Are You Eating Hellthy?

SoManyNuts Grains, nuts, beans, and legumes, as well as raw (or under cooked) plants or vegetables, are said to be healthy, but they are filled with harmful defensive chemicals. Oxalates, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, and lectins, to name a few, can all interfere with digestion and promote intestinal bacteria, suppressing metabolism.

Many of the popular ‘health foods’, are also filled with the polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), and they often have a disproportionately high ratio of phosphorus relative to calcium. The combination of these two factors alone, can be enough to promote inflammation. If and when inflammation becomes a chronic or systemic issue, it tends to be a big part of what then fuels metabolic dysregulation, and the progression of degeneration and disease.

Protein consumption is one of the things that is necessary to allow metabolic energy systems to function optimally, and a low protein diet can be what sets off thyroid issues, leading to inflammation and degeneration. Animal protein from milk and cheese and gelatinous meat, and the protein in well cooked potatoes, are some good sources.

Much of the protein in seeds and grains is in a non-functional form, unable to be effectively used, and can be allergenic and irritating, as well as being high in inflammatory amino acids and other problematic substances. The toxins in seeds, grains and plants, can also interfere with absorption of usable protein. Sprouting grains can make them safer and more nutritionally available.

Eating enough fiber is something which can help move digestion along and assist with excretion of digestive toxins. The cellulose in well cooked potatoes is generally safe and can be helpful in this regard, without promoting bacterial issues.

The fibers found in many of the ‘health foods’ however, are also often unable to be digested with human enzymes, but are fermentable, and as a result, they can end up feeding the growth of bacteria, allowing bacteria to move further and further up into the small intestine (and even the stomach), where they can cause irritation, and promote inflammation, potentially leading to further digestive interference. Raw carrots are an exception, having antimicrobial properties, and can be used to help reduce toxins of various kinds that are in the intestine.

As bacterial exposure increases, there is often a corresponding rise in endotoxin secretion, and endotoxin is highly inflammatory, and promotes the release of many stress related hormones, including serotonin, adrenaline, cortisol, nitric oxide and estrogen.

A surge in the production and circulation of the various inflammatory stress substances, is known to interfere with thyroid function, and suppress overall energy metabolism. Excessive exposure to bacterial endotoxin, nitric oxide, serotonin, estrogen, cortisol, and some other inflammatory stress related things, has been shown to be involved with the  development and progression of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many other diseases related to aging and inflammation.

The more energy metabolism is suppressed, the more intestinal barrier function is inhibited, and this is an important factor which allows for a greater number of the inflammatory toxins and biochemicals which are in the intestine as a result of a ‘healthy diet’, to pass through to the liver. If the liver becomes overloaded, the inflammatory substances make their way in increasing amounts into the general system, where they cause interference and damage to important organs.

Bacterial endotoxin and the stress substances like serotonin, nitric oxide, and estrogen, powerfully interfere with liver detoxification functions, promoting what can eventually become a dangerous vicious circle of increasing metabolic suppression.

The bacterial toxins and stress related inflammatory hormones, have also been shown to be directly involved in the development of blood sugar regulation issues. They interfere with the use of glucose and the production of energy in the cell, they promote insulin resistance, and cause an increase in the release of fat into the blood from storage. Rising free fatty acids are involved in metabolic suppression, inflammation, blood sugar issues, and disease.

The increasingly polyunsaturated nature of the free fatty acids (due to the ongoing and rising consumption of the highly polyunsaturated ‘health foods’), powerfully interferes with thyroid energy systems in a number of ways, causes worsening inflammation, and directly inhibits digestion.

The circulating PUFAs synergize with estrogen and endotoxin and other inflammatory substances, to heighten the problematic, thyroid inhibiting, bacteria promoting qualities of ‘clean eating’. The PUFAs/stress substance combination, also interferes with the potential to benefit from many easily digestible and highly nutritious ‘junk foods’, like milk and cheese and high sugar fruits.

