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Sleepy after meals, can’t lose weight, and always hungry?

If you are sleepy after eating, always hungry, and can’t lose weight, you may suffer from insulin resistance, which raises your risk for diabetes. The good news is insulin resistance is often reversible through simple dietary changes.

How do you know if you have insulin resistance? See if any of these symptoms apply to you:
Portland OR Chiropractor
⦁    Fatigue after meals
⦁    General fatigue
⦁    Constant hunger
⦁    Craving for sweets not relieved by eating them
⦁    Must have sweets after meals
⦁    Waist girth equal to or larger than hip girth
⦁    Frequent urination
⦁    Increased appetite and thirst
⦁    Difficulty losing weight
⦁    Migrating aches and pains
⦁    Trouble falling asleep
⦁    Why is insulin resistance dangerous?

Insulin resistance, also known as pre-diabetes, is uncomfortable, but it’s also dangerous. It is linked with Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, chronic pain, hormone imbalances, and many other common modern maladies.

But that’s not all. Insulin resistance can also kill your libido and make you chronically tired.

If you’re a woman, insulin resistance causes testosterone to spike so you lose your hair and develop male characteristics. If you’re a man, it raises estrogen levels so you get “moobs” and cry at commercials. These are some pretty undesirable consequences for a sugar habit!

What causes insulin resistance?

The good news and the bad news is insulin resistance is caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. This is bad news because it means giving up some comforts, but it’s good news because it means radically changing your health is highly doable!

A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates—sugars, sweets, sodas, pastries, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, grains, beans, and other starchy foods —leads to high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Because high blood sugar is dangerous to the body, the pancreas secretes insulin to lower it. Insulin escorts sugar out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells. Excess sugar is converted into fat for storage.
When this response happens regularly every day, as it does for millions of Americans, the cells become overwhelmed from the constant bombardment of insulin. In defense, they become resistant to insulin and refuse it entry. Now you have high blood sugar and high insulin in your bloodstream, causing inflammation, throwing off hormone balance, and degenerating the brain.

This is why insulin resistance causes fatigue after meals. The insulin-resistant cells are deprived of glucose for energy, converting all that extra sugar into fat is draining, and the whole process saps brain function.

Many people have both insulin resistance and low blood sugar. This means their energy crashes not only after meals, but between meals too. Either way, stabilizing blood sugar is your key to better health and losing weight.
The most important thing is to ditch the sugar and eat only as many complex carbohydrates as your body needs (it varies from person to person). Eat tons of veggies for fiber and to build good gut bacteria. Start checking your fasting blood sugar in the morning and shoot for a level between 80 and 100. Anything over 100 is too high. Also, exercise daily, with bursts of high intensity and some weight training, to sensitize your cells to insulin.

Various herbs and nutrients can help reverse insulin resistance — ask my office for a recommendation.

 

Gluten sensitivity can raise your risk for gallbladder surgery

Portland OR ChiropractorGallbladder surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries today. Did you know simply going gluten-free may lower the risk of needing gallbladder surgery?

For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers a wide range of adverse reactions, from joint pain to poor brain function. In the last several years, research has also linked gluten with gallbladder disease in gluten-sensitive individuals.

Gluten sensitivity largely undiagnosed

An astonishing number of people are gluten intolerant but do not know it. Undiagnosed gluten sensitivity can cause leaky gut, chronic pain, inflammation, neurological damage, and autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks and destroys body tissue). Gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect between 20 and 40 percent of the general population, and is less frequently identified than celiac disease, though this is changing.

How gluten can raise the risk of gallbladder surgery

So how can gluten raise the risk of requiring gallbladder surgery? The process begins with damage to the small intestine. This damage inhibits its ability to properly secrete a hormone called cholecystokinin. Cholecystokinin is the hormone that signals the gallbladder when it’s time to release bile, which aids in the digestion and absorption of fat. As a result, bile builds up in the gallbladder, causing inflammation and raising the risk of gallbladder disease and subsequent gallbladder surgery.

