Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.

Building A Healthy Paleo Diet

Lean proteins

Lean proteins support strong muscles, healthy bones and optimal immune function. Protein also makes you feel satisfied between meals.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing a number of degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes and neurological decline.

Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fish oil and grass-fed meat

Scientific research and epidemiological studies show that diets rich in Monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats dramatically reduce the instances of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline.

Saturated fat has been demonized by our health authorities and media. What is the basis for this position on Saturated fat? Are current recommendations for VERY low saturated fat intake justified? How much saturated fat (and what types), if any should one eat? Without a historical and scientific perspective these questions can be nearly impossible to answer. In this paper Prof. Cordain looks at the amounts and types of saturated fats found in the ancestral diet:Saturated fat consumption in ancestral human diets: implications for contemporary intakes.

One of the greatest deviations away from our ancestral diet is the amounts and types of fat found in modern grain feed animals vs. the amounts and types of fats found in grass fed or wild meat, fowl and fish. What we observe is wild meat is remarkably lean, and has relatively low amounts of saturated fats, while supplying significant amounts of beneficial omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA. In this paper Prof. Cordain and his team analyze the complete fatty acid profile from several species of wild deer and elk. The take home message is that free range meat is far healthier than conventional meat: Fatty acid analysis of wild ruminant tissues: Evolutionary implications for reducing diet-related chronic disease.

Health Benefits

For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough.  Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.

With a very simple shift we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is a great paper from Professor Loren Cordain exploring how to build a modern Paleo diet: The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups. This paper also offers significant insight as to the amounts and ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat in the ancestral diet.

Robb Wolf: Paleo Diet

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Autoimmune Diseases

A Holistic Approach to Challenging Immune Disorders

It’s estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from some sort of autoimmune condition or immune system imbalance. As prevalent as they are misunderstood, autoimmune disorders are often misdiagnosed and can be challenging to treat. While most cannot be “cured,” you can significantly reduce your symptoms with a holistic health approach and lead an active lifestyle.

What is an autoimmune disease?

A regularly-functioning immune system is designed to protect itself from micro-organisms and other “foreign” substances. Autoimmune disorders are caused by a malfunctioning immune system which mounts a defense against one or more of your body’s normal systems, creating anti-bodies that attack its own cells, tissues and/or organs. The inflammation and damage leads to autoimmune disorders.

What are some examples of autoimmune disorders?

Generally speaking, autoimmune diseases fall into two categories: 1) systemic autoimmune disorders, which damage many organs or 2) localized autoimmune diseases, which affect a single organ or tissue. Systemic autoimmune diseases include, but are not limited to: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and Gullian-Bare syndrome. Localized autoimmune diseases include multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Graves’ disease and others.

How do I know if I’m suffering from an autoimmune disease?

Symptoms are very specific to the disorder you suffer. These diseases are unpredictable, and it be can be challenging to arrive at a diagnosis. You may suffer muscle and joint pain, general muscle weakness, frequent infections, rashes and skin conditions, fatigue, weight loss, hair loss and other concerning conditions. It’s critical that if you are experiencing these symptoms that you notify your physician and evaluate all possible treatment options.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Autoimmune Diseases

Too often, the response from conventional medicine is to treat the condition using various medications. What’s often missing from the equation is a comprehensive analysis of the many factors that cause your immune system to react the way it does. Without this knowledge, you suffer needlessly with trial-and-error approaches that do not get to the root of the problem.

At Sheehan Chiropractic, we believe it’s absolutely essential to take the time to understand our patients’ unique conditions, symptoms and reactions to outside factors. Whether you’ve chosen to undergo traditional medical treatment or are looking for alternative to medications, you can benefit from the holistic approach we take to understanding your condition.

Here are just a few of the factors we evaluate to develop a customized treatment plan for you:

Food Allergies. Allergic reactions to the foods we consume can have severe results, and research suggests food allergies are far more common then we may recognize. For example, upward of 97% of patients with autoimmune diseases have been shown to have gluten intolerances.

Heavy Metal Toxicity. The practitioner must consider the significance of possible heavy metal exposure and its lasting effects on the body, for clients of all ages. Exposure to heavy metals is shown to magnify the effects of gluten sensitivity, and adversely affect the nervous system and immune system.

Chemical Toxicity. Commercially-produced chemicals can also have a significant influence on your body’s immune system.

Adrenal Dysfunction. Stress, poor nutrition and frequent infections can weaken your adrenal glands, causing further symptomatic complications associated with your autoimmune disease.

Electromagnetic Imbalances. Electromagnetic influences are found everywhere in today’s society and can have a profound effect on your health and specific condition.

Biochemistry. By evaluating your organ function, enzyme and bowel flora production and correcting any structural imbalances, we can help improve the functioning of your nervous system with treatments that may include laser and nutritional therapy, and gentle chiropractic adjustments.

Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease can be difficult to accept and cope with. But with the guidance, support and implementation of our customized program, we’ve experienced remarkable success rates and have seen patients regain their normal lives and sense of well-being.

Dr. Keith Sheehan is a Chiropractor and Holistic Practitioner practicing at 428 N. Duke Street in beautiful downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheehan has had 12 years experience helping his clients with a wide variety of physical and biochemical conditions, using an individually tailored wellness approach and natural therapies. His clients appreciate his caring and direct approach his helpful, knowledgeable staff. To schedule a nutritional or chiropractic assessment, or for more information, please contact Dr. Sheehan at (717) 392-6606.

Glycemic Index (Lecture #2)

What is the Glycemic Index?
Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs – the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.

What are the Benefits of the Glycemic Index?

Eating a lot of high GI foods can be detrimental to your health because it pushes your body to extremes. This is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals.

  • Low GI diets help people lose and manage weight
  • Low GI diets increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • Low GI carbs improve diabetes management
  • Low GI carbs reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Low GI carbs improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Low GI carbs can help you manage the symptoms of PCOS
  • Low GI carbs reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
  • Low GI carbs prolong physical endurance
  • High GI carbs help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
  • How to Switch to a Low GI Diet
  • The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply a “this for that” approach – ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don’t need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.
  • Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
  • Use breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
  • Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
  • Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
  • Use Basmati or Doongara rice
  • Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
  • Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
  • (Sheehan’s note: I would also advise avoiding glutens-even if they are low GI. For example, substitute rice or quinoa pasta for wheat pasta, and buckwheat or gluten-free oat cereal for breakfast cereals based on gluten-containing grains, switch from potatoes to sweet potatoes or yams).

