Fighting Inflammation

5 Ways To Reduce Inflammation Naturally

Inflammation is a common disease that often leads to other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It is very common in 21st-century life due to increased consumption of processed foods, reduction in natural whole food intake, reduced levels of exercise and exposure to toxins from substances such as alcohol, additives etc.

In order to lead a happy, healthy and pain-free life, it is essential to try to minimize inflammation in the body, especially if you are overweight which can often cause elevated inflammation levels.

In this article, I’ll provide some of the most powerful, research-proven strategies you can apply to reduce inflammation, disease risk and even lose body fat.

1. Start Exercising More To reduce Inflammation

Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation and prevent it from reaching dangerous levels. Multiple studies have revealed that beginning an exercise program, whether aerobic/cardio or resistance/weight training based, may help improve inflammatory response and reduce pain. Additionally, some evidence suggests that combining the two, (weight training and cardio), might be the best way to fight off inflammation. Interestingly, exercise such as resistance training actually increases substances called cytokines in the body that increase inflammation.  

While that may sound like the opposite of what you want, it’s actually something you need. Small and localized inflammation brought on by exercise is a normal healthy response to the stress of exercising. Exercise is actually seen by the body as a stressor or a threat, which in turn requires the body to respond and adapt. 

In response to the low amount of inflammation that occurs as a result of exercise, a myriad of different processes become up-regulated to help repair and increase the body’s resilience to inflammation in the future. In doing so, this provides a two-fold effect:

1. The body has now grown stronger and become more resilient to pro-inflammatory threats.
2. The process itself, that responds to pro-inflammatory threats, is now stronger and better able to deal with stressors, helping to prevent further inflammation.

In essence, by exercising you’ll increase the strength and efficiency of your immune system to help reduce and even prevent future inflammation.

2. Try Intermittent Fasting To Reduce Inflammation

Intermittent fasting is a fairly new dieting trend that is great for fat loss and helps reduce inflammation. For athletic individuals, intermittent fasting typically consists of 12-18 hours of fasting (through the night and next morning) followed by a period of 6-8 hours of nutrient consumption.

However, if your goal is simply to combat inflammation, you may also want to consider alternate day fasting. This approach consists of one day where you eat as you normally would be followed by the next day where you do a full fasting, consuming roughly 25% of your normal calories.

With normal eating patterns (no fasting), you expose your body to continued food and calorie intake throughout the day. In doing so, you up-regulate processes associated with growth, which may also result in inflammation.

When you fast, virtually the opposite happens, via a process called autophagy, where the body uses a significant portion of the up-regulating processes to aid in cellular repair and recycling of damaged cellular components.

Additionally, this fasting period allows the body to spend time to reduce inflammation, rather than working on digestion and growth.

3. Try a Ketogenic Diet to Reduce Inflammation

The ketogenic diet is also another popular diet that can accelerate fat loss, reduce inflammation and potentially provide anti-
cancer benefits
The ketogenic diet consists of consuming a large amount of your calories from healthy fats. Additionally, this is combined with a low to moderate amount of protein and a very low amount of carbohydrates to decrease insulin and boost ketone levels. The typical macro ratio is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. Here’s an overview of the food groups:

Interestingly, a few studies have indicated that consuming refined carbohydrates in large amounts (especially combined with excess total calories) is strongly associated with increased inflammation.

Another explanation behind the ketogenic diet and its benefits for inflammation is that increasing ketones in the blood may actually be associated with a reduced inflammatory response. In essence, you are reducing pro-inflammatory foods while increasing intake of foods that help prevent inflammation.

4. Choose The Right Foods To Fight Inflammation

While a number of different lifestyle factors and even genetics can affect inflammation, one of the key causes of inflammation is your diet.