The fermentable starch content of many ‘healthy whole grains’ and other complex carbohydrates, is an additional factor which can fuel bacterial overgrowth and promote inflammation and energy system suppression, especially when digestion and liver function are already weak, and thyroid systems are sub-optimal. Many kinds of metabolic disease processes can snowball as a result of this kind of excessive ‘healthy eating’.

On top of this, when starches are consumed in large enough quantities, because they rapidly convert to pure glucose, they have the potential to be far more insulinogenic than simple sugars (like sucrose and fructose and lactose). As such, especially in combination with PUFAs, they can be responsible for increasing the release of cortisol (and other stress hormones), worsening blood sugar dysregulation issues including insulin resistance, promoting systemic inflammation and the onset of chronic biochemical stress and disease.

People like to say that sugar is unhealthy and that it causes all the diseases related to bacteria and inflammation, but that is simply not in line with what is understood as far as biological science goes. It is also not very logical.

First of all, insufficient sugar availability causes many stress related things to happen in the system, which are well known to be responsible for promoting inflammatory stress related disease. Cortisol, adrenaline, endotoxin, nitric oxide, serotonin, estrogen, can all rise as a result of stress and lack of sugar. The polyunsaturated free fatty acids are a highly significant disease promoter, and low blood sugar levels and high stress, will cause them to be released in greater amounts. There are plenty of other reasons why sugar is a real health food, but that last one should probably be enough to be convincing. But first you have to be willing to take off the anti-sugar goggles, and look deeper.

It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the propaganda slogan, ‘sugar is unhealthy’, it doesn’t add any actual weight to the argument, which is basically lacking any weight at all. Conflating sugar consumption with blood sugar dysregulation issues, which are legitimately a part of disease, doesn’t explain how something that is caused by excessive stress, could be caused by something that protects against excessive stress.

But keep in mind that sugar is powerful fuel, and requires vitamins and minerals and other nutrients to go along with it, generally speaking, so blaming sugar for things caused by a nutritionally deficient diet, is also not the answer. On top of that, adding sugar back into a metabolically damaged, stressed, inflamed, estrogen dominant, polyunsaturated fat overloaded liver and system, doesn’t always go well straight away, and might need to be done carefully and with additional nutritional fine-tuning. Again, that’s nothing to do with sugar being inherently bad in any way.

It’s important to remember that there are many different things that can influence health, and sometimes, something that looks like it’s helping, may actually be causing harm that is difficult to see. A dietary change can have significant short term benefits, and long term consequences. Everything has a context, and the little details can make a big difference. Fiber is helpful and fiber is harmful. Vegetables are nutritious and vegetables are toxic. Fat is protective, and fat is inflammatory. Sugar also has a context.

I’m not a nutritionist or dietician, and I’m not here to tell you what to eat or what not to eat, however, over the years I have become more and more aware of some of the harmful effects that can arise as a result of ‘healthy eating’. Although food is not the only factor determining health, and a person with a strong digestive system and metabolism can get away with eating all sorts of problematic things, when it comes to healing long term metabolic issues, food choices are often a crucial factor.

A diet avoiding the PUFAs and limiting fibrous and starchy bacteria promoting foods, whilst getting sufficient protein and other nutrients from milk and cheese and gelatinous meats, and plenty of sugar from sweet ripe fruits and juices, white sugar and honey, is one potentially useful approach to protecting against inflammation, improving digestion and thyroid function, and increasing overall metabolic performance.

Traditional soaking and cooking methods often help reduce toxins and break down difficult to digest fibers and starches (as well as increasing the availability of proteins and other nutrients) in many foods found in ‘health stores’. But depending on the condition of your digestive system and overall metabolic health, this may not be enough to avoid all of the potential bacteria and inflammation promoting effects.

Who benefits most from ‘hellth foods’? My guess is it’s not the people eating them the most, and certainly not the people who need them the most.

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