More Big Bad Wolves of Food Labels

But first?  Somebody posted this on Facebook this morning:

India foxtrot Yankee Oscar uniform charlie alpha November uniform November delta echo romeo sierra tango alpha November delta tango hotel India sierra charlie Oscar papa Yankee alpha November delta papa alpha sierra tango echo tango Oscar Yankee Oscar uniform romeo sierra tango alpha tango uniform sierra (IN HONOR of our military WHEREVER they may be) – let’s see who gets it and follows the instructions.

And I just thought, “Wookie Hagrid Yeti?”

Whatever.  On to the topic of today . . .

*Oh, you have no idea how sorely tempted I am to blog about something else I saw on Facebook recently, but I’m refraining.  Let’s just say some people apparently need to have a few real problems in their lives to help put things in perspective, know what I mean?  (And no, in case you are wondering, it doesn’t involve anyone that anyone knows through blogging; also, because I’m sure somebody will take it personally if I don’t specify this, it doesn’t involve anyone in my family, extended, immediate, in-law, or otherwise) (and now somebody is bound to take that personally).*

Anyway, seriously, on to the topic of the day (Please remember, these are just copies of notes I made to aid me as I taught the class, so it’s not, nor was it intended to be, stellar or engaging writing by any means):


MSG and Other Glutamate Excitotoxins

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. In unnatural levels it is toxic.

Information from Dr. Russell Blaylock – 26 years practicing neurosurgery as well as running a nutritional practice, now devotes his full attention to nutritional studies and research.

Excitotoxins are a special group of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins that we call glutamate, aspartate*, and cysteine. These excitoxins are added to food to improve the flavor. When neurons become exposed to these substances they become excited and fire very rapidly until they become extremely exhausted and die. There are glutamate receptors throughout the body. Some of these excitotoxins are hidden by the names:

MSG (monosodium glutamate)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
autolyzed yeast extract
beef or chicken broth
natural flavoring
soy protein
soy isolates
soy protein concentrates
hydrolyzed protein
vegetable protein extract
textured vegetable protein

Excitotoxin additives can be called whatever the food manufacturers want to call them as long as the glutamate content is less than 99% pure.

“It is very difficult to find a processed food that does not contain [glutamates]”.

There are connections between excess glutamates and obesity, diabetes, cancer, endocrine problems, and macular degeneration. Glutamates damage the brain. They are toxic at the cellular level and cause breaks in your DNA.

The toxicity is cumulative. Your body does not quickly process it out.

*Excess levels of aspartate in your body are converted to glutamate.


Nitrates and Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve foods, especially meats like bacon, hot dogs, and lunch meats. They preserve the flavor of the meat and give it a more appealing color. They are also used in fertilizers and cosmetics (things you put on your skin can and will be absorbed into your blood stream!)

Some scientists (Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH et. al. of Rhode Island Hospital) have found a strong link between increasing levels of nitrates and nitrites in our food supply and increasing death rates from Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Nitrate itself isn’t apparently toxic, except that it converts into nitrite in your body. Via the cooking process (heat) and/or combination with certain stomach juices, the nitrites convert into nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and can alter gene expression and cause DNA damage.


Trans Fat

Trans fats are artificial fats made when hydrogen reacts with oil. They are used to prolong the shelf life of processed foods.

While many fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol, trans fats both raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol.

Think of bacon grease clogging your sink pipes. Because the hydrogenation process thickens the fats, that is what they are doing to your arteries. Blech.

High LDL and low HDL combined increase your risk of heart disease.

Nutritional labels can say “0 trans fats” as long as there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. However, if you eat more than one serving, that can add up quickly to exceed recommended limits (which are highly debated as it is, but the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1% of daily caloric intake from trans fats).

You know you are eating trans fats if the label says:

Hydrogenated oil
Partially hydrogenated oil

“Fully” or “completely” hydrogenated oils actually do NOT contain trans fats.

Trans fats increase triglycerides, increase inflammation, and increase lipoprotein (a type of LDL found in your blood).

The human body doesn’t have any need for trans fats.

***End of Notes***

So now I’m reading that book about hidden food allergies by the purveyors of the ALCAT test (the title is something like How Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat) (I’m too lazy to go get it and double check) and so far I’m pretty much thinking two things:

1.     Also not stellar or engaging writing by any means

2.     Rather repetitive

3.     Everybody should have this test done before they go on any medication for . . . umm . . . almost anything.

While the book itself is reading annoyingly like one looooong infomerical (okay, maybe not quite that bad – there is some science in it that nobody in their right mind would throw into an infomercial), I am really intrigued about the nutritional approach to wellness.  I am especially intrigued because I am experiencing some of the things they specifically talk about in the book.

Remember when I said that, since starting this diet, my cravings are about 99.9% gone?  They harp on that very point over and over in the book:  people who find out what foods are reactive for them, and cut those foods out, lose their cravings.  And can I tell you how much easier it is to keep the big bad wolves out of your diet when you aren’t constantly craving crap?  MUCH EASIER.

They also talk about how people who follow their own personal rotation of non-reactive foods can eat as much of those non-reactive foods as they want and still lose weight.  So true!  I’m experiencing that.  I eat as much as I want (which, granted, is less than I used to eat since I don’t have the wild blood sugar swings or cravings) and I’m still losing weight.  Awesomeness.

