• Health

    Choosing the HEALTHIEST FATS and OILS

    Nutritional advice

    Everyone is now getting on-board with the latest science that has shown that we should be eating good saturated fats and not eating low-fat.

    Choosing the HEALTHIEST FATS and OILS is much more complex than buying low-fat everything.

    More knowledge and label reading is vital if you want to remain healthy or regain your health after eating low-fat, higher carbs over the years.

    The false information about saturated fats causing obesity, Diabetes and heart disease has cost us dearly on a personal level and also on healthcare costs.

    It has probably  been responsible for the dramatic rise in Dementia and Alzheimer’s due to the brain needing sufficient good fats to function.

    There is now plenty of evidence of the benefit of eating sufficient good saturated fats, plus less sugar and refined carbohydrates on loosing weight, loosing food cravings, losing blood sugar problems and having more physical and mental energy.

    The Pharmaceutical industry think that high Cholesterol and Triglycerides are a reason to prescribe drugs rather than fix the cause by changes to diet.

    If researching this topic on the Internet, please check when articles were written! An unfortunate aspect of the Internet is that articles very rarely get taken down and therefore it is becoming a massive source of misinformation.

    Here is a simple guide to what you should and should not be eating when it comes to FATS and OILS.

    healthiest fats and oils

     The healthiest fats and oils are:-

    • Virgin Coconut Oil
    • Extra Virgin Olive oil
    • Butter or Ghee if you can tolerate dairy proteins.
    • Avocado oil
    • the fat from mainly grass fed, organic animals – beef, lamb, pork, duck, chickens etc.
    • free range, preferably organic eggs
    • Oily fish and seafood
    • Fish Oil and Krill oil from a good source
    • Almonds, Cashews, Brazil nuts and Walnuts, their butters and oils

    All of these unrefined fats and oils can be eaten as they are or heated at LOW heat 130 C or 250 F. Food will take longer to cook at this temperature but it should not burn or stick and it will certainly be healthier. Some ceramic pans cook well at low heat, without adding oil or fat. Saute, bake or grill rather than fry.

    Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Olive oil and butter can be used in MID temperature cooking 177-216 C

    Avocado oil or rice bran oil are the safest for WOK or searing at high temperatures 250 C.

    If eating out choose a method of cooking that follows these guidelines because otherwise you will often be exposed to

    Damaging Fats and Oil

    • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and Trans fats – considered the worst for your health. They will cause raised Blood Triglycerides and cause the formation of small LDL Cholesterol particles that cause Coronary Heart Disease and Heart Attacks. They also block insulin therefore add to Insulin Intolerance and higher blood sugar.
    • Vegetable Shortening – mostly trans fats
    • Refined oils – as the processes used in refining such as high heat, chemical treatment, bleaching and deodorising remove the healthy elements in the oils and produces more of the damaging elements.
    • PUFA’s  – refined vegetable and seed oils like Corn oil, Peanut oil, soy oil, vegetable oils.

    The dangers of Trans fats on you health are many as they are unnatural fats that confuse the human body and disrupt various metabolic pathways. They are very inflammatory in the body.

    Read More

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Coeliac/ Gluten/ NCGS/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference?

    Celiac or NCGS

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference? Celiac (Coeliac in UK and Ireland) disease and the connection with wheat has been known about since the 1940’s and with gluten since 1952. Celiac disease is caused in genetically predisposed people by a reaction to a gluten protein called gliadin which can be found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, durum, Kamut and triticale with some people also reacting to oats. Celiac Disease can vary from mild to severe usually showing destruction of the gut lining and is an Autoimmune disease.

    Despite nearly 65 years of knowledge it is poorly diagnosed across all age groups and it is estimated that less than a quarter of people are diagnosed. To confirm diagnosis raised antibodies (IgA) and destruction of the villi in the gut lining have to be demonstrated. Certain populations have a higher incidence, the populations of Ireland and Italy appear to and also people with Downs Syndrome have an increased risk .  Celiac disease is associated with a multitude of other chronic medical conditions, many of which are Autoimmune disorders and also some neurological disorders.

    NCGS – Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity was originally described in the 1980’s and only since 2010 has been included in the spectrum of gluten related disorders. It is also associated with Autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders where no small bowel disease has been discovered.

