10 Foods You May Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t (Part 2)

Frozen Yogurt

In my earlier post, we looked at the first five so-called health foods that are often mistaken as good for you, but in actuality are anything but. As even those who are knowledgeable about nutrition can be fooled by hard-to-decipher labels, slick marketing campaigns or mom’s out-of-date advice leftover from childhood, here’s the remaining not-so-favorite five unhealthy foods, often mistaken for the good stuff:

6. Say No to Faux Butter, Chemical Spreads and Margarine!

No matter what your momma told you, margarine isn’t a health food – and might be better used as floor wax than a foodstuff. Though you may have grown up thinking that yellow glop was healthier than butter, those man-made spreads, sprays and faux-butter substitutes are filled with cheap, processed vegetable oils, fillers and artificial ingredients, all of which can take a serious toll on your heart and arteries. Worse, they don’t even taste good! So what’s the point of eating them? Instead of faux, switch to real, grass-fed, organic butter. It’s delicious, satisfying and full of good fats. It’s also a good source of health-enhancing conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps protect against cancer and encourages muscle growth, plus vitamins A, D and E, all of which are essential to good health. To read more about butter’s surprising benefits, click here.

7. Fish From the Farm Can Do You Harm

Everybody knows that fish is a good way to get your protein and good fats. Problem is, we’re often not eating the right stuff, which is wild fish, preferably pole-caught. Instead, most people eat factory-farmed fish, meaning fish that is raised by an industry whose sole mission it is to produce more fish quicker, faster, larger and cheaper. Raised in cramped, filthy tanks and pens, factory-farmed fish are prone to illness, which necessitates feeding them drugs, antifungals and/or pesticides to encourage survival till harvest time. With a life like that, it’s easy to see why these stressed-out, drugged-up, poorly fed creatures make an unhealthy meal – even more so when the fish is then processed, battered, fried, rolled in breadcrumbs, frozen and shipped to market. Compared to their wild-fish counterparts, farmed fish deliver roughly 20% less protein, twice as much inflammation-boosting omega 6 fatty acid, fewer omega 3’s and nutrients – so I say leave those fish down on the farm. Instead, choose certified wild fish whenever possible, or look for fish from smaller-scale, artisanal or boutique-style fish farms, which practice sustainable and eco-friendly techniques.

8. Grab a Diet Coke….And Pour it Down the Drain

If you’re still drinking diet soda, you might want to have your head examined, and perhaps a bone-density test while you’re at it. Diet drinks are foul-tasting, man-made chemical cocktails, devoid of nutrition, full of sodium and made with artificial colors that only a mad scientist could love. They’re also loaded with anything-but-natural sweeteners, which have been shown to have an appetite-triggering effect – so you’re likely to eat more, not less! Need another reason to kick the can? Diet sodas undermine health: according to a University of Minnesota study, just one diet soda a day was associated with a 36 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. And other studies have established a link between diet cola use and bone density loss. My advice? Drop the pop, both diet and sugared, and switch to water, or teas like rooibos, hibiscus or green, all of which deliver wonderful health benefits – and taste great too!

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Posted by on Jul 14, 2014| 2 Comments

A Patient Story: Autoimmunity, Inflammation and the Be Well Cleanse

Megan McGrane
By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Bajaj

Over the past year, we have been working with a patient Megan McGrane who was suffering from autoimmune disorders and inflammation. By changing her diet and adding in some key supplements, she was able to reduce the severity of her symptoms, see improvement in her bloodwork, and have her inflammatory markers return to normal values. Here is her story:

1. Please tell us what symptoms you were experiencing before you came to the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center?

I have been experiencing symptoms related to my autoimmune disorders for years. I have Reynaud’s Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and Psoriasis. Over a 6 month period leading up to my visit to the wellness center in 2013, I had been experiencing worsening symptoms such as fatigue, frequent headaches, daily body aches, GI upset, bloating, and hand redness/pain related to Reynaud’s.

I was a Division I College Volleyball All-American and have a very active lifestyle as a Physician Assistant. I started to notice that these symptoms were finally getting to a point that they were really affecting my lifestyle and my ability to be active. I had seen a rheumatologist who found that my inflammatory blood markers were elevated beyond the normal range. She had advised me to return in 6 months for a follow-up check of my bloodwork but there was no mention of how to decrease the ongoing inflammation in my body. It was at that point that I realized I needed to make a big change in order to alter the course of my autoimmune disorders. 

