I recommend organic foods for my weight loss patients because I want them to eat nutrient dense foods, thus you have to begin with the dirt. The overuse of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical additives for the growth of monoculture genetically modified crops, including corn, soy, rice, canola, and others have wreaked havoc with the soil.
These grain and bean crops grown in this sterile soil are used not only to create overly processed foods, but are the basis for animal feed that is fed to factory farmed meats and farm raised fish. The results are food products with empty calories, unknown long term health effects, and almost certain capacity for making people fat.
Why is this? The ancient wisdom of mankind says you should eat until you are satisfied, and these foods simply don't satisfy us. Add to that the chemicals added to the so-called value-added foods which are put there to replace the natural goodness that has been lost and you have a real problem.
These food additives, with unpronounceable names and unknown derivatives are known categorically as excitotoxins. Did you ever wonder why Dad could sit down in front of the television to watch the ball game and eat an entire package of corn chips? It's the Dr. Strangelove additions designed in the lab to make that food so tasty, Dad's natural satiety switch is turned off.
Those added chemicals, which by the way, even show up on fresh produce that isn't organic by way of sprays and dips, and chemical baths, can derail any weight loss program. Chemicals can increase food cravings, cause water retention, and can actually cause weight gain. These same additives are often allergenic, and can cause insulin to spike, playing havoc with those people who are pre-diabetic, or diabetic.
When I go back to Italy, where my family is from, I am amazed at how much better the food tastes. Europe does not permit genetically modified crops, and, as a rule, does not support factory farming. Therefore, you can see with your own eyes and taste for yourself the fact that fewer people are overweight, and the food just plain tastes better.
But I am encouraged because a food revolution has begun in this country and people are demanding a more humane treatment of animals, are rejecting high fructose corn syrup, soy products made from genetically modified seed, and are calling for locally grown food products, the so-called locavore movement.
In an article I contributed to in January Men's Health, I have discussed the cholesterol problem and shown how saturated fat and carb avoidance increase ldl particle size and decrease risk for heart disease and stroke.
Some of my patients have asked why I don't support a vegetarian diet, given the risks of eating factory farmed meat. The answer to that can be seen in the test tube. I've had numerous vegetarian patients who had elevated blood sugars, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.
The answer which I propose in Dr. Salerno's Silver Cloud Diet is to eat a nutrient rich diet made up of plenty of saturated fat, protein and fruits and vegetables which are organic, grass fed, and wild caught.
I get a lot of surprised looks from my patients when I tell them to eat more saturated fats to lose weight. They will start in telling me they've been eating a low fat diet for years. But they don't make the connection between this diet and their health problems, including overweight, type two diabetes, memory problems, and arthritis.
I explain to them that the body must have saturated fats for proper brain function, cell development, and satiety. Plus it just makes people look better. Fat carries flavor and makes people feel full and satisfied quicker.
I can spot the low fat dieter in a moment. Dry skin, wrinkles, and broken fingernails. Those are the telltale signs that show. Lab work reveals many more.
So I propose that people eat plenty of saturated fat, protein and organically grown fruits and vegetables for optimum health and weight maintenance. It works for my patients.
Dr. John Salerno is an internationally acclaimed physician specializing in weight control and anti-aging. His e-book, Dr. Salerno's Silver Cloud Diet, tackles the subject of organic foods and weight loss. For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Salerno, call Linda Eckhardt at 973 762 4857.