In contrast to how many people eat nowadays, a diet lower in processed carbs and high in antioxidants such as fruits/vegetables is possibly the number one best way to combat and even prevent inflammation.
Foods to combat and prevent inflammation include:

Some Berries
Green Tea
Dark Cocoa

Foods that cause inflammation and should be avoided:

Foods high in added sugar
Trans fats
Refined Carbohydrates
Extensively processed meat

By increasing anti-inflammatory foods while avoiding pro-inflammatory ones, you’ll be able to reduce potential inflammation just by altering daily food you are consuming.

5. Use Fish Oil / Omega-3 To Lower Inflammation

In addition to changing your diet and implementing an exercise program, I also suggest that you use one of the healthiest supplements and fats around, Omega-3 fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory whereas Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. If we were to go back 100 years, the ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids was pretty equal and managed to keep inflammatory levels in check. However, we now consume far too many omega 6 fatty acids and only a small amount of omega 3s.

By regularly consuming an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as fish oil, you might be able to offset this ratio and decrease the amount of inflammation in your body. Combined with reducing the processed foods listed above and adding in extra omega 3 via supplements you can improve your omega 3 to 6 ratios.

Other food sources include oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. Aim to consume around 3 – 5g of omega 3 per day; this can be from a combination of foods and supplements.   Click to Order

The Calcium Myth

The Calcium Myth

Calcium may well be the world's most popular nutritional supplement.
Why is that?
The main reason for calcium's popularity is just good-old-fashioned Madison Avenue propaganda.
For four decades Americans have been the beneficiaries of major advertising campaigns from the dairy industry promoting milk as the ideal food, especially for growing children. And milk's calcium content has been its major selling point. Everyone has just come to accept "on good authority" that calcium is in a class by itself as a nutrient. In reality, despite its high profile, calcium is no more important, or any more likely to be deficient, than many other mineral nutrients.
In the last several years, much media hype has been directed to osteoporosis and calcium supplementation.
According to an article in Barrons, billions of calcium tablets were swallowed by a misguided American public in 1986 and 1987 in the name of strong bones. Scarcely a few grams is likely to have ever found its way into osseous tissue, as tons of chalk were flushed down millions of toilets.
Some nutrition "authority" came up with the notion that a person is in "calcium balance" if they swallow calcium at a rate faster than their bowels and kidneys can dump the stuff. That the gullible public bought it is no surprise. But that health care professionals are as easily duped is a sad state of affairs.
My Doctor said I need 1200 mgs of Calcium to prevent Osteoporosis!
There are a few little-known facts about osteoporosis that you must understand. The truth is physicians are not helping their osteoporosis patients at all -- even while throwing tons of calcium at their bones. The sad reality is that millions of patients are swallowing billions of calcium tablets, the calcium from which largely ends up being flushed down the toilet.
Precious little of this calcium ever finds its way into osteoporotic bone. If you want to really prevent osteoporosis then you must rid yourself of the misconceptions held by all the mass media and mis-informed physicians.
Learn these facts:
  • Osteoporosis has almost nothing to do with a deficiency of calcium.
  • There are several other minerals and trace minerals that are far more important than calcium in reversing osteoporosis.
You need to get a clear mental picture of what osteoporosis is -- and what it is not.
Osteoporosis is NOT a deficiency of calcium in the bone. There is a condition in which the bone structure is intact but there is just a deficiency of calcium -- this condition is called osteomalacia. Osteoporosis, on the other hand, is a breakdown in the matrix of the bone. The matrix is the fibrous protein backbone upon which mineralization occurs in osseous tissue.

