Top Foods That Cause Inflammation

Inflammation

Inflammation is rapidly becoming one of the most studied topics in mainstream health care and with good reason.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer. Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia, to name a few. In fact, inflammation is rapidly becoming the most widespread illness of the 21st century.

Inflammation was even featured on the cover of the Feb 2004 edition of Time Magazine where it was dubbed “The Secret Killer.” Secret, because where once, chronic inflammation was seen as the effect of these conditions, many in healthcare are now looking to inflammation as potentially the primary cause of these chronic degenerative conditions.

Unlike acute inflammation from trauma, infections, allergies, burns, or cuts which can heal within a short period of time, chronic inflammation is more systemic in nature and can become a repeating cycle of flare ups over the years.

The problem with inflammation is that it is almost entirely due to lifestyle and environmental factors. A toxic environment, poor of sleep, stress, lack of movement will all contribute to inflammation. However, poor nutrition may be the biggest culprit.

Many of the foods we consume on a regular basis, promote the spread of inflammation throughout the body. For example:

Sugar – Diets high in refined sugars tend to produce a large rate of inflammation throughout the body due to their acidic load. Refined sugars are found in almost all packaged foods especially in concentrated forms like high fructose corn syrup.

Vegetable Oils – Industrial fats and vegetable oils produce trans fatty acids that can increase inflammation and damage blood vessels. Polyunsaturated fats such as corn, soy, safflower and cottonseed oils are also found primarily in packaged foods and restaurant applications.

Grains – Most grains eaten today, including their whole grain varieties, are refined, processed and treated with pesticides and other chemicals. More importantly, wheat, rice, corn, etc. contain gut-irritating proteins that cause inflammation along the digestive tract. Gluten intolerance is an example of this process.

Food additives – Often used as flavor enhancers and preservatives. There is some speculation that these additives, such as MSG and colorings found in processed meats and packaged foods, will trigger an inflammatory response in people already suffering from chronic inflammation.

Reducing inflammation form food sources is potentially a simple solution to a number of different illnesses and chronic degenerative conditions.

By eating a clean, nutritionally dense, whole food based diet consisting of vegetables, lean organic meats, low sugar fruits, nuts and seeds, we can begin to gain control over a condition that has limited the lives of so many.

Examining The Science Of Weight Loss [Part 2]

col-maxhealth-march6In my previous column, we examined the science of weight loss. While conventional wisdom states that eating too many calories will cause us to gain weight, the science supporting this idea doesn’t always hold up.

As we continue to investigate, we find that the current obesity epidemic is a complicated problem, with multiple causes and individual differences in susceptibility. In other words: What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

However, there are a few simple principles of health and nutrition that may be true for the majority of people seeking to lose weight.

The first and most important step a person can take is to begin by eating natural, real foods. This would include foods found on the periphery of the grocery store – vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean proteins – and not the packaged and canned foods down the aisles.www.drchrischatzoglou.com

Packaged foods contain high amounts of sugar, salt and hydrogenated fats, all of which have been shown to contribute to the obesity epidemic by stimulating pleasure centres in the brain.

In his new book, “Salt, Sugar and Fat,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Moss investigated the practice of the packaged food industry to chemically engineer addictive food products.

“The optimum amount of sugar in a product became known as the “bliss point.” Food inventors and scientists spend a huge amount of time formulating the perfect amount of sugar that will send us over the moon,” he said.

Avoiding foods that are chemically engineered to make us eat more of them would be a good starting point.

The second most important factor, when it comes to weight loss, is understanding that the problem goes beyond food. Frequent movement and exercise may be as important as what we eat.

Considering the fact that only 15% of all Canadians meet the required amount of daily exercise, it is clear there are other factors at play in the obesity epidemic.

Take time for 15-minute fitness breaks throughout the day. Exercise does not have to be difficult or painful. It could be as simple as a walk around the block, playing with your kids, taking the stairs instead or playing sports. The key is to move frequently.

