Food Can Heal and Food Can Harm, How to Choose What Your Body Needs
Note: Please see the updates on healthism here. Flexibility, social connection, enjoyment of health, and not obsessing on perfection of diet is what makes health a means, not an end.
Last week, on my new Saratoga.com blog, I dug (pun intended) more into the topic of food addiction. This is a topic that I don’t think gets enough attention related to the search for a quick-and-easy panacea to lose weight. Unfortunately, our attempts at dieting and weight loss are utterly failing in relationship to outcomes. Currently, more than one-third of Americans are obese. I believe this is because we are focusing too much on generalizations and good-and-bad foods, versus looking at the whole person.
In this blog, I reviewed some of my previous research findings and added some updates on how society’s relationship with food has been manipulated due to the methods of processing and the addition of tempting flavorings. Furthermore, I discussed some predispositions and biochemical imbalances which can lead one to be more susceptible to food addiction.
I recently just completed another 2-part series on food addiction on the Natural Path. Here are the promised excerpts and links to the articles.
Food as Medicine, Food as Poison, Dealing with Food as a (Sweet) Addiction: Part I
This article reviews how food can be a medicine for health and how junk food can be poison to the body. Below is an excerpt on “brain food.”
Recently, Medscape reported on the use of food for medicine for depression:
Scientists have developed a new evidence-based scale that rates animal- and plant-based foods that improve depressive symptoms. Research on this scale and on foods that help nourish the brain was presented here at a standing-room-only session during the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2016 Annual Meeting.3
Furthermore, the importance of healthy fats on the brain cannot be understated. I wrote previously about research in this area and the use of fish oil for behavioral support in hostile behavior. An evidence-based review in 2004 in Current Psychiatry also reported impressive positive results from various trials on supporting mood disorders, though no recommendations were given:
Fourteen clinical trials in the past 3 years have examined the potential of omega-3 fatty acids in treating psychiatric disorders. Preliminary findings in at least 700 patients suggest that:
- omega-3 fatty acids used as adjuncts or monotherapy appear well-tolerated and safe in psychiatric disorders
- efficacy data vary by disorder
- the two marine omega-3 fatty acids may differ in efficacy.
Although we cannot offer specific guidance for using omega-3 fatty acids at this time, we can update you on recent trials of these “fish oils” in depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders.4
Click here to read more.
Click here to read my latest post on Saratoga.com to learn more about fish oil and mental health.
Food as Medicine, Food as Poison, Dealing with Food as a (Sweet) Addiction: Part II
In Part II, I discuss five ways to help support those with a problem with food addiction or unhealthy eating patterns. These are a preview of the Five (5) Key Ways to kick the sugar and junk food habit:
- Know if You’re a “Moderator” or “Abstainer”
- Use Stress Reduction and Mindfulness
- Support Brain Balance (balance the different areas of the brain by using specific nutrients to target imbalances and support neurotransmitter balance through hormonal modulation, microbiome health, blood sugar balance).
- Modulate Mood and Emotions with Essential Oils
Click here to read more.
Stay tuned for next month series on Natural Path, where I discuss the “fat attack” and why “butter is back” is a small piece of the puzzling era of American obesity.
Fryar CD, Gu Q, Ogden Cl, Flegal KM. Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2011–2014. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat. 2016. 3(39). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_039.pdf
Dotinga R. Average American 15 Pounds Heavier Than 20 Years Ago. Health Day. August 3, 2016. https://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/centers-for-disease-control-news-120/average-u-s-adult-packed-on-extra-15-pounds-in-two-decades-713484.html
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Overweight and Obesity. Adult Obesity Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
University of Sydney. New framework for human nutrition. Science Daily. August 1, 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160801092952.htm
David Raubenheimer, Stephen J. Simpson. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health. Annual Review of Nutrition, 2016; 36 (1): 603 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071715-051118.