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Blog Sept/Oct 2018
Fats & Oils
How often I wonder have we all heard the phrase “low-fat or fat-free diets” in the last decade or so? Very many times I wager. And yet the false science behind these phrases is fast beginning to falter.
We all need fats and oils in our diet. We have to have a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats, otherwise we won’t remain healthy.
It is important to eat healthy fats that we find in nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. And yes even the saturated fats in eggs, coconut oil, grass-fed meat, grass-fed butter and ghee are all good for us.
I have come across patients over the years who have felt quite unwell simply because they didn’t have enough fats in their diet. As soon as they increased their consumption of fats and oils, they felt much better!
But we need to avoid the bad fats that are found in margarines, vegetable oils, and massed produced baked goods, such as pies and pastries.
I was fascinated recently to learn that scientists have now been able to determine what Oetzi the Iceman who lived over 5,000 years ago, ate for his last meal. It was a high fat meal, which included goat and red deer. He had also eaten an ancient type of grain called einkorn. The scientists surmise that the fatty meat he ate not only helped Oetzi survive, but gave him sustained energy at the high altitude where he was found. Our bodies will naturally burn fat for energy when carbohydrate food is exhausted.
In fact eating a high-fat/low-carb diet is one of the best ways to loose weight and help control problems such as diabetes.
Fish Oil recent reports suggest that Omega 3 fish oil does not help prevent heart disease. But it seems another much larger study very recently done in China showed that fish oil very definitely has a beneficial effect on heart health and lowers death rates in both men and women. Why was this study ignored?
In research done in 2016, a comparison covering 42 countries found that there was no link between red meat and dairy products causing heart disease. The author of the report stated that the biggest problems were cereals, wheat and potatoes increasing that risk. i.e. these foods have a high glycemic index which cause an excess secretion of insulin. As one cardiologist said at the time “when you eat a hamburger, throw away the bun and eat the meat”!! Hopefully that meat is from organic and grass-fed cattle!
We hear a lot about fake news these days and quite frankly I believe it is almost impossible to know sometimes when we are being told the truth!
Powerful organisations try their utmost to prevent us from knowing the truth. It goes on all the time. They get away with it by not telling us all the facts.
A very good example of this was printed in one of our national dailies recently. The article stated by that “anti-vaccination sites promote fake science” and went on to say that that “Andrew Wakefield, is the discredited doctor behind fraudulent research linking MMR vaccine to autism” etc etc. What they don’t tell you is that Dr. Andrew Wakefield was exonerated by implication when his colleague, Prof John Walker-Smith, who helped in his work, was totally exonerated in a High Court decision in 2012. At the same time the Lancet ombudsman, Dr. Molyneux, acknowledged that the UK General Medical Council’s findings of misconduct against Dr. Wakefield had been overturned.
Be careful of so-called “fake news”!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed the fine weather this Summer and absorbed plenty of Vitamin D!
Blog July/Aug 2018
Breast Screening “Scandal”
Do you remember a couple of months ago, when it was trumpeted on the news that many women were not screened by mammogram for breast cancer because of computer ‘errors’??
It has long been known that mammograms do not save lives and now in a letter to a national daily on 5th May this year, a group of academics and GPs say women aged 70-79 who are being offered catch-up appointments should only seek help if they notice a lump or other symptoms.
"[They] would be well advised to look this gift horse in the mouth," the medical professionals wrote in the newspaper.
"The breast screening programme mostly causes more unintended harm than good, which is slowly being recognised internationally.
“Many women and doctors now avoid breast screening because it has no impact on all-cause death.
“The claims of lives saved because of breast screening are counteracted by deaths resulting from interventions and the most dangerous and advanced cancers are not prevented by screening programmes.”
The best breast screening available today is Thermography.It is far more accurate than mammography and has no side effects. Sadly it is not widely available in the U.K., but is available at some centres.
GAPS Diet https://thenaturaldoctor.org/services/women/breast-thermography/
Saving the NHS
The Government has just announced that it is to “invest” millions more to help solve the “NHS Crisis”. Is this really the answer???
Would it not be better for the Government to address some of the many causes that are crippling our over-burdened health care system instead?
Can I suggest a few:
• Confront the enormous problems cause by over consumption of sugar, sweeteners and junk food. Would it not be better to tax all high sugar products and junk food? Or put compulsory warning labels on them?
• Just by cutting down on junk food automatically treats the problem of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, chronic disease and cancer. These illnesses are not going to go away by flinging more money at the NHS or on research, or by taking more exercise!
• Address the issue of our ever increasing “compensation culture”. This alone costs the NHS 60% of its annual budget!!! In 2017/2018 the NHS budget amounted to £125 billion. So that amounts to £75 billion in compensation!! Ouch! I am not saying that compensation is wrong, just that it is over-used and that payments probably could be reduced in many cases. The payments should be used for better care, not to encourage people to get rich on our hard earned National Insurance payments.
• Spend money to encourage better nutrition for our nation, in our schools and hospitals and by teaching the nation as a whole to eat and cook better quality food. Delete the word “calories” from our vocabularies and substitute the words nutritious and quality instead! And yes, more exercise is important, but it has to be coupled with much better quality nutrition.
I hope you all enjoy the Summer. How wonderful we have had some good dry weather in recent days!
