In the United States a vast number of people, including children, are overweight, many grossly so. Illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are especially prevalent in people, whose weight is above their ideal. NOHA Professional Advisory Board Member Joseph Mercola, DO, has written a book THE NO-GRAIN DIET1, in which he describes eloquently a diet for individuals to lose weight and to stay permanently at their ideal weight.
First of all, he recommends for his patients and all the people reading his book, who are overweight, to completely cut out grains, starchy vegetables, and all sweeteners, including fruit. This is the "START-UP" for three days.
First of all, he recommends for his patients and all the people reading his book, who are overweight, to completely cut out grains, starchy vegetables, and all sweeteners, including fruit. This is the "START-UP" for three days. Like the late Dr. Theron G. Randolph, who was a founding member of the NOHA Professional Advisory Board, Dr. Mercola prescribes complete elimination-no tiny bits! The starches and sugars in all of these foods can cause a spike in our blood sugar (glucose) and stimulate insulin production, which stores the extra glucose as fat. Then, we are hungry again and eager to eat more bread and other foods that perpetuate the cycle. With the "START-UP," he breaks the cycle and begins metabolic reprogramming. He carefully guides us through many stages of the diet, ending with "SUSTAIN." He knows that people often become discouraged, so, he devotes chapters in a section entitled, "OVERCOMING CRAVINGS," to an easily learned acupressure and psychological system, called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), for enhancing self-esteem and continuing the healthful program even when facing trauma and other exceedingly difficult situations.
He recommends excellent proteins and many vegetables-emphasizing the green ones, which in the suggested large quantities, give us carbohydrates that, along with the proteins and good fats, do satisfy our hunger without spikes in blood glucose. Many recipes are given for fascinating meals. The names of some recipes remind us of the grain-based foods, which are everywhere in our society. One example is: "NO-GRAIN PANCAKES," consisting mostly of ground walnuts, sour cream and an egg-sounds delicious! [Personally, I would much prefer them to wheat pancakes! MF]
[Dr. Mercola] recommends excellent proteins and many vegetables-emphasizing the green ones, which in the suggested large quantities, give us carbohydrates that, along with the proteins and good fats, do satisfy our hunger without spikes in blood glucose.
Dr. Mercola realizes the many difficulties that people face. Products, such as bagels, cookies, and pizzas, which are made with cheap refined grains, are available and advertised everywhere. We are told not to eat fats, whereas certain fats are essential for life. Among the books that he recommends is Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future, by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.2 In his description of the book, Dr. Mercola states, "If you have any interest in understanding how our society has been inundated with misinformation on how grains affect health-and a variety of other issues that the media attempts to deceive us on-then I highly recommend this book."
Like James Braly, MD, and Ron Hoggan, MA, in Dangerous Grains3, Dr. Mercola points out that there were negative health impacts when our ancestors transitioned from "the traditional diet of the hunter-gatherer, which featured protein and fat from fish, shellfish, animal meat, animal organs, and/or dairy products, to a more grain-based diet." Describing ancient Egypt, he states:
With ample fruits, vegetables, stone-ground whole-wheat bread, occasional meat, and olive, safflower, flaxseed, and sesame oils, the ancient Egyptian diet was a modern nutritionist's heaven! Yet when studies compared thousands of Egyptian mummies to the remains of hunter-gatherer societies, they found that:
In regard to fats, he tells us to avoid all "trans" fats, usually labeled as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated." These harmful fats are ubiquitous in processed foods.