2. What had you previously done to relieve your symptoms?

I had been eating a vegetarian diet for about two years with very little animal products like eggs or dairy. I ate a lot of greens, fruits, vegetables, lentils and whole grains like quinoa, steel cut oats, and wild rice.  I exercise daily, do hot vinyasa yoga, and have a regular meditation practice. My supplements at that time consisted of a daily multivitamin and fish oil.  I thought I was on the right track, but my health was still suffering, and the proof was in my blood work as well.

3. What plan did you and Dr. Lipman come up with?

After I left my rheumatologist appointment, I ordered the Cleanse online and made an appointment with Dr. Lipman. I met with him and his team for about two hours at my first appointment and we reviewed my health and lifestyle in depth. I had started cleansing before my first appointment and was encouraged with the first few days of progress.

The plan he devised consisted of morning shakes plus daily probiotics, and supplements to support the gut, immune system and bring down inflammation. I also went grain-free and legume-free in addition to my gluten-free regimen. I did the Be Well Cleanse for about 3 weeks but kept up the regimen for months with daily shakes and Cleanse-approved foods. 

4. Please share about your experience following this protocol.

I felt like going on a Cleanse was a daunting idea. The Be Well Cleanse made cleansing simple and straightforward without feeling like I was going hungry. The first day or two, I had a mild headache as I cut out coffee. My job is very active, I spend 12 hours on my feet, and I never felt weak or depleted on the Cleanse but saw my energy increase steadily as I followed program. The real key for me was removing inflammatory foods such as grain, legumes, and sugars that I had previously relied on in my diet, switching to a “paleo” diet. Although I was eating healthfully I was still inflaming my body with legumes and grains. When I removed those food groups, adding in protein was important for me to reach adequate protein and calorie intake, and also helped give me great energy.

I still follow the basic premise that Dr. Lipman and I worked on at that first appointment. We have tweaked it over the past few months as I have needed more support for inflammation but I have stuck to the grain-free, legume-free, sugar-free, nutrient dense diet religiously since my first cleanse.

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Posted by on Jul 11, 2014| 6 Comments

The Healing Power of Sleep


Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.

New science shows that sleep is essential to our mental and physical health — and most of us aren’t getting enough.

By Pamela Weintraub

Jason Karp is a successful hedge-fund manager and restaurateur with a close-knit family and a deep respect for work-life balance. Today, his world is cruising along quite nicely. More than a decade ago, though, he was in near-constant overdrive — and dangerously close to crashing.

Karp graduated at the top of his class at Wharton business school. He was the youngest person to make partner in his elite financial firm. He had a great deal of ambition and a nearly unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

After teaching himself to speed-read, he spent long evenings consuming history, philosophy, literature and science. In an effort to absorb even more, Karp trained himself to forgo sleep. He cut back from his usual seven nightly hours to just two or three. Sometimes he wouldn’t go to bed at all, staying up to read or work instead.

“It was like something out of Icarus, where someone thinks he has a gift and takes it too far,” the 36-year-old recalls.

Karp was especially fascinated with the subject of neuroscience. And ironically, the more he stayed up late learning about the inner workings of his brain, the more he noticed that his sensory perception was beginning to erode.

“Within three months I was seeing double,” Karp says.

Eventually, Karp was diagnosed with keratoconus, a progressive degeneration of the cornea that can necessitate a corneal transplant.

At the time, it never occurred to Karp or his doctor that his vision problems could be traced to his lack of sleep.

With his vision deteriorating, Karp began reading even more furiously, staying up longer and focusing on health-related literature. Soon his prostate region pulsed with pain and a urologist suspected testicular cancer. His hair fell out in clumps, his skin broke out in a rash and his cortisol levels were so high that at one point a doctor told him he doubted Karp would live to see his 40th birthday.

“I fell into a deep depression,” Karp recalls. “I lived in terror because I thought I was dying.”

Finally, Karp came across an obscure bit of research that drew a link between the skin disorder eczema and the keratoconus that was threatening his vision. The article prompted Karp to remember that his rash appeared after he’d stayed awake for 48 hours straight: “I naively thought if I could make the rash go away, I could make the keratoconus go away, and I wondered if I could do it through sleep and better diet.”

It took months for Karp to retrain himself to sleep, but once he did, the rash disappeared. Then his vision returned — even though an ophthalmologist had told him it probably never would. His prostate pain subsided. Six months after returning his sleep pattern to normal, every single malady, disorder and disease had disappeared. “I cured myself through sleep and better diet,” Karp says.

