Column #120

Many people are concerned about harsh chemicals and frequently express their concerns for air quality (indoors and outdoors), cleaning products, food contaminants, lawn treatments, and water purity. Marketers advertise the organic, nontoxic nature and purity of their products, and the advantages of buying their cleansing gizmos. Consumers buy into their claims because they fear for their health. Yet rarely do consumers ask if the increased cost of purifying their environment is actually eliminating the harsh chemicals that cause their health issues.

Harsh chemicals and chemical deficiencies are the culprit in nearly all chronic diseases. So what’s the primary source for the chemistry that negatively impacts our health? It’s food. Every food selection is a composition of various chemicals (elements and compounds). This is food chemistry.

When I refer to food selections as packages of chemicals, I’m not referring to food colorings, preservatives, antibiotics, added hormones, or even traces of agricultural chemicals both organic and conventional. I’m referring to the inherent chemistry that makes all foods such as oats, corn, almonds, beef, eggs, oranges, kale and such differ from one another. The totally of the chemical differences, as perceived by the body, ranges from supportive, to neutral, to harsh.

Our government has a food nutrient data bank called the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. Most food items from supermarkets to fast food outfits have been analyzed. In many cases the data are usually accurate and more extensive than what’s on a nutrition label.

Unfortunately, when it comes to meats, the data are not complete like they are for many non-meat items. Also, the Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) profiles for meat are all over the ballpark and not labeled properly as grass-fed or finished in a feedlot. I’ve seen plain ground beef with 1:1 EFA ratios and grass-fed with 5:1 ratios. The researches did not know how to properly label their samples because they did not know the exact meat source nor understand how the feeding of animals impacts its nutrients. This is why we analyze our own meats and work with research that is based solely on known animal sources.

The government’s website presentation is not user friendly. That’s why private sector sites, such as NutritionValue.Org and Condé Nast’s, exist. They build user friendly sites using USDA data.

Most people assume approved nutrition labels provide the critical facts needed to make a rational decision. But that isn’t the case. Labels do provide serving size, calories, quantities of fat, protein, sugar, carbohydrates, and list a few vitamins. But that information only scratches the surface because it ignores the most important fundamental nutrition factors which are:

●    Nutrient diversity and density
●    Glycemic Index/Load
●    The EFA balance

We are inundated with ads promoting various “super” foods that provide a particular “super” nutrient. But our bodies require the full spectrum of nutrients which includes the “super nutrients.” If many nutrients in a so-called super food are missing or in the wrong balance, that food is a problem, not a solution.

Nutrient density is critically important. Iceberg lettuce has a full spectrum of nutrients, but compared to kale it’s nutrient lite. You can’t eat enough iceberg lettuce to support life.

Avoiding sugars and surgery foods (even some fruit) is of paramount importance. Sugars and carbohydrates cause energy bursts that bodies store as fat causing obesity and other health issues. These high glycemic offerings also aggravate fungal infestations, cancers, and cause mood swings! That’s why it’s better to power our bodies with fats and protein.

The proper function of our brains, nerves, and immune systems are critical for health. Scores of studies indicate they perform best when the EFA balance is close to 1:1. Their function is marginal at 4:1. The problem is Americans are mostly up around 10:1 or higher. Knowing which foods push that ratio up is critical because excessive quantifies of Omega-6 are inflammatory which I’d call a “harsh chemical.”

If we eat high glycemic, nutritionally deficient foods that raise our EFA ratios, we are overdosing harsh chemicals directly into our bodies. These harsh chemicals, mainlined into the inter workings of our bodies, is about as abusive as it can get. No amount of clean living can compensate for the internal destruction of persistently consuming the wrong chemicals.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory Website

NutritionValue.Org website

Condé Nast’s website

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease and in Growth and Development by Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos

The Importance of the Ratio of Omega 6 Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids by Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos

Food Analysis: GI, GL, Fat Ratio, Nutrient Load, and Inflammation Tables

What's the Data on Grass-Fed Beef for Calories, Fat, Saturated Fat, & Protein

Ted Slanker’s Blood Test from Omega-3 Test

Cancer: The Untold Story by Ted Slanker

Understanding Glycemic Index and Load by Ted Slanker

Fat or Sugar? by Ted Slanker

Kale, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories by NutritionData

Lettuce, Iceberg (includes crisphead types), Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories by NutritionData