Approximately 60 percent of people with celiac disease — an autoimmune reaction to gluten — also have gallbladder, liver, or pancreatic conditions, and this is apparently one reason why.

Why you need a gallbladder

Although you can live without your gallbladder, it is essential to overall health. The bile stored and secreted by the gallbladder enables you to digest fats. Without a gallbladder, your liver still produces bile, but the bile just “leaks” continually into the small intestine. This means there are no adequate reserves of bile to break down fats when needed.

These fats then become rancid and inflame the digestive tract while fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids

are not properly absorbed. Ultimately, this compromises the function of your entire digestive tract. In fact, studies have linked gallbladder removal with an elevated risk of colon cancer.

Also, if the gallbladder is not removed but isn’t doing its job well, this can be detrimental to liver function.

It is worth caring for your gallbladder to preserve the health of your digestive system, and hence your immune system. If you are sensitive to gluten, it’s important to go gluten-free to maintain gallbladder health and lower your risk of needing gallbladder surgery.

Additionally, your gallbladder appreciates a diet high in omega 3 essential fatty acids, and free of processed oils and hydrogenated fats. And in general, it is safest to keep starchy carbs (cake, potatoes, white flour, refined sugar, etc.) to a minimum.

Various botanicals and nutrients can support liver and gallbladder health. They include milk thistle seed extract, dandelion root, ginger root, and phosphatidyl choline.

If you have already had your gallbladder removed, don’t despair. Taking ox bile with your meals can help you emulsify and absorb your fats, which are vital for many aspects of health including brain function. For more information, contact my office.

 

Functional medicine tips for election recovery

Portland OR ChiropractorWeathering one of the most acrimonious elections in U.S. history can be hard on health. Fortunately, functional medicine offers some strategies to help take the edge off.
Prolonged heightened stress, fear, anger, and negativity have been shown to harmfully impact the body in the following ways:

Raises inflammation. Heightened stress and negativity can inflame joints, cause skin breakouts, disrupt brain function, upset the stomach, provoke respiratory problems, and trigger headaches.

Triggers anxiety, depression, and/or insomnia. People have lost sleep and become anxious and depressed this election year. Chronic stress keeps the central nervous system in a heightened state, chipping away at your health.

Causes stomach aches and abdominal symptoms. Chronic stress ravages the gut, predisposing one to pain, inflammation, and digestive upsets.

Tightens muscles. Chronic stress keeps the body in fight-or-flight, with the muscles constantly tense.
Imbalances hormones. Stress hormones can devastate the delicate balance of hormones in both women and men. This can impact menstrual cycles, libido, and the brain.

Causes brain fog and memory loss. Because chronic stress and negativity are so inflammatory, the brain may become inflamed as well. Common symptoms of brain inflammation are brain fog, depression, and memory loss.

Weakens or over stimulates immunity. Chronic stress weakens the immune system so that you’re more susceptible to illness. It can also over stimulate it so that autoimmune conditions flare up.

Promotes high blood pressure and respiratory stress. Chronic stress constricts the blood vessels, raises blood pressure, and inflames respiratory conditions.

Encourage addiction and bad habits. Chronic stress makes people more prone to addictive behaviors.
Healthy ways to buffer the effects of election stress

Stress is a normal function that serves a survival purpose. The trick is to rebound from it appropriately.Although it’s tempting to mix a drink or pop a Xanax, aim for functional medicine tips that ease election anxiety and support your health:

Take an adrenal adaptogen supplement. These herbs help buffer the body and brain during stress. Examples include ginseng, ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, eleuthero, and pantethine.

Connect with others. Seek out like-minded friends and do something fun. Positive socialization  is a well-documented health booster.

Release feel-good hormones through exercise. Exercise can’t be beat in the face of chronic stress and negativity. It floods your body with feel-good hormones that improve health and brain function. Just be careful not to overdo it, over exercising stresses and inflames the body.