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.
Recent studies from Harvard School of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet. In 1999, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended that people in industrialised countries base their diets on low-GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases of affluence, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Measuring the GI

To determine a food’s GI rating, measured portions of the food containing 10 – 50 grams of carbohydrate are fed to 10 healthy people after an overnight fast. Finger-prick blood samples are taken at 15-30 minute intervals over the next two hours. These blood samples are used to construct a blood sugar response curve for the two hour period. The area under the curve (AUC) is calculated to reflect the total rise in blood glucose levels after eating the test food. The GI rating (%) is calculated by dividing the AUC for the test food by the AUC for the reference food (same amount of glucose) and multiplying by 100 (see Figure 1). The use of a standard food is essential for reducing the confounding influence of differences in the physical characteristics of the subjects. The average of the GI ratings from all ten subjects is published as the GI of that food.

The GI of foods has important implications for the food industry. Some foods on the Australian market already show their GI rating on the nutrition information panel. Terms such as complex carbohydrates and sugars, which commonly appear on food labels, are now recognized as having little nutritional or physiological significance. The WHO/FAO recommend that these terms be removed and replaced with the total carbohydrate content of the food and its GI value. However, the GI rating of a food must be tested physiologically and only a few centres around the world currently provide a legitimate testing service. The Human Nutrition Unit at the University of Sydney has been at the forefront of glycemic index research for over two decades and has tested hundreds of foods as an integral part of its program. Jennie Brand Miller is the senior author of International Tables of Glycemic Index published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995 and 2002.

What is the difference between glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL)?
Your blood glucose rises and falls when you eat a meal containing carbs. How high it rises and how long it remains high depends on the quality of the carbs (the GI) and the quantity. Glycemic load or GL combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in one number’. It’s the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food.

The formula is:

GL = (GI x the amount of carbohydrate) divided by 100.
Let’s take a single apple as an example. It has a GI of 40 and it contains 15 grams of carbohydrate.
GL = 40 x 15/100 = 6 g
What about a small baked potato? Its GI is 80 and it contains 15 g of carbohydrate.
GL = 80 x 15/100 = 12 g

So we can predict that our potato will have twice the metabolic effect of an apple. You can think of GL as the amount of carbohydrate in a food ‘adjusted’ for its glycemic potency.
Should I use GI or GL and does it really matter?

Although the GL concept has been useful in scientific research, it’s the GI that’s proven most helpful to people with diabetes. That’s because a diet with a low GL, unfortunately, can be a ‘mixed bag’, full of healthy low GI carbs in some cases, but low in carbs and full of the wrong sorts of fats such as meat and butter in others. If you choose healthy low GI foods-at least one at each meal-chances are you’ve eating a diet that not only keeps blood glucose ‘on an even keel’, but contains balanced amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

We suggest that you think of the GI as a tool allowing you to choose one food over another in the same food group-the best bread to choose, the best cereal etc.-and don’t get bogged down with figures. A low GI diet is about eating a wide variety of healthy foods that fuel our bodies best-on the whole these are the less processed and wholesome foods that will provide you with carbs in a slow release form. So what’s the take-home message?

Choose slow carbs, not low carbs

Use the GI to identify your best carbohydrate choices.
Take care with portion size with carb-rich foods such as rice or pasta or noodles to limit the overall GL of your diet.

(Sheehan’s note-GI should be used in conjunction with other food systems such as no sugar, no gluten)

Do I need to eat only low GI foods at every meal to see a benefit?

No you don’t, because the effect of a low GI food carries over to the next meal, reducing its glycemic impact. This applies to breakfast eaten after a low GI dinner the previous evening or to a lunch eaten after a low GI breakfast. This unexpected beneficial effect is called the “second meal effect”. But don’t take this too far, however. We recommend that you aim for at least one low GI food per meal.

While you will benefit from eating low GI carbs at each meal, this doesn’t have to be at the exclusion of all others. So enjoy baking your own bread or occasional treats. And if you combine high GI bakery products with protein foods and low GI carbs such as fruit or legumes, the overall GI value will be medium.

Why do many high-fibre foods still have a high GI value?

Dietary fibre is not one chemical constituent like fat and protein. It is composed of many different sorts of molecules and can be divided into soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fibre is often viscous (thick and jelly-like) in solution and remains viscous even in the small intestine. For this reason it makes it harder for enzymes to move around and digest the food. Foods with more soluble fibre, like apples, oats, and legumes, therefore have low GI values.

Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, is not viscous and doesn’t slow digestion unless it’s acting like a fence to inhibit access by enzymes (eg. the bran around intact kernels). When insoluble fibre is finely milled, the enzymes have free reign, allowing rapid digestion. Wholemeal bread and white bread have similar GI values. Brown pasta and brown rice have similar values to their white counterparts.

Does the GI increase with serving size? If I eat twice as much, does the GI double?
The GI always remains the same, even if you double the amount of carbohydrate in your meal. This is because the GI is a relative ranking of foods containing the “same amount” of carbohydrate. But if you double the amount of food you eat, you should expect to see a higher blood glucose response – ie, your glucose levels will reach a higher peak and take longer to return to baseline compared with a normal serve.

If testing continued long enough, wouldn’t you expect the areas under the curve to become equal, even for very high and very low GI foods?

Many people make the assumption that since the amount of carbohydrate in the foods is the same, then the areas under the curve will finally be the same. This is not the case because the body is not only absorbing glucose from the gut into the bloodstream, it is also extracting glucose from the blood. Just as a gentle rain can be utilised better by the garden than a sudden deluge, the body can metabolise slowly digested food better than quickly digested carbohydrate. Fast-release carbohydrate causes “flooding” of the system and the body cannot extract the glucose from the blood fast enough. Just as water levels rise quickly after torrential rain, so do glucose levels in the blood. But the same amount of rain falling over a long period can be absorbed into the ground and water levels do not rise.

Why doesn’t the GI of beef, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocadoes, many fruits (including berries) and vegetables, wine, beer and spirits appear on the GI database?
These foods contain no carbohydrate, or so little that their GI cannot be tested according to the standard methodology. Bear in mind that the GI is a measure of carbohydrate quality. Essentially, these types of foods, eaten alone, won’t have much effect on your blood glucose levels.

Some vegetables like pumpkin and parsnips appear to have a high GI. Does this mean a person with diabetes should avoid eating them?
Definitely not, because, unlike potatoes and cereal products, these vegetables do not contain a lot of carbohydrate. So, despite their high GI, their glycemic load (GI x carb per serve divided by 100) is medium. These vegetables contain loads of micronutrients and can be consumed as part of a healthy balanced meal.

