May 07

Foods That Heal and Foods That Kill

So much has been written and reported about food, that the average person has probably thrown up their hands and said, “I might as well eat what I like because what’s good or bad for you seems to change everyday.”  That may seem to be the case, but it actually is not true.  Nutritional scientists do find new evidence all of the time, but the basic findings have not changed very much for the past 30 years.  The best diet is still whole, natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy omega fats and lean meats, such as chicken and fish.



The most dramatic change in nutritional science has been the discovery of just how powerful food is in determining how long we will live and whether we will be able to avoid the many chronic diseases that are driving up the cost of health care.  Forty years ago, only 10% of the population was chronically ill with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.  Now, over 40% of the population is chronically ill, and poor nutrition is the number one reason.  About 80% of all diseases cannot only be prevented, but many of them can actually be reversed if they are addressed early enough.  And, the primary method of prevention and reversal is; you guessed it – nutrition.


Studies at several universities, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have indicated that women with high levels of vitamin D and calcium in their blood have a 77% reduced risk of breast cancer, but we have also heard that too much sun or dairy products aren’t good for us.  What gives?


Some of the studies on the impact of nutrition read like a list of miracles to someone not familiar with nutritional science.  In one study, 50% of patients with end-stage kidney disease were able to get off of dialysis by taking 180 mg of CoQ10 for three months.  As it turns out, this enzyme known as CoQ10 has also been shown to help reverse heart disease and slow the advance of Parkinson’s Disease.  Karen De Felice, a mother with a background in science, cured her two autistic sons with changes in their diet and the use of digestive enzymes.  Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez is treating pancreatic cancer patients with digestive enzymes with amazing results.  A number of doctors have written books about their success in helping patients to reverse diabetes, including Neal Barnard, Michael Murray and Julian Whitaker.  In fact, Dr. Whitaker claims a 90% success rate in the reversal of type 2 diabetes at his California clinic.  The number one solution, according to all of these doctors, is nutrition.  The successful treatment protocol for type 2 diabetes always involves diet with whole foods, low sugar intake, lots of exercise and nutritional supplements, such as magnesium, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, vanadium and an herb known as gymnema sylvestre.


Every one of the supplements mentioned here, and all of the others used by doctors from coast to coast for various diseases, have been subjected to the most rigorous scientific analysis, and they have all passed with flying colors.  And if that is not impressive enough, Jeffrey Bland, a highly respected molecular biologist, has reported that the food we eat talks to our genes.  In his groundbreaking book, Genetic Nutritioneering, Dr. Bland clearly establishes the ability of the food we eat to both eliminate genetic expressions for disease, as well as create new genetic predispositions for disease if we eat the wrong foods. such as processed foods, refined sugar, red meet, dairy and fried foods. Too much red meat not only can cause colon and prostrate cancer, it can create the opportunity for someone to pass on a higher probability for these diseases to their offspring. Most people know from previous studies that alcoholism can be transferred from one generation to the next, as can type 1 diabetes and certain heart disease weaknesses.  But did we ever think that we could be creating a new set of transferable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, depression and digestive disorders?  Apparent, according to Dr. Bland and other genetic scientists, that is exactly what we are doing.


Our poor eating habits and our sedentary stress-filled lifestyles have created a perfect storm for a health disaster in our country.  Health care reform will not address this problem because it does not concentrate enough on the prevention of disease.  Ten years ago, only 7% of the population was diabetic.  In another 20 years, it is projected by the Centers for Disease Control that nearly 45% of our population will be diabetic.  If this is not a crisis, I don’t know what is. And modern medicine is not the main solution.  In fact, Dr. David Eddy reported in Business Week magazine ( May 29, 2006 ) that conventional medicine only has scientific evidence to support 20% of what they do.


The answer clearly lies in the need to learn more about how to live a healthier life with better nutrition, more exercise and stress management.  Naples residents have a perfect opportunity to begin or advance their learning in this area at the upcoming Power of Wellness symposium. This life-altering event will be hosted by the Women’s Council of Realtors.  I will be presenting two workshops entitled The Care and Feeding of the Brain and Preventing and Reversing Chronic Disease.  Michael Staver, a nationally recognized executive coach, will present on How to Stay Calm and Productive Under Pressure.


For more information on the symposium please go to