Welcome to LIFEFORCE, a monthly blog created by award-winning medical innovator, author, and Optimal Performance & Health Practitioner, Dr. Mark Rosenbloom MD.
This evocative series (named after Dr. Rosenbloom’s highly lauded medical practice), will provide you with leading-edge medical insights and health-related information designed to help you THRIVE in your personal life and career.
25 Facts About Foods
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
In our last issue, I covered some of the most important aspects of ‘Nutrition’ known and explained how ‘becoming an expert’ on what you feed your body can not only improve the quality of your life but can quite literally SAVE it.
What excites me most, however, isn’t just saving or improving our lives—it’s helping you THRIVE by turbocharging your body with the highest-octane fuel possible while also guiding you to avoid the foods that are now plaguing our society.
Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and auto-immune disease have gone from being relatively rare just over a hundred years ago to now being epidemic. And although many of us have been taught to blame this epidemic on such things as milk, eggs, beef, cheese and butter, the truth is: we’ve been eating such things for thousands of years with virtually none of the problems we are now seeing.
So, what has changed? It’s simple, really… We’ve changed the way we grow and process food, and we’ve changed the ingredients we add to them. Between high fructose corn syrups, GMO’s, highly refined grains, and more it’s no wonder we’re in such a mess.
Unfortunately, very few people fully understand what it really means to properly nourish their bodies. Sure, most of us have a basic understanding of nutrition; we know the difference between doughnuts and walnuts.
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Here are a few useful factoids — 25 in all — that may seem like common sense to some but may be entirely foreign to others:
- Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. It’s your overall diet and exercise regimen that determines what your body stores as fat.
Processed foods that say ‘low fat’ usually contain compensating substances (like sugar) that make them much more unhealthy than ‘high-fat’ foods.
- Trans fats are manmade and are one of the most toxic substances we can ingest (read the labels and stay away!)
In fact, the right kind of ‘high-fat’ foods (‘grass-fed’, ‘wild’, ‘free range’) are among the healthiest foods you can eat.
Grass-fed beef contains up to five times more omega-3’s than grain-fed beef
Grain-fed beef contains omega-6 fatty acids (the bad kind) instead of omega 3’s.
Up to 35% of protein is burned off during digestion compared to as little as 5% of carbs and fats being burned. This factor results in an even lower net gain of calories for protein.
- Meat does not ‘rot’ in the colon, it is broken down and digested like everything else.
- 1 oz. of flaxseed oil contains nearly 15,000 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Soda & Junk Food —
- Diet soda drinkers are up to 60% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
- Soft drinks leach calcium from bones and destroy tooth enamel.
- Many junk foods have been engineered to become addictive by flooding the brain with dopamine when we eat them.
- One of the reasons why sugary soda is considered to be one of the worst of all food products is because our brain doesn’t register the fluid in the same way as food, so we consume more calories overall instead of feeling satisfied as we do with food.
- Fruit juice is nearly as unhealthy as sugary soft drinks and for many of the same reasons.
- A 2010 study (International Journal of Food Microbiology) found that 48% of fountain soda drinks contained fecal bacteria and 11% contained E.coli.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals offers no health or weight-loss benefits.
The cholesterol in eggs does not raise blood cholesterol in most people (and in addition to showing no effect on heart disease in healthy people, eggs are now considered one of the healthiest things you can eat [especially the yolk]).
One of the best ways to reduce caloric intake is to consume larger amounts of low-calorie foods (such as proteins and vegetables). This fills us up without filling us out.
‘Dried fruit’ isn’t all that healthy as most of the nutrition is lost in the drying process.
Adding citrus juice to tea can boost its antioxidant benefits by 13 fold.
A Mediterranean diet with olive oil can reduce heart disease and death by 30%.
- Aspartame and MSG kill neurons and are shown to promote cancer growth.
Read the ingredients, not the label; lots of foods ‘sound’ healthy until you see what they are really made of. And no matter what the label says avoid anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup or Trans Fats listed in the ingredients!
Just because the ingredients say ‘Gluten-Free’ or ‘Organic’, it doesn’t guarantee that they are healthy. Make sure your gluten-free foods are naturally gluten-free (like long grain brown rice). And keep in mind that even candy can be made from ‘organic’ foods; but that doesn’t make it healthy.
The healthy bacteria that lives in your intestines outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of 10 to 1! This bacterium greatly influences your level of health and its primary food source is soluble fiber… so eat a lot of soluble fiber!
Soluble fiber is one of the most important things you can eat. Here is a brief list of foods high in soluble fiber for a healthy diet:
- Oat Bran
- Seeds (especially Flax)
- Some fruits & vegetables
And finally, you want to favor Low Glycemic foods over High Glycemic foods if you wish to minimize your chances of getting diabetes and maximize your chances to operate at optimal levels.
The Glycemic Index (‘GI”) ranks foods depending on how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods that score 55 or lower are usually digested and metabolized at ideal levels. Generally speaking, the riper fruit or vegetables are, the higher the ‘GI’. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit. And the longer food is cooked or the more it is processed, the higher the GI tends to be.
The following list of common foods will give you an overall sense of what to eat or avoid:
By now, you might feel a bit overwhelmed just thinking about all the choices to be made when it comes to buying and preparing your meals.
FACTOR 75 takes everything listed above into consideration when preparing your meals (which is, once again, why I not only subscribe to their service myself, but also recommend them to my clients!). Their commitment to offering a healthy (and flavorful) alternative is unmatched in my experience.
And remember, the foods you eat impact more than your waistline. They affect your energy levels, your mood, your body composition, your skin, your relative age and appearance, and your risk factors for disease.
It will take time for you to become an expert in nutrition; so until then, simply make it a ‘goal’ to do so and begin immediately practicing what you’ve learned. Eventually, you will intuitively know which foods to consume and which to avoid (and in many cases… you already DO).
In our next issue, we will focus on Pillar #2 of ‘The 5 Pillars of MAXIMUM Health & Fitness: EXERCISE. However, this won’t be your typical exercise article; I believe you’re in for a few surprises and a few significant improvements in your exercise regimen as well.
And for those of you who are looking for the personal support of an expert on ‘The 5 Pillars of MAXIMUM Health & Fitness’, I can personally help you implement (and eventually master), the insights offered in this series. Just reach out to me through my website LIFEFORCEmed.com and you will hear back from a staff member within 24 hours.
Until next month, remember,
‘Good Health’ is a choice… choose ‘Well’.
Dr. Mark Rosenbloom MD