Top 5 Foods to Avoid 4 Better Health

There’s a crazy belief that we “GET” a disease.  Like it’s a virus we ‘catch’.
How many times have you heard “she got cancer” (or Diabetes, etc).  But cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure (etc) are not something we “get”.

They are inflammatory conditions we gain by the choices we make throughout our life.  

We know there are plenty of people out there reading this saying “Yes, but there’s a huge genetic piece to this too!” Oh YES!! Genes. Those gifts our parents pass onto us offering eye color and predicting your health destiny. NOPE! Great news: Genes are just the computer your body was given; what you put into it can be a mastermind of amazing resources, or it can crash from overload, lack of battery life and not protecting it from internet viruses.

Here’s where your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly choices come into play.
We have the AMAZING power to control how our genes act out. Genes being turned on or turned off and Functional Medicine focuses on this for prevention and reversing illness.
We humans can actually change our DNA in our own lifetime. This is called Epigenetics. Incredible control over our genes with science at the core of the disease. Coming from a family riddled with cancer, heart disease, dementia, and Celiac – we think that is freaking MINDBLOWINGLY AWESOME!

Let’s start with what we’re eating on a regular basis.
We’re not focusing on the wedding or grad party you went to last month or the vacation you have planned this summer, but instead on what you eat 90% of the time all year long and let’s get the highest inflammatory foods OUT asap so you can keep the bully gene switches off!

Regardless of whether you can eat something and ‘feel fine’, it doesn’t mean that your body is working fine. Sure, most people know that 5 Guys and Chick-Fil-A meals with chips and a bunch of sodas every day is going to lead to a less than stellar life expectancy, however, most people don’t know that many of the foods they ingest daily are highly inflammatory and turning on the lightswitch leading to chronic disease or cancer.

Study after study shows that the risk of heart disease and cancer are modifiable by our lifestyle choices which include the food we choose to eat each day. With every bite we take, we’re either balancing the pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, or tipping the scale to one end. Although 1:4 people suffer from IBS  (which by the way is a description of your symptoms, not a ‘diagnosis’), most people suffer symptoms outside the GI Tract in symptoms such as headaches, depression/anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, skin conditions, auto-immune conditions and/or hormone dysregulation.

It’s not rocket science- it’s just modifying your diet.  And it’s not hard. YOU make decisions up to 10x a day (yes – those snacks and Starbucks trips count). Planning, shopping and prepping 4 Better Health. Not just bathing suit season crunch, but living a happier, healthier, more VIBRANT ENERGETIC (pain-free, pill free) LONG life. x Your body shifts every 6-12 months. Imagine what that means if you were consistent for the next 5-10 years? You could LITERALLY stop heart disease, diabetes, autoimmunity or cancer in its tracks! It’s never too late.

To reduce overall inflammation to your brain, heart, vessels and to prevent cancer; stop eating these foods 4 Better Health:

1. Gluten 

Eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread–how could that be bad for you? Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelled, and Kamut. It is the main ingredient for all the ‘fun foods’: pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed and packaged foods. What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. We are not talking about Celiac )although 1:100 people have this and sadly only 1:1,000 are diagnosed). We are talking about the inflammation caused by gluten and the production of Zonulin in your body that literally shoots holes in your gut lining.  And then the immune system is alerted like wildfire.  For some these ‘holes’ stay open for minutes- but for others – especially those who have low Vitamin D (this helps to pull the holes back together like an elastic band), or those with high stress lives (decrease the protective lining in your gut) and for those like many who eat the following 4 foods… the ‘holes’ stay open longer and cause the inflammation fire to ignite all over the body.

2. Sugars

Most everyone knows sugar causes Diabetes and weight gain. Sure, we know it can lead to tooth decay and hyperactivity… but sugar has also been linked to increased risks of Dementia (now being called “Type 3 Diabetes”), Cardiovascular disease (think heart attack, stroke, kidney damage) and Fatty liver disease.

Look around you today and count how many people you see drinking a take-out coffee, soda, juice, Gatorade.  Check out how many people are eating their cookies, cakes, donuts, and ice cream. But perhaps you don’t eat those things? Super… or maybe not.  According to, added sugars hide in over 70% of processed foods under 60 different names.

EVEN MORE INFLAMMATORY: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Its like sugar on high speed crack to your insulin system and liver. It also turns into Mercury in our body. Mercury is neurotoxic and causes leaky gut. No thanks.

But what about your sweet tooth? Don’t opt for the sugar substitutes has ramifications all their own from Splenda causing leaky gut among other no-thank-you-conditions to aspartame causing neurologic symptoms.  It’s important to read labels as food manufacturers often hide these in foods and drinks. We recommend keeping your daily sugar load less than 30gm per day and using stevia or xylitol as sweetener choices.

3.  Common Cooking Oils 

Most of your yellow plastic bottled liquid vegetable oils such as grape seed, cottonseed, safflower, corn, canola, vegetable, and sunflower oils.  Common vegetable cooking oils used in many homes and restaurants have very high omega-6 fatty acids and dismally low omega-3 fats.  Did you know that Canola oil is from the “Rape” seed?  Um…Yeahhhh they knew no-one was gonna buy “Rape Oil” so the geniuses in Canada called it Canada-oil … AKA Canola.  These oils are highly oxidated and then poured into and onto your foods for your body to then FIGHT (and I mean fight hard) to anti-oxidize. This over anti-oxidant activity distracts your immune system leading to inflammatory diseases like heart disease and cancer.  Stick to just butter (grass fed preferred), First-cold pressed olive oil (not the ‘light’ and not in the Costco’s ginormous plastic bottle that lasts 2 years – dark bottle you can use in less than a month) for low heat and refined coconut oil for high heat.  Here’s a deeper dive into the life of your yellow oils.

4. Trans Fats  

Trans fatty acids are notorious for their double whammy effect: they increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while lowering levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol.  These (often hidden fats) promote inflammation, insulin resistance (ie: Type 2 Diabetes), obesity and heart disease.  The FDA trying to help; food manufacturers are now required to report the number of Trans fats on the nutrition facts of foods… but there’s a tricky kicker!  Items that list 0g trans fats on the label may still contain some amount of this inflammatory chronic illness growing fats. This is because, in the US, the government allows items containing less than 0.5g of trans fats to be declared as trans-fat free. Don’t believe the marketing on the front or the nutrition facts! Read the ingredients list and make sure partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening is not listed.

Fast foods, packaged foods, bread, wraps, even peanut butter has these trans fats. Anything prepared with partially or hydrogenated oil, margarine (and/or vegetable shortening).

5. Dairy Products  

Sure, there’s many a folk who experience symptoms of GI upset when they have ice cream, cream sauces, and milkshakes.  Newsflash. This is a GIFT in the sense that your body is loud and clear that this food is not ideal for your unique body – that this food causes inflammation. That the inflammation in your gut leads to immune system dysregulation. The idea that people take a pill (ie: Lactaid) to stop the body from responding makes me giggle. It’s like saying “Hey, immune system; Stop telling me that you’re not happy. I’m shutting you off for a bit”.

That said, even if you can eat a huge bowl of alfredo chicken penne without dashing to the bathroom or looking 8 months pregnant, dairy is one of the top inflammatory foods outside the gut often leading to inability to lose weight, ear infections, acne, hives, eczema, and asthma.

Kefir, raw milk and unsweetened yogurt are acceptable in moderation for those who are not allergic to milk.

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