COVID-19, Gum Disease, & Diet

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 18, 2020 [printfriendly]



You might be scratching your head and asking yourself, “What is he talking about? Is he just trying to catch my attention? Maybe even confuse me?”


Well, I’m talking about the correlation between COVID-19, Gum Disease, and Diet. That connection is our immune system. And yes, I want your attention so I can share my thoughts about this association, your overall health, and your well-being. I certainly don’t want to confuse you.




New research is suggesting that the COVID-19 virus could be life-threatening by initially damaging red blood cells[1] and causing hypoxia[2]. The theory goes like this:


  • The virus attacks red blood cells by attaching to the iron portion of its hemoglobin.
  • The virus oxidizes the iron and releases it into the bloodstream.
  • Then, the COVID-19 virus replaces the iron with itself in the red blood cell.
  • The virus controls the red blood cell, which now is unable to carry necessary oxygen to other cells and organ systems. This results in hypoxia.
  • The oxidized iron pours into the bloodstream causing severe oxidative stress, which causes systemic inflammation initiated by the immune system.
  • Zinc in the body mobilizes itself to offset the damage from the free-floating oxidized iron thereby depleting the body of its necessary levels of zinc. This can cause a loss of smell and taste among other effects.
  • The oxidative stress from excessive iron, severe systemic inflammation as a result of the immune system’s overproduction of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines), and hypoxia can cause the lungs and other organs to fail, possibly leading to death from COVID-19.



This is just a theory. So much is being learned about the virus day by day. But this theory makes sense. It could result in the clinical signs and symptoms of this pandemic that are being observed and documented throughout the world.[3]



Gum Disease

The gum tissues in your mouth are susceptible to chronic systemic inflammation. The oxidative stress occurring from an excess of unhealthy oxidized iron causes the immune system to create acute and chronic systemic inflammation. These physiological changes cause dysfunction in the immune system – especially if the immune system was already weakened or dysfunctional from emotional stress, environmental toxic substances, an unhealthy gut, or poor diet choices.


Active gum disease will increase as the immune system fails to control the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Periodontal infection will release virulent bacteria and inflammatory elements into the bloodstream complicating the already spreading systemic inflammation. Inflamed and bleeding gums will increase the potential for increasingly destructive forces occurring from the COVID virus.




A diet including inflammatory foods and lacking nutrient-dense foods will damage the gut’s garden of bacteria, its mucous layer, and its epithelial barrier. The result will be the leakage of toxic substances into the bloodstream from the lumen of the gut. The immune system attempts to gobble up these toxic substances by releasing various chemicals and cells to fight the invasion. These immune system actions create inflammation that spreads throughout the circulatory system to all organ systems. However, if you have periodontal disease and if the COVID-19 virus is present, then your immune system already could be overwhelmed.



Vicious Cycle

A weakened immune system, active periodontal disease, and unhealthy food choices continue to promote chronic systemic inflammation. If COVID-19 invades the body, the existing chronic systemic inflammation will exacerbate the potential virulence of the virus.


So, there could be a vicious cycle escalating exponentially.


Fortunately, the far majority of infected people will not succumb to death. Their body’s immune system will overcome the virus at a point where the virus is inactivated by the antibodies that are naturally produced by the adaptive immune system. Other negative feedback pathways will go into effect and reduce the immune system’s production of inflammatory chemicals. But there are proactive precautions that uninfected individuals could take to enhance their immune system.


I’ve talked about how to improve the immune system in previous blogs – especially HERE. But in summary, a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet along with lifestyle