Can you tell me the GI of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and spirits)?
Alcoholic beverages contain very little carbohydrate. In fact, most wines and spirits contain virtually none, although beer contains some (3 or 4 grams per 100 mL). A middy of beer (10 ounces) contains about 10 grams of carbohydrate compared with 36 grams in the same volume of soft drink. For this reason, a beer will raise glucose levels slightly. If you drink beer in large volumes (not a great idea) then you could expect it to have a more significant effect on blood glucose. As for enjoying an occasional drink, researchers from the University of Sydney found that a pre-dinner drink tends to produce a ‘priming’ effect, flicking the switch from internal to external sources of fuel and keeping blood-sugar levels low.
Why does some variability occur in the GI for the same food types?
The GI database confirms the reproducibility of GI results around the world. White and wholemeal bread, apples, breakfast cereals etc give the same results wherever/whoever tests them. Where there is variability, there are four possible explanations:

  1.  Some GI testing groups are not as experienced/accurate as ours. They use venous blood which gives more variability than capillary blood. If we test a product over and over again, we get the same result +/- 5%. That’s as good as nutrient data such as protein, fat, fibre etc.
  2. The variability among different types of potatoes, rices, and oats is REAL. They contain different types of starch (amylose, amylopectin) and that affects the degree of starch gelatinisation. When it comes to sugars like fructose, the concentration of the solution makes a difference to the rate of gastric emptying and therefore the glycemic response. A more dilute solution, say 25 g fructose in 500 mL water will have a higher GI than 25 g fructose in 250 mL. But fructose has a very low GI whichever way you consume it.
  3. Sometimes the manufacturer may change the formulation of their product by reducing the fat content for example. Reducing the fat can increase the GI. Manufacturers may have their products retested if they make significant changes to the formulation, or source ingredients from different suppliers.
  4. Some foods have been tested in people with type 2 diabetes. These values may be higher than that seen in the normal population. Follow the food links in the GI database to find more information on the testing conditions.
    Why does pasta have a low GI?

Pasta has a low GI because of the physical entrapment of ungelatinised starch granules in a sponge-like network of protein (gluten) molecules in the pasta dough. Pasta is unique in this regard. As a result, pastas of any shape and size have a fairly low GI (30 to 60). Asian noodles such as hokkein, udon and rice vermicelli also have low to intermediate GI values.
Pasta should be cooked al dente (‘firm to the bite’). And this is the best way to eat pasta – it’s not meant to be soft. It should be slightly firm and offer some resistance when you are chewing it. Overcooking boosts the GI. Although most manufacturers specify a cooking time on the packet, don’t take their word for it. Start testing about 2-3 minutes before the indicated cooking time is up. But watch that glucose load. While al dente pasta is a low GI choice, eating too much will have a marked effect on your blood glucose. A cup of al dente pasta combined with plenty of mixed vegetables and herbs can turn into three cups of a pasta-based meal and fits easily into any adult’s daily diet.

Most breads and potatoes have a high GI. Does this mean I should never eat them?
Potatoes and bread, despite their high GI, can play a major role in a high carb/low fat diet, even if your goal is to reduce the overall GI. Only about half the carbohydrate needs to be exchanged from high to low GI to derive health benefits. Of course, some types of bread and potatoes have a lower GI and these should be preferred in order to lower the GI as much as possible.

The good news for potato lovers is that a potato salad made the day before, tossed with a vinaigrette dressing and kept in the fridge will have a much lower GI than potatoes served steaming hot from the pot. There are a couple of simple reasons for this. The cold storage increases the potatoes’ resistant starch content by more than a third and the acid in the vinaigrette whether you make it with lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar will slow stomach emptying.

What about flour? If I make my own bread (or dumplings, pancakes, muffins etc) which flours, if any, are low GI? What about sprouted grain breads?
To date there are no GI ratings for refined flour whether it’s made from wheat, soy or other grains. This is because The GI rating of a food must be tested physiologically that is in real people. So far we haven’t had volunteers willing to tuck into 50 gram portions of flour on three occasions! What we do know, however, is that bakery products such as scones, cakes, biscuits, donuts and pastries made from highly refined flour whether it’s white or wholemeal are quickly digested and absorbed.

What should you do with your own baking? Try to increase the soluble fibre content by partially substituting flour with oat bran, rice bran or rolled oats and increase the bulkiness of the product with dried fruit, nuts, muesli, All-Bran or unprocessed bran. Don’t think of it as a challenge. It’s an opportunity for some creative cooking.
Bread made from sprouted grains might well have a lower blood-glucose raising ability than bread made from normal flour. When grains begin to sprout, carbohydrates stored in the grain are used as the fuel source for the new shoot. Chances are that the more readily available carbs stored in the wheat grain will be used up first, thereby reducing the amount of carbs in the final product. Furthermore, if the whole kernel form of the wheat grain is retained in the finished product, it will have the desired effect of lowering the blood glucose level.

Some high fat foods have a low GI. Doesn’t this give a falsely favourable impression of that food?

Yes it does, especially if the fat is saturated fat. The GI value of potato chips or french fries is lower than baked potatoes. Large amounts of fat in foods tends to slow the rate of stomach emptying and therefore the rate at which foods are digested. Yet the saturated fat in these foods will contribute to a much increased risk of heart disease. It is important to look at the type of fat in foods rather than avoid it completely. Good fats are found in foods such as avocadoes, nuts and legumes while saturated fats are found in dairy products, cakes and biscuits. We’d all be better off if we left the cakes and biscuits for special occasions.

(Sheehan Note: saturated fats are not as evil as this article makes them out to be. It depends on the type of saturated fat. Please see the notes from the January 31st lecture.)
Why not just adopt a low carbohydrate diet (like the Atkins diet) to keep my blood glucose levels and weight down?
Recent studies show that low carb diets such as the Atkins diet produce faster rates of weight loss than conventional low fat diets. The probable mechanism is lower day-long insulin levels – allowing greater use of fat as the source of fuel – the same mechanism underlying the success of low GI diets. We believe that low carb diets are unnecessarily restrictive (bread, potato, rice, grains and most fruits are restricted) and may spell trouble in the long term if saturated fat takes the place of carbohydrate. Low GI diets strike a happy medium between low fat and low carb diets – you can have your carbs, but must choose them carefully.

Is there a GI plan for nursing mothers?

A low GI diet is ideal while you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires a lot of energy and theoretically this additional energy comes from the body fat laid down during pregnancy. Of course in reality it doesn’t all get used up and most have to make a concerted effort to work off the baby weight. To do this though it is important that you don’t go on a low calorie diet or any sort of extreme measure such as the low carb diets popular in the press. Since breastfeeding tends to increase your appetite (the body’s way of ensuring you have the energy required to produce milk) this is good news as staying on such a diet would be a nightmare! This is what makes the low GI approach so successful – forget about trying to count calories or even your portions of food.

First and foremost focus on the sorts of foods you are eating. Low GI foods are the wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables and legumes. By eating these foods as the mainstay of your meals you can trust your appetite and eat to satisfaction while you are breastfeeding. Also get back to some exercise – even if it’s just a daily walk with the pram/carriage. You should then find that the weight slowly starts to shift – realistically give yourself at least that first six months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.
How relevant is the GI for athletes?

