One of the things I often hear is “a little bit won’t hurt me,” and that is referring to things like eating a little bit of gluten or a little bit of dairy or a little bit of sugar.
When patients are really trying to change things like their detailed cholesterol panel like a Boston Heart, Cleveland Heart or they’re trying to get rid of their allergies or they’re trying to improve their metabolism and lose weight or improve their cardiovascular disease or get rid of their autoimmune disorders, what I find is that the more meticulous my patients are about getting out all of the gluten, all of the dairy (even ghee and butter) and sugar, the better all of those things are.
So even very small amounts can make a huge difference in shifting the body’s metabolism and even your gene expression. The immune system response to our food is something that specialists can write books about to fully elaborate and explain, but to make it in a framework that’s easy to understand, the molecules of food really inform our body about what genes to express and what our immune system should be doing. Like if we get a little bit salmonella in our food, our bodies need to be zipping the salmonella out so we don’t get really sick. So there would be a very strong immune system response to that. Well the same thing that can happen with food, very different than just the traditional food allergy, like a peanut allergy, where people go into anaphylaxis. There’s a more simmering low grade inflammation that can cause the issues I just talked about with cholesterol, allergic rhinitis, insulin resistance in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders. So it can just take a very small amount of foods that really trigger a lot of inflammation in our bodies that then lead up to these illnesses, depending on where the particular weak spots are in your body.
It’s a great opportunity, because there are so many things that we can’t control about how our bodies are working. But we can make choices with our food that can really have dramatic differences by just going ahead and making those changes.
A lot of times when I’m working with patients, it seems overwhelming to do something for their entire rest of their life. So what I recommend doing is pick a period of time, like four to six weeks, so that you know you can do just about anything for that long. So pick that period of time, and then see how your body responds. If you mess up start the time frame over, because it really does make a difference to accumulate that time where your body is under lower inflammation. So I can’t wait to hear what your results are, with thinking about meticulously cutting out gluten, sugar and dairy.
See also my article on controlling cravings: https://annshippymd.com/2018/12/02/controlling-cravings-are-you-the-hand-or-the-puppet/