Have you ever been on a construction site when they were pouring a concrete slab for a floor or a sidewalk? Do you remember seeing the metal rods or mesh onto which they poured the concrete? Well, if we make an analogy between a sidewalk and bone, you can think of the concrete as the minerals of the bone and the reinforcing rods as the bone matrix. What would happen to that sidewalk if they poured the concrete without reinforcing rods? In no time the concrete would crumble and fall apart.
What happens to an osteoporotic bone? With the deterioration of the fibrous protein matrix the minerals cannot be held. The bone gradually loses mineral density over time.
What happens when you take calcium supplement? Mostly nothing.
If the fibrous tissue of the bone couldn't hold the calcium it already had, neither can it hold the calcium supplement. The truth is that osteoporosis does involve calcium but no more than it involves any of the other minerals and trace minerals required for bone formation -- including silica, magnesium, manganese, copper, selenium, iodine, and phosphorus.
Each of these minerals is, qualitatively speaking, every bit as important as calcium in bone formation. One very interesting study showed that supplementing with trace minerals with no additional calcium cut the amount of bone loss in half in osteoporosis patients.
Are you beginning to realize that you need a little more than a calcium supplement to help your osteoporosis patients? 
Don't be fooled by the notion that you will develop osteoporosis without taking a truck-load of calcium. Remember, it takes having a healthy balance of all your essential mineral to prevent osteoporosis.
If you want to be confident that you are taking adequate amounts of the essential minerals and more important "absorbing" your minerals, then I encourage you to have an essential mineral blood test Essential Mineral Blood Test.
Having the knowledge that you are obtaining all the essential minerals will go a long way in preventing mineral-induced osteoporosis.

Reprinted with permission of Dr. Ron Grisanti and the Functional Medicine University

What are Cervicogenic Headaches?

What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?

Headaches are a very common problem that can have multiple causes ranging from stress to trauma.  To make matters worse, there are MANY different types of headaches. One such type is the “cervicogenic headache” (others include migraines, cluster headaches, etc.).

The main distinction between the symptoms associated with cervicogenic headaches and those associated with migraine headaches are a lack of nausea, vomiting, aura (a pre-headache warning that a headache is about to strike), light and noise sensitivity, increased tearing with red eyes, one-sided head, neck, shoulder, and/or arm pain, and dizziness. The items listed above are primarily found in migraine headache sufferers.   The following is a list of clinical characteristics common in those struggling with cervicogenic headaches:

  • Unilateral (one-sided) head or face pain (rarely is it on both sides).
  • Pain is localized or stays in one spot, usually the back of the head, frontal, temporal (side) or orbital (eye) regions.
  • Moderate to severe pain intensity.
  • Intermittent attacks of pain that last hours to days.
  • Pain is usually deep, non-throbbing, unless migraines occur at the same time.
  • Head pain is triggered by neck movement, sustained awkward head postures, applying deep pressure to the base of the skull or upper neck region, and/or taking a deep breath, cough or sneeze can trigger head pain.
  • Limited neck motion with stiffness.

Infrequently, the cervicogenic headache sufferer can present with migraines at the same time and have both presentations making it more challenging to diagnose.

The cause of cervicogenic headaches can be obvious such as trauma (sports injury, whiplash, slip and fall), or not so obvious, like poor posture. A forward head posture can increase the relative weight applied to the back of the neck and upper back as much as 2x-4x normal. Last month, we discussed the intimate relationship between the upper two cervical vertebra (C1 & C2) and an anatomical connection to the covering of the spinal cord (the dura) as giving rise to cervicogenic headaches. In summary, the upper three nerves innervate the head and any pressure on those upper nerves can result in a cervicogenic headache. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to examine, identify, and treat these types of potentially debilitating headaches.

7 Ways Plastics Damage the Body

You can live in the most pristine place on planet earth and still find animals polluted with plastics.Plastics (or the chemical name, phthalates) are now considered the number one pollutant in the human body. They make products flexible, durable, and these chemicals are also in items you would not consider to be plastics, like pesticides, detergents, cosmetics, medications, or your shampoo. They are found everywhere. It is difficult to completely avoid them.

It is an interesting fact that plasticizers are over 10,000 to 1,000,000 times higher in our bodies than any other toxins that have been found in EPA studies.

Unfortunately once in the body, these plastics do enormous damage.

7 Ways Plastics Damage the Body

1: Phthalates damage the chemistry of fatty acids most importantly, the fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This is the fundamental chemistry necessary for making every cell lining or membrane. These fatty acids are the foundation for brain health including memory and recall.