Finally, a discussion of weight loss would be incomplete without acknowledging the role that stress and sleep deprivation play in weight gain.

The fact is, most Canadians are stressed and sleep deprived. The average person gets only 6.9 hours of sleep a night. This is simply not enough for proper rest and recovery from a stressful day.

Chronic sleep deprivation changes affect how hormones like leptin, ghrelin, cortisol and insulin store fat. Fortunately, getting eight hours of sleep, proper nutrition and exercise can reset these hormones over time.

Weight loss fads may come and go over the years, but basic principles of health and wellness such as proper nutrition, exercise and sleep, will always withstand the test of time.

Remember that healthy weight loss should always be a product of a healthy lifestyle and not necessarily the main objective.

Examining The Science of Weight Loss [Part 1]

Weight lossMost Canadians, approximately 61%, are considered overweight or obese. Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry consisting of how-to books, fat-burning supplements and surgical procedures designed to curb appetite and shed pounds.

While there are many diets and programs that claim to help you lose weight, very few of them have stood up to scientific scrutiny and have withstood the test of time.

Early weight-loss diets focused mainly on caloric intake. Researchers thought that weight gain was exclusively due to eating too many calories.

Simply put: We were consuming too much energy from food and not expending the same amount of energy through daily activity. Consequently, the leftover calories were then stored as fat.

While this model appeared to be correct at the extreme ends of the spectrum, restricting calories without paying attention to food quality proved to not be the healthiest approach.

www.drchrischatzoglou.comBy the 1970s, researchers believed that overconsumption of saturated fat was the reason people became overweight. Partially based on the work of Dr. Ansel Keys, saturated fat became Public Enemy No. 1 for the next 40 years.

Canadians were encouraged to do away with traditional cooking oils, such as lard and butter, and replace them with vegetable oils and margarine. Unfortunately, obesity and heart disease rates skyrocketed during this period of fat phobia, especially among children.

There has recently been renewed interest in low-carbohydrate diets. The first recorded use of a low-carbohydrate diet to treat obesity was in 1863 and was the standard of care up until the 1940s. Today, many people who have incorporated a low-carbohydrate diet have already experienced incredible results.

This is because the Standard Canadian Diet consists of a large refined carbohydrate intake from bread, rice, pasta, sugars, sodas and juices. The Canada Food Guide even recommends that the majority of our calories come from refined carbohydrates.

Unfortunately, excess carbohydrates (sugars) are quickly stored as fat. Also. many new studies have shown that excessive carbohydrate intake leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even certain cancers.

It would seem that replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and good fats could dramatically improve overall health and keep the weight off.

However, this is only one piece of the obesity puzzle.

Newer studies point to certain packaged foods as a culprit in the obesity epidemic. They are cheap, readily available and these “foods” are now chemically engineered to stimulate pleasure sites in the brain.

Essentially, food companies are now creating addictions in adults and children and some people can’t help but eat foods that are unhealthy.

As time goes on, we find that obesity is a more complicated issue than simply what and how much we eat. Additional studies have shown individual differences in weight loss due to vitamin D levels, stress, quality of sleep may also play a role.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss. However, there are some basic principles that hold true for (almost) everyone.

In my next column, we will review simple lifestyle changes you can make to for healthy weight loss.

You Are What Your Mom Ate

mother's nutritionA growing number of researchers believe a mother’s nutrition status before and during pregnancy may be one of the critical periods in our lives.

Influencing everything from brain function, IQ and even fat metabolism, what mother’s nutrition during pregnancy (and even before pregnancy) may be the single most important factor in determining lifelong health for your child.

The idea that a mother’s nutritional status can have an effect on a child’s future health is not a new concept. The theory, first proposed by British researcher David J. Barker in the 1980s, has even spawned a new field of study called “The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.”

Many conditions such as certain cancers, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease, mental illness and some degenerative conditions have already been studied for their fetal origins.

In short, the environment – particularly the environment within the womb – has the ability to re-write your genes and determine your future health.

