Diet — are you what you eat?

How often have you heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat’? Diet certainly has a huge impact on health. Good nutrition is obviously important, and we all need the appropriate amounts of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, which should include all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary for health.

There has been much emphasis over the past few tens of years on eating the minimum amount of saturated fat – so much so, in fact, that diets have become too carbohydrate-rich in many cases. Increasing carbohydrate intake, coupled with inadequate fat intake can cause weight gain, which can lead to attempts to further reduce fats since they are relatively calorie-rich. The anxiety surrounding the belief that too much red meat caused heart disease led to a decline in consumption of red meat, and is another cause of inadequate dietary fats and protein; likewise for eggs.

So, are you having enough red meat and eggs? The question of adequate fat and protein is often a contentious issue with regard to vegetarian or vegan diets. The fact is that every cell membrane is made of fat and protein (lipoprotein). Cells are the very building blocks of every organ and tissue in the body. A healthy cell needs a healthy boundary, but when the cell wall is inadequate, it becomes permeable to heavy metals, and once these enter the cell, they disrupt cellular function. Also, sulphur, which is important in many enzymatic processes, is abundant in eggs and meats.

During periods of stress – and who is not under stress these days! – cortisol and adrenaline trigger our bodies to burn calories from carbohydrate and lean muscle (protein) instead of from fats. It becomes even more important to have adequate protein at these times, since our dietary source of lean protein can off-set the muscle wasting which can occur as a result of stress.

So, apart from fats and proteins, what about carbohydrates and sugars in the diet? How dangerous are these?

Sugar depresses immune function, and, to remain in optimum health, a good immune system is essential. Rather more sinister is the fact that hyperglycaemia (increased levels of sugar in the blood) causes inflammation as a result of oxidative stress (which causes aging of the cells) and, in the case of the blood vessels, the body lays down cholesterol to patch up the inflamed artery wall. Hyperglycaemia can be controlled by the avoidance of high GI (glycaemic index) foods. These are foods which are carbohydrate, and that are easily and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar. Not all carbohydrates are high GI,for instance brown rice is a low GI food, whereas short grain white rice has a high glycaemic index.

Also, with regard to sugar and high GI foods: these feed candida, resulting in an increase in colonies, and also fuel parasitosis. Perhaps more sinister still, is the fact that some candida species convert inorganic mercury into the far more toxic organic mercury, which is easily absorbed from the gut. The tragic case of Karen Wetterhahn, which is well-documented, illustrates the toxicity of organic mercury all too clearly. She was a well-known chemistry professor who spilt a few drops of organic mercury on her latex gloved hand. She removed the gloves and washed her hands, but within five months she had developed a serious neurological condition and it was discovered that she had 80 times the toxic threshold of dimethylmercury in her blood. Three weeks later she became comatose, despite aggressive attempts at chelation, and sadly, she died a few months later.

So, if sugar feeds candida, and candida methylates mercury, and methylmercury is so toxic, we must be mindful of the types of foods we eat.

However, symptoms of hypoglycaemia can’t always be put down to low blood sugar. Sometimes these symptoms are merely the result of (temporary) metal toxicity, and can occur when candida releases heavy metals in response to ‘starvation mode’. Candida functions as a massive clean-up depot for the storage of toxins. Without a constant supply of sugars candida can start to die, and, as it does so, it can release metals. By reducing levels of candida in the body it’s possible to reduce the capacity of this toxic warehouse.

COI Diet 43101

Although adequate hydration is essential, if the diet contains enough vegetables, there is no need to drink litres of water every day, since a balanced diet will provide a reasonable amount of water in the food.

A point over-looked in the promotion of fruit, is that fruit contains sugar and should generally be avoided in those with sub-optimal health. Vitamins and minerals can be found in vegetables, and so there is no need to think that trace elements will be absent.

Finally, anyone with a history of antibiotic use ought to be particularly mindful – it is almost certain that candida is already overgrown, and it doesn’t take much to exacerbate the problem.

In summary it is better to avoid: sugar, high GI foods and fruit. Eat ample vegetables and a well-balanced diet in terms of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And, as much as possible, eat organic foods.

Click here for further information on pollutants in the food chain; Antibiotics, Candida, Diet, Mercury, and Pesticides and herbicides.