2: Phthalates can create a zinc deficiency which will compromise the metabolism of vitamins A and B-6. In turn this could lead to conditions such as indigestion, depression, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and accelerated aging. 
As a quick side note the combination of low zinc and low DHA can lead to chronic inflammation. Medical literature has clearly identified chronic inflammation as one of the most common underlying pathologies of most diseases leading to auto-immune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, MS) to cancer and heart disease.

3: Phthalates has been found to be responsible for damaging the pancreas leading to diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome X.

4: Phthalates has been found to lower sulfation.  This means that you are no longer able to effectively detoxify like you should. This in turn can lead to a whole host of health challenges.

5: Phthalates damage hormone function, especially thyroid hormones and testosterone  

6: Phthalates can poison the peroxisomes needed for the control of the chemistry of cholesterol. They can cause high cholesterol while at the same time keep cholesterol from forming the “happy hormones” (neurotransmitters) of the brain. 

7: Phthalates can damage the body's ability to make catalase. Catalase is absolutely essential for devouring up the hydrogen peroxide that cancer cells make to allow them to metastasize or wildly spread throughout the body. Lack of catalase is a reason why many cancers briefly seem to be in remission after treatments, only to resurface months or years later with lethal consequences.

These are only 7 of the devastating effects of plastics in our bodies. Many diseases will never be cured until the phthalates are out. 

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

13 Reasons Why The World Is More Sick And Fat Than Ever


Woman Holding an Apple and Chocolate, LargerNutrition is full of all kinds of nonsense.
The worst examples are listed here, but unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are the top 13 nutrition lies that have made the world both sick and fat.

1. Eggs Are Bad For Your Health

Eggs are so incredibly nutritious that they’re often called “nature’s multivitamin.”
The nutrients in them are enough to turn a single cell into an entire baby chicken.
However, eggs have been demonized in the past because they contain a large amount of cholesterol, which was believed to increase the risk of heart disease.
But the truth is that despite being high in cholesterol, eggs don’t really raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the “good” cholesterol.
Despite all the warnings about eggs in the past few decades, studies show that they are NOT associated with heart disease .
If anything, eggs are pretty much a perfect food for humans. They’re loaded with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and unique antioxidants that protect the eyes .
They are also an excellent source of Choline, a nutrient that is very important for the health of the brain and about 90% of people aren’t getting enough of.
Despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight loss compared to a breakfast of bagels.
Bottom Line: Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet and do not raise your risk of heart disease. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.

2. A Calorie is a Calorie

Apple And Calculator
It is often said that the only thing that matters for weight loss is “calories in, calories out.”
The truth is that calories matter… but the types of foods we eat are just as important.
That is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
Additionally, the foods we eat can directly impact the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as the amount of calories we burn.
Here are two examples of why a calorie is NOT a calorie:
  • Protein: Eating protein can boost the metabolic rate and reduce appetite compared to the same amount of calories from fat and carbs. It can also increase your muscle mass, which burns calories around the clock.
  • Fructose vs glucose: Fructose can stimulate the appetite compared to the same number of calories from glucose.
Even though calories are important, saying that they are all that matters when it comes to weight (or health for that matter) is completely wrong.
Bottom Line: All calories are not created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have varying effects on hunger, hormones and health.

3. Saturated Fat is Unhealthy

Foods High in Saturated Fat
For many decades, people have believed that eating saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease.
In fact, this idea has been the cornerstone of mainstream nutrition recommendations.
However, studies published in the past few decades prove that saturated fat is completely harmless.
A massive study published in 2010 looked at data from a total of 21 studies that included 347,747 individuals. They found absolutely no association between saturated fat consumption and the risk of heart disease.
Multiple other studies confirm these findings… saturated fat really has nothing to do with heart disease. The “war” on fat was based on an unproven theory that somehow became common knowledge.
The truth is that saturated fat raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. It also changes the LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very, very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign.
There is literally no reason to fear butter, meat or coconut oil… these foods are perfectly healthy!
Bottom Line: New studies show that saturated fat does not increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. It raises the good cholesterol and changes the “bad” cholesterol to a benign subtype.