May/June 2018 Blog
”The best diet”?
A few months ago I mentioned a diet that I came across in a magazine that I thought for me was the ideal eating regime that we should all be trying to follow, the Pegan Diet. There are so many diets out there it can all become very confusing. But recently I came across a book authored by the person who first coined the term Pegan, Dr. Mark Hyman and who has recently published his book “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat”. It’s well worth a read and to study:
So in this blog I thought I’d explain more about the Pegan Diet and how it differs from other highly promoted diets.
PALEO Diet?:--this diet has a bit too much emphasis on meat and not enough on plants. It cuts out grains, beans, dairy, added sugars and processed foods and tends to be high on protein.
MEDITERRANEAN Diet?: allows grains and dairy and a little red wine and does not restrict any major food groups. It tends to be lower on protein, discourages red meat and emphasises fish and nuts.
VEGAN Diet?:--A diet with no meat, fish, eggs, milk or cheese. This makes it very difficult to obtain enough Omega 3 fats DHA & EPA. It's likely to be deficient in B12, iron, zinc, copper and Vit D. And it can't fully provide enough protein food, especially as a person gets older.
So, a PEGAN DIET:----
• suggests you eat mostly plants. Cover half your plate with vegetables/salad. Use a wide variety, but go easy on squash and sweet potatoes and especially white potatoes (these all have a high glycemic content)
Use some, but not a lot of fruit that is mainly low-glycemic: berries are best. Go easy on melons, bananas, and especially dried fruit. Prunes are an exception and are fairly low glycemic.
• Eat healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, fatty fish, raw nuts & seeds, organic eggs and grass fed meat. Small amounts of cold-pressed avocado oil, walnut oil, macadamia & sesame seed oils are OK.
Avoid completely vegetable oils such as canola, rapeseed, soy, sunflower & corn.
• Limit or avoid dairy. Occasional yoghurt, kefir, grass-fed butter, ghee and cheeses are tolerated by some people. Try goat or sheep products instead of cow milk products.
• Try and avoid gluten and only eat it occasionally. Dr. Alessio Fasano from Harvard, the world's gluten expert and researcher, has shown that gluten damages the gut, even in non-gluten sensitive people! This means all gluten containing grains: wheat, rye, oats, barley and corn.
• Instead use small portions of black/brown rice, quinoa, teff, amaranth or buckwheat.
• Eat beans only occasionally. They cause digestive problems for many and are full of lectins and phytates that impair mineral absorption. Lentils are the safest to eat.
• Think of meat as a side dish and always eat it with plenty of veg or salad. Try to get grass fed meat.
• Eat fish that is not from fish farms. Avoid fish that are high in mercury eg. tuna, shark & swordfish, and salmon. Fish-farmed salmon has become quite toxic. Eat wild salmon (eg Alaskan), sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel.
• Try and eat organic food where possible to avoid pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, GMO foods etc.
• Avoid sugar and sweeteners completely.
Use lots of herbs for flavouring.
There you have it. But please read Dr. Hyman’s book if you want to know the scientific rational behind it all.
March/April 2018 Blog
Today’s BBC Headlines
It comes as no surprise when the headlines on the day of writing writing announced that “Mistakes made by the NHS in England could be a factor in more than 22,000 deaths a year.”
This is an immensely sad and disturbing fact of which most people are unaware. I have already written in one of my earlier blogs that the third leading cause of death, both in the U.K. and in the U.S., after cancer and heart disease, is medical error.
And the other desperately sad fact about all this is that the NHS pays out just under half of its annual budget on compensation (£56 billion last year) for these errors!!! No wonder the NHS is broke.
If these deaths had occurred in “Alternative Medicine” we would all have been closed down and outlawed years ago and labelled as snake oil doctors.
BUT the fact of the matter is that in Alternative Medicine in the last few years there have been NO DEATHS from the prescription of nutritional supplements, herbs or homeopathic remedies. I wonder why the BBC didn’t tell us that fact??!!
Even that wonderful herb kava kava, which has been banned in the U.K., has caused no deaths.
Prostate Cancer One of our well known British celebrities has just been operated on for cancer of the prostate. Being a cynic I just wonder whether the advice this person was given warranted an operation. Yes, it might have been had he ‘gone into retention’ and then an operation would have been necessary. But the PSA test that is routinely being done on men is known to be very unreliable and inaccurate. By all means get the blood test, but bear in mind that it can be a cause of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Many men are known to die with prostate cancer, but not from prostate cancer. They die of other causes.
If cancer has been diagnosed ‘watchful waiting’ is often the wisest course to adopt. Aggressive prostate cancer treatment frequently leads to incontinence or impotence.
But there is still a lot that can be done to prevent the condition from developing. The American Cancer Society researchers have said that “half of all cancers are caused by poor lifestyle”.--that includes poor diet, alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, too much stress. If these have been eliminated also make sure you eliminate ALL sugar and food made with sugar from the diet. All cancers feed on sugar!
Include in your diet raw linseeds (flaxseeds), lots of broccoli and other cruciferous veg, green tea, Vit D3, lots of fish (not farmed), omega three fish oil, curcumin and pomegranate. Investigate use of the herb magnolia bark extract. There are lots of natural substances that help to prevent prostate cancer and these are some of the important ones.