I am constantly telling my clients the following statement:
"If your great-great-great-great grandmother ate it, it's a real food. But if she didn't eat it, it's not a real food and you shouldn't eat it either".
This automatically takes out things like Oreos, Halo Top ice whatever, Raisin Bran, and Taco Bell.
But what about whole foods that aren't great for the body? I say "worst" but what I mean are "inflammatory".
I know, that's no fun. But it is an inexpensive way to experiment with your body and see if you feel better.
Why are these foods not as nourishing for your body as other foods?
These are the foods that tend to promote an allergenic or intolerance response in the body. This can lead to inflammation. Inflammation sets the stage for chronic illness.
And this is a common question I get. In my 28 Day Reset, my girls always want to know if gluten and dairy are actually that bad for you:
So I shall explain why I believe some whole foods are not as beneficial as other whole foods.
Let's look at each one and see why that is the case.
#1 Offender: Gluten
Yeah, gluten gets a bad rap. But that's for a reason. The main reason that gluten is not your friend is because it rips holes in your gut.
Western gluten contains a substance called zonulin, discovered by the brilliant Dr. Alessio Fasano. Zonulin from wheat gluten basically tears holes in the small intestine. Really, it starts a chemical reaction that begins to open up spaces between the epithelial cells in the small intestine. When these spaces are opened, all sorts of nasty things can leak into the body. Food particles, bacteria, parasites, fungus- the digestive tract is supposed to neutralize these substances. But when the gut is "leaky", these things can pass through the gut and into the body.
And that's when you start to feel unwell. Many women report physical stomach pain after ingesting gluten, but the inflammation due to these leaked substances is what leads to chronic illness. When there is a substance somewhere in the body that should not be there (like food proteins leaked from the gut to the bloodstream), the immune system goes to work to neutralize those substances. This is much like the innate immune system causing pain and swelling as it tries to fix a cut on a finger. But here it's the adaptive immune system at work. Instead of fixing a problem quickly, it's constantly working to neutralize these inflammatory substances.
Instead of trying to switch out your gluten containing products for gluten free versions of foods that are not nourishing anyway (multiple ingredient gluten free bread, cakes, pastries, desserts, muffins, etc.), just skip the bread basket. Your granny ancestor (who did not have celiac disease, lupus, Hashimoto's, or crazy weight issues) would applaud you.
Many cultures use dairy products as the one of the backbones of their diet. But the United States does not have a "cultural" diet. We have a Food Machine that is designed to sell the most product, cut the most corners, reach the biggest audience, and keep you coming back for more.
There is a lot of difference between a whole milk yogurt, naturally cultured on the kitchen counter from grassfed milk and a GoGurt ("a tasty gluten free snack!"). Which one of these would your kids choose? Which one would you choose? Which one did you choose as a kid? And what are your gut and hormones doing now?
Dairy is inflammatory for those individuals who are already compromised. And that inflammation can lead to worse health, especially in those with autoimmune disease. Again, since the population of clients I work with are generally compromised with regards to their health in some sort of way, I recommend pulling all dairy proteins out of the diet. It is the protein that our bodies reacts to, anyway. On that note, please never, ever, ever use dairy-based protein powders if you have any sort of inflammatory or metabolic issue. Just eat real food.
Now, butter is different. Since butter is mostly fat, there is very little protein for the body to react to. And butter has a beautiful fat-soluble vitamin profile. You can get vitamin A and K from butter, and small amounts of D and E. These fat soluble vitamins allow you to absorb your water-soluble nutrients like B vitamins and Vitamin C.
So dairy is a bit more of a gray area. But it's a food that I take out for a few months when I am working with clients who have autoimmune disease or menstrual issues as it can be inflammatory for those groups of women.
In short, the more natural and more fatty your dairy source is (pastured, organic, grass-fed, whole fat), the better it is for you. Stay away from the GoGurts and the processed cheeses cut with caking agents. Your great-great-great-great grandmother wasn't eating that crap.
I know, you love eggs for breakfast. And they are excellent in baked goods. They are cheap and easy to prepare. I used to think the same thing.
And then, one morning, I was sitting in Bible Study Fellowship, silently screaming to myself because it literally felt like my scalp was on fire. And after some contemplation, I realized that my 4-egg-a-morning habit was the most likely contributor to my scalpy torment.
It was. By removing the eggs, my scalp calmed down quite a bit. It wasn't until almost a decade later that I was able to send my psoriasis into complete remission though. Live and learn!
These days, I realize that there is a strong link between receiving vaccinations and consequently developing food allergies. I was fully vaccinated as a child (and given antibiotics for absolutely everything), and my gut health absolutely suffered as a result.
The granddaddy of Paleo, Dr. Loren Cordain, has done an excellent job showing the correlation between egg white proteins and autoimmune disease. Have a listen here.
Therefore, I don't recommend eggs in the diet while I am starting with a new client. We can always experiment with adding them back in, but we definitely don't start there.
So there you have it. My top 3 no-no foods. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know over on FB.
If you want to dive right in and clean up your diet on your own, you can grab my 28 Day Reset here. It is $97 for another 3 weeks only. Then it bumps back up to its regular price of $197. Get it while you can!
And you can also always schedule a call if you want to work with me one on one. I would love to chat with you!