Sleep, new research reveals, is a master regulator of health. A sleep deficit or disruption can create wide-ranging havoc, compromising our immune system, causing inflammation, and damaging our genes. Losing just an hour of sleep a night increases risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Lack of sleep can also lead to memory loss, negatively affect people’s reflexes and decision-making skills, cause hearing loss and psychiatric disease, and impede sexual function.

And it’s not just people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea who have to worry, says James Maas, PhD, a recently retired Cornell scientist and one of the world’s foremost sleep researchers. He says at least seven out of 10 Americans aren’t getting enough sleep and they’re at risk for serious health problems, as well.

“People devalue sleep and are completely unaware of what happens to them when they have a deficit,” Maas says. “As a society we are so habituated to low levels of sleep that most of us don’t know what it feels like to be fully alert and awake.”

We treat sleep like a “tradable commodity,” adds University of Chicago sleep researcher David Gozal, MD, sacrificing it for work, entertainment or some other lifestyle choice. In large part, he believes, we do this because it can take months or even years for a disease caused by sleep deficit to fully emerge.

In the meantime, everything from our health to our relationships to our sense of wonder gets diminished. “Sleep is the food of the brain,” says Gozal. And a great many of us aren’t just hungry for sleep, he notes. “We are starving.”

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Posted by on Jul 10, 2014| 0 Comments

Be Well Kitchen:
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

Coconut Milk

By Be Well Health Coach Jackie Damboragian

I’ve been using a lot of coconut milk lately – in smoothies, as a creamer in tea and coffee, in curry dishes and more. I only use the canned coconut milk, which is less processed than the boxed variety, but still has its downfalls as many of the cans have BPA in the lining. (Native Forest brand is one BPA-free exception!)

When I realized how much I was going through and how much healthier the homemade variety is, I decided it was time to try to make my own. Coconut Milk is a source of healthy fats, and a delicious base for smoothies, sauces and ice cream! As you will see below, you heat the water, which helps to bring out the fat, and makes the milk creamier.


  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 cups warm water


  • Heat water, but don’t bring it to a boil. 
  • Combine warm water and shredded coconut in the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Using a nut milk bag, or cheesecloth, pour the milk into another container straining out the pulp. Squeeze the pulp through the bag to get out any remaining liquid.
  • Store coconut milk in airtight containers in the refrigerator, it will keep for 3-4 days.
Posted by on Jul 09, 2014| 0 Comments

Canola Oil – A Healthy Oil Fraud?

Canola Oil
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

For years, canola oil has been marketed as one of the healthiest oils for salad dressings and cooking, but the truth is that this oil is far from healthy. The wildly controversial canola oil is everywhere – even in the seemingly healthiest of restaurants, but it’s far from “natural.”

Is canola oil lurking in your kitchen cabinet? If so, here’s why you should ditch it.

What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil comes from a seed called the “rapeseed,” and was once mainly used for industrial purposes. There is no “canola plant” found in nature — it’s a made up product that goes through extreme amounts of processing. Canola stands for “Canadian oil low acid,” because it was originally developed in Canada and the word “canola” sounded good for marketing at the time.

90% of canola oil has been genetically modified — and it’s very cheap to use, which is why almost all restaurants cook with it. Check out this video to see exactly how canola oil is produced – using lots of machinery, heat and harsh chemicals. Definitely not a natural process!

Here is an image I got from the Weston A. Price Foundation about how canola oil is processed:

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Posted by on Jul 08, 2014| 5 Comments

10 Foods You May Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t (Part 1)

Energy Bar

When patients first visit my office, I always make it my business to find out not only about their health histories and lifestyle habits, but also what they eat. Fortunately, these days patients are more knowledgeable about nutrition than they were even 5 or 10 years ago, so that makes the job of turning their health around a bit easier. However, many people still have some rather retro ideas about what’s a health food and what’s not, so I and my Be Well nutrition team often have to engage in some re-education, to guide patients on their journey to sustainable and optimal health. What follows is my two part post on 10 foods most often mistaken for health foods – and the truly healthy, nutrition options to trade them in for:

1. Put Down the Juice Box

These days many people are dropping sugary sodas in favor of juices like blueberry, black currant and cherry, which are perceived as healthier because of their high concentration of antioxidants. Problem is, most fruit juices come up nutritionally short, because they deliver little in the way of fiber, plus loads of extra sugar you don’t need, unless perhaps you’re chasing your juice with a 20-mile run. If you want fruit, eat whole fruit. If you want a drink, pour yourself a glass of organic tea, a phyto-greens drink, coconut water or plain water. If it’s fruit flavor you crave, top a 2 oz. shot of unsweetened organic fruit juice with plenty of water or seltzer and enjoy. But whatever you do, don’t kid yourself into thinking that juices are an even nutritional swap for whole fruits, because they’re not. Instead, set a good example for your kids (and yourself!) and eat your fruit, don’t drink it.