Unfortunately, other that suggesting they take a multivitamin and folic acid supplements, moms-to-be are given very little nutritional advice. Hardly any are given “pre-conception” nutritional advice.

Here are some general nutritional recommendations during pregnancy. Everyone is slightly different so make sure you speak to your healthcare provider for more specific recommendations:

  1. Do not diet. Now is not the time to go low calorie. You are, in fact, eating for two. Weight gain is a natural part of the process.

  2. Eat green, leafy vegetables every day. Include some fruit, such as berries.

  3. Increase carbs, but make sure they are the right kind. Pastas, rice and grains while high in carbohydrate content, carry very little nutritional value compared to vegetables and starchy tubers, like sweet potatoes and yams.

  4. Increase good fats. Wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, nuts, butter, omega 3 supplements, olive oil are just some examples of good, healthy fats.

  5. Avoid sugar and packaged foods. Junk food carries very little nutritional value and is full of chemicals. To stave off cravings, opt for protein and fat instead.

These recommendations, based on whole, nutrient dense foods, will help give your child a head start in life.

————–

The following list is just a small sampling of the literature on the subject:

  • The metabolic syndrome. In a 2011 paper, Bruce et al showed that the onset of metabolic syndrome is “increasingly likely following exposure to suboptimal nutrition during critical periods of development”.
  • Heart disease & diabetes. In 2002, Barker, the father of the DOHaD hypothesis, published a paper suggesting that slow growth during fetal life and infancy – itself a consequence of poor maternal nutrition – predisposes individuals to coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension later in life.
  • Breast cancerHilakivi-Clarke, et al . “Thus, maternal diet and environmental exposure might increase the risk of breast cancer by inducing permanent epigenetic changes in the fetus that alter the susceptibility to factors that can initiate breast cancer.”
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)Dumesic et al 2007. This paper suggested that insulin resistance and resulting increases of testosterone during pregnancy promotes PCOS during adulthood.
  • ObesityKalliomaki et al 2008. These researchers found that simply by studying the composition of the maternal gut flora (influenced by nutrition, medications, stress, etc.) they could predict which children will be overweight by age 7!

Teens and Adults Both at Risk for Heart Disease

heart diseaseThe Heart and Stroke Foundation has warned the public of an impending “perfect storm” where young adults are now being diagnosed with heart disease. Coupled with the increasing number of baby boomers already suffering with heart disease, the so-called “storm” will continue to place an increased strain on an already bloated healthcare budget.

Currently, provincial governments spend approximately 30% of taxpayer’s money on sick care. With more and more young adults being diagnosed with heart disease, that number is expected to rise to 50% within the next decade. In the meantime, Canada already spends close to $22 billion annually on heart disease and stroke.

How can we fix this problem? As usual, politicians will call for more tax money, the medical profession will call for better drugs and the public will continue to hope that someone will jut “fix” them when they get sick.

Of course, no one will be talking about prevention. Sure, someone will suggest more tests and early detection as a solution however; medical tests can only tell you when you’re already sick and early detection is not prevention.

Everyone in healthcare knows that most heart disease is preventable with simple lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, not smoking, drinking less etc. We know that prevention is the key eliminating much of the sick care costs, yet there will be no mention of the drastic lifestyle changes which are truly required to prevent disease and illness.

Never mind the fact that the documented benefits of alternative healthcare systems will continue to be ignored by policy makers. For example, research has shown that people under regular chiropractic care reduce health care spending and medical visits by 31%. They take fewer medications and they have less sick days but you won’t hear anyone telling you to see your chiropractor, naturopath, massage therapist etc…

While policy makers are arguing over how to pay for this problem, I would suggest you take your health into your own hands: Learn to eat well, exercise everyday, manage your stress and take care of your body. If you don’t know how, consult an expert who can set you in the right direction. Yes it will be hard to change at first, however, the more you invest in your health and prevention now, the greater the returns later.