    It is known that there may be a genetic predisposition but that a trigger such as surgery, infection, pregnancy and emotional stress can trigger symptoms of Celiac disease and NCGS.

    The varied symptoms are common to both and can be:- Read More

  • Hypothyroidism/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine/ Paleo Diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Paleo Diet Help

    Paleo Diet Help

    Thinking about trying to eat more healthily or changing your diet due to health problems? Then you will find some Paleo Diet help here – focusing on switching foods rather than just eliminating foods.

    A Paleo type diet, The Caveman Diet or Clean eating where you concentrate on natural, unprocessed  foods has been proven to help thousands of people with conditions like these – Joint pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, fatigue, Eczema, Psoriasis, Thyroid imbalance, Diabetes, Sinusitis, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and multiple food intolerance. All of these conditions have been linked to inflammation in the gut and production of a substance called Zonulin, leading to a condition called Leaky Gut, systemic inflammation and Autoimmune Disease. You may not even notice any gut symptoms but removing inflammatory foods and chemical sensitivities can substantially improve your health and prevent the development of Autoimmune disease which is epidemic. This type of dietary change is being used with great success by Functional Medicine Practitioners and Nutritionists and with the addition of supplements, like  L-Glutamine and good Probiotics, it is possible to reverse the condition.

    I will not go into the Paleo diet or the problems with Gluten in detail here as I have covered this in previous Posts and I just want to simplify the idea of switching to more natural foods that will help your digestive system recover and reduce inflammation in your body. Read More

  • Health

    Constipation in children

    What is normal and what is constipation in children? Normal poop should be soft and easily passed and if it occurs less often than every other day then constipation is likely or could be starting. In babies who are breast fed the poo is paler and yellow and more liquid than formula fed babies. In babies who show signs of constipation the first line of treatment is to supplement boiled and cooled water in between feeds and check their temperature as the most common reason is a degree of dehydration.

    Constipation in children under 5 years old seems to be becoming a much more common and worrying problem. It can affect their behaviour, their appetite and their concentration and it can cause them tummy ache and to feel sick. First actions should always be to get them checked out by their Doctor especially if they have any other symptoms like swollen tummy, severe pain, excessive thirst, weight loss or any blood in their poo. It is important to rule out any underlying disease or condition. If no cause is found then it is called idiopathic constipation and it may respond to increase in fluids, fruit and vegetables and a little prune juice or pure apple juice but in 1 in 3 children it becomes persistent and long-term. Persistent constipation in children can be a symptom of gluten intolerance and /or Dairy intolerance.

    So what goes wrong and why is it worrying? We now know that within the digestive tract we have a huge amount of good bacteria that are essential for our well-being. These bacteria make up what is called our microbiome and it is our own internal ecological system that supports our digestion, nutrition and immune system. We start life with just a few species of bacteria that we acquire from our mothers, in the womb, when giving birth and when breast feeding. Even though our knowledge about the microbiome is fairly recent it has been acknowledged for centuries that the first breast feeds give the baby colostrum and that is very important for the immune system. In the first 6 months the baby will only have about a dozen different species of good bacteria in their gut but by the after the age of 2 years the number of species increases rapidly as the baby interacts with the environment and starts to eat more foods. An adult should have about a thousand different species of good bacteria but this is increasingly not the case and the main reason is antibiotics.

    The younger you are when you have antibiotics the more damage they will inflict. Some antibiotics when taken for a 5-7 day course will alter the microbiome for a couple of years or it may never be the same. If your child has had antibiotics (or the mother has while breastfeeding), or had a severe case of gastroenteritis, it is vital that you try to repair the damage. The main symptoms may be constipation, excessive crying and wind,  poor skin (dry or eczema), poor immune system, failure to thrive and fatigue. Worse and the symptoms may be severe allergies, Asthma or Attention deficit disorders.