The GI can be a useful tool to help athletes select the right type of carbohydrates to consume both before and after exercise. Studies have consistently reported that a low GI pre-exercise meal results in a better maintenance of blood glucose concentrations during exercise and a higher rate of fat oxidation. This is likely to result in reduced muscle glycogen utilisation during prolonged exercise and possibly improve endurance performance. Eating high GI meals before exercise may result in plasma glucose concentrations peaking before the onset of exercise and then hypoglycemia occurring within the first 30 minutes of the exercise period. There is little data available on the effect of the GI of carbohydrates eaten before intermittent, power or strength related sports.
During recovery from exercise, muscle glycogen resynthesis is of high metabolic priority. The eating of high GI carbohydrates after exercise increases plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and this facilitates muscle glycogen resynthesis. If however, you are exercising for weight loss purposes or are involved in weight restricted sports, low GI carbohydrates after exercise may be more beneficial as the lower glucose and insulin concentrations will not suppress fat.

I have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten sensitivity). It’s extremely hard to find both low GI and wheat-free foods. Any suggestions?

This is not as hard as you may think! There are low GI gluten-free foods in four of the five food groups.

Fruit and Vegetables

Temperate climate fruits – apples, pears, citrus (oranges, grapefruit) and stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots) – all have low GI values. Tropical fruits – pineapple, paw paw, papaya, rockmelon and watermelon tend to have higher GI values, but their glycemic load (GL) is low because they are low in carbohydrate.

Leafy green and salad vegetables have so little carbohydrate that we can’t test their GI. Even in generous serving sizes they will have no effect on your blood glucose levels. Higher carb starchy vegetables include sweet corn (which is actually a cereal grain), potato, sweet potato, taro and yam, so watch the portion sizes with these. Most potatoes tested to date have a high GI, so if you are a big potato eater, try to replace some with lower GI starchy alternatives such as sweet corn, yam or legumes. Pumpkin, carrots, peas, parsnips and beetroot contain some carbohydrate, but a normal serving size contains so little that it won’t raise your blood glucose levels significantly.

Bread and Cereals

Opt for breads made from chickpea or legume based flours. For example chapattis made with besan (chickpea flour) have a low GI. If you make your own bread, try adding buckwheat kernels, rice bran and psyllium husks to lower the GI. Most gluten-free breads seem to be better toasted than used to make sandwiches.

Breakfast cereals containing pysllium husks are likely to have a lower GI – you could also add a teaspoon or two of pysllium to you usual cereal. To date there are just a few gluten-free breakfast cereals on our database that have a low GI. If you do have a higher GI gluten-free cereal, combine it with lots of fruit and low fat yoghurt or low fat milk, to lower the GI.
Noodles are a great stand-by for quick meals, a good source of carbohydrate, provide some protein, B vitamins and minerals and will help to keep blood glucose levels on an even keel. There are several low GI gluten-free options available fresh and dried: buckwheat (soba) noodles; cellophane noodles, also known as Lungkow bean thread noodles or green bean vermicelli, are made from mung bean flour; rice noodles made from ground or pounded rice flour, are available fresh and dried.

Gluten-free pastas based on rice and corn (maize) tend to have moderate to high GI values so opt for pastas made from legumes or soy. As for wholegrains, try buckwheat, quinoa, low GI varieties of rice such as basmati and sweet corn. Currently there are no published values for amaranth, sorghum, and tef. Millet has a high GI.

Minimise refined flour products and starches irrespective of their fat and sugar content such as crispy puffed breakfast cereals, crackers, biscuits, rolls, most breads and cakes or snack foods. Limit high GI snacks such as corn and potato chips, rice cakes, corn thins and rice crackers.

Legumes (pulses) including beans, chickpeas and lentils
When you add legumes to meals and snacks, you reduce the overall GI of your diet because your body digests them slowly. So make the most of beans, chickpeas, lentils, and whole and split dried peas.


Although nuts are high in fat (averaging around 50 per cent), it is largely unsaturated, so they make a healthy substitute for foods such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, potato chips and chocolate. They also contain relatively little carbohydrate, so most do not have a GI value. Peanuts (actually a legume) and cashews have very low GI values.
Low fat dairy foods and calcium-enriched soy products

Low fat milk, yoghurt and ice-cream or soy alternatives provide sustained energy, boosting your calcium intake but not your saturated fat intake. Check the labels of yoghurts, ice-cream and soymilks as many contain wheat-based thickeners. If lactose intolerance is a problem, reach for live cultured yoghurts and lactose-hydrolysed milks. Even ice-cream can be enjoyed if you ingest a few drops of lactase enzyme first.

Is a low GI diet suitable for vegetarians?

The low GI diet is just as easy for a vegetarian to follow – in fact, teaching vegetarians to follow the low GI diet can be easier because most are eating many of the best low GI foods already. For the vegetarian, the same principles apply: substitute your plant protein sources for the meat. Eat more beans, lentils and other legumes – all among the lowest GI foods we have tested. Quorn is also a great meat substitute with no GI as it has almost no carbohydrate (2 g/100 g).

Some additional points:

The GI only applies to foods containing significant amounts of carbohydrate. Most vegetables have small amounts of carbohydrate and those that provide more usually have a low GI, with the exception of potatoes. You can therefore tuck into your veggies without considering the GI for every one – and benefit from antioxidants and all the micronutrients they supply!

Legumes should be a daily part of any vegetarian diet for your protein – happily these are also a mainstay of a low GI diet.

Almost every low GI food we talk about in the book is suitable as part of a vegetarian diet. Animal products are usually high in fat, protein or both and therefore do not have a GI.
The range of protein and carb intake that is healthy is fairly broad – as a vegetarian you will inevitable have a higher carb intake and slightly lower protein intake. This makes the GI important for you but easy to adapt if you choose wholegrain cereal products and legumes as your carbohydrate base.

Coffee has no carbohydrate (unless you add sugar and/or milk and the GI response comes from these foods) and hence it is not in the GI tables.


Here’s a quick chart of Glycemic index values I found on the internet.

Glycemic Index of Cereals

  • Kellogg’s All Bran 51
  • Kellogg’s Bran Buds 45
  • Kellogg’s Cornflakes 84
  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies 82
  • Kellogg’s Special K 54
  • Oatmeal 49
  • Shredded Wheat 67
  • Quaker Puffed Wheat 67
  • Glycemic Index of Grains
  • Buckwheat 54
  • Bulgur 48
  • Basmati Rice 58
  • Brown Rice 55
  • Long grain White Rice 56
  • Short grain White Rice 72
  • Uncle Ben’s Converted 44
  • Noodles (instant) 46
  • Taco Shells 68
  • Glycemic Index of Fruit
  • Apple 38
  • Banana 55
  • Cantaloupe 65
  • Cherries 22
  • Grapefruit 25
  • Grapes 46
  • Kiwi 52
  • Mango 55
  • Orange 44
  • Papaya 58
  • Pear 38
  • Pineapple 66
  • Plum 39
  • Watermelon 103
  • Glycemic Index of
  • Vegetables
  • Beets 69
  • Broccoli 10
  • Cabbage 10
  • Carrots 49
  • Corn 55
  • Green Peas 48
  • Lettuce 10
  • Mushrooms 10
  • Onions 10
  • Parsnips 97
  • Potato (baked) 93
  • Potato (mashed, instant) 86
  • Potato (new) 62
  • Potato (french fries) 75
  • Red Peppers 10
  • Pumpkin 75
  • Sweet Potato 54
  • Glycemic Index of Beans
  • Baked Beans 48
  • Broad Beans 79
  • Cannellini Beans 31
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) 33
  • Lentils 30
  • Lima Beans 32
  • Navy Beans 38
  • Pinto Beans 39
  • Red Kidney Beans 27
  • Soy Beans 18
  • White Beans 31
  • Glycemic Index of Pasta
  • Spaghetti 43
  • Ravioli (meat) 39
  • Fettuccini (egg) 32
  • Spiral Pasta 43
  • Capellini 45
  • Linguine 46
  • Macaroni 47
  • Rice vermicelli 58
  • Glycemic Index of Breads
  • inc. Muffins & Cakes
  • Bagel 72
  • Blueberry Muffin 59
  • Croissant 67
  • Donut 76
  • Pita Bread 57
  • Pumpernickel Bread 51
  • Rye Bread 76
  • Sour Dough Bread 52
  • Sponge Cake 46
  • Stone Ground Whole wheat bread 53
  • Waffles 76
  • White Bread 70
  • Whole Wheat Bread 69
  • Glycemic Index of Dairy
  • Milk (whole) 22
  • Milk (skimmed) 32
  • Milk (chocolate flavored) 34
  • Ice Cream (whole) 61
  • Ice cream (low-fat) 50
  • Yogurt (low-fat) 33
  • Glycemic Index of Snacks
  • Cashews 22
  • Chocolate Bar 49
  • Corn Chips 72
  • Jelly Beans 80
  • Peanuts 14
  • Popcorn 55
  • Potato Chips 55
  • Pretzels 83
  • Snickers Bar 41
  • Walnuts 15
  • Glycemic Index of Cookies
  • Graham Crackers 74
  • Kavli Crispbread 71
  • Melba Toast 70
  • Oatmeal Cookies 55
  • Rice Cakes 82
  • Rice Crackers 91
  • Ryvita Crispbread 69
  • Soda Crackers 74
  • Shortbread Cookies 64
  • Stoned Wheat Thins 67
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Water crackers 78
  • Glycemic Index of Sugars
  • Fructose 23
  • Glucose 100
  • Honey 58
  • Lactose 46
  • Maltose 105
  • Sucrose 65

Diet Basics (Lecture #1)

The Different Food Groups, and How much You Should Eat of Each Every Day

Many are confused by the current trend of many different types of diets. Hi-carb, low-carb, Atkins, vegetarian, vegan, South-Beach, HCG, and list goes on. What I want to do is give you a general overview of the different food groups, and a general idea of how much you need of each, for overall health. Before we get started, though, I should start off by saying that everyone is different, and so they need different amounts of each food group. This is a good starting place, however.

Non-Starchy Vegetables-Non-Starchy vegetables are extremely nutrient and fiber dense. They should make up the bulk of one’s diet. My favorites are kale, brussel spouts, cauliflower, dandelion greens, romaine, carrots, beets, radishes, celery, peppers, sweet potatoes(even though they are starchy, they are also loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, much more so than the other starchy vegetables), yams, onions, mushrooms, and so on (this is not an exhaustive list). Notice that I did not mention corn, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables. These are more of a starch, and even though they are good for you, they are very dense in carbohydrates, and really should be eaten in very small quantities (especially by American standards). In returning to health, we should really eat these non-starchy vegetables as often as possible, at least 3 times a day. Vegetables should be your snacks, especially when paired with a good protein source, such as raw cheese, eggs, nut and seed butters, and hummus. To aid in detoxification of the body, the more you eat of these, the better. Some people agree, some don’t, but I juice veggies every morning. Just make sure that if you juice, you juice mostly veggies, you shouldn’t juice much fruits at all (definitely do not try to juice a canned ham).

About juicing: some say to leave the fiber in, but, for most people (myself included), I just don’t have time to prepare food all day! So I juice in the morning, which ensures I get a ton of veggies in my diet every day. I juice: kale, cucumber, carrots, beets (with the greens), watercress, dandelion greens, ginger, and parsley. I get this in every morning. It’s a little rough going down, but it definitely helps me stay healthy. It goes without saying that if you eat a lot of veggies in your life, every day, you will most likely have lower cholesterol, blood pressure, weigh less, and have much less of a chance of getting cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and so on. Eat your veggies! Or at least do like I do, and juice a ton of them! Try to get in at least 5 servings a day.

Here’s a rundown of the therapeutic benefits of vegetables: celery lowers blood pressure, beets (with the greens attached) and carrots detoxify the liver and gallbladder, and will lower cholesterol, dandelion greens, parsley, cucumber and asparagus detoxify the kidneys, cabbage juice is good for ulcers, kale (along with the other cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and bok choy) is anti-cancerous, and is excellent for detoxifying the liver. That’s just a partial list, but a good start.

As an aside, I think it’s very important to get organic veggies where possible, it seems that non-organic veggies have all sorts of garbage in them that are linked to cancer and hormonal problems, in both men and women.

Fruits-I love fruits, of all types, but, sadly, we really should eat more veggies than fruits. You should try and eat twice as much veggies as fruits. Try and always go organic with fruits, the pesticides they put on them are just scary. What’s worse is that the pesticides get through the skin, and you can’t wash them off! Stick with organic.

Fruits can be very therapeutic. Apples fight high cholesterol, liver and gallbladder problems, help in weight loss, and clean out the arteries. Cherries lower uric acid levels (help with gout), lower H1AC levels in diabetics, and lower blood sugar. I prescribe cherries to anyone with feet pain, arthritis or not, as it often helps. Blueberries help most, if not all brain degenerative diseases. A cup a day is very therapeutic. Cranberries help heal the urinary tract of infections. Lemons balance pH. Grapefruit aid in weight loss, and are great sources of bioflavonoids. Papaya and pineapple have natural enzymes that are great for digestion. These are just some of the benefits of different fruits.