4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Health

Many people believe that eating a lot of protein can damage your bones.
High Protein Foods
While it is true that increased protein can increase calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, the long term studies show the exact opposite effect.
In fact, eating more protein is consistently associated with improved bone density and a lower risk of fracture in old age.
This is one example of where blindly following conventional nutrition advice will lead to the exact opposite result.
Another myth is that protein increases strain on the kidneys and contributes to kidney failure.
The reality is a bit more complicated than that. Although it is true that people with established kidney disease should reduce protein intake, studies in healthy individuals show that protein is perfectly safe.
In healthy individuals, protein actually reduces two of the main risk factors for kidney disease… which are diabetes and high blood pressure.
Eating a high protein diet has many other benefits, including increased muscle mass, reduced body fat and a lower risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease.
Bottom Line: Studies show that protein has positive effects on bone health in the long run and does not raise the risk of kidney disease in healthy individuals. Eating a high protein diet has many important health benefits.

5. Everyone Should be Eating “Heart-Healthy” Whole Wheat

Boy Eating a Sandwich
Commonly mistaken as a health food, evidence is mounting that wheat can contribute to various health problems.
Yes… this includes “heart-healthy” whole wheat.
Wheat is the biggest source of gluten in the diet. New studies are showing that a significant percentage of the population may be sensitive to it.
In sensitive individuals, gluten can contribute to various symptoms like digestive issues, pain, bloating, stool inconsistency, fatigue and may damage the lining of the intestine.
There are also some controlled trials associating wheat gluten with various disorders of the brain, including schizophrenia, autism and cerebellar ataxia.
Not only that… but a controlled trial in humans showed that whole wheat increased various risk factors for cardiovascular disease in as little as 12 weeks.
Even though whole wheat is “less unhealthy” than refined wheat, the best choice would be to skip the wheat altogether.
Bottom Line: Wheat is the biggest source of gluten in the diet. Many studies are showing that wheat, including whole wheat, can contribute to various health problems.

6. Coffee is Bad For You

Cup of Coffee And Coffee Beans
Coffee has gotten a bad reputation in the past.
It is true that coffee can mildly elevate blood pressure in the short term.
However, long term studies show that coffee may actually reduce your risk of some serious diseases.
Coffee drinkers:
  • Have up to a 67% lower risk of Type II diabetes.
  • Are at a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Have up to an 80% lower risk of liver diseases like cirrhosis.
Caffeine also helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues, boost metabolism and increase exercise performance by an average of 11-12%.
Many studies have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, showing that it can improve mood, memory, reaction time, vigilance and overall brain function.
You may be surprised to hear that coffee is also loaded with antioxidants. In fact, it is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables, combined.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine or it tends to disrupt your sleep, then green tea has many of the same health benefits but a smaller amount of caffeine.
Bottom Line: Coffee contains very large amounts of antioxidants. Studies show that coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of developing many serious diseases.

7. Meat is Bad For You

Blaming new health problems on old foods has never made sense to me.
One example of that is meat… which humans have been eating throughout evolution, for millions of years.
For some very strange reason, many people are now blaming meat for diseases like heart disease and type II diabetes, which are relatively new.
This doesn’t make much sense at all and the studies don’t support it.
While it is true that processed meat is associated with all sorts of diseases, the same is not true for unprocessed red meat.
A massive review from 2010 that looked at data from 20 studies with a total of 1,218,380 individuals revealed that unprocessed red meat had no significant association with either cardiovascular disease or type II diabetes.
Other studies that included hundreds of thousands of people agree with this… processed meat is bad, but unprocessed red meat is harmless.
Even though some observational studies have found a link between meat consumption and cancer, review studies that look at the data as a whole show that the effect is weak and inconsistent.
If there really is an association between red meat and cancer (which has NOT been proven) then it is most likely caused by excessive cooking, not the meat itself. For this reason, it may be important to avoid burning your meat.
Also, let’s not forget that meat is incredibly nutritious. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, healthy fats and various lesser known nutrients that are important for the body and brain.
Bottom Line: Studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise your risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. There is a very weak association with cancer, but most likely caused by excessive cooking and not the meat itself.

