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Warning: What Foods To Avoid With An “Upset Stomach”

I never thought I had a medical condition until I watched Dr Contreras’ video (watch it here). That’s when I realized that these constant bloating, unstable weight or regular sugar cravings could end. I COULD take control of my digestion without a crazy diet.

I just needed to be aware of what causes the issues I face every single day.

So I looked online to get more details on what Dr Contreras called the “Gut Destroyers” and found a TON of stuff that I wanted to share with you.

I realized I had a lot of misconceptions, especially about processed foods, and you might have some too, so I regrouped as much information as I could here.

Obviously, I tried to make it as entertaining as possible… 


Processed Foods

Every time a population adopts a “Western” diet high in processed foods, they get sick. It happens within a few years. Their genes don’t change, their food does. But what exactly are processed foods?


The first image that comes to mind for most people when they hear the term “processed food” is a wrapped burger and a sleeve of fries served over a counter at a fast food joint.

But the truth is, the very food you have in your cabinets is processed. Anything that isn’t directly from the vine, bush, tree, or from the earth is considered processed.

The term processed food includes any food that has been purposely changed in some way prior to consumption,” says Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways.

Obviously, most foods we eat are processed in some way. Apples are cut from trees, ground beef has been ground in a machine and butter is cream that has been separated from the milk and churned. A study conducted at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families videotaped 32 families including their dinner routines for a three-year period.
Although 70% of the dinners were home-cooked, most included moderate amounts of packaged food.

But there is a difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.

If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food.

The trick is to distinguish between foods that have been lightly processed versus heavily processed,” says Armul. “Lightly processed foods include pre-cut apple slices, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna and frozen vegetables. These are nutritious choices and can make healthy eating more convenient for busy people. Heavily processed foods can be recognized as food not in its original form, like potato chips and crackers, or food that is not naturally occurring, such as sodas, donuts, cookies and candy.”

Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients designed by nature to protect your heart, such as soluble fiber, antioxidants, and “good” fats. Combine that with additives, and you have a recipe for disaster.

While eating processed food in moderation is fine, you should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.



Added Sugar…


1. Endangers Your Body.

Ultra-processed foods are eight times higher in sugar than minimally processed or unprocessed foods and research has shown that as much as 40% of American healthcare expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar.

Added sugars are any sugar that is not naturally occurring in the food and has been added manually,” says Armul. “Just because a food is labeled ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s free of added sugars, either. The same holds true with reduced-fat and fat-free products. Added sugars often are used in low-fat foods.”

Why would the food industry add sugar to their products?

Because it’s a cheap way to add flavor and texture.

However, not all added sugars are the same. Compared to traditional sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup costs less to make, is sweeter to the taste, and mixes more easily with other ingredients. Today, we consume nearly 63 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per person per year in drinks and sweets, as well as in other products.

High-fructose corn syrup is in many frozen foods. It gives bread an inviting, brown color and soft texture, so it’s also in whole-wheat bread, hamburger buns, and English muffins. It is in beer, bacon, spaghetti sauce, soft drinks, and even ketchup.

Research is beginning to suggest that this liquid sweetener may upset the human metabolism, raising the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Scientists say that high-fructose corn syrup’s chemical structure forces your liver to pump more heart-threatening triglycerides into your bloodstream. In addition, fructose may zap your body’s reserves of chromium, a mineral important for healthy levels of cholesterol, insulin, and blood sugar. Fructose also appears to play badly with leptin hormones, encouraging overeating: eating a high-fructose diet makes your body feel hungry, even when you’re overeating.


2. Added Sugar Lies To Your Brain.

Emerging research suggests regularly eating too much sugar scrambles your body’s ability to tell your brain you’re full. Carrying a few extra pounds and living with type 2 diabetes can throw off your body’s ability to properly put off leptin hormones when leptin’s job is to say: “I’m full! Now stop eating!

And you know those other feelings…

You grab a chocolate candy bar, and with it, get that brief jolt of energy. Soon to be replaced by unrelenting fatigue. Science shows it takes just 30 minutes or less to go from a sugar rush to a full-on sugar crash, when sugar triggers the release of serotonin, a sleep regulator. This sugar spike-and-crash sets you up to want more sugar—a vicious cycle.

We might reach for sugar to feel better, but we’re getting the opposite effect in the end. A study published in Public Health Journal followed nearly 9,000 people to study the link between depression and eating sugary sweets and fast food. After six years, those who ate the most junk faced a nearly 40% greater risk of developing depression, compared to those who shunned junk food the most. In people with insulin resistance, it appears the brain releases lower levels of feel-good dopamine.

Because the dangers of eating too much added sugar have been well-established, for the first time ever, the 2015-2020 U.S. dietary guidelines recommend limiting your sugar intake to a maximum of 10 percent of your daily calories, which is around 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men.

To put that into perspective, one 12oz can of coke contains 140 calories from sugar (about 8 teaspoons), while a regular sized snickers bar contains 120 calories from sugar.


3. Last, But Not Least… Added Sugar Makes You Look Older!

The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These unwanted invaders attack nearby proteins, damaging them, including protein fibers in collagen and elastin, the components that keep your skin firm and elastic. The result of too much sugar?

