We’re not fat. We’re toxic. And Inflamed.
Well okay, we are all three of the above.
First toxic, then inflamed, and finally – pudgy . . . okay, fat.
In the industrialized world, most of our bodies harbor toxins and acidity, which cause inflammation. These toxins/acids are mostly dietary in origin. The body keeps toxins away from our vital organs by storing them in fat. In this way, fat is our friend and protector, stopping toxins from hurting our sensitive organs.
Ever notice how we collect stubborn pounds as we age? And even explosives won’t take them off? That’s because this ain’t no ordinary fat. Call it our guardian fat, because it’s keeping our toxins at bay. It won’t leave easily until the toxins go.
We take on extra water to buffer (reduce) the acidity in our cells and in the tissues between our cells. That water retention masquerades as part of our fat.
The fields of Naturopathic Medicine and Functional Medicine (which sees the interplay of all bodily systems, not just particular organs) have demonstrated, without a doubt, that the Bulk of America suffers from subtle inflammation which causes obesity and degenerative diseases. (Diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart disease, strokes, arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, cancer, colitis and more.)
Before any of those diseases arise, the body gives us clues that it’s getting too acidic:
- sluggish, lacking energy (acidosis depresses mitochondria in cells)
- loss of drive or enthusiasm; depression, anxiety, easily stressed
- congested enlarged belly (i.e. swollen inflamed intestinal membranes)
- puffy hands, feet (water retained to ease acidity and inflammation)
- puffiness under eyes, under chin (water retained, as above)
- acid indigestion – even mild symptoms, which most of us ignore
- sensitive gums or teeth, mouth ulcers, tooth nerve pains
- thin brittle nails, dull brittle hair, dry skin, irritated skin
- leg cramps and spasms
- frequently feeling too cold or too hot
- easily get infections, colds, sore throat
- headaches, watery eyes, inflamed eyes or eyelids
- subtle food allergies (arising from Leaky Gut)
- osteoporosis (calcium is taken to buffer body’s acidity)
(adapted partly from The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, by Christopher Vasey, N.D. 2003)
How did we get so acidic? Because our modern diet is mostly acidic (processed foods, high protein, meats, fish, beans, carbs, grains, breads, sugar). Stimulants are acidic (tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol). Much of our food is stocked with extra chemicals that become toxins to us.
We also get acidic from too much stress, lack of exercise, or even too much exercise (lactic acid, if not cleared out).
Leaky Gut is a widespread cause of acidic toxins. Subtle food allergies arise because of tiny leaks in the small intestine. These allergies promote inflammation in the bloodstream, the joints, and all over the body. (Some estimate that 70% of our population has this intestinal permeability. Subtle food allergies include gluten sensitivity.)
We don’t feel like we’re allergic to these foods, because our reaction to them is so subtle and delayed. (An IgE-antibody allergy is immediate with hives, rash, itching, wheezing, etc. An IgG-antibody allergy reaction happens up to 3 days later – with subtle presentations such as congestion, phlegm, fatigue, joint pain, headache, bloating, mood swings, swelling.)
After we eat an unknown reactive food (IgG), a half day or even two days might pass before we feel a little sinus congestion, mild belly bloating, or an unexplained headache.
Not only that – we tend to develop cravings for these same reactive subtle-allergy foods. Eating more of them, we become further inflamed in a chronic, low-level way.
All this acidity increases. Meanwhile we tend to eat only small amounts of alkaline foods: vegetables and fruits. Small amounts are not enough to overcome years of built-up acidity.
What to do?
Detoxify! Releasing toxins is a process that will take time and patience, but brings huge benefits and a great-feeling body. Reduce the acids, boost the alkaline foods (veggies), nail down subtle food allergies, and heal the gut.
When we become less acidic, less inflamed, we naturally lose our guardian fat and the retained water that goes with it.
In a sense, calories may not matter as much as food allergens and toxins matter.
You see, it’s not about fat. It’s about toxins.
Instead of watching calories, the first step is to find your allergic foods that cause inflammation.
My next post outlines a plan of action that includes:
- food combining
- finding subtle food allergies
- gradually increasing alkaline foods (plants) to 80% of our diet
- rebalancing intestinal flora & healing the intestinal membranes
- fasting and other detoxification methods
More information on any of the above can be found in hundreds of sources, such as: