50 Shades of Grain (summary from Dr. William Davis talk)

Dr. Bill Davis

Dr. William Davis (Cardiologist and author of Wheat Belly)

Hi Everyone, Jason’s turn to write a short post.

I was recently in attendance at Dr. William Davis’s second Halifax presentation and would love to provide a short synopsis of his work.  As a cardiologist in practice he has always been interested in treating the cause of disease and not masking problems with medications.  This is our philosophy as well, especially as it relates to pain and dysfunction.  He started his presentation talking about mammals and what each of them would need to eat in order for them to have ideal health and how different mammals have a different nutritional requirement.  For example, a lion needs meat and a cow needs grass, switch their diets and both animals would not be able to survive.  So what is the ideal human diet?  Well there are a million books, a million experts and a bunch of scientific studies proving one model and disproving another.  He explained how the consumption of grains started roughly 10,000 years ago but our genes were not designed or ready for this shift.  He feels we have been given very bad nutritional advice when government, agencies and experts say to watch fat but eat your healthy whole grains (ie: wheat).

In his first book Wheat Belly, he goes into detail about all of the issues that wheat can cause in the human body.  For some people (like me) that enjoy detail, I appreciated his use of examples and clinical experience with real patients.  He has different chapters in the book explaining several health issues including heart disease, diabetes, weight loss, joint issues, autoimmune diseases and more. Tonight, he offered a very short synopsis of what happens when we consume grains and especially wheat. One issue is blood sugar and he makes a point that 2 pieces of whole wheat bread have a higher glycemic index that a Snickers bar. High blood sugar leads to an excessive insulin response. Over time this is what contributes to type 2 diabetes, belly fat, and increased levels of inflammation in the body.

Another issue which can affect our own immune systems is the lack of digestion of certain proteins in wheat and other grains.  When our bodies cannot completely digest a protein such as the wheat protein gliadin, it can affect the lining of our intestines causing them to be “leaky”. When this happens, other proteins and particles cross into the blood stream and our body will mistake it as a threat and mount an immune response. This is what happens in some cases with autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Phytates are chemicals that will block absorption of positively charged minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium. He stated grain induced iron deficiency is the 2nd leading causing of iron deficiency world wide. If you are having iron issues, this is a possible source. We see many patients that respond well to magnesium supplementation for muscle cramps, poor sleeping, etc. What about addressing this potential cause of magnesium deficiency?

He is also very clear to not replace wheat with high starch gluten-free items. While they may be “less bad”, it does not make them healthy.  These items are high in corn starch, potato starch and corn which can also create havoc for our blood sugar and digestive systems.

After removing grains from the diet, he feels the next most powerful step we can make is to optimize our vitamin D levels.  He is also very supportive of having optimal gut flora (found in probiotics and fermented food), which often takes some time to rebuild. He is a huge supporter of omega-3 fish oil and specifically endorses the brand we carry, Ascenta. These recommendations would mimic our basic supplement philosophy and we carry these items at the clinic.

So what can you eat?  REAL FOOD. Healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and organic butter should be staples.  Vegetables should also be a staple. We recommend 8 servings or 4 cups/day. Be careful with excessive fruit intake for blood sugar reasons. Excessive fructose is not ideal for most people. Wild fish, grass fed beef, free range chicken/eggs are quality sources of protein. Nuts and seeds are great snacks and additions. We limit dairy intake and he would advise the same (use with caution as it can also create an immune response in many people).

veggieshealthy meats

I will likely be doing Saturday afternoon or Wednesday evening seminar to fill in some of these details and to help with implementation. If you are interested, please message us or email info@novaspinalcare.ca and your preference of Wednesday evening from 6-9 or a late Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm.

Yours in health,

Dr. Jason Plotsky

How the 3 S’s can impact your life in 2015…

health quote

There is something interesting about the month of December and the holiday season that makes people feel exempt from the laws of the body.  As chiropractors, Jason and I usually see a trend of increased stress that becomes measurable in the bodies of our patients particularly this time of year. The following 3 things are the biggest culprits for causing symptoms in our bodies:

  • Sugar- it has become a well-known fact that over the years, we as a society are consuming excess sugar in our diets. Over the holidays people over-indulge in sugary drinks and sweets laying around at gatherings. Sugar can cause inflammation in the body and can weaken your immune system.
  • Sleep- lack of this key ingredient in our lifestyles can wreak havoc on the systems of our body. I am always shocked at the percentage of patients who begin care experiencing challenges either getting to sleep or sleeping through the night for one reason or another.  Luckily, one of the side benefits of chiropractic care that we see in our patients is better sleep over time.
  • Stress- whether it’s financial, the stress from travelling and having to be in so many places, this can be a stressful time of year for many. We typically get away from our daily routines of exercising and taking supplements which can be added stress as well.

These are the 3 main things to keep in mind not only during this time of year but throughout the year.  Getting symptoms like a cold or flu is not by chance.  This is our body’s way of letting us know we have tripped a switch in our system. Pay attention to which of the above you may have violated and focus on avoiding this throughout the year.  You may then find yourself happier, healthier, and more vibrant by following these simple steps:

  1. Get proper rest.
  2. Limit sugar intake by crowding it out with healthy vegetables; you’ll have less cravings.
  3. Drink an abundance of water.
  4. Take vitamin D.  Our recommendations are within the guidelines of the Vitamin D Council (adults- 5,000 IU’s/day and approx. 2,000 IU’s/day for kids).
  5. Probiotics are essential for proper digestion and affect your immune system.  Take 1 capsule/day (billions of bacteria/capsule with multiple strains).
  6. Take 1 teaspoon of fish oil/day to reduce inflammation and keep your body sufficient of this essential nutrient.
  7. Last but not least, visit your chiropractor to have your nervous system cared for throughout the year. Your nervous system is protected by your spine and controls the function of every cell, tissue and organ in your body.