Find unidentified causes of stress. Much of our stress today comes from factors we’re not even aware of. Unstable blood sugar is the most common.  Unidentified food sensitivities, such as to gluten or dairy, is also common. Chemical sensitivities, anemia, unmanaged autoimmunity, leaky gut, and infections are examples of health issues that keep one in a state of chronic stress.

Practice positivity. Although it’s important to allow and process any negative emotions, at some point it’s vital to practice positivity, something science shows is vital to good health.

By taking better care of your health and managing how outside events affect you, you have a better chance of having a more positive impact on your own life and the people around you.

 

Can’t lose weight? Look at underlying health issues

Portland OR ChiropractorDo you keep trying weight loss diets but can’t seem to drop the pounds? Are you instead exhausted and frustrated by an ever growing layer of fat?

Calorie-restricted diets have been popular for decades as a way to lose weight, but clearly more is at play as many people under eat and still can’t lose weight or keep it off.
If you’re doing everything right and the fat isn’t budging, the culprit may lie in underlying health issues slowing metabolism and blocking fat burning.

Feast or famine? Dieting slows metabolism for years

For most of human history, life vacillated between feast or famine, with plenty of bouts of famine. The human body body has smart coping mechanisms to get us through hungry times — lowered metabolism and increased fat-storage hormones.
As far as the body is concerned, a low-calorie diet is a famine and it employs the same measures to save you from starving. As a result, each low-calorie diet can add weight in the end when you resume normal caloric intake.

This dieting-caused metabolic slow-down can last for years. This phenomenon was recently documented in participants from the The Biggest Loser reality TV show. Six years after participating, contestants’ metabolic set point was below what it was when they started. They burn up to 800 fewer calories per day! After all that hard work, most of them returned to their pre-show weight and have to under eat in order to prevent weight gain.

Dieting disrupts key hunger hormones

Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite, satiety — that feeling of being full and satisfied — and whether your body burns or stores fat. When your diet is high in starches and sugars, it causes frequent swings in blood sugar. This leads to chronic insulin surges, which causes constant hunger and cellular resistance to to leptin.

Underlying health issues hinder weight loss

For most people, weight loss is not as simple as “calories in, calories out.” Sometimes inflammation and other metabolic factors can be a driving factor behind the inability to lose weight.

Many people are surprised to find unwanted pounds drop away when they follow an anti-inflammatory diet. These are nutrient-dense diets void of inflammatory triggers and are used to manage pain, digestive problems, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and other health issues.

Why do they work? Excess weight can be a symptom of underlying health imbalances that slow metabolism and block weight loss. Systemic inflammation, leptin resistance, hormonal imbalances, stress, leaky gut, blood sugar imbalances, food intolerances, and hypothyroidism are examples of factors that block weight loss.

How do autoimmune protocols and diets fit in?

The autoimmune diet and protocols are effective for people suffering from various chronic illnesses. Anti-inflammatory in nature, special attention is given to gut health and food reactivity.

While highly effective for many in not only managing autoimmunity but also dropping unwanted pounds, sometimes people take these diets to low-calorie extremes. Even if you’re eating healthy foods and avoiding the inflammatory ones, it’s still important not to starve the body and trigger the famine response that holds onto fat.

In fact, increasing healthy fats, protein, and nutrient-dense foods encourage the body to drop the pounds. Meeting your nutritional needs, providing healthy sources of fat to remind the body it’s not a time of famine, and enough protein to keep blood sugar stable are key for helping the body increase metabolic rate and drop extra weight.

If you suffer from unwanted weight, contact my office for an appointment. Functional medicine has effective ways to work with the underlying health issues that hinder weight loss.

 

 

Chiropractic: The Natural Approach to Back Pain

Portland chiropractic back pain treatmentChiropractic is centered on the concept of helping your body to heal naturally through spinal adjustments and lifestyle changes that encourage overall health. For Chiropractic Healing Hands For You, this means working to reestablish your body's natural functioning to avoid the need for medications or surgical treatments. We see that many of our Portland patients are pleased to find a natural approach for their health problems.