Wellness Wednesday – “Take Back Yor Power” Movie Night

take-back-your-powerMovie Night – Wednesday January 14, 2015 at 6:15PM
InTouch Chiropractic
555 West 12th Ave. Suite 580 East Tower
<CLICK HERE TO REGISTER>

Is your Smart Meter making you sick? What are “Smart” Meters?

The basis of the “smart” grid are commonly referred to as “smart meters.”  These are digital and (almost always) wireless utility meters that have the ability to harvest a vast array of personal information and transmit it to corporations and governments in wireless radiation bursts.  Though this issue at first seems innocuous, are set to have profound consequences for all aspects of our life and even nature.

Preview the movie here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXDFllquOMw

What’s happening in this movement, and why?

Utility customers around the world are choosing to take a stand against the installation of smart meters for the same reasons:

Cost increases: a) on utility bill; and b) massive taxpayer-funded government expenditures;

Privacy, and loss thereof;images.duckduckgo

Rights, and loss thereof;

Health effects of smart meter radiation

Grid vulnerability: entire power grid extremely hackable;

Fires & damage: more than 900 smart meter fires to date;

The Bigger Picture: A sense that corporations are now going too far in their quest for ever-greater control, at the expense of human freedom, basic rights and the entire planet’s ecosystem

How To Make New Years Resolutions That Last

vancouver chiropractorNew Year’s celebrations are an ideal time to reflect on our past success and challenges, as well as make new plans for the future.

Whether you resolve to make better health choices this year, change careers or begin that weekend project you’ve been putting off, New Years resolutions are essentially promises we make to ourselves to be better than we were last year.

However, many people will start the year out right with a new routine, motivation and a gym pass in hand only to fall back into same old routines and bad habits once the holidays are over.

In fact, the average New Years resolution will fail within a few short days of the start of the calendar year.

The reason for this is the difference between simply being motivated to change and being truly inspired to improve your health and subsequently, your life. In other words, if there is no purpose behind the change, other than a new calendar year, then chances of success are low.

How many diet/exercise/nutrition books did you read this year? Great information is exciting and can motivate you to make some changes in your life, but these changes are only temporary when there is no inspiration to continue.

How can someone get truly inspired to improve his or her health? Consider these statistics:

● Canada is the seventh most obese country in the world according to World Health Organization statistics.

● Diabetes rates have increased 70% since 1995. Type II diabetes is no longer called “adult-onset” because it now occurs in children as young as five.

● Heart disease and cancer are the top two disease killers, most of which can be attributed to lifestyle.

This year, instead of making the same old New Years resolutions, decide to make permanent, lasting, transformational changes for your family’s health.

Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. It will take planning, research and commitment to make it happen, so stick with it!

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Also, if you need some extra help, send me an email and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Make it a great year!

Want to Live to 100? Follow these simple steps.

UnknownWhenever I would suggest that my patients develop a plan to live to 100 and beyond, it would usually elicit groans, complaints and sometime panic. After all, who wants to live to be 100 years old, sick, on tons of medications, and unable to live life to its fullest?

Fortunately, there is good news for those pessimists out there: New research is showing that living to 100 may be easier than you think.

Currently, we have a generation of baby boomers that have watched many of their parents’ retirement years be stolen away by chronic disease and physical injury. Their impression of growing old is one of suffering and disability.

For the most part, this has been true. Over 80% of the population will die of either heart disease or cancer. The average Canadian currently fills 14 prescriptions every year, while the average senior will fill even more than that. If you look around, you’ll see Canadians are living longer, but they are not healthier.

The secret to longevity involves a complex dance between lifestyle, environment, social structure and genetics. While many of the recent studies on centenarians -people that live to 100 and beyond – have focused on genetic factors, they have also revealed certain common traits among the longest lived people in the world.

One interesting fact is that they tend not to get sick as often and when they do they tend to recover very quickly. Also, they do not seem to suffer from the same lifestyle-related illnesses that plague modern society such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

There are several common lifestyle factors among these centenarians. For the most part the did not smoke, they drank moderately, their diets were high in vegetable content, they had positive social influences, low stress and they were still active later on in life.