    So what are your treatment options? In many cases your Doctor may say that the child is ‘stool holding’ and because it has hurt when they have been to the toilet then they resist the urge to go and it just gets worse. The problem with this is that it doesn’t occur without constipation being a problem in the first instance so it is not a helpful diagnosis on its own. If the Doctor feels that the constipation is severe he may prescribe a laxative. The most frequently used for children are:-

    • Lactulose, an artificial sugar that absorbs water and changes the acidity also discouraging the growth of some of the bacteria in the bowel.
    • Movicol Paediatric plain or Miralax which are osmotic laxatives made of polyethylene glycol, a petroleum derivative similar to ethylene glycol (anti-freeze). These are not approved for children, or adults for more than 7 days use. The FDA has received over 7000 reports since 2001 of adverse symptoms of neurological disturbances and kidney problems.
    • Glycerine Suppositories that have to be inserted into the rectum with a lubricant and the glycerine acts as a stimulant/irritant plus lubricant to make it easier to pass hard stools. This may not work if the suppository is not pushed far enough in or if it is not held in the rectum for at least 20 mins. It can be quite painful and cause some gut spasms. If it does work you still need to follow up on other treatment to get the stools moving down from higher up or it may only be a short-term fix.

    Safer treatments that have the benefit of increasing the immune system are :-

    • Milk of Magnesia for ages 3-12 with a maximum of 30 ml in 24 hours and not for more than 3 days (only use for children under 3 on the advice of your doctor.
    • Prune juice, pure Apple juice & pure Pear juice are well tolerated.
    • Syrup of Figs for children over 1 yr. old following dosage on bottle.
    • Magnesium oil spray on the skin or Magnesium Flakes added to a warm bath before bed and peppermint or fennel warm tea that may help ease wind discomfort and contains natural poly-phenols that also help feed good bacteria and
    • Probiotics – there are good ones available for babies and infants (and breast feeding Mums) by companies like OptiBac and Saccharomyces boulardii that is a specific probiotic that can help kill bad gut bacteria and yeasts.
    • Effervescent Vitamin C drinks of 500 mg -1500 mgs can also be a way of softening and speeding up elimination as the body has a tolerance level of about 2-3 grams for adults and the dose should be lower for children.

    At the same time adjust the diet according to age and stage of weaning by leaving out gluten grains, bread, pasta, processed foods, sugar and increase fibre like porridge, brown rice, freshly ground flax seeds, fruits separate from main meals – especially raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, plums and prunes. Vegetables like sweet potato, jacket potatoes with skin, peas, olives, cucumber, broccoli and Olive oil, coconut oil and ghee or butter and live yoghurt if tolerated, and chocolate/cocoa. Encourage plenty of sugar free drinks like water, herb or fruit teas, as well as pure fruit juice diluted with water a couple of times a day. Re-introduce gluten grains, bread and pasta gradually when bowel movements are normal and if constipation or other symptoms return try omitting them for longer.

    Exercise is always beneficial – get them to learn to Hula Hoop! Specific Yoga moves like doing the Cat and pulling in stomach muscles or lateral twists where you lay on the floor with your arms out to the side and then draw up your knees together and roll them from side to side, while keeping your shoulders on the floor, are good and can be made into a game. Gentle massage to the abdomen is beneficial but only if you start in the bottom right-hand corner and work up in circular movements then across under the ribs and down the left-hand side.

    Most of this advice is just as appropriate for adults with constipation and I will cover digestive well-being for all in a other posts.

     

  • Nutritional Medicine

    HEAL YOURSELF – Body and Mind

    Fatigue

    HEAL YOUR BODY. Whether you have a diagnosed chronic disease or just a lot of irritating symptoms that impact on your quality of life – take action now and know that there is so much you can do to HEAL YOURSELF.

     

    MAIN CAUSES OF ILL HEALTH

    STRESS    *    TOXINS   *     INFLAMMATION   *    INADEQUATE DIET   *    MEDICATIONS

    WHAT MAKES US ILL

    STRESS – Poor work/relaxation ratio, poor sleep quality, high work stress, money worries, personal stress, relationships, caring for elderly/sick relatives, Bereavement, Divorce, conflict……….

    TOXINS – in food, air, water, personal care products, cleaning products, smoke, air fresheners, insecticides, plastics (like BPA, isocyanates in polyurethanes and foams), Heavy metals, Formaldehyde, fire retardants just to name a few.

    INFLAMMATION – chronic inflammation such as IBS, Colitis, Joint pain, skin problems, infections, indigestion, inflammation of blood vessels, nerves, organs.

    INADEQUATE DIET – with not enough nutrients to facilitate a normal immune system, detoxification and healing.

    MEDICATIONS – Prescription drugs given longterm to treat many of the above but that have side effects that can add to the disease process. NSAID’S (anti-inflammatory drugs), Antibiotics, Antacids (from indigestion medicine to Proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole and Lansoprazole), Diurectics, Blood pressure medications, and Statins.

