There’s been a lot of talk about so-called “super foods” lately. It’s a buzzword for something that is supposed to be good for you to eat. Even Mark Victor Hansen, the “Chicken Soup” guy sent out an email yesterday, touting supposed super foods.
Steven Pratt wrote a best-selling book called “Super Foods” (it became a best-seller because he was on Oprah, even though it is inaccurate and misleading).
What all these self-appointed nutritional experts overlook is that any food can make a percentage of the population sick, sometimes very sick indeed. For instance Pratt recommends oats and tomato. He did all his research using Google on the Internet, that much is clear. Because if he’d had any meaningful real life experience with actual patients he would know these are a BAD choice.
Oats is a gluten food and a staggering percentage of the US population are now allergic to gluten. Duh! (the other main gluten foods are wheat, rye and barley)
Tomato belongs to the nightshade family, a very toxic group of foods, including potato, tobacco, chillies, peppers and eggplant. This group take their name from Belladonna, the deadly nightshade plant. There are instances of sickness and death among animals and humans from eating plants in this “food family”, including the humble tomato. Duh!
In fact potato, tomato and the other nightshades are particularly troublesome for people with arthritis. Pratt clearly has no real experience with food reactions and naively published what he gleaned about lycopene from other ignorant authors on the Web.
The truth is that any food can make anyone sick. Some bandit foods are more common than others but there is no food that hasn’t made somebody or other sick. I even had a lady with over 20 years of bloody diarrhea (colitis) that turned out to be caused by lettuce. She ate lots of salads because she’d been told (by doctors like Pratt) that this was “healthy eating”. As soon as she stopped the lettuce, she was cured. And, yes, I do mean cured.
We used to think in terms of “food allergy” but now we know it’s actually bigger than this and since the human genome project we recognize minor genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs or “snips” for short).
SNPs are tiny little variations in genes that are not severe enough to cause disease or death but maybe result in lowered enzyme levels and inability to properly metabolize certain food ingredients. For example garlic contains a lot of sulfur, so anyone with an intolerance of sulfur will be affected by this “super food”. Duh!
The bottom line? I’m on record with the BBC, being interviewed saying EVERYONE has a food allergy or intolerance (that was over 20 years ago, before we knew about SNPs). It’s very common—though not a big deal if you are fit and well. But still, easy to identify, if you know what to look for.
I do know what to look for. I learned everything I know in this field from the stories of tens of thousands of patients over nearly four decades. I listened to my patients, I didn’t scoff at them. By 1990 I had earned the nickname of the world’s “Number One Allergy Detective” because of skills in tracking down ways that foods can really hurt you.
I distilled all that experience into a layman’s self help book called “Diet Wise”. The subtitle “Let your body choose the food that’s right for you” sums up my philosophy. There are no foods that are universally healthy. That’s just nice theory but nothing more.
In practice you have to work out what is right for you and what is wrong. I tell you how to do that in comprehensive detail. There’s lots of amazing case histories and science theory to back it up. You will know more than most doctors and even most nutritional experts. They never seem to mention this staggeringly important aspect of right eating. Duh?
Read the book and you really will be “diet wise” (www.dietwisebook.com)