8. The Healthiest Diet is a Low-Fat, High-Carb Diet

Food Pyramid
Since the year 1977, the health authorities have told everyone to eat a low-fat, high-carb diet.
This was originally based on political decisions and low quality studies that have since been thoroughly debunked.
Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.
Since then, several massive studies have examined the health effects of the low-fat diet.
In the Women's Health Initiative, the biggest study on diet ever conducted, 48,835 women were randomized to either a low-fat diet or continued to eat the standard western diet.
After a study period of 7.5 years, the low-fat group weighed only 0.4 kg (1 lb) less and there was no decrease in cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Other studies agree with these findings… this diet is notoriously ineffective.
Even though it may work for healthy and active individuals… for people with obesity, metabolic syndrome or diabetes, the low-fat diet can be downright harmful.
Bottom Line: The low-fat, high-carb diet recommended by the mainstream nutrition organizations is a miserable failure and has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective.

9. Refined Seed- and Vegetable Oils Are Healthy

Bottles of Vegetable Oil
Some studies show that polyunsaturated fats lower your risk of heart disease.
For this reason, many have recommended that we increase our consumption of vegetable oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil and corn oil.
However, it is important to realize that there are different types of polyunsaturated fats, mainly Omega-3s and Omega-6s.
While we get Omega-3s from fish and grass-fed animals, the main sources of Omega-6 fatty acids are processed seed- and vegetable oils.
The thing is… we need to get Omega-3s and Omega-6s in a certain balance. Most people are eating too little Omega-3 and way too much Omega-6.
Studies show that excess Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body, which is known to play a causal role in many serious diseases.
Most importantly, seed- and vegetable oils are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease… the biggest killer in the world.
If you want to lower your risk of disease, eat your Omega-3s but avoid the refined seed- and vegetable oils.
It’s important to keep in mind that this does NOT apply to other plant oils like coconut oil and olive oil, which are low in Omega-6 and extremely healthy.
Bottom Line: Excess consumption of refined seed- and vegetable oils can increase inflammation in the body and dramatically raise your risk of cardiovascular disease.

10. Low-Carb Diets Are Ineffective and Downright Harmful

Woman Who is Not Losing Weight
Low-Carb diets have been popular for several decades.
Because they are high in fat, they have been demonized by nutritionists and the media.
They repeatedly claim that such diets are “unproven” or downright dangerous.
However, since the year 2002, over 20 randomized controlled trials have examined the effects of low-carb diets on various aspects of health.
Almost every one of those studies agrees that:
  1. Low-carb diets lead to significant decreases in blood pressure.
  2. Low-carb diets where people are allowed to eat as much as they want cause more weight loss than low-fat diets that are calorie restricted.
  3. Low-carb diets increase HDL (the good) cholesterol and decrease triglycerides much more than low-fat diets.
  4. Low-carb diets change the pattern of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL – which is benign.
  5. Low-carb diets have powerful positive effects on type II diabetes, significantly lowering blood sugar and reducing the need for medication.
  6. If anything, low-carb diets appear to be easier to stick to than low-fat diets, probably because people don’t have to restrict calories and be hungry all the time.
Even though low-carb diets are unnecessary for people who are healthy and active, studies show that they are extremely useful against obesity, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes… which are some of the biggest health problems in the world.
Despite these powerful results, many of the “experts” that are supposed to have our best interests in mind have the audacity to call low-carb diets dangerous and continue to peddle the failed low-fat diet that is hurting more people than it helps.
Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are the easiest, healthiest and most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease. It is pretty much a scientific fact at this point.