Dr. Mercola points out that a grain-based diet results in a poor ratio of the essential fatty acids omega-6 to omega-3 and especially results in deficiencies of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which Professor Crawford calls the "neural fatty acids."4 At the NOHA Twenty-fifth Anniversary celebration, he came from England and lectured to us on "Essential Fatty Acids for the Brain and Heart" (video and audio tapes, #161, April 1997). Dr. Crawford pointed out that the brains of ALL animals require a one-to-one ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for their brains, which are about 60% fat. None of the animals eating and developing on the savannas and forests of Africa could easily attain this ratio, so, when they became larger, their brains remained small. (The brain of a hippopotamus is the size of a human child's fist.) The only large mammal with a brain-to-body size comparable to ours is the dolphin. Dr. Crawford has written that there is powerful evidence that our ancestors developed on the seashore.4 Dr. Mercola also writes of the healthy 1:1 ratio for omega-6 to omega-3, rather than ours of 15:1. "The Japanese, currently the longest-lived people, have a ratio of 3:1." He states that a fine ratio can be attained by following his diet and recommendations. Dr. Mercola points out that commercial, grain-fed beef has a deleterious omega 6:3 ratio, whereas wild game (not confined) and grass-fed cattle have a good ratio. For many reasons, he recommends beef from certified-organic, range-free cattle. We recall Dr. Crawford and his late wife writing of cattle eating in the former "commons" in Britain, where they could choose their food and even munch from little bushes-not from mono-culture grass. Speaking to NOHA Dr. Simopoulos, a world-renowned authority on the amazing health benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, told us how the chickens at her ancestral home in Greece chose what they would eat and carefully picked out purslane, a plant that contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
We are told not to eat fats, whereas certain fats are essential for life.
Dr. Mercola advises everyone to transition to organic for all their food-meat, all vegetables, plus fruits, which are returned in reasonable amounts in the "SUSTAIN" diet. He used to recommend and himself enjoy fish "with their beneficial fats and nutrients." However, many fish have levels of mercury, PCBs, and pesticides. "Having ordered thousands of hair mineral analyses to detect mercury absorption, I can tell you that all fish are highly contaminated. The only exception I have found to date, is the wild salmon . . . ." Mercury is exceedingly dangerous, even at tiny levels, and we know the awful effects from pesticides and other toxic man-made chemicals.5
His chapter on recipes commences with many variations on juicing green vegetables. He recommends that people begin slowly and advance so that juicing, along with excellent proteins and fats, becomes a fundamental part of the diet. If more juice is made than is consumed at the initial sitting, be sure to refrigerate it in an airtight container (with minimal airspace at the top) and drink within one day.
Dr. Mercola points out that exercising is absolutely essential. Our bodies are designed to move.
"Water makes up more than 70 percent of the body's tissues, supporting nearly every bodily function, from regulating temperature and cushioning joints to bringing oxygen to the cells and removing bodily waste." Often, when we think we are hungry, we are just dehydrated and need to drink water. Dr. Mercola recommends starting with a quart of water for every fifty pounds of body weight. "Don*t drink tap water!" There are many contaminants, including the toxins chlorine and fluorine, which are often added. He carefully recommends filtering water that we drink and also that we use for showers and bathing.
Sunlight not only helps us produce vitamin D, it also balances levels of the hormone melatonin, which we need for excellent sleep in a completely darkened room.
We are concerned about contaminants in the air we breathe, including electromagnetic fields. He points out the many common appliances that can generate them. In regard to smoking, he states that "sugar is even more dangerous to your health than cigarettes." Thus, he recommends that patients get established on the diet, then, with their newly found energy they will find that quitting smoking "will be easier than you expect."
Finally, for all those who are overweight
and want to attain vibrant health, Dr. Mercola has:
The Weight Loss Trio:
1. Eliminating grains, starches, and sugars
3. Getting a good night's sleep
Joseph, with Alison Rose Levy. Dutton, 2003.
2Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001. Two earlier books by Rampton and Stauber are reviewed in NOHA NEWS: TOXIC SLUDGE IS GOOD FOR YOU: LIES, DAMN LIES AND THE PUBLIC RELATIONS INDUSTRY, Common Courage Press, 1995, in NOHA NEWS, Spring 1996, pages 5-6 [link] ; and MAD COW U.S.A. COULD THE NIGHTMARE HAPPEN HERE? Common Courage Press, 1997, in NOHA NEWS, Spring 1999, "SHOULD WE EAT BEEF?" pages 1-2. [link]
3Recommended by Dr. Mercola and reviewed in NOHA NEWS, Spring 2003: DANGEROUS GRAINS : WHY GLUTEN CEREAL GRAINS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH, Avery, 2002 [link].
4 See the NOHA tape and read the many articles about Dr. Crawford*s work in NOHA NEWS.
5See many articles under "NEWSLETTER" in the "Subject Index" for "Pesticides" [link] at our site: (www.nutrition4health.org). There are also many articles, as well as tapes of numerous lectures, on other dangerous environmental exposures.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol.
XXVIII, No. 3, Summer 2003, pages 9-10.