2. Stop Guzzling the Gatorade

Unless you’re wearing a Super Bowl ring, or have just finished an Ironman race, strike commercial sports drinks from your list. They’re full of sugar, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and numerous mysterious ingredients that do little to support health and could be undermining it. In fact, until recently, Gatorade contained brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, a suspected carcinogen used in flame-retardants! Instead, try quenching your flames of thirst with my simple home-made sports drinks. They’ll help replenish your body with health supporting fluids, not chemical cocktails! 

3. Energy Bars Are More Like Candy Bars in Fancier Wrappers

Most of the “energy bars” you’ll find within easy reach – those sold at the supermarket or the deli—are essentially glorified candy bars masquerading as health food. Convenient as they may be, they’re crummy substitutes for real food. Even the “good” high-end bars tend to be heavily-processed sugar-bombs with hardly enough protein or fiber to make them worth eating. And lower-end bars are worse, made with cheap, genetically-modified and/or pesticide-soaked ingredients (soy, oats, nuts, fillers, etc.), then glued together with seemingly “healthy” but actually sugar-packed coatings like chocolate, yoghurt, honey, maple syrup, etc. My advice? Eat them only if you’re stuck on a desert island and there’s nothing left to eat except your shirt. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and make your own, nutrient-dense bars or assemble a few small bags of organic trail mix and keep a supply in your briefcase, gym bag and desk to squash hunger and boost energy.

4. Whole Wheat Doesn’t Make It Healthy

Millions of people are still fooled by the idea that anything with whole wheat slapped on the label means it’s good for you. In a nutshell: it’s not. The overwhelming majority of our whole-wheat products these days are, like the energy bars mentioned above, heavily-processed, sugar-packed and made with factory-farmed, sometimes genetically-modified ingredients, raised in nutrient depleted soil and drenched in pesticides. If that weren’t enough, modern wheat is our biggest dietary source of gluten, which much of the population is either sensitive or allergic to, whether they’re aware of it or not. Gluten-sensitivity can trigger digestive problems, chronic inflammation and disease, making whole-wheat, anything but a health food. Ideally, the wisest way to support your health is to kick all wheat altogether. But if bread is an absolute must for you, make every bite truly nutritious and make your own – it’s easier than you think. Here’s the Be Well gang’s favorite gluten-free paleo-bread recipe from Elana’s Pantry.

5. Soy’s Not Exactly a Health Food Either

A few months back I wrote a post on the numerous concerns that I and many of my colleagues have with soy – and why I regularly advise my patients to avoid it. When I say soy is not a health food, I’m talking about the typical genetically-modified, pesticide-doused soy you find blended into countless processed foods found at the supermarket. The easiest way to purge soy from your diet is to eliminate processed foods, as well as the more obvious sources like soy milk, soy cheese, etc. However, if you’re not willing to give up soy, aim to eat only organic fermented soy products, such as tempeh, miso and natto, that are also marked non-GMO, gluten and pesticide-free. Keep portion sizes small and don’t eat it every day; once or twice a week is plenty.

Watch out next week for 5 more foods most often mistaken for health foods – and what to eat instead. 

Posted by on Jul 07, 2014| 4 Comments

Be Well Kitchen: Pistachio Avocado Salad with Balsamic Honey Dressing Recipe

Pistachio Salad

Like any gluten-free good health fanatic, I’m a HUGE salad lover! Salads are a delicious way to enjoy a few servings of veggies in just one meal. Plus, you can prepare a large bowl of the recipe, leave the dressing on the side and enjoy leftovers for lunch the following day. Salads are great because there are endless combinations of healthy toppings to choose from, so you can try new recipes and mix and match until you find the perfect salad for you.