Overall, I would say that I eat 1-3 servings of fruit a day, and so should you. One of the easy ways to get them in my diet is to eat my Lydia’s Organics Grain Free Granola. Its recipe is based on apples, sprouted nuts, seeds, and other dried fruits. Also, the different protein shakes I suggest usually use fruits as an ingredient.

By the way, I love all fruits, berries, bananas, apples, pears, whatever-bring it on!

Proteins-I put all proteins in the same category, for ease of treatment, even though they are very different. This category includes meat, fish, chicken, dairy, eggs, sprouted nuts, seeds, and legumes. Notice how I did not include soy, or seitan. Soy is almost always genetically modified, and most preparations of it are known to include goitrogens and carcinogens in them, so I just stay away from them. Seitan is usually just wheat gluten, the number one food allergy. So I stay away from soy and seitan.

Make sure that any meat you eat is grass fed, without antibiotics, and hormones. Having meat that is grass fed ensures that it is high in omega 3 fatty acids, the type that is all over the news right now. You don’t have to take much, if any, fish oil if you eat grass fed beef.

Eggs and chicken should be from cage free chickens, once again, because they are higher in omega 3 fatty acids, and lack the antibiotics and hormones given commercially farm raised chickens.

Fish should always be wild caught, never farm raised. Farm raised fish are fed all sorts of garbage, have lower omega 3 fatty acid contents than wild caught, and tend to have a lot more disease. Stay away from them at all cost.

Raw dairy is a great, but mostly overlooked source of protein. Why is raw dairy so good, you might ask? Well, we will have one whole class based on raw dairy, but suffice to say, it’s a great source of essential fatty acids, undenatured (raw, uncooked protein), and it adds tons of variety to your diet. It’s a fact that all tribes on earth ate raw dairy at one time, except for one in Africa, so it’s natural for most humans to eat it. Not only that, but Lancaster County is the proverbial raw dairy capitol of the country! Just make sure it is from properly inspected, certified providers, otherwise, it can be dirty, and you can get sick. I consume about 1 gallon/wk of raw milk, a pound of raw cheese, and get my hands on as much raw cottage cheese as possible!

Raw, sprouted seeds, nuts and legumes are not as high, or complete as the aforementioned sources of protein, but they are high in natural enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also a Godsend for vegetarians, and add spice to omnivore’s diets as well. To sprout seeds, nuts and legumes, just get them raw, and organic, soak them overnight, rinse in the morning, and consume as you would any seed, nut, or legume. You can even cook the legumes for any recipe you would normally have legumes in it. Raw, sprouted seeds, nuts, and legumes are great for keeping you regular.

So there’s a bunch of different types of protein. How much should you eat? Well, depending on your size, activity level, and body type, I recommend 10-30 grams/meal. Depending on your activity level and body type, I recommend 3-6 meals/day. It’s not so much as how much you should have per day, as much as how much you should have per meal. Why do you need to have it every meal? Well, it helps to stabilize blood sugar, and other hormones in the body.

Grains-The human body did not evolve eating much grain, and, therefore, I don’t see it as important as the previous 3 food groups. Most treating doctors (or at least ones with education on nutrition) agree that, as a culture, we really over consume and put way to much emphasis on grains. There is tons of evidence that gluten containing grains should be avoided by around 75% of the population. Since most people who come to see me already have some sort of health problem, I just tell them to avoid glutens until further notice. Guess what? Those that do almost always tell me how much better they feel! When I first started practice, some patients just wouldn’t get better. Well, guess what? About 90% of them did when I put them on a gluten free diet. So that is step one in my nutritional program now.

If you are going to eat grains, at least eat only half as much as you used to eat, and go for strictly gluten free grains, such as quinoa, long grain brown rice, amaranth, millet, gluten free oats, and buckwheat. I eat about 1-2 servings of grain per day, usually quinoa or buckwheat. It’s in my favorite cereal from Lydia’s Organics. As an added bonus, buckwheat especially keeps you regular.

Fats-Alright, I’m just going to get this out of the way: fat is not bad for you! What’s more, if it’s the good fats, it’s very good for you!

Coconut oil has been shown to support thyroid and immune function, and helps you burn fat! In fact, the type of fat that is primarily in coconut oil is almost impossible to store as fat!

There are tons of books out right now about the advantages of fish oil. Fish oil will help lower blood sugar, decrease cholesterol, triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, helps depression and anxiety, strengthens the immune system, and reportedly even fights cancer! Unless you get enough of the oils found in fish from raw dairy, grass fed beef, wild caught fish and free range chickens, you should definitely take a fish oil supplement.

And what about raw butter? Well, here’s a list of some of the researched benefits of raw butter:

  1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
  2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
  3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
  4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
  5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
  6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
  7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
  8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
  10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
  11. Protects against tooth decay.
  12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
  13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
  14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
  15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
  16. May promote fertility in women.9
  17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
  18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
  19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
  20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.
    Those are my three favorite oils. However, other good oils are flax seed oil (high in omega 3 fatty acids, although not the ones found in fish oil, so generally, not as good for you), and olive oil (high in monounsaturated fats, it’s known to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It also displaces harmful omega 6 fatty acids from cells). Honorable mention fats include sesame seed oil, almond oil, walnut oil, macadamian oil.

Any oil high in omega 6 fatty acids should be avoided, including: sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils. The human body needs a fatty acid profile of roughly 1:1 of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids. However, most processed foods are loaded with omega 6 fatty acids, even hydrogenated omega 6 fatty acids. That’s why I say to go for the omega 3 fatty acids, and other oils not high in omega 6 fatty acids, this will help you rebalance you fatty acid ratio.

So what are the dangers of eating too many omega 6 fatty acids in ratio to omega 3 fatty acids? If your ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids is too high, you run a higher risk of pain, inflammation, and blood clotting. Recently, scientists have found that inflammation is and integral part of the chronic disease process of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and so on. So, basically, a poor omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is kind of a stepping stone for chronic disease to take place in your body.

Water-Last but not least, there’s water. I find that this is one of the biggest and most easily correctable deficiencies and humans. 75% of patients with back pain who were deficient in water decreased their pain when they started drinking it. I can personally attest that I have a number of patients with herniated discs that did not get better with previous chiropractic care until they started drinking water. Water helps to detoxify the kidneys, urinary bladder, colon, skin, and lungs. I recommend drinking pretty much anything but tap water. Some say that spring water is best, some day reverse osmosis: I just make sure that what they are drinking doesn’t have junk in it, like tap water. By the way, it’s best to purify your shower/bath water too. Did you know that showering with chlorinated water is like drinking 6 glasses of chlorinated water? You absorb a huge amount through your skin.

