At a young age habits are formed and if negative associations are linked to food that children are forced to eat it develops into a lifelong resistance. Is this why so many people live on junk food?

Some adults flatly refuse to eat vegetables and it is easy to see how this happens. When parents forbid children to eat unhealthy items, especially if they are wheat intolerant and have already developed a very sweet tooth it only make matters worse. What you resist will persist and a reactive eating strategy takes over: a worship of takeaways, fluffy white rolls and fizzy drinks. Sadly many adults fall into this category and are not a good example for young children to follow.

Fat Tuesday fat chance

We try to give children a healthy start in life, regardless of how we personally eat at home. We load up school lunch boxes with carrot sticks and other healthy snacks without considering the child’s peer group and the pressure they feel they have in conforming to the same likes and dislikes that are deemed to be cool. To them bread, rolls, cakes, sweets and biscuits are cool. Do we really think they don’t eat junk food when they get the chance? Do we stop buying bread, sweets, sugar-laden juices and fizzy beverages and fatty fries and have these readily available? Admittedly it is a cheap and convenient way to stop the hunger pangs and junk food is readily available at any corner store.

The convenience store

As a child I was horribly embarrassed by my Mom’s efforts to produce unique home-made (very flat) brown bread sandwiches stuffed with Marmite, cheese, tomato and lettuce leaves. All I wanted was huge fluffy white bread jam sandwiches like everybody else. I was an oddball! I used to hide my sandwiches and share the cool food that friends gave to me instead.

Good nutrition and a Mother who forced cod liver oil and vitamin syrup down my throat? Not cool in those days. Being the odd one out was an ordeal for me but throughout my junior and high school days I never was sick. At home we thrived on home-grown vegetables, fresh farm milk and other simple nutritious foods. I did not have to conform to the eating habits of my peers at home. I did not suffer from tonsillitis, appendicitis, sinusitis, bed wetting, colds and flu and other common childhood maladies either!

What happens when we eat junk food and skip the vegetables?

Food that has no real nutrient value (junk food) sets up an inner hunger within the body. Starving cells and tissues cannot survive without the key nutrients that fresh fruit, vegetables and a good balance of healthy fats and lean protein provide. The brain receives signals of distress and hormones stimulate the appetite for more and more food to glean a few minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and essential fatty acids from it.

Craving chocolate can upset your blood sugarCredit: Sue VisserDogs love unhealthy treats

The effects of a carbohydrate overload

If the diet is based on excessive refined carbohydrates and trans-fatty acids and little else the liver takes strain. Enzymes can no longer be released to control hormones like testosterone. The 5 alpha reductase enzyme in particular will then release free dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into the bloodstream. When this happens, insulin resistance sets in. It is the precursor to high blood pressure and raised levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and finally non-insulin dependent diabetes. (Type 2 diabetes.)

The blood sugar flies high

Should we treat the symptoms of insulin resistance with drugs?

The sad thing is that high blood pressure caused by poor eating habits is not recognized as one of the first warning signs of insulin resistance. The patient is told that high blood pressure is a danger to the heart. It is, but it also shows that the body is lacking in Omega 3 oils, magnesium, and potassium and so on. A high blood pressure medication is given to the patient but it will not correct the nutritional deficiencies and it does not stop the patient from eating badly. When the cholesterol level is also high, a cholesterol lowering prescription is given. How about controlling the diet?

The group of drugs known as statins is a popular choice and one of the worst side effects is dementia and often an increased vulnerability to some forms of cancer.

Statin drugs rob the system of co-enzyme Q 10 Patrick Holford and Jerome Burn, authors of the book: Food is Better Medicine than Drugs tell us that a deficiency of this enzyme is a major cause of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and angina. Does your doctor know this? Good dietary sources are: sesame seeds, walnuts, sardines and mackerel but larger amounts are needed. Co-enzyme Q 10 supplements are a more effective and reliable way to prevent these problems in the first place.

