If you are not familiar with Dr. Joel Fuhrman, you may wish to check out his e-newsletter. I often find some healthy and tasty recipes as well as good nutritional advice on his site. In that spirit I give to you his lists of the best and worst foods for your optimum health.
The best foods are cancer-protective and longevity-favorable and, if consumed regularly, will contribute to maintaining ideal weight, achieving super Immunity and promoting overall well-being:
Ten Best Foods:
Conversely, the leading causes of death, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, are primarily caused by the foods we eat. The wrong foods can be as addictive as drugs and alcohol and can cause us to lead lives that provide only a fraction of our potential for health, energy level and physiological well-being.
Ten Worst Foods:
This concludes his lists and advice. Before closing, I will comment on the controversy about dairy. He has listed the full-fat dairy foods as among the worst. There are different opinions about whether or not dairy is a healthy food for adults. Based on the research and my practicing medicine, I generally advise patients to avoid dairy.
First and foremost, milk is NOT the health food the dairy industry would have us believe. After infancy there is no reason to have dairy in our diets. In fact the data suggests significant harm:
1. Milk is not the best source of calcium for our bones and teeth—vegetable calcium is. Although the amount of calcium in a glass of milk may appear to be higher than what is in your broccoli, the vegetable form is more readily assimilated by the body.
2. Milk does not reduce fractures. According to Dr. Willet who has followed many studies about dairy, consuming dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurse’s Health Study dairy may increase risk of fracture by 50%. That is because, dairy products, when metabolized, are acid-forming. Our bodies are constantly striving for biochemical balance to keep our blood at 7.365 pH. Eating excessive acid-forming products can cause our bodies to overuse some of its acid-balancing mechanisms, one of which is the bones. Alkaline calcium is stored in the bones and released to combat excessive acidity in the body. Over time, bones can become fragile.
3. Countries with the highest consumption of dairy have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. These countries include the United States, UK and most of Western Europe. Countries with the lowest rates of dairy consumption (like those in Asia and Africa) have the lowest risk of fracture.
4. Dairy consumption is linked to cancer risk. Research shows that higher rates of intake of dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Similar research data exists for women’s breast cancer. Part of the mechanism is that dairy consumption elevates the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). There are ample studies linking high IGF-1 levels to increased cancer risk. Cancer cells thrive on dairy.
5. Commercial milk is processed through pasteurization to kill potentially harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, the heating process also destroys many of the vitamins, enzymes and proteins. Enzymes assist in the digestive process. When they are destroyed milk is more difficult to digest, putting a strain on our immune system. (This is why many persons develop antibody responses to dairy.)
6. Not everyone can tolerate dairy. About 75% of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products—a condition called lactose intolerance. Another large percentage of people (the actual percentage number is not well worked out through research) are sensitive to dairy and produce an immune reaction to it. (See explanation above.) These persons may suffer from symptoms as varied as migraines, rashes, and mood swings to stomach and digestive issues.
7. Dairy products are mucous-forming. They can contribute to respiratory disorders. When I remove dairy and sugar from the diets of my clients, they stop experiencing hay fever and seasonal allergies.
8. Research links dairy products with arthritis. In one study on rabbits researcher Robert Panush was able to create inflamed joints simply by switching their water to milk. In another study, scientists observed a 50% reduction in the pain and swelling of arthritis in persons who eliminated dairy from their diet.
9. Pesticides in cow feed find their way into the milk and dairy products we consume. Many cows are fed GMO foods which scientists feel may pose a risk to humans consuming their milk.
As an experiment, try giving up all dairy. That means eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream for two weeks and see if you feel better. You should notice improvements with your sinuses, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight. Then start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life.
If you can tolerate dairy, use only raw, organic dairy products. I suggest focusing on fermented products like unsweetened yogurt and kefir, occasionally.
Please Note: Above statements are not written by Health Realizations nor the opinion of Health Realizations