11. Everyone Should be Cutting Back on Sodium

Sea Salt in a Bowl
The health authorities constantly tell us to reduce sodium in the diet in order to reduce blood pressure.
Whereas most people are eating about 3400 mg of sodium per day, we are usually advised to cut back to 1500-2300 mg per day (about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt).
It is true that reducing sodium can cause mild reductions in blood pressure, especially in individuals who have elevated blood pressure to begin with.
But it’s important to keep in mind that elevated blood pressure itself doesn’t kill anyone directly. It is a risk factor, not necessarily a cause of disease.
Interestingly, many studies have examined whether sodium restriction has any effect on cardiovascular disease or the risk of death. These studies consistently found no effect… even in individuals with high blood pressure.
Other studies show that too little sodium can also be harmful, leading to adverse effects such as insulin resistance, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as an increased risk of death in type II diabetics.
Overall, there is no evidence that healthy people need to cut back on sodium.
Bottom Line: Despite sodium restriction being able to mildly reduce blood pressure, this does not lead to improved health outcomes.

12. Sugar is Bad Because it Contains “Empty” Calories

Glass Full Of Sugar Cubes
Many think that sugar is unhealthy just because it contains “empty” calories.
This is true… sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients.
But this is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Sugar, mainly due to its high content of fructose, can have severe adverse effects on metabolism and set us up for rapid weight gain and metabolic disease.
When we eat large amounts of fructose, it gets turned into fat in the liver and is either shipped out as VLDL particles, or lodges in the liver to cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Studies in humans show that excess fructose can lead to insulin resistance, elevated blood sugars, elevated triglycerides, increased small, dense LDL and increased abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks.
Fructose also doesn’t lower the hunger hormone ghrelin and doesn’t affect satiety in the brain in the same way as glucose. This way, sugar causes a biochemical drive in the brain to eat more and get fat.
This applies to fructose from added sugars, NOT the natural sugars found in fruits.
When consumed in excess, added sugar is associated with multiple diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes and even cancer.
Sugar is probably the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.
Bottom Line: The harmful effects of excess sugar go way beyond empty calories. Sugar can have severe adverse effects on metabolism, leading to weight gain and many serious diseases.

13. Fat Makes You Fat

It seems to make sense that eating fat would make you fat.
After all, the stuff that is making people soft and puffy is fat.
For this reason, eating more fat should give us more of it.
However, it turns out that it isn’t that simple. Despite fat having more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, diets that are high in fat do not make people fat.
This depends completely on the context. A diet that is high in carbs AND fat will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat.
In fact, the studies consistently show that diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) lead to much more weight loss than diets that are low in fat.

Prevent a Heart Attack: Know Your Ratio?

Prevent a Heart Attack: Know Your Ratio?

The published evidence is quite clear in documenting that the actual total cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor of cardiovascular disease.
It is the ratio between the level of HDL-"good" cholesterol and total cholesterol that we need to be concerned about.
Therefore, in adults, the HDL-"good" cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).
Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:
  • 0.24 or higher is considered ideal
  • under 0.24 - low
  • less than 0.10 - very dangerous.
Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack).
However, HDL is closely related to triglycerides. 
It appears common for people with high triglycerides to have low HDL's, and these same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream, which is unhealthy in protecting against heart disease.
Therefore, in adults, the triglyceride/HDL-"good" cholesterol ratio should be below 2  (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL).
Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:
  • 2 or less is considered ideal
  • 4 - high
  • 6 - much too high
And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better. 
In other words, the lower your triglycerides, or the higher your HDL, the smaller this ratio becomes.
It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease. 
A Harvard-lead study author reported:
"High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.
And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL -- the "good" cholesterol -- had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.
The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525)."

Shared with permission from an article of Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.