One advantage of chiropractic is that it helps people reduce or eliminate the use of drugs. Medications are frequently supplied to patients who have back problems. This is such a serious concern that the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued a report stating that opioid (painkiller) dangers overshadow the benefits when administered for back pain.

Some of the most well-known narcotics, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine, and codeine. Figures supplied by the AAN cite the fact that about 50% of the patients taking these types of substances for a period of three months are still on them five years later. This can further complicate the difficulty of back pain and healing, particularly if an narcotic dependency arises.

Compare that to chiropractic care which features natural healing and the benefits are clear. While a pill might be helpful at temporarily relieving the discomfort of a health issue, it's not a long-term solution to the problem. Drugs can't fix your injured spine; it will only mask the pain.

Chiropractic Healing Hands For You will first examine you to get to the origin of your back pain and then work with you to eliminate the spinal interference -- without the need for risky medications.

If you're ready for relief of your pain, naturally, give our Portland office a call at (503) 771-1974 to make an appointment with Chiropractic Healing Hands For You.

References

  • Risk of opioids outweigh benefits for headache, low back pain, other conditions. American Academy of Neurology;September 29, 2014.
  • What are opioids? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/opioids/what-are-opioids
 

Move over gluten; new kid on the wheat sensitivity block

Portland OR ChiropractorTurns out gluten isn’t the only culprit when it comes to an immune reaction to wheat.

New research suggests non-gluten proteins are also a source of those immune reactions to wheat.

Wheat proteins called ATIs also trigger reactions

The new suspects are a family of proteins called amylase-trypsin inhibitors, or ATIs. While they make up only four percent of the proteins in wheat, ATIs can trigger powerful immune reactions that can spread from the gut to other tissues in the body, such as the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, and even the brain.

ATIs are also shown to inflame pre-existing chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, non-alcohol fatty liver disease, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.

And, ultimately, ATIs contribute to the development of gluten sensitivity.

At this time, it’s not entirely clear how much of a role ATI proteins play compared to gluten. We know from the work of Aristo Vojdani, PhD that people with symptoms of gluten sensitivity have been shown to react to several different types of gluten, as well as lectins and agglutinin.

The evolution of understanding wheat sensitivity

It used to be celiac disease was the only recognized immune reaction to wheat. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects a small percent of the population and requires medically invasive diagnostic criteria.

Only more recently has mainstream medicine begun to accept non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Newer research, the sheer volume of gluten-sensitive patients, and the explosion of the gluten-free market has made gluten sensitivity impossible to deny.

For decades patients who tested negative for celiac disease or even gluten sensitivity (standard testing is severely limited) have been told “It’s all in your head.” Today, the scientific legitimacy of an immune reaction to wheat is growing.
Likewise, a growing number of doctors are more willing to offer a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity and effective treatment strategies.

Gluten reactions occur in brain and elsewhere

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include digestive issues such as abdominal pain and symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, common symptoms not related to the gut include headaches, joint pain, eczema, brain fog, and a number of dysfunctions related to the brain and nervous system.
These symptoms improve quickly on a gluten-free diet for many.

Research on wheat immune sensitivity continues

Research continues and in the future, it may be your doctor recommends an “ATI-free” diet instead of a gluten-free diet for wheat sensitivity.

Either way, if you react to gluten, avoiding it is the best choice for your long-term health.

If you have concerns about reactions to gluten, contact my office. Functional medicine has effective protocols to assess, diagnose, and manage gluten sensitivity.

 

Gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea? Could be SIBO

Portland OR ChiropractorGot gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, IBS…or maybe all of the above? Then you may have SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Doctors have long blamed stubborn gut problems on stress. For the person whose life is dictated by the cruel whims of their digestive system, this can feel like shame and blame. Thanks to new research, these days we know many things cause gut problems. They include food sensitivities (especially to gluten and dairy), leaky gut, gut inflammation, autoimmunity, poor brain function, and SIBO.

