkaline foods, the supremacy of vegan diets, and various food-combining theories. I’ll explain why these theories hold no water later in this article. Unfortunately, these ideas are still promoted today by many contemporary proponents of cleansing protocols.

THE MODERN CLEAN-UP

For decades I was a teacher, counselor, and promoter of a primarily vegan diet for cleansing and better health. I have to admit that I taught most of the theories listed above—except for Kellogg’s theories on sex. I saw first-hand that in most cases not only did the vegan approach not clear toxins from the body but in many cases did not promote healing. I had my epiphany that something was wrong when one of my teachers, Aveline Kushi, developed cancer. Over time, everyone I encountered on an unsupplemented vegan-leaning diet either developed illness or poor health. In recent years, several prominent teachers of a vegan-style macrobiotic diet died at younger ages than the average person from serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, and the Weston A. Price Foundation were instrumental in helping me fill in the gaps of my nutritional awareness to address the growing problems associated with vegan diets. Many discussions with natural health education colleagues such as Carlo Gugliermo, Steve Gagne, and Steve Acuff were also extremely helpful as they had walked a similar road.

As I awoke from my dietary dream, I saw an explosion of methods that I had followed—lots of health gurus promoting cleansing through diet, remedies, fasting, and a host of other means. Cleansing has become big business, promoted by everyone from Dr. Oz to the Juice Man and, of course, late night infomercials. Books and websites advertising everyone’s favorite cleanses as the answer to weight loss, healing all kinds of diseases, and anti-aging have taken off.

Even when I was promoting a vegan-style diet as a cleansing method, I was suspicious of cleansing protocols. My suspicions arose from the teachings of oriental medicines. In ancient oriental medicines there are two basic approaches to cleansing therapies. One can cleanse by taking substances that speed up the function of the elimination organs such as the colon, liver, and kidneys, or one can cleanse toxins by strengthening the function of these same organs through food, lifestyle practices, herbs and exercise. The second method was considered the most basic and safer way of getting rid of toxins. The first method was only recommended for very strong people.
Today all of the popular cleansing methods focus on stimulating, rather than strengthening, the organs of elimination. For the majority of people, these methods can have very detrimental effects on health.

TRUTH AND MYTHS ABOUT TOXINS

The truth about toxins is that we live in a very polluted world. Air and water pollutants abound. There are chemicals in our food, our homes, our household products, body care products, and in our environments. There is evidence that these toxins can accumulate in the body causing harm.

Ridding the body of toxins can be a very important part of healing diseases. The problems with the most popular detoxing approaches today arise from the methods being used. Just about all of the cleansing methods promoted today do not cleanse the body of the chemicals that we are exposed to. I will explain why most of these methods cause real harm to overall health by weakening the organs of elimination and hampering or even halting the healing process.

There is some truth to the saying that you don’t see the things you aren’t looking for. After my epiphany about my mostly vegan diet, I started to see more evidence that this was not a good way to eat for cleansing or for overall health.

My wife and I were amazed when watching a documentary on ocean pollution by environmentalist, explorer, and film maker, Jean Michel Cousteau. Jean Michel found large amounts of human-made environmental pollutants when testing killer whales and harbor seals. He then decided to test his staff. His vegan-style vegetarian assistant and her son had the highest level of certain environmental pollutants in their bodies, while Jean Michel’s other assistant, who stated she ate everything except fish, had low levels.

This point was brought home to me when one of my clients, through testing by a holistic doctor, was found to have high levels of a contaminant from gasoline in her body. She showed me the supplement that was recommended by her doctor to remove this toxin from her body. The main active ingredients were two amino acids. I found it fascinating that these amino acids are only found in animal products.

MEAT AND THE COLON

Many dietary restrictions are being used today in the name of cleansing. Depending on the teachings of the diet gurus, the avoidance of sugar, salt, dairy, saturated fats, all fats, red meat, all meat, or other categories of foods will be recommended in order to cleanse the body.

For most people, the foods the diet gurus condemn are handled easily by the body. Various foods are claimed to clog the colon, but there is no scientific evidence that this really happens.

Vegan advocates promote the idea that meat, and by association all animal products, rot in the colon creating toxins, or toxemia, which interfere with the elimination of environmental toxins and create illness. In reality, protein-rich foods such as meats stimulate the production of stomach acid. Stomach acid is essential for the digestion of all proteins. In the presence of adequate stomach acid, the protease enzyme pepsin is produced, which initiates the digestion of protein.

When the stomach pH is low enough, that is, when it is acidic enough, enzymes are produced by the pancreas to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. When meats or high protein animal products enter the small intestine, pancreatic enzymes that break down fats and proteins mix with these foods. The amino acids or protein components of the meat are then absorbed by the small intestine. By the time what is left of the meat or any animal foods enters the colon (large intestine), it has been completely digested.

Some people do have trouble digesting some animal proteins, especially dairy products, but the protein that is the most difficult to digest is wheat gliadin, a vegetable protein. The food that rots in the colon is the darling of the natural foods movement: fiber.

