The Food Deception

By Dr. Shane Taffe and Dr. Aaron Sparks

What you eat can have a big impact on many disorders and diseases. Learn how choosing better food can alleviate many of the symptoms of everything from heartburn to IBS.

Symptoms and disorders such as heartburn, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, bloating, chronic constipation, diarrhea, and gastric discomfort are becoming more common than a sunny day for millions of Americans.  While nearly everyone has experienced the discomfort of a digestive ache or sickness, the increasing prevalence of chronic digestive orders is alarming. In fact, prescription drug sales to treat the above mentioned conditions are now approaching $100 million per year.

The Pitfalls Waiting in the Supermarket

The trip to your local supermarket can be an interesting voyage when trying to find the right foods for you and your family to consume that will not lead to some horrific intestinal disorder.  In one aisle you might see the famous Snap, Crackle and Pop of Rice Crispies, dressed in superhero capes, standing in front of a shield that says “Helping to support your family’s immunity.”  You may venture down another aisle and find your family’s favorite loaf of bread with the American Heart Association’s stamp of approval because it is an excellent source of whole grains and fiber.  You might even turn on your television to watch one of your regular shows, and come across a commercial promoting the benefits of frosted mini-wheat’s cereal because it keeps your kids full and attentive in the classroom.  Protect healthy joints.  Improve brain development.  Reduce cholesterol.  Regulate digestion.  You have seen them all, right?

The fact is that the health claims littered in the supermarkets and grocery stores are running rampant and most uninformed, unsuspecting shoppers bite the mischievous bullet on such food products believing that the health claims on the boxes and packages will actually benefit them.  A vast majority of the products you pull off the shelf will have some type of health claim, whether backed by real science or by blatant misleading of consumers.  Today, food manufacturers load up their products with man-made vitamins and minerals and slap a stamp of approval on them enticing consumers to buy the product.

Trans-Fat Free Deception

Beware of the trans-fat-free deceptive marketing as well.  U.S. labeling laws allow a manufacturer to claim ZERO trans fats in a product if there is less than one-half gram of partially hydrogenated oil per serving.[1. http://www.wellsphere.com/exercise-article/health-claims-on-food-labels-not-so-reliable/237122] That doesn’t sound like much but if a serving size is a very small portion (ie. 3 chips), it can add up very quickly.  The best practice would be to stick to the perimeter of the store, avoiding anything in boxes or cans to more easily avoid the ingredients which inhibit us from functioning at optimal levels.

Take Care of Your Gut

Inflammation of the gut has been well-touted to be the driving force in most digestive disorders.  Chronic inflammation also weakens the body’s immune response, lessening your ability to fight viruses and bacteria.  The simplest and surest way to decrease inflammation in the body is to reduce sugar intake in your diet.  The Advanced Plan from Maximized Living Nutrition Plans is a simple, practical way to get you on the right track and can help alleviate digestive discomfort and aid healing.

Additionally, it’s imperative to restore your digestive system.  A major step there is restoring and maintaining nerve function and health.  Because the nerve system has direct innervations to the digestive organs, keeping it healthy is essential.  The Vagus nerve, which originates in the brain stem and travels down the spinal cord passing through the upper cervical region of the spine, stimulates all digestive processes.  Nerves originating in the middle and lower region of your spine also control the release of digestive enzymes, chemical reactions in your stomach, and safe elimination through your colon.  Due to the nerve – gut connection, several studies show the effectiveness of corrective care chiropractic adjustments restoring health to those with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and other digestive disturbances. [2. Wagner, T.J et al. 1996. Irritable bowel syndrome and spinal manipulation. Chirop. Tech. 7:139-40.] [3. Marko, S. 1994. The effect of chiropractic care with infant with constipation. Chiropractic Pediatrics (1).] [4. Hewitt. E.G. 1993. Chiropractic treatment with constipation.  Chirop. Tech. 5(3): 101-3]