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 GUEST COLUMNIST:   Candace Corson M.D.  Dr. Corson is a graduate of Yale Medical School.  She practices integrated medicine at the Healing Arts Center in Mishawaka, Indiana.  Candace spends much of her time addressing human rights issues, nuclear disarmament, and environmental concerns.  This column is excerpted from her latest video:  Diet for Natural Health.

Diet for Natural Health

Candace Corson M.D.,  "When sick drink 12 ounces of water every hour while awake. Our bodies do not need any drink other than water."

"Just think, 12 teaspoons of sugar in a can of pop! Sugar stiffens the proteins of our body accelerating the aging process." 

Today I would like to share with you a few simple tips to make your life more vibrant and healthy.

Starting with the most abundant of all the molecules in our body, we can think of water as the fundamental molecule for life. Sixty five percent or more of our body weight is water. So we need to appreciate water as the gift we cannot live without for more than a few days. We need to drink clean pure water filtered or distilled about 8 to 10 glasses per day. This lets our bodies remove toxins and keep our cells and organs hydrated and clean. Water cleans our kidneys and bladder of toxins and salt crystals. Remember it is common for people to overeat when they are simply thirsty. Most people are too busy or forget to drink enough water. And when we are sick we need to drink even more water. When sick drink 12 ounces of water every hour while awake. Our bodies do not need any other drink other than water.

Fat

Most westernized people eat far too much fat, but we do have to remember that as we cut our fat intake down there is one category of fat that is good and we must have this fat for longevity and vibrant health.  These are called essential fatty acids...or EFAs. Sources of essential fatty acids are flax seed oil, fish oil, borage oil, pumpkin seeds, lemons and limes, beans, evening primrose oil, black currant oil.

My favorite is flaxseed oil, obtained by grinding fresh flaxseeds that I keep in my freezer for freshness.  The ground flaxseeds may be added to juice, over cereal, bread and muffin recipes.

Sugar

Refined sugar is not truly a natural substance. It is a super concentrated carbohydrate, unnatural and potentially dangerous. If we chewed on a sugar beet or a stick of sugar cane we would be getting nature's package: including pure water, minerals and just a hint of sweetness.  But just think about it we take a ton of vegetable and process it dramatically into white crystalline substance in a form that nature never intended for us to have unlimited access to.

Refined, concentrated sugar causes an increase in our insulin, burdening our system in multiple ways. According to research high insulin levels contribute to obesity cancer and heart disease.  Sugar also stiffens the proteins of our body accelerating the aging process.  Sugar promotes anxiety in many people by stressing the body's sugar balance mechanism elevating stress hormones.

How do we take sugar out of our diet?

  • Start with healthier forms of natural sweeteners. 
  • Use a food processor or blender to grind raisins or dates, add this to cereals or baked goods, spread it on toast. 
  • Seek advice from a health food store. 
  • Try Stevia, a plant that is naturally sweet, and comes as a powder or liquid drops.
  • Use small amounts of maple siryp, or the natural sweetness of fruit to sharpen the taste of food.
  • We just don't buy candy anymore or pop.

Pop is too acidic. Both are loaded with sugar. Just think, 12 teaspoons of sugar in a can of pop. Also aluminum may leach out into this acidic stew. Too much aluminum can contribute to osteoporosis, weakening bones.

Sugar sweet and fat rich ice cream is still a weakness. I have shifted happily to fruit and plain yogurt...And notice that I feel good after this. Instead of slower, duller and heavier after ice cream.

It's good to notice how we feel after eating specific foods, and follow what our body tells us....We become more active, more useful. When you cut back on sugar you begin to experience for the first time the true sweetness of natural foods.  I feel years younger and far more energetic after taking this unnatural daily burden from my diet.  My children have gotten used to this beautifully . Now they'll say that a dessert "tastes too sweet....I don't like it!"

Carbohydrate Recommendations

Natural sugars, which are complex carbohydrates in whole grains, cereals, bread and pasta provide ample carbohydrates for our body's energy needs. Add to this fresh vegetables and fruit for their unrefined carbohydrate content, and health promoting load of fiber, minerals, vitamins, protein, essential fats and phytochemicals that protect us from cancer and heart disease.

Fiber

Fiber is one carbohydrate we do not get enough of. I have increased fiber in my diet by eating more bran muffins, bran bread, whole grain for both cereals and bread, including high fiber crackers.  I add 2 big handfuls of wheat bran to every pot of oatmeal and my children like it. This is a reliable cure for constipation.

Some nutritious foods that are high in fiber and bulking include: whole oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur wheat or wheat berries. These foods provide lots of energy and when taken with water make you feel full and satisfied.

Sprouting seeds is an excellent way to add fiber, health protecting phytochemicals and plant enzymes to your diet. Try alfalfa, clover, radish, fenugreek and mung bean sprouts.

I am decreasing my refined flour intake. I use whole wheat and other whole grains for pancakes, waffles, muffins and the like. In the beginning you may use about 1/2 the amount of white flour mixed with the whole grain flower. This will ease the family into the new taste and texture.

Eat Whole Foods and Lose Weight

If you gain weight and cannot lose to a weight that is healthy for you.  Even when on a good unprocessed carbohydrate diet.  Then I recommend a low carbohydrate diet and more protein with less fat restriction.  But only healthy plant fats, essential fatty acids and lots of non-starchy, high fiber vegetables.

I advise you to find an experienced nutritionist to help you do this successfully.

This is what I do: 

  • I try to limit total fat to 25% or less of all my calories. The average American gets about 40% of calories from fat.
  • I try to avoid animal fat, aiming to use more essential fats--the good fats-- from flaxseeds or flaxseed oil.
  • I cook with olive oil or canola oil. Clarified butter or ghee is also beneficial, but I try not to use margarine ever.
  • I avoid butter and other animal fats because pesticides and other toxins like dioxin accumulate in fat tissue and are concentrated there to potentially dangerous levels.

Because we are a step higher on the food chain, we accumulate a greater amount of toxins in our fat when we eat these toxic animals. This bio concentration of toxins is happening all the time.

Another reason to cut your fat consumption is that total kcalory intake is closely tied to cancer risk.  Obesity may actually promote cancer growth.

I like to eat a lot of food. The only way I can do this is to eat less high calory fat and to eat bulking foods, that are filling but low in calories. Fresh produce, vegetables and fruit are ideal. High in fiber, low in fat with lots of minerals, vitamins and enzymes.*

 To learn more about what we feel is the best diet for human beings see: Natural Health with Medicinal Herbs and Healing Foods 
Diet for Natural Health
Diet for Natural Health Interactive Computer disk

*Dr. Corson is a physician at the Healing Arts Center, Ancilla Health Care 
Tel.  (219) 273-5530 Fax (219) 273-5532