Here is an interesting fact that contradicts what the “meat-clogs-the-colon” proponents suggest: protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and other animal-source foods cause the stomach to produce adequate amounts of stomach acid. Without adequate stomach acid, the pancreas does not produce sufficient digestive enzymes. If high-protein foods are not eaten, digestion suffers due to low stomach acid.

Vegan diets are very low in complete proteins because grains, beans, and vegetables have very small amounts of proteins. I have found that vegetarian protein sources are good complementary protein sources if adequate complete protein sources are consumed, ideally from meat, poultry, fish or other animal-source foods.

In my counseling practice I have commonly found many vegans or near vegans to have digestive disorders from a lack of stomach acid because of inadequate protein in their diets. Eating some complete protein from animal sources at every meal helps you digest all the food in the meal more completely.

FOOD COMBINING

Closely related to the “meat-and-dairy-rotsin-the-colon” theories of cleansing are the food combining and acid-alkaline theories. Food combining was first popularized by William Hay in the 1920s. Herbert Shelton wrote one of the early bibles on food combining in the thirties. The book, Fit for Life, by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, brought back food combining in the eighties. Contemporary versions of food combining are promoted in the Body Ecology Diet and even by Dr. Mercola.

The basic theory behind food combining is that foods with different concentrated nutrients have different digestive demands. It is thought that if foods with concentrated protein such as meat or poultry are eaten with grains, they will rot in the stomach rather than undergo digestion.

Even years ago, before knowing as much as I do now about the science of digestion, I thought that food combining was an odd idea. I couldn’t imagine our ancestors thinking much about food combinations when deciding what to eat. The evidence of what traditional peoples ate around the world shows that they didn’t consider this when choosing their foods. All combinations of foods were eaten in the healthiest and longest-lived cultures.

When following food combining principles, one’s diet becomes extremely low in protein, carbohydrates and calories. There is no solid science behind food combining. The scientific evidence demonstrates that all foods are digested successfully together.

Early food combining theories were based on incomplete science and for some dubious reason, these outdated ideas keep returning. The key to digestion is adequate stomach acid and a healthy, active metabolism.

ACID-ALKALINE

The acid-alkaline theory also severely limits both one’s diet and health. The idea behind it is that we must eat an alkaline diet to keep our blood alkaline. According to the acid-alkaline proponents, acidic blood causes all manner of diseases. They say that eating more alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, is the key to good health.

The reality is that we can’t regulate our acid-alkaline state by diet. The kidneys regulate our acid-alkaline status. The kidneys are aided in this by lung function. One nutrient that aids the kidneys in maintaining an acid-alkaline balance is adequate complete protein from animal foods. The popular method in acid-alkaline circles of measuring urine or saliva pH does not reflect the blood pH. For more information, read Chris Kresser’s excellent articles1 that explain the science that invalidates the myths of the acid-alkaline theory.

NECESSARY NUTRIENTS

The ironic fact is that many of the foods that people restrict in their diets are necessary for the proper functioning of the organs of elimination, and cutting such foods out of the diet weakens these organs.

Protein in the concentrated forms of meats is needed for colon health. Cholesterol is needed for liver and gall bladder function. Saturated fats aid the functioning of the kidneys, colon and lungs. Sugars and starches are needed for the liver and all the organs.

For many reasons, people may feel good when they first embark on one of the restricted diets. One major reason is the rush of energy that comes from the catabolic hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones liberate energy into the body and mind. Initially, this stress reaction feels good. Reducing chemicals, pesticides, and high amounts of refined sugars is another reason for people’s positive experience. Eating more vegetables as the acid-alkaline and vegan proponents suggest is a healthy practice.

Eventually, though, most people fail with all dietary restrictions whether it is carbs, sugars, or meats. The body needs an array of nutrients to function well. My experience from carrying out thousands of personal health consultations is that the body needs all the macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—in substantial amounts, with smaller amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Appetite, taste and an understanding of the overall effects of foods are the best indicators as to what we should eat. It is important that no major category of food be left out. Even people who are eating traditional nutrient-dense foods should vary the frequency and quanity in the diet of the important and necessary concentrated foods such as liver, butter, meat and other similar foods to ensure long-term health. One size never fits all. A nutritionally complete diet with variability over time is important for everyone.

The worst of the extreme diets that are promoted for cleansing and health are zero-carb and all raw. In zero-carb diets, the body is starved of a major energy source, carbohydrates, while on all raw diets, complete proteins, calories, and many nutrients are missing. Depending on one’s health condition, different types of carbohydrates and some raw foods are helpful.
Some foods cause real health problems for people, such as artificial sweeteners and the industrially produced polyunsaturated vegetables oils—corn, soy, and others. Certain natural foods such as unfermented soy show evidence of harm if eaten regularly or in large amounts.

Some people are allergic or highly sensitive to foods such as gluten, dairy products and even the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, etc.). In my own consultation practice I suggest that people avoid foods that they are sensitive to with one exception. Often a person who has not eaten a food for months or longer, will react negatively to it. This happens to many people after a long period of avoiding gluten, sugar, carbs, meat, dairy or other natural foods. After reintroducing the restricted foods over an appropriate amount of time for each individual, most do fine eating them again.