Researchers have also identified certain gene mutations that can predict longevity with some accuracy; however, it remains unclear whether these genetic mutations were hardwired at birth or epigenetic changes that occur as a result of those very same healthy lifestyle practices.

Here’s what the centenarians did to build incredible health and longevity:

Have a plan – Most centenarians had a daily routine for their diet, exercise and social activities. Surprisingly, they also regularly set goals for the future.

Eat real food – Centenarians rarely ate processed foods and consumed copious amounts of green, leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, good fats and lean healthy meats, especially oily fish.

Move – Any kind of exercise was better than none. Daily walking or other low impact activities combined with some resistance training (lifting weights) seemed to have the biggest impact on longevity.

Play – Staying mentally active whether through reading, learning new activities, puzzles, or even working beyond retirement, were also predictors of longevity.

Sleep – People that sleep 8 hours or more a night live longer and are less likely to develop heart disease and other illnesses.

The bottom line is, lifestyle plays a dominant role in living to 100 and beyond.

———-

P3PTF9HNHADK

There Is Hope For Digestive Problems

As the quality of the standard Canadian diet has continued to decline steadily, more individualsthan ever before are being diagnosed with digestive problems. Celiac disease, IBS, and Crohn’s disease are much more prevalent today and for some people, may lead to a life of chronic digestive problems and abdominal pain.

While it may be easy to criticize the “gluten free” movement as a fad, it is important to understand that these conditions are now quite common among adults and children today. There is even research to suggest that 1 in 20 people have some form of gluten reactivity, many just won’t show it.

The human digestive tract is essentially a long “tube” that starts at the mouth and ends at, well, the other end. It is the job of the digestive organs, such as the stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder and intestines, to extract and absorb nutrients from the foods that you eat. Digestive enzymes and fluids are secreted to aid in this process and when functioning normally, this system is very efficient.

However, if the digestive tract becomes irritated by sugars, gluten, processed foods etc., absorption of nutrients and movement of waste will slow down causing a variety of symptoms. All of these symptoms, whether its celiac, Crohn’s or IBS start with inflammation.

Constipation, diarrhea, pain, bloating and bleeding are all signs that something is inflamed within the digestive system. Some of these symptoms may require emergency care, which is why parents should never ignore “tummy aches” in children, especially if accompanied by a fever.

Fortunately, for many people suffering from these illnesses, there is new research that provides hope. Diets that focus on eliminating common foods that cause the inflammation, tend to produce the best results.

A wheat-free, grain-free, diet low in refined sugars and processed foods can give the digestive tract a chance to heal and repair, causing many of the symptoms associated with these digestive problems to resolve in a relatively short period of time.

For some people with chronic digestive problems, the solution may be as simple as introducing more water and natural fiber into the diet. Also, a diet rich in dense, plant-based fiber creates a “scrubbing” effect in the colon and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the small and large intestine.

Finally, you should consider a trip to your family chiropractor. Not only is he/she trained to provide you with nutritional counseling, we have found that chiropractic adjustments help normalize the nerves that control the digestive tract.

This was shown recently in a study of 57 Crohn’s Disease patients receiving chiropractic care. Proper nervous system function is always an important factor in nutrient absorption and colon motility and can make all the difference in world for individuals suffering with digestive problems.

Workshop: Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Wed Dec 10th @ 6:30pm – 7:30pm

InTouch Chiropractic – 580-555 West 12th Ave. Vancouver, BC

RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR THIS VERY IMPORTANT WORKSHOP

Did you know that the average person gains at least one pound during the holidays? That is like tacking 16 ounces of shortening or four sticks of butter onto your frame. People who are already overweight tend to gain more than a pound… studies report some gain up to seven to ten lbs!

Join us at a life-changing health workshop that will help you restore sanity to the holiday season and keep the weight OFF! 

You’ll Learn:
•    How to avoid holiday weight gain
•    The dangerous effects of sugar
•    How to stay stress free during the holidays
•    How to avoid toxins

Click Here to reserve your spot