To make this salad I used 1 cup of mixed greens as a base — dark leafy greens are one of the best way to get phytonutrients and lots of fiber. To jazz up my greens, I added finely chopped purple cabbage, carrots julienned (fancy kitchen talk for thinly sliced), fresh parsley, and chives. On top of the veggies, this salad is loaded with healthy fats from pistachios, sunflower seeds, and avocado. I love the contrast between the creamy texture of the avocado and the crunchy texture of the nuts and seeds. I also love making my own salad dressing; this one is easy to make and infinitely better than prepackaged dressings that are packed with chemicals and preservatives. To make the Balsamic Honey Dressing for this recipe, all you have to do is whisk olive oil, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper and you’re ready to eat.

Next time you’re in the mood for a fresh new meal, try this yummy Pistachio and Avocado Salad!

Pistachio Avocado Salad with Balsamic Honey Dressing - Serves 4


  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. organic balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  organic, raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 large organic ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups organic purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 2 large organic carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. raw pistachios, shelled


  1. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, Dijon, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, combine avocado, cabbage, mixed greens, carrot, parsley, chives, sunflower seeds and pistachios.
  3. Drizzle salad with dressing; gently toss to coat.
Posted by on Jul 03, 2014| 0 Comments

Apple Cider Vinegar and Skin Care

Apple Cider Vinegar

Since there is no secret to my obsession with ingredients for skin care, I no longer need to hide the truth. I don’t have to load up on apple cider vinegar in shame, or fear judgment for my ramblings on its virtues. The truth is we don’t have to look that hard or far for the perfect skin fixes. Reading about the latest jungle berry or sea wonder for skin, cosmetic companies are having us race to the beauty counters for the next miracle in a jar. Don’t be tempted! I am not refuting that there can be advancements in skin care and that from time to time an amazing new active is discovered. What I am saying is that there are also shelves already lined with skin wonders, pantries full of actives that will deliver the results you’re after. So instead of chasing the promise in a jar, racing to the beauty aisle, loading up on products that make empty promises and then feeling let down by the money you wasted on yet another “skin perfecting, wrinkle erasing, zit zapping” product, look to the shelves of your local grocery store for all the skin magic and miracles you need.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been one of my favorite skin ingredients for some time. Consumers may tire of the same old, same old when it comes to what they use for their skin, but the benefits of ACV are so numerous and varied that your skin’s capacity for absorption of these advantages will never cease.

Fermentation is used to make the cider into vinegar. During this process, bacteria and yeast break down the sugars in the cider. First the sugars are turned into alcohol, and when the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. The word vinegar comes from the French, meaning, “sour wine.” The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, however it also contains other acids (lactic, citric and malic), vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.

There are several key attributes to ACV for maintaining beautiful skin, and exfoliation is one of them. Exfoliating is a key element for keeping youthful healthy skin. There are several ways to exfoliate, and one of them is by “digesting” dead skin cells, which the acids in ACV do. This mild cell turnover is widely used as a skin treatment to improve, soften, and smooth skin texture. The new skin layer, once revealed, is more vibrant, youthful, and healthy.

With a pH similar to skin, AVC helps restore and balance your skin’s pH and acid mantle. This too is key to healthy, beautiful skin. The acid mantle is the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration on the skin’s surface. This barrier protects the skin and makes it less vulnerable to environmental damage (smog, sun and wind), less prone to dehydration, and also inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi (enabling skin to be healthier and have fewer breakout and blemishes. Acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe as the skin becomes more alkaline).”Mild” soaps are often alkaline (pH 9.5-11), and remove the natural acid protection as well as extract protective lipids (fats) from the skin. Washing with soap can increase this alkaline state and make the skin even more vulnerable to irritation and infection. Most people are cleansing with products that are breaking down their acid mantle and causing increased skin issues. Balancing your pH is an imperative part of maintaining healthy skin.

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Posted by on Jul 02, 2014| 0 Comments

7 Scary Food Additives to Avoid

This article was originally posted on www.naturallysavvy.com.

I’m an avid label reader. In fact, I was given the nickname “Inspector Label” many years ago because of my passion for calling out harmful ingredients lurking in our foods (and because it would take me three hours to walk through a grocery store because I had to read every label onevery single product I was interested in buying!). In fact, that’s what prompted me to write our book, Unjunk Your Junk Food, Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks.

As consumers, we want to believe that food manufacturers have our best interest at heart, but the truth is, as we learn more about the foods in the grocery store, we realize these companies are more concerned with taste and shelf life than with our overall health. 

