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Confused about all of the latest warnings regarding coconut oil and other fats in your diet? Siskiyou Vital Medicine Nutritionist Ron Veitel, BSc, gives you the skinny on fats right here. Learn about the truths and myths surrounding the connection between saturated fat consumption and cardio vascular disease. Click on the video image below for more on this subject.

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WTF?! What the Fat

by McClane Duncan, ND

I’ve had several patients and friends approach me about a new documentary proclaiming the evils of fats and proteins and singing the praises of sugar. Of course being that I’m a naturopathic physician who treats cardiovascular disease and diabetes with diet and lifestyle modification, I had to investigate.

What I found was a little shocking and, quite frankly, a little irritating. The film featured physicians proclaiming sugar was not to blame for diabetes and heart disease. Despite the film’s agenda-driven half-truths to lambasting fats and proteins, it did talk about the importance of eating clean environmentally friendly food.

In an effort to clear up some confusion here are some of the facts that I believe the film misrepresented:

MYTH: Fats cause diabetes and raise cholesterol leading to heart disease.

TRUTH:  Fats alone do not cause diabetes and heart disease. Diabetes is a result of too much sugar remaining in the blood stream due to either insulin resistance or lack of insulin. It is true that fatty acids do reduce insulin sensitivity. However, fat and sugar should not be consumed together in equal parts. Eating sugar causes an increase in insulin levels in the blood. Insulin is an energy storage molecule promoting fat storage and fatty acids are an energy burning molecule. They oppose one another.

TRUTH:  Cholesterol does not cause heart disease and is not ultimately responsible for clogging the arteries (atherosclerosis). In the cardiovascular system, cholesterol’s function is to heal damaged arteries and veins. Cholesterol can be compared to a Band-Aid covering a skin wound where they both form a protective barrier to facilitate healing. Cholesterol becomes dangerous in the arteries when it is in the presence of inflammation and oxidation where it hardens, blocking arteries. Blaming cholesterol for heart disease is like blaming gas pumps for empty fuel tanks or firemen for fires.

MYTH: Sugar can be consumed without causing diabetes and heart disease.

TRUTH: Again, sugar causes the release of insulin which stores energy in the form of adipose tissue (fat tissue). The more adipose tissue you carry on your body, the more insulin resistant you become. Sugar is also inflammatory and responsible for the degeneration of the kidneys, small nerves in the hands and feet, eyes and brain. If you don’t believe me, look up the signs and symptoms of diabetes or Type III Diabetes of the brain. Furthermore, the production of energy from sugar produces more free radicals (inflammatory) than does the production of energy from fat.

Not one diet is good for everyone as we are all individuals having our own biochemical idiosyncrasies. I suggest that before you drastically change the way you eat or give up on eating entirely, speak with a functional nutrition expert. The practitioners at Siskiyou Vital Medicine can help you discover what diet is right for you and give you the tools to become your very own nutrition expert.

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The Dirt on Building a Robust Immune System

Well folks it’s that time of year when your kids are sniffling, co-workers are sneezing, and you’re just hoping to get through the next few months unscathed. Yep, it’s flu season and resistance seems futile. So what is your flu season plan? How are you going to protect yourself and if you get the flu (aka the crud), how will you reduce the severity and shorten the time you feel like sh#%*t? Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help prevent, fight it if you have to, and detox from the flu. 

Prevention is key and it starts with avoidance. If you’re imagining yourself isolated from friends, school, work, or family for a few days you’re correct. Because not exposing yourself is about the only sure way you won’t contract the flu. If you must be around those who are ill, consider washing your hands frequently and diffusing essential oils in common areas. “Thieves oil” and “On guard” are great antimicrobial blends that smell nice, too.  

If you do become ill and have to fight, fortify your body’s terrain, bolster your immune system, and optimize your detoxification ability. To fortify your terrain, use skin moisturizers, keep your mucous membranes moist, take probiotics with meals, and eat nourishing foods like chicken broth seasoned with turmeric, chives, and salt. Oh, and don’t be afraid to get dirty or even give your dog a kiss. Doing so will actually make you more resistant to “bugs”. Bolstering your immune system can be achieved by introducing medicinal mushrooms like chaga and reishi into your diet and taking breaks to meditate and rest.  Finally, optimize your detox ability by having bitter foods that stimulate digestion at the start of meals. I like mustard greens or arugula. You’ll also want to stay hydrated with pure water that hasn’t been overly processed. Dr. Willard’s water formula is a great addition as it can rejuvenate tired, processed water.  

These tips really only skim the surface of what you can do to protect yourself. I’d like to share more with you now but I’m going to take my own advice and get some rest. Come visit us at Siskiyou Vital Medicine to learn more. 

Be Well.

Dr. Duncan

Dr. Duncan received his Undergraduate Degree, Bachelor of Science in Biology, from the University of Houston-Downtown. He earned his Doctorate Degree as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and his Post Graduate Training in Prolotherapy, Neurotherapy, and Ozone therapy from the Klinghardt Academy. He is also trained in Anthroposophical Medicine. His medical approach is rooted in Vitalism, a system of medicine that focuses on cure using the body’s own innate ability to heal. He employs time tested natural therapies as well as the latest medical technology to develop sustainable health plans that empower his patients to take control of their health. It is his intention to make complex medicine simple, reconnect people with their bodies, and teach his patients the foundations of health.