SIBO results from too much bacteria that belong in the large intestine migrating into the small intestine. When these bacteria consume sugars and carbohydrates, they produce large amounts of gas that causes not only bloating, belching, and flatulence, but also constipation or diarrhea (depending on the type of gas produced).
These bacteria also inflame and damage the lining of the intestinal tract, causing leaky gut. Leaky gut allows undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other antigens into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation, autoimmunity, and chronic disease.
Many different lab tests, stringent dietary strategies (managing SIBO often requires a diet that restricts most everything but meats and a limited variety vegetables), and treatment protocols exist to treat SIBO, and sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error to land on an approach that works.

But if you don’t want a relapse, it’s important to ask why you have SIBO in the first place.

The causes include:

⦁    Food poisoning
⦁    Poor diet and excess sugar
⦁    Low stomach acid
⦁    Repeated antibiotic use
⦁    Chronic stress
⦁    Problems with brain function or health

Brain function is one of the most overlooked and unaddressed causes of SIBO. The digestive system maintains close communication with the brain. Poor brain function leads to poor gut function (this explains why people often suffer from gut problems after a head injury). Digestive juices and hormones are not sufficiently released, motility slows so that food sits longer in the intestines, giving rise to bacterial overgrowth, and the valve between the small and large intestine does not stay shut, allowing bacteria from the colon to escape into the small intestine where it does not belong. All of these are examples of how poor brain function leads to SIBO.

This explains how childhood brain development disorders, brain injuries, brain inflammation, brain degeneration, and brain aging all contribute to SIBO.

The elderly are especially vulnerable to malnutrition caused by SIBO, as are the increasing numbers of children born with autism and other brain development disorders. Fortunately, you can improve gut function through simple exercises that help tone the digestive system and prevent relapses of SIBO.

Managing SIBO does not have a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are various ways to approach it that include both nutraceutical and/or pharmaceutical approaches. Diet is always an important strategy. For more information, contact my office.

 

BPA may trigger autoimmune damage to nerves

Portland OR ChiropractorIf you handle store receipts or use plastics (who doesn’t?), brace yourself for some disturbing new findings about BPA (bisphenol-A), the toxin in plastics and store receipts.

A new study shows BPA is linked with an autoimmune reaction that destroys the lining of nerves. Autoimmune nerve sheath degeneration is connected to autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), neuropathy, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Previous research has shown blood levels of BPA spike after handling store receipts for just five seconds, and that the toxin long lingers in the body.

BPA and neurological autoimmunity

A 2016 study found a significant link between an immune reaction to BPA and an autoimmune attack against nerve sheaths.  

The important part about this study is that it’s based on immune sensitivity to BPA, not the amount of BPA in the blood.

A person can react to BPA the way people react to gluten, dairy, or other foods, developing inflammatory symptoms.

This means person may have low levels of BPA in their blood yet still have an immune reaction to it that can trigger autoimmunity. Conversely, a person may have high blood levels of BPA but no immune reaction and thus a lower risk of it triggering autoimmunity (although BPA is associated with other health disorders, too.)

Animal studies also show a high degree of correlation between BPA and autoimmunity.

BPA sensitivity in mothers raises autism risk in children

Autoimmunity to nerve sheaths is commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders. In fact, some research has found autoimmunity to nerve sheaths in almost 80 percent of subjects with autism compared to a control group.

Other studies show subjects with autism have significantly higher levels of BPA in their blood than controls.
Most disturbing are the findings that immune reactions to BPA in mothers can be passed on to offspring, thus considerably raising the risk of autism in their children.

Receipts major source of BPA contamination

BPA is ubiquitous in our environment. The toxin is found in large amounts on thermal receipts used by stores, restaurants, gas stations, airlines, ATM machines, and so on. Holding one of these receipts for as little as five seconds is enough to absorb it into your bloodstream.

BPA in plastics and other products

BPA is found in many other common products as well, such as plastic food and beverage containers, toys, tin can linings, and medical products.

BPA is leached from products through heat or exposure to acidic foods or beverages.

BPA also harms hormone health

BPA’s estrogen-like qualities have been shown to cause reproductive defects, cancer, and immune problems in animal studies. In the developing fetus, BPA can cause chromosomal errors, miscarriage, and genetic damage.