Thousands of chemicals are used to make our food taste better, look better, and last longer, but most of these food additives, preservatives, and colorings are synthetic. Even the term “natural food” – once used to describe whole fruits and vegetables and unrefined grains – has now been expanded to include packaged, processed foods, many of which contain a wide array of chemicals.

According to a survey we conducted of over 2,600 consumers, 95% said they always read a food label, but 55% admitted they don’t recognize half the ingredients on the label! This is because packaged food is loaded with additives, many of which have chemical or scientific names. Although the amount of additives in our food is getting a bit out of hand (there are more than 6,000 food additives approved for use in the food industry), using ingredients to improve or enhance food has been the norm for centuries. Our ancestors used salts to preserve meat and sugar to preserve fruit. Spices and herbs were used for flavoring, and vegetables were fermented or pickled so they could be eaten during colder seasons.

Read more about the ingredients in conventional spices

Over the course of the two years it took my my co-author, Lisa Tsakos, and me to write our first book, Unjunk Your Junk Food (Gallery, 2011), we thoroughly researched ingredients commonly found in packaged foods across North America and grouped those that caused the most harm to our health into seven categories. We called them The Scary Seven™They are:

Note: GMOs are not included on this list because companies don’t have to disclose them on their labels. However, they are on our “Also Beware Of” list, so please avoid them whenever possible. You can find a list of the “8 Most Genetically Modified Foods” here. You can learn more about the harmful effects of GMOs here.

1. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

HFCS is an inexpensive substitute for real sugar and is used primarily to sweeten beverages, including soft drinks. The American Heart Association identifies sugar-sweetened beverages as the main source of added sugars in our diet, suggesting that liquid calories are more likely to lead to weight gain than calories obtained from solid foods. HFCS, made from yellow dent corn, has been shown to promote increased belly fat and insulin resistance—not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that result directly. The fructose in high-fructose corn syrup goes directly to the liver, where it converts to fat and can ultimately lead to heart disease.

New research shows that fructose (like the fructose in HFCS) causes cancer cells to metastasizein a way that other sugars don’t, proving that there is a difference between fructose and other sugars. All sugars can lead to health problems, but high-fructose corn syrup is worse in terms of cancer risk.

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Posted by on Jul 01, 2014| 0 Comments

Conversation with Jonathan Bailor on Protein

The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor

Jonathan is the author of the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling The Calorie Myth

Dr L: Is Protein Heart Healthy?

Jonathan: The Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed a whopping 147 studies on diet’s impact on health and found zero correlation between meat consumption and cardiovascular disease. [1] Further, distinguished researcher Dr. Halton at Harvard University found: “Exchange protein for carbohydrates [eating protein in place of carbs] has been shown to improve blood lipids [cholesterol], and in epidemiologic [observational] studies, higher protein diets have been associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.” [2]

Speaking about one of the world’s number one killers, cardiovascular disease, Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Healthy, Dr. Willett, adds: “The Nurses’ Health Study is the only large prospective study to have examined the link between dietary protein and cardiovascular disease…The group of women who ate the most protein…were 25% less likely to have had a heart attack or to have died of heart disease than the women who ate the least protein…While this needs to be confirmed, it offers strong reassurance that eating a lot of protein doesn’t harm the heart.” [3]

Finally, when it comes to the health marker so many Americans take medication for, cholesterol, Harvard’s Dr. Willett continues: “Cutting back on carbohydrate and replacing those calories with protein lowers the levels of triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease and also boosts HDL, the protective form of cholesterol.” [4]

Bottom Line: For a healthy heart, enjoy hearty servings of protein.

Dr L: Does Protein Cause Cancer?

Jonathan: A few years ago, a popular book and documentary claimed that protein causes cancer going so far as to assert that eating protein “turned cancer on,” while not eating protein “turned cancer off.” Let’s go back to our friends at the Harvard School of Public Health in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to see if this lines up with the findings of the broader research community. “A survey of 65 counties in rural China, however, did not find a clear association between animal product consumption and risk of heart disease or major cancers,” says Harvard’s Dr. Hu. [5] In fact, Dr. McCullough of the American Cancer Society remarks, “Fish and poultry have been associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease and cancer.” [6]

Bottom Line: No longer eating protein to avoid cancer is like no longer watering your garden helps you to avoid weeds.

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Posted by on Jun 30, 2014| 2 Comments