We can all agree that the incidence of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases are on the rise and we can probably all agree it has a lot to do with what we are eating. Many of us are choosing to stay away from gluten and wheat, but how many people actually take the time to read the ingredients in the many products they buy? And do you know what ingredients are in the more expensive “organic” alternative?
My son, as a young boy, suffered from Ulcerative Colitis. It is said to be a chronic autoimmune disease that there is no cure for. I found a diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (www.scdlifestyle.com) and after two months on this diet he was no longer anemic and no longer experiencing symptoms. The theory of the diet is that by not eating certain foods we stop feeding the bacteria that is causing the ulcerations. The difficult part was that we had to be “fanatical” about eating only the foods on the diet. Thankfully, there was a list of legal and illegal foods and some basic guidelines like no sugar, starch, lactose, soy or grains. Also, no canned or processed foods are allowed.
We were on the diet “fanatically” for five years and as a result of this, my son was never sick. When I say never sick, I mean that. He’d actually ask if he could take a sick day, and once in a blue moon, I would grant that. No colds, no infections, no chronic illness. Today my son is an adult and doesn’t live with me, but I can assure you while we may not be “fanatical” about this diet, we have taken what we learned and truly subscribe by eating whole foods. We understand how important it is to only put real food in our bodies.
I trained myself to read the ingredient list of any product I was considering purchasing in the grocery store, and out of habit I still do this today. The other day I was going to buy cream cheese after reading the ingredient list I couldn’t buy it. I wouldn’t have known that there’s corn syrup and starch in just about everything including sausage. Packed shredded cheese is coated with starch as a preservative. Yogurts are now being filled with gelatins, tapiocas and starches, mustard (one of the easiest things to make) has all kinds of strange ingredients in it now. High Fructose corn syrup, Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum are in just about everything including almond milk and soy milk and they’re illegal on the diet and bad for us. Here’s one for you, Dole pineapple juice used to be 100% juice, but since 2010 they added vitamins A, C and E. The Vitamin A is bound with cornstarch.
While we can’t control everything in the food supply chain, we can read ingredients and we can educate ourselves. If you really want to start being an advocate for your own health, my advice is read the labels of the food you purchase and take ownership of eating for your health.