BPA is also linked to decreased sperm quality, early puberty, ovarian and reproductive dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, insulin resistance, and obesity.

BPA-free is no guarantee

BPA-free products are available but many unfortunately still have synthetic estrogens and pose a health risk.

How to protect your body from BPA exposure

In addition to reducing exposure to BPA as much as possible, functional medicine strategies can help protect you from the negative effects of BPA.

The goal is to keep the immune system balanced and not prone to over reacting, which can trigger chemical sensitivities and autoimmunity. Ways to do this include an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, shoring up your glutathione reserves to protect your cells, and making use of natural compounds to support neurological and immune health. For more information, contact my office. 

 

Portland TMJ Pain and Auto Injury

Portland TMJ Treatment by Chiropractic Healing Hands For YouJaw pain is a fairly typical condition reported by many people after a car crash, and it can be challenging for some health practitioners to diagnose the root of the problem. Complicating the matter, very often you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the original injury.

Chiropractic Healing Hands For You has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical research explains what produces these types of symptoms. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are commonly stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, inflammation of the nerves can cause pain in other parts of your body.

For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm and hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Chiropractic Healing Hands For You sees this very often in our Portland office.

Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Chiropractic Healing Hands For You will work to return your spine back to health, reducing the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.

Chiropractic Healing Hands For You has found that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.

If you reside in Portland and you've been injured in a crash, Chiropractic Healing Hands For You can help. We've been treating auto injury patients since 2005, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (503) 771-1974 for an appointment.

Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.

Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.

 

Sugar Industry Funds Studies to Influence Nutrition

Portland OR chiropractorNutrition experts recommend women consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, a day of added sugar (9 teaspoons for men). Yet the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons a day! And that doesn’t even include fruit juice, a known sugar bomb.

How did we allow ourselves to stray so far? Powerful lobbyists with deep pockets played a big role in our overly lax boundaries with a substance that is tanking the world’s developed nations.

Recent findings show that 50 years ago the sugar industry quietly paid for research to blame fat for heart disease and minimize sugar’s role.

Of course, now we know that the highly inflammatory effects of excess sugar are a major contributor to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.  

Unfortunately, the propaganda campaign didn’t stop 50 years ago; it’s still going strong today.

Sickly sweet sales and marketing

For instance, a study funded by the grape-juice industry shows grape juice is good for brain function, despite it packing a whopping 36 grams of sugar per cup, more than what a person should consume in an entire day. Sugar is so degenerative to the brain that scientists now call Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes.

Coca-cola spent more than $130 million dollars to fund research that said exercise is more important than diet in the weight loss battle. While exercise is indeed important, how you fuel your body is equally important. We can assume Coca-Cola did not fund the studies showing a link between the obesity epidemic and soda consumption in the United States.

And, in a brazen show of hubris, the National Confectioner’s Association funded research that concluded children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Despite being naysaid by one of its own scientists, the study nevertheless went on to be published in a respected journal.

Although food giants can buy their way into scientific journals, these studies are often found to be poorly designed, incomplete, and only highlight the positives while ignoring the negatives. But because the average journalist is not trained in how to discern good research from bad, bad studies get ample press.

To spotlight these problems, one science writer conducted a hoax study that concluded eating chocolate causes weight loss and watched the media play it up.

Can you believe science? Yes, be mindful of fads

Does that mean you can’t believe any science? No, plenty of good research still happens.
The trick is to ferret out the nutritional guidelines based on hundreds of solid studies and be wary of the headline grabbers.

At the end of the day, some nutritional truisms have held fast over the years:


⦁    Eat lots of different vegetables every day
⦁    Eat a whole foods diet (avoid processed foods)
⦁    Avoid or minimize sugars, junk foods, sodas, and juices
⦁    Eat healthy fats
⦁    Avoid the foods to which you are sensitive (gluten and dairy are common ones)
⦁    Exercise daily
⦁    Cultivate positive experiences, habits, and thoughts