Tag Archives: genetically modified foods

The foods to avoid list is long but possible

Foods to avoid list from the last post: GMO “corn, soy, sugar beets, canola oil, and cottonseed oil, as well as wheat and sugar cane” by process of negative symptoms, trial and error, reading a lot and experimenting with my diet I had already stopped using all of those foods for the most part except sugar cane. I didn’t know about the use of glyphosate as a crop desiccant on sugar cane. One of the articles linked in the last post suggested that practice might be associated with the increased rate of kidney disease in sugar cane cutters that I had mentioned in an old post.  [The quote and theory about sugar cane and kidney disease is in this article: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/]

I did recently increase my intake of sugar and do feel worse for it but the negative symptoms can be subtle rather than an obvious asthmatic reaction or allergic hives (weight gain was obvious though). Just changes in digestion and energy level and for me, my thyroid and lymph glands often become more swollen and painful when I’m eating more processed foods. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired for many years before reaching my 38th birthday. I’ve made a lot of changes in my diet and supplements since that age and am actually feeling better now in many ways. The age of 38 stands out in my memory because I remember thinking at that age that I felt like I was 88. I’m 50 now and no longer feel 88 — 78 maybe — actually that is just a joke, I have a lot more respect for anyone who keeps on with daily life as they get older or are struggling with chronic illness. When the body works it is a miracle and we don’t realize that when we are young (forty isn’t over the hill, it is just starting up the hill.)

This blog likely contains more than a few errors. I’ve shared information about my own health issues and things I find while reading in case it might be helpful to other individuals or be useful to research or health professionals. However I haven’t had anyone providing peer review and I’ve learned a lot since I began so the early articles often contained speculation that was resolved or answered in more recent posts. Starting over again in a more organized way is probably overdue. I started a second blog focused on autism last month but it was also supposed to be more organized too instead of just being blog articles. I haven’t gotten to writing the organized pages of diet and lifestyle strategies yet. I I haven’t even added these last few posts about autism to it either. Starting over sounds good but it is also a lot of work, leaving the old articles available, or at least some of them, may be a compromise for the meantime.

Avoiding aspartame and Neotame is hard enough, but avoiding Monsanto is more difficult. I really don’t know what we can do individually except eat more foods that are grown organically and try to vote for politicians who support organic agriculture and food processing practices.

Caution: Avoiding commonly used foods can make it more difficult to have a balanced diet. Seeking a nutritionist for help with menu planning is a good idea when many types of foods are being avoided due to allergies or food intolerance. Autoimmune flair ups may be food related but may cause less obvious symptoms than allergies and while antibody lab tests can reveal some autoimmune issues that may be related to diet the antibody lab tests and dietary changes are not commonly recommended in the current medical system.

Celiac sprue is an autoimmune disease with antibodies against gluten which is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and a few other grains. It can take patients six months of strictly avoiding even trace amounts of gluten before their antibody levels against gluten start to normalize. I’ve avoided gluten off and on for many years because it seemed to worsen fibromyalgia like pain and muscle cramps and then more recently I avoided it much more stringently because my autoimmune hyperthyroid disease seemed to become a problem only after I had started eating small amounts of gluten foods more often during a holiday season. Research suggests that the thyroid hormone is similar to gluten and an autoimmune antibody to the thyroid hormone might have developed in response to gluten sensitivity. The celiac sprue research suggested to me that avoiding gluten strictly for six months might then also help lower my thyroid antibody levels — the level did drop and my symptoms got better more quickly than the  endocrinologist expected.

Feeling better is better than feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired.

/Disclosure: Opinions are my own and this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

1996, the year GM crops were planted commercially

Genetically modified crops were introduced commercially in 1996. Advantages were to include more resistance to pests and less need for herbicides however the pests and weeds have become resistant to the modifications. [1] We don’t really  know the long term effects of the foods on human health.

A disadvantage of the modified corn is that the grain itself was modified to produce internally a chemical harmful to pests. Bt corn produces a protein derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. The Bt protein content of pollen from the GM corn was found to be harmful enough to negatively impact the larval stage of Monarch butterflies in areas adjacent to corn fields. [2] Typically a pesticide is applied to the exterior of a food and is removed before eating by washing or peeling the food. Clearly a modified grain that forms a pesticide within the food itself has disadvantages in that peeling or washing can’t remove the pesticide from the food. So in 1996 an interesting experiment was begun with the food supply and it is still taking place.

The following link is to an animated map which shows the increasing rates of obesity in the US between 1985 and 2010. [3] The animation is a little fast over the 25 year time span but it can be seen that more categories had to be added during the 1990s when the map changed from mostly pale blue (10-14%), to dark blue (15-19%), and to peach (20-24%), around the year 2000, and then advanced to orange (25-29%) around 2007, and finally red (>30%). The overall rate for 2011-2012 was 34.9%. [4]

We had sugary foods throughout the 1900’s but we didn’t have Bt corn as 76% of the corn crop [5] or other genetically modified foods. Not enough is known about autoimmune and fertility risks that may be associated with Bt corn or other genetically modified crops. [6] Gliadin, one of the types of protein in wheat, may be associated with an autoimmune type of diabetes [7] as well as the autoimmune condition of Celiac disease.[8]