    TAKE ACTION and realise that FOOD is your first and best medicine.

    • DIET – follow the guidelines in this blog. Start with a CLEANSE for at least 2 weeks and then add in nuts, eggs and  some starches according to your own reactions. The goal is to find the most nutritionally high, personal diet that works best for you. Don’t concentrate on what you are leaving out but on improving the level of nutrition while removing triggers of inflammation.
    • INFLAMMATION – HEAL YOUR GUT. This is the most important thing you need to do, even if you don’t have gut or digestive tract symptoms this is the place where you have to improve function and start to heal your immune system. Include plenty of healing anti-inflammatory foods and oils that contain Omega-9 fatty acids (Olive Oil, Canola, grape-seed oil and sunflower oils, many nuts and seeds, avocados, poultry)and Omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed, Canola, walnuts, and fatty fish such as Herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna and trout).
    • As digestive problems are the most common that impact your life and lead to chronic disease and long-term drug use I highly recommend you read how to take control of your symptoms from this article by Dr. Chris Kresser.
    • images (1)olive oil
    •  GET RID OF ANY HIDDEN INFECTIONS – there are plenty of natural anti-microbial products out there  and these are some that can counteract bacteria, viruses and yeasts. Tea tree oil, Olive leaf, Oregano, cinnamon oil, garlic, Black Walnut, Cloves, Barberry Root (Berberis), Oregon Grape root, Goldenseal, Wormwood, grapefruit seed extract, Probiotics, lime juice and honey.
    • REDUCE TOXIC LOAD / Exposure – from chemicals, smoke, insecticides, toiletries, make up, cleaning products, air fresheners and plastics.
    • TAKE SUPPLEMENTS – to ensure that the body has everything it needs to heal. Vitamin A and Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Probiotics (especially Saccharomyces Boulardii, L-Glutamine, Omega 3 (EPA and DHA fatty acids) and Omega 9 oils. Depending on the severity of your illness you may also need extra help with detoxification with supplements like Organic sulphur(MSM), Alpha Lipoic Acid, N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) that help the production of Glutathione, Chlorella and Milk Thistle. If digestion is poor – Digestive enzymes.
    • CORRECT ANY HORMONAL IMBALANCES – specific to symptoms – Thyroid, Adrenals, Thymus and Pancreas.
    • STRESS – last but not least make sure you get to relax at some point every day, try to manage stress, guilt, negative feelings and move towards contentment and happiness in whatever way you can.

    These are general recommendations but if you are taking other medications, have bleeding from your digestive tract, are pregnant or breastfeeding you should get advice from your Pharmacist or Doctor.

    I use Bodykind for nearly all my supplements as they stock a large range of good quality quality supplements with frequent special offers. Click below

    Click here to visit bodykind

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Immune system - healing/ Integrated Medicine/ Nutritional Medicine/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Leaky Gut – Quiz and Video

    Or to use the Medical term “Intestinal permeability” is being researched all over the world. There is a Leaky Gut Quiz and Video link on this post to help understand the condition. Leaky Gut is a condition where some of the tight junctions in your intestines become faulty and foreign particles that should have been eliminated  leak through into your body and cause an immune response,  inflammation and trigger chronic disease. The symptoms can vary depending on where the particles end up and can affect your digestive system, your skin, your nervous system and your hormonal system, Thyroid and Adrenal Glands. Leaky gut can caused or be made worse by infections like Candida, Clostridium Difficile (C Diff ) or others, Parasites or antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAID’s, Alcohol and food intolerances.

    Hippocrates is quoted as saying “that all disease begins in the gut” so that is where we are going to start, even if you do not have much in the way of gut symptoms. 30% of people with Leaky Gut do not have gut symptoms.

    As a fast and interesting way to start I would like to suggest that you try this Quiz to how likely it is that you have a Leaky Gut.

    The next post will be about how to set about healing your gut by diet, supplements and lifestyle changes so if you want help in learning how to heal yourself then follow my blog and I will do my best to help you through it and to better health by using all the best resources available.

    If you would like a more in-depth description of Leaky Gut then please click to watch this 5 min You Tube video by Dr Hugh Wegworth

    Leaky Gut