I don’t know why I put this list at the end, but here it is: a chart of different juices and their benefits

Juice Benefits

  • Cucumber juice—Cleanses your kidneys, lowers high blood pressure and improves skin problems.
  • Beet juice– Cleanses the blood and strengthens the gall bladder and liver.
  • Broccoli Juice— Boosts immune systems helping to fight viruses, bacteria and cancer.
  • Carrot Juice—Carrot Juice has numerous benefits. High in vitamin A helps in maintaining good prenatal health, eyesight, bones and teeth, liver and nails, skin and hair.
  • Cabbage Juice—It has ulcer-healing capabilities, but should be used in conjunction with a doctor’s prescribed therapy.
  • Tomato Juice— Contains Lycopene, helps in fighting cancer.
  • Garlic Juice— This flavorful juice acts well against cataract and cold. It has anti bacterial properties. It is used in the treatment for tuberculosis, entercolitis, amoebic dysentery asthma and bronchitis.
  • Ginger Root Juice— Protects the stomach from irritation. Relieves from Migraines and motion sickness.
  • Onion Juice— May reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Boost immune system and help alleviate skin problems. May help resist arthritis pain.
  • Wheat Grass— It is used as Enema. It Detoxifies the walls of the piles.
    Bitter gourd Juice Anti-diabetic Medicine, purifies blood
  • Bottle Gourd Juice— Treats stomach acidity, indigestion, ulcers, epilepsy and other nervous diseases.
  • Pomegranate Juice— May Reduce Cholesterol, helps to reduce Blood Pressure, Fights certain forms of cancer
  • Orange Juice— Helps in treating Anemia, constipation, Indigestion, weight loss. Helps to prevent cancer.
  • Apple Juice— Protects from heart decease and cancer. Helps prevent aging.
  • Pineapple Juice— Pineapple juice is a good source of Vitamin C. Sore throats and bronchitis are relieved by sipping the juice. Useful for women suffering from painful periods. Effective remedy for intestinal worms.
  • Grape Juice— Grape juice helps reducing fatigue by replenishing your body’s iron supply.

Delicious Kale Shake

Yes, It Really Is Delicious!

Banana-Kale Shake–protein-and vitamin-packed meal replacement or yummy dessert?

  • 3 stalks of kale
  • 1 cup of raw milk (or more if you like a thinner shake)
  • 2 scoops of SP Complete or Total Green
  • 1 TBSP Essential Balance Oil
  • 1 scoop banana whey protein
  • 1-2 packets of stevia to taste
  • ½ banana

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy the delicious banana-kale goodness!

Interesting Facts About Chiropractic

  • Spinal stiffness was linked to visceral pathology with nearly 100% accuracy based upon sympathetic innervation.
    (Medical Times, 1921)
  • 1,000 capsules of Tylenol in a lifetime doubles the risk of end stage renal disease. (New England Journal of Medicine, 1994)
  • The average time for a whiplash-injured patient to achieve maximum improvement is 7 months 1 week. (Spine, 1994)
  • 93% of patients with chronic whiplash pain who have failed medical and physical therapy care improve with chiropractic adjustments. (Injury, 1996)
  • Taking the correct drug for the correct diagnoses in the correct dose will kill about 106,000 Americans per year, making it the 4th most common cause of death in the US. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatoid and/or osteoarthritis conservatively cause 16,500 Americans to bleed to death each year, making that the 15th most common cause of death in the US. (New England Journal of Medicine, 1999)
  • Glutamate and aspartame can cause chronic pain sensitization, and removing them from the diet for 4 consecutive months can eliminate all chronic pain symptoms. (Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2002)
  • Chiropractic spinal adjusting has been shown to be better than 5 times more effective than the NSAIDs pain drugs Celebrex and Vioxx in the treatment of chronic neck and low back pain. (Spine, 2003)
  • In patients suffering from chronic pain subsequent to degenerative spinal disease, 59% can eliminate the need for pain drugs by consuming adequate levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids. (Surgical Neurology, 2006)
  • Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure. (Journal of Human Hypertension, 2007)
  • The estimated incidence of chronic pain from whiplash trauma is 15-40%. (Jour of the Am Academy of Ortho Surg, 2007)
  • Meniere’s Disease has been linked to a disorder of the upper cervical spine facet joints. (International Tinnitus Jour, 2007)
  • Supplementing with vitamin D3 has the potential to reduce cancer deaths in America by 75%. (Ann of Epidemiology, 2009)
  • Potentially, the largest exposure of Americans to the neurotoxin mercury is through the consumption of products containing High Fructose Corn Syrup. (Environmental Health, 2009)
  • Those who consumed the highest amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain drugs increased their risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s dementia, by 66%. (Neurology, 2009)
  • The newest estimate for the incidence of autism is 1 in 91 US children. (Pediatrics, 2009)

— list compiled by Dr. Dan Murphy

Cruciferous Vegetables for Cancer Prevention

Eat at least 1 cup a day to detoxify and balance good and bad estrogen in your body.

  • arugula
  • bok choy
  • broccoflower
  • broccoli
  • broccoli rabe
  • broccoli romanesco
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • collards
  • cress daikon
  • Ethiopian mustard
  • flowering cabbage greens
  • horseradish
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • mizuna
  • mustard greens
  • mustard seeds (brown, white & black)
  • napa cabbage
  • radish
  • rutabaga
  • Siberian kale
  • Tatsoi
  • turnip root
  • wassabi
  • watercress
  • wrapped heart mustard cabbage

Digestive Disorders

Getting Your Body’s Digestive System Back on Track – Naturally

Digestive disorders such as acid reflux (or GERD), Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis are serious health conditions that can range in severity from a recurring upset stomach to intense abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas and bloating.

If you suffer from one of these conditions, you know firsthand how disruptive, frustrating and embarrassing a digestive disorder can be. Fortunately, there is much evidence that suggests these conditions can be controlled with appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle.

Understanding Acid Reflux (or GERD)

Acid Reflux is a common condition found in infants and children that also can affect adults throughout their lives with symptoms including heartburn, regurgitation and trouble swallowing. For many patients, the angle at which the esophagus enters the stomach creates a valve that prevents bile, enzymes and stomach from traveling back into the esophagus.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a term used to describe a variety of diseases causing discomfort in the gastro-intestinal tract. As many as one in five American adults suffer from IBS with symptoms that can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation. Stressful life events, pain disorders and certain psychological conditions are more common in those with IBS.

Understanding Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two different inflammatory diseases causing a range of severe symptoms. Crohn’s Disease affects the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody), vomiting and/or weight loss. It can also cause external complications like skin rashes and inflammation of the eye. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of rectum and colon, causing the colon to empty frequently. It is similar, but not identical to Crohn’s Disease, which causes deeper inflammation that can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract.