THE MYTH OF CALORIE RESTRICTION

Many cleansing approaches recommend intended or unintended calorie restriction by juicing or other methods of fasting, green smoothie meal replacements and drinking excessive amounts of water. The major problem with these approaches is that by reducing calories the metabolism drops. When the metabolism drops by undereating, all bodily functions decrease. As the metabolism drops, elimination slows down. The major myth about fasting is that it causes your body to dump toxins. The only truth to this is that when you put your body in a stress mode by calorie or nutrient restriction, or other methods such as extreme exercise, there is a temporary increase in stress hormones. The stress hormones speed up all functions of the body including elimination. This stress “honeymoon” doesn’t last. With the repeated stressors of calorie or nutrient restriction, bodily functions slow down.

The kicker is that if a person has been under repeated stress from nutrient-deficient diets, poor lifestyle habits, or habitual negative thinking, there is no stress honeymoon. Any added stress such as calorie restriction drops the function of the body even further. Elimination and all body activities slow down in these cases. Many modern people and health food followers have already pushed the stress envelope. In these cases, their health will only continue to worsen.

There are additional concerns for health regarding the above-mentioned methods beyond those of calories. Green smoothies contain goitrogens (from cruciferous plants such as kale) in concentrated doses. Goitrogens suppress the function of the thyroid, which lowers the metabolism and weakens the elimination of toxins in addition to all other body functions.

Juicing, smoothie meal replacements, and excessive water consumption add large volumes of liquids to the body. The excess liquid dilutes sodium and causes swelling in the cells, leading to a condition known as hyponatremia. This also causes the metabolism to drop, slowing down elimination and all bodily functions.

DEEPER CLEANSING

As you can see, the most popular cleansing methods are worthless at best and dangerous at worst. Real cleansing is effected by a balanced, nourishing diet, a healthy lifestyle, a positive mental attitude, and doing what you really love in life.

In my health counseling practice, I employ a form of East-West visual, touch and symptom diagnosis to understand the detox or cleansing needs of my clients. In Eastern diagnostic systems, there is a holistic idea that a person’s overall health condition affects that person’s wellbeing.

There are certain states of health that benefit from strongly stimulating the organs of elimination to function more robustly. Certain herbs, foods and supplements can accomplish this.

Other types of health conditions benefit from a fundamental strengthening or toning of the organ functions. Certain foods, herbs, and supplements can foster the strength of the eliminative organs: kidneys, colon, liver, and lungs.
Stimulating the eliminative organs to become active can weaken people who have an overall nutritional or energy deficiency. For the majority of people, a better cleansing method is to eat and live in a way that best supports the healthy functioning of the body.

A diet that supports proper elimination needs ample calories to fuel the metabolism, adequate protein from natural animal foods to support organ functions and structures, saturated fats, adequate carbohydrates from grains, sweet vegetables, tubers, and fruit with moderate amounts of fiber, cooked and raw vegetables, and natural sugars. A diet that is primarily natural, organic and wholesome is best. Natural seasonings, healthy beverages, optional moderate alcohol intake and other wholesome foods round out this healthy regimen. An occasional intake of not-so-healthy foods will not harm healthy persons or hamper their elimination if their routine, daily diet and lifestyle are sound. Diets that are missing any of the macronutrients of carbohydrates, proteins or fats are the worst for our body’s natural detoxification systems.

When the body is in a stress mode, all systems of the body lose their proper functioning. Natural lifestyle practices along with diet aid in countering stress. The right amount of moderate exercise, being outside especially in the sun, stress-reducing practices such as yoga, meditation and quigong, good sleep, engaging in activities, including work, that you love, and a good mental approach help us to thrive and quickly restore balance in times of stress. These activities keep the metabolism high to fuel proper detoxification.

Some people need extra nutrients and herbs to aid in detoxification and natural cleansing. Cleansing nutrients and herbs include vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, B-complex vitamins, milk thistle, dandelion root, and triphala (an Ayurvedic herbal combination).

The elements of health listed above support the body’s natural cleansing ability. Unlike the dangerous cleansing methods that are popular and outlined in this article, the marvelous side effect of eating and living in a healthy way that supports detoxification is vibrant health.

This article was written by John Kozinski, and is published in the Weston A. Price Foundation journals 

For more information and sources, please visit the original article. 

John Kozinski has been a pioneer natural health teacher, author, and researcher since 1976. Education and diagnostic techniques are rooted in his clinical experience with 40,000+ students and clients. John resigned in 2013 from the Kushi Institute faculty after 27 years. To address catastrophic illness that developed in those following restrictive natural diets John reveals in a new training program his clinical experience and research into what was really working and why for people following popular diets. This education gives teachers, health practitioners, and students new skills to help evaluate and treat a wide variety of health conditions both naturally and complementary to medical treatments. www.macrobiotic.com (413) 623-5925.