Dry, brittle protein fibers that lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.

But wait, there’s more! AGEs promote the growth of fragile collagen and deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. This opens the door to more sun damage, which, as we all know, also damages and ages your skin.



As if you needed more reasons to avoid processed foods, another study has come out showing yet another way they damage your health.

In particular, two types of emulsifiers—chemicals that are used to improve the consistency of processed foods—have now been linked to inflammation, and a number of inflammatory diseases, through modulation of the intestinal lining and the microbiome.

Of course, the damage is likely far worse than reported at this point, since inflammation is a problem that’s been linked to everything from cancer and Alzheimer’s to diabetes and arthritis. Luckily, in this case, avoiding the issue is simple, easy, and better for you in every way.

Emulsifiers are compounds that increase the stability of an emulsion.  They are often molecules like surfactants that have two parts, hydrophobic carbon chains and hydrophilic polar head groups.  Soap and egg yolks are common examples of emulsifiers.

However, chemically produced emulsifiers are often used in food.  Two examples of these are polysorbate-80 (P80) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and they are added to all sorts of foods like ice cream and pudding.  Evidence suggests that, at least in mice, these emulsifiers are wreaking havoc on the gut and microbiome.

This news may surprise consumers, given the fact that emulsifiers are approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and appear in many foods otherwise considered “healthy,” and many labeled organic and non-GMO…

Well, the FDA ruled that emulsifiers are “generally regarded as safe” because there is no evidence that they increase the risk of cancer or have toxic effects in mammals.

No evidence… Scientists don’t always agree.

What we’ve been attempting to understand for the past several years is the increase in metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases” that affect digestion, explains Andrew Gewirtz, Georgia State University professor of biology and lead study author. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. All these conditions, Gewirtz explains, “are associated with changes in gut bacteria.”

The recent, dramatic increase in metabolic-related diseases cannot be attributed solely to genetics, says Gewirtz. Human genetics haven’t changed in recent decades. He explains that the emulsifiers appear to disturb both the bacteria normally present in the gut and the gut’s protective mucus layer. Something in the chemistry of the emulsifiers seems to change the microbiota and how these bacteria interact with the intestine itself. The combination, Gewirtz says, sets the stage for inflammation.

The fact that emulsifiers appear to be associated with metabolic and digestive problems and are used in some reduced-fat, dairy- and gluten-free products that consumers may be choosing for health reasons, prompts additional questions that haven’t been answered yet…


So What Can You Do?

Obesity among children and teenagers is an epidemic because processed food consumption is an epidemic. The art of cooking is replaced with a hectic lifestyle that would be “insane” to slow down. Where is the time to make a meal for your family when guitar lessons, hockey practice and karate class are priorities? The youth would certainly benefit from holistic nutrition classes within their schedule as well, instead of picking up a burger and fries “en route” to the next appointment.


1. Prepare Your Meals From Scratch.

Healthy diets emphasize whole foods—those that still contain what nature gave them. They offer a wide variety of nutrients, although cooking with heat can alter the mix. So, as much as possible, choose whole foods that have gone through a minimum amount of industrial processing. Stalk of broccoli that looks like broccoli is safe. A cracker that claims to be made out of broccoli—even though it may claim veggie-like health benefits—isn’t.

Frozen foods are also valuable. That’s because even the freshest produce loses that freshness pretty quickly, as nutrients degrade from exposure to oxygen, heat, and sunlight. Producers pick and quickly freeze the produce, which retains nutrients.

To check canned and frozen food for overall nutritional value, read the ingredients list.

If the ingredients on the package say ‘peas’ and not much else, that’s a good sign,” says Stacey Nelson, a registered dietitian and manager of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “You want something that has the minimum of ingredients, and to be able to recognize those ingredients.”

2. When Cravings Hit, Try Focusing On Something Else.

Instead of reaching for a standard chocolate bar, opt for a bit of organic chocolate with at least 70% cacao. When you feel a sugar craving coming on, walk for 15 minutes. Researchers found a 15-minute walk curb cravings for a sugar-laden chocolate bar by 12%. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there—that will actually increase your sugar cravings.

At the end of the day, it’s important to experiment. Some people can handle a little bit of sugar in their diet, while for others it causes cravings, binge eating, rapid weight gain and disease. We’re all unique and you need to figure out what works for you.


3. Find The Right Supplement To Heal Your Gut.

Many people underestimate the importance of a healthy gut. Your digestive system is home to 70% of your body’s immune system, 95% of your body’s Serotonin (the neurotransmitter that regulates your mood), and contains your Enteric Nervous System, which contains 500 million neurons (5 times as many as your spinal cord).

Whether you choose probiotics or other stuff, the right supplement could help you repair, replenish, and restore your gastrointestinal tract, so that you can eat what you want when you want without having to worry about how you’ll feel after. Take a look at Active Restore, the supplement Dr. Contreras developed with CRI Naturals.

If you’re interested in watching Dr. Contreras video, you’ll find it here.

As usual, let me know what you think of this page, if it helped you in anyway and what you’d like to read about next… Thank you



















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