Missing the Mark: Traditional Approaches to Treating Digestive Disorders

Traditional approaches to treating digestive disorders often do not address the underlying causes, only temporarily masking or reducing symptoms. Some focus on decreasing acid production in the stomach with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Others attempt to soothe the stomach and intestines with over-the-counter remedies and herbal treatments. These remedies only offer temporary, symptomatic relief.

Getting to the Root of the Problem: A Holistic Approach

With any health condition, our philosophy is to provide you a holistic look at the issue and treat it using a natural and effective treatment plan.

Using Applied Kinesiology, a muscle-strength testing method that provides invaluable feedback on the functioning of your organs, we can help you determine what foods are not being digested properly. Many times, we’ll follow up these findings with salivary food allergy testing to determine your level of allergic reaction to main food allergens.

With this information, we’ll create a customized diet, nutritional supplement and detoxification program to work in harmony with your body and its unique needs. Eliminating the offending foods – and developing a nutrition plan that maximizes your good health – can move you toward a more productive, active lifestyle and general sense of well-being.

Dr. Keith Sheehan is a Chiropractor and Holistic Practitioner practicing at 1301 East King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheehan has had 15 years experience helping his clients with a wide variety of physical and biochemical conditions, using an individually tailored wellness approach and natural therapies. His clients appreciate his caring and direct approach his helpful, knowledgeable staff. To schedule a nutritional or chiropractic assessment, or for more information, please contact Dr. Sheehan at (717) 392-6606.

Whole Food

Many people ask “How are supplements different from the food that you eat?”  Or, “Can I just eat differently so that I don’t have to take supplements?” They also ask “What supplement can I use for my symptoms?

To answer the first and second question, supplements are really just concentrated food, with synergistically added herbs. Most people, when they come into my office, are severely deficient. Also, a lot of the things people are deficient in are not commonly found in foods. Supplements, because they are super-concentrated food sources, can make up this deficiency quickly. For instance, one supplement we use in this office, Organically Bound Minerals, has the minerals of 90 pounds of Kelp and Alfalfa in each bottle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could eat that, even if I wanted to (and I don’t want to!). Whole food supplements basically help correct nutritional deficiencies quickly. You could substitute whole foods for supplements, but you would get really full, and they wouldn’t taste good! (Who’s up for a 10 lb. seaweed salad?)

I’m often asked questions like “what can I take for hot flashes?” or “what can I take to lose weight?” This is really thinking about whole food supplements and herbs like substitutions for medicine. The problem with this model is that it does not address the cause of the symptom. We could give Black Cohosh to address hot flashes, and ephedrine to lose weight. However, but both are caused by hormonal imbalances. Without addressing these hormonal imbalances with whole food supplementation, diet and exercise, these imbalances actually may get worse and cause further problems down the road. The real answer, which is what we do in my office, is to use both whole food supplements and herbs to balance one’s biochemistry, and relieve symptoms at the same time.

I use whole food supplements because they are a safe, natural and quick way to relieve nutritional deficiencies and balance the body’s biochemistry. The result is a higher level of function within the body’s organ systems, leading to greater health and relief of symptoms.

Dr. Keith Sheehan is a Chiropractor and Holistic Practitioner practicing at 1301 East King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheehan has had 15 years experience helping his clients with a wide variety of physical and biochemical conditions, using an individually tailored wellness approach and natural therapies. His clients appreciate his caring and direct approach his helpful, knowledgeable staff. To schedule a nutritional or chiropractic assessment, or for more information, please contact Dr. Sheehan at (717) 392-6606.

PCOS & Infertility

PCOS – All-Natural Herbal Support

When Amy came into my office on 07/10/04, she complained of the typical PCOS symptoms – irregular periods, hair growth on the face, blood-sugar problems, depression, and weight gain. Other women may also suffer from infertility. Amy had been diagnosed with PCOS in 1984 and had been treated medically for this condition.

Like nearly every woman suffering from PCOS, examination of Amy revealed she would greatly benefit from support for her adrenal glands, liver and gallbladder, and female hormonal balance (support for proper Estrogen/Progesterone ratios as well as FSH, LH, and Testosterone levels). To aid in the support of these hormonal systems, I chose to employ a powerful proprietary blend of both American and traditional Chinese herbs.
Amy’s diet also needed a serious overhaul in order to help her with her blood-sugar instabilities.

Like the majority of patients here at Sheehan Chiropractic, Amy noticed subtle changes very shortly after getting the support her body needed. The main thing she noticed was that her cycle quickly stabilized and her period became regular- something that had never previously happened for her. She also noticed that her mood slowly improved.

Since Amy came into my office, other patients with PCOS have benefited from this proprietary blend of herbs. This blend is not a treatment for PCOS, but acts instead to balance the female hormonal system (and it is common sense that balancing the system will help symptoms). These women have also noticed improvements in sleep quality, major decreases in the occurrence and severity acne, stabilization and elevation of their moods, and even increased fertility.

Infertility – Why is it on the rise?

A number of hormonally related diseases are on the rise, infertility being only one of them. One question we never seem to ask is “why?” Why do we have such an epidemic of health issues today? Why are many of these issues difficult, if not impossible, to treat with today’s battery of prescription medicines and invasive procedures?

If we look at female hormonal health from a more holistic or “whole body” approach, we find that the key to allaying disease is not in treating disease at all, but in looking at what is going on with a person’s whole body in order to help them reach their maximum level of health.

Are you toxic? Do you have food allergies? Do you have a weak immune system? Do you feel your energy reserves are low or depleted? Do you have any chemical and/or metal sensitivities? Is your digestive system functioning up to par? Theses are just a few of the questions we ask and address here at Sheehan Chiropractic in order to help you realize your optimal health.

At this point, you may be thinking, “just what does all this have to do with my fertility?” However, if you begin to look at your body holistically, you may then realize that reproduction is a secondary action of the body – only able to successfully happen if all other organs and systems of the body are working adequately and healthy enough to support a growing fetus. As you can now see, the body, in its infinite wisdom has the means to look out for its young without any input from your conscious mind.

At Sheehan Chiropractic, we have seen many patients pass through our doors who initially indicated that they were unable to conceive. I am happy and grateful to say that many of these women, after putting my nutritional recommendations into practice and committing to my program, were able to successfully conceive.

In conclusion, with infertility, as with 90% of chronic health issues, the best approach is a simple nutritional wellness program designed to get the body healthy and keep it healthy.

Dr. Keith Sheehan is a Chiropractor and Holistic Practitioner practicing at 1301 East King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheehan has had 15 years experience helping his clients with a wide variety of physical and biochemical conditions, using an individually tailored wellness approach and natural therapies. His clients appreciate his caring and direct approach his helpful, knowledgeable staff. To schedule a nutritional or chiropractic assessment, or for more information, please contact Dr. Sheehan at (717) 392-6606.