Then there is the whole “I haven’t had a migraine in almost two months” thing, and the fact that I am able to cut back on my bio-identicals.  Good things.

By no means does the book claim that adhering to a rotation diet as prescribed by one’s personal ALCAT test results will cure anything and everything.  However it does claim that there are studies and anecdotal evidence to support the idea that it can help with things such as autoimmune diseases, infertility, migraines (umm, yes!), eczema, irritable bowel, asthma, ADD, and (as if the title isn’t warning enough about how much they beat this drum) obesity.

If you think this sounds like something you might want to look into doing for yourself, I have just two cautionary statements:

1.     Good luck finding a doctor who will do it!  They are out there, but generally not easy to find.

2.     Good luck getting your insurance to pay for even part of it.  Seriously.

Now, one LAST thing:  meatless tacos.

I can’t eat them (or any other type of tacos) because I can’t eat corn and rice on the same day.  I also can’t eat a bunch of the ingredients in the taco seasoning (and I really need to find a healthier brand of that).  BUT!  My family ate them with no complaints.  AND?  They are very easy.  Just cook brown rice (however much you need for your family) according to the directions on the package, EXCEPT add taco seasoning to the water and whisk it around a bit so you don’t get big clumps BEFORE the rice goes in.  Because brown rice is a whole grain, if you serve it with some type of bean you will have a complete protein without meat.  So?  Easy and cheap! 

I’m not a vegetarian, I’m not going to become a vegetarian, but I am all for consuming less meat.  So if you have any ideas/suggestions on how to do that (without resorting to pre-packaged, processed meat-like products) (I’m really trying to go for whole, unprocessed food ideas here), I’d love to hear them!

And so would Tewt the Newt.

9 thoughts on “More Big Bad Wolves of Food Labels

  1. I haven’t gotten paste the first thing you posted…but I have to rant about this being one of the things I hate about Facebook. Do we honestly think that “in honor” of our service men, it matters if we post this? (Which, for what it’s worth (heck, I was curious the first time I saw it) reads “If you can understand this copy and paste to your status.” This is honoring them exactly how? So, Wookie Hagrid Yeti????? exactly.

    Anyway, back to read the rest of the post?


  2. Yes! Exactly! And is it sister week? Or cousin week? Or husband week? Or best friend week? And while I fully acknowledge that cancer is HORRIBLE, posting about it in my status update will not bring back those I’ve lost, nor will it hasten a cure. 🙂


  3. I’m so glad there are others that feel the same way about facebook robostatuses. By facebook standards, I do not love my mom, sisters, God, children, military personnel, cancer, or dead people. So annoying.

    As for food. I think I do a pretty good job of limiting the processed crap & making most things from scratch. But those chemicals are sneaky. You knew this was coming, but Penzey’s is a great place for seasonings. They list all their ingredients in their mixes or if you have a question about one, email them & they’ll tell you what you need to know. I don’t have the bag for my taco mix anymore so I can’t tell you what’s all in it, I can just tell you it is delicious!


  4. Lest you forget we’re a military family, I must also mention I served as a tour guide in (yes you say “in” instead of “on” when speaking of military vessels, weird.) the USS MISSOURI out of Honolulu. So, girl is in touch with her phonetic alphabet. (I won’t however be copying and pasting, sorry!) 🙂


  5. My taco seasoning:
    sprinkle of flour (I don’t always use this and I’ve used anything from rice flour to whatever)
    2 Tbsp Chili pwdr
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp cumin

    I add this to my 2lbs of browned meat (that always has onions and garlic in it, so you might add those powdered or dehydrated to the mix) with 1/2 cup of water.

    My chili powder:
    1 Tbsp paprika
    1 tsp organo
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp garlic pwdr
    1/2 tsp cayenne
    1/2 tsp onion pwdr

    I have been looking into the ALCAT test a bit. My BP has gone up again and I can not figure out why and hate the thought of being on meds for it at 32. It did it after child #2, went away when we made severe diet changes. Not to mention I am looking for a new dr. My current hasn’t weighed me once since I started going there, weighs well over 300lb himself (and isn’t even very tall), and is always in a hurry to tell you a story and move on. Why does the medical field have to be so difficult?

    btw, I am totally snatching Wookie Hagrid Yeti! It is just too good to not use


  6. I’m loving all this info! I’m soooo wishing I could get the ALCAT testing done, but I also wish I had a mini cooper and a monkey. I went to the website and saw the prices of the tests… Then, after I got up from the floor, I said forget it and got into the Easter candy.


  7. Christina

    It is hard to avoid the bad stuff. I read lables like crazy at the store (drove my daughter nuts when she went with me the other day!) And then I just discovered the other day that Yellow #5 and #6 can cause hyperactivity in children and dang if that stuff isn’t in everything including my kids vitamins. Ack.
    Wish regular doctors knew about this kind of stuff!!!


  8. I’m with ya on the whole “Most people won’t repost this” junk on FB. Drives me nuts.

    As for food and all of the crazy additives, it’s so hard. I’ve gotten so much better but stil have a long, LONG way to go. Thanks for all of this info!


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