Wheat is not the staff of life

Stage 3 of insulin resistance is type 2 diabetes

When blood pressure and bad cholesterol increase and poor eating habits continue the next stage is type 2 diabetes. Excessive carbohydrates and glucose molecules flood the bloodstream with too much sugar at one time. The pancreas releases insulin to bind the glucose molecules and store them as triglycerides if they are needed at a later stage. But over time the sugar levels in the blood creep up, due to insulin resistance. At this stage glucose molecules no longer respond to the insulin signals. So we call it non-insulin dependent diabetes. In many such cases it turns out to be the effects of a major deficiency of chrome and other minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Even a simple spice like cinnamon is now being recommended by some naturopaths to improve insulin sensitivity.

A blood sugar test indicating the onset of type 2 diabetes comes as a shock to a patient who has been to the doctor and has passed the blood pressure and cholesterol examination with flying colours - due to the medications that are merely suppressing the symptoms of insulin resistance. Obviously the patient is then given the third prescription: blood sugar control medications. So with three sets of drugs to control the three stages of insulin resistance the patient goes home for another round of “healthy” pasta.

People love to complain about being so sick

All those ills and all those pills and then come the side effects of the drugs they take to exacerbate the misery of lousy eating habits. By the time people tell me of their distress they are also taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills to smother these side effects. I receive many letters from such people and I painstakingly set out a suitable eating plan for them. I suggest a list of supplements that include Omega 3 oil, multivitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes and other key nutrients.

How many servings a day?

 I recommend doctors they can consult who are familiar with the fundamentals of natural medicine and tell them to seek professional help, especially if they intend to wean themselves off medications. I seldom if ever receive a note of thanks or even a reply for my trouble and this usually tells me that they could not be bothered to get out of their comfort (sick) zone. But I sympathise with them. I know that a common reason is that their medical aid is not willing to fork out for special health foods, supplements and a doctor who is not within their domain of paid-up practitioners. It is inconvenient to change shopping habits and look for organic produce at a higher cost.

Money can’t buy me health?

When it comes to health and detoxification protocols, making your own herb and vegetable juices and cutting out all food that does not suit you can make one feel overwhelmed. It also means taking responsibility for your own health.  Most letters I receive are from people who love to list all their complaints and then hopefully get a magic pill to solve all their self-imposed problems.

It is easier to take drugs you don’t have to pay for and receive free medical help because then you don’t have to really care about your lifestyle or what you eat. One old lady managed to control her high blood pressure with a special herb tea her friend gave her. But she still went to the government clinic every month to collect her disability grant for being on chronic medication. She took the pills home and tipped them down the toilet. She drank her herb tea and laughed because the doctor was so pleased with her blood pressure.

Why are we so fat? Does diabetes run in the family?

Take a look around you. Some families look the same from the back. Big and wide! Bad eating habits do run in the family. Some families may be genetically more susceptible to certain diseases but not as much as one may think. Junk food cravings and the way people give in to them also run in families. It is not by any genetic curiosity that obesity is on the rise. So is food consumption! Super-sized portions are served at most fast food outlets to pander to junk food cravings and bulging waistlines. The question remains: do we teach our children to eat so they get sick? The answer is easy enough to figure out.

Children can soon latch on to the perceived benefits of being sick. Illness receives attention and sympathy. It is a grand excuse to cop-out of certain commitments and confrontations because nobody argues when you display evidence of being incapacitated by an illness. Sometimes you may be faking them to escape writing an exam, for instance but it may become a habit and you turn into a hypochondriac. Children watch their parents. They live with people who say: “Not now darling, I have a headache.” Now that’s a good mantra!

They hear Mom or Dad saying: “I’m so sick and tired, I’m too depressed.” People get depressed when the starch laden comfort food they eat robs the body of tryptophan. This results in a serotonin deficiency and causes depression. It is no wonder that antidepressants are the most widely prescribed of all drugs. To learn more about the treatment causes of depression you can read my article at Info Barrel.

Our eyes have grown bigger than our stomachs. At parties and festive occasions we politely stuff ourselves with even more food than we consume at regular meal. Soon after a big rich meal people in the early stage insulin resistance find that their blood sugar drops. Intense hunger and cravings, especially for sugar set in and another attack on sweets, biscuits and chocolates takes care of the rest of the evening. During the night when an insulin rush causes blood sugar levels to drop once again; the familiar trip to the refrigerator is made to satisfy the effects of what we call an insulin roller coaster.

Why do dogs beg from children at the dinner table?

We all know that vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet but it depends on how well they are cooked and presented to us. If the father of the house brings home a pile of hamburgers, chips, white bread rolls and sugar-laden fizzy drinks for a family treat the damage has already been done. By definition the term “treat” is then associated with foodless food that is in many ways very harmful to the health of any human being.

Children get away with being cute - spitting out Mom’s vegetables and feeding it to pets under the table because they associate it as something not nice, not a treat. “No, I don’t like this.” Even without tasting it. Everybody laughs but it is not funny and only serves to sabotage the credibility of the parents who tell their children one thing and then do another. But all too soon there is a birthday party for one of the kids. What do we do? More treats, sweets and harmful food!

Another meal of hamburgers, fries, rolls, pasta, ice cream and cakes is washed down with a few cold fizzy drinks. We even give the little guests bags of sweets and party treats to take home because all the children associate such an onslaught on a fragile little digestive system as a treat. Then at the family dinner table we make a turnabout and force children to eat all their “balanced” meal consisting of some form of protein and few vegetables with potatoes or pasta and other forms of gluten. We threaten them if they don’t eat it all up.

We nag, scorn and beg them to clear their plates. The dog under the table gets fatter! Many dogs are on diabetic medications like their owners. Dogs are very sensitive to simple sugars and are not designed to slurp up carbohydrates, especially mashed potatoes. So the pancreas takes strain. I was shocked to see a poster about canine diabetes at the animal clinic but the staff told that it does happen and they have to treat the animals.

Diabetic dogs from our food

Why are we surprised when our child wets the bed? This is no accident and parents who understand the effects of wheat intolerance will agree that the child is not guilty. The wheat onslaught causes the bladder to go into a spasm and then urine cannot be retained. You know what happens next. The child is intimidated; the parents are embarrassed and look for pills to prevent enuresis.

Make it clear to the family what unsuitable food is and what it does to your health.

Many parents are unaware of wheat and gluten intolerance. It is advisable to investigate further and a number of excellent tests are available to find out what the trigger foods are. They are invariably wheat, gluten, and milk or soya beans. A sugar aggravated insulin resistance also causes a lot of common health problems in young children (and your pets) these days. Parents do not understand the role of a vigilant immune system because they too, tend to prefer the junk food.

Then they respond to the quotes from people who claim to be health gurus. They begin to eat “healthy” and substitute white bread for whole wheat bread and wonder why they still feel sick. The problem is that eating foods that do not suit your blood type can cause bad reactions in some people, albeit the so-called healthy whole grains and legumes.

One cannot solve a problem at the same level at which it was created

How many colds do people catch every year, how many snotty little noses do you see when children eat foods that cause mucous and sinus problems and attract parasites? We need to root out all the refined carbohydrates, trans-fats and loads of sweets and substitute them with nutritious foods. The saying that one cannot solve a problem at the same level at which it was created is one of Einstein’s best insights, especially when it concerns unhealthy eating habits. A higher level of nutritional consciousness means: selecting only food that really suits you and eliminating any that don’t. Let food be your medicine.

Gluten intolerance should not be tolerated. Kick the habit of wheat dependence.

But starchy, sugary comfort foods are cheap and easy to get so people have made a staple diet of them. Then they buy remedies for coughs, colds and flu more than ever before. They are horrified when I suggest they cut out bread because then they say they have nothing else to eat. Hearing this from a personwho suffers from perpetual diarrhoea, sinus problems, a weak bladder, fatigue, anaemia and constant brain fog is very common when I present a talk about healthy happy eating. Most  gall bladders that are surgically removed are due to wheat eating. Wheat erodes joints and robs them of glucosamine.

There is nothing happy about eating food that wrecks your health, especially when symptoms of wheat and gluten intolerance are so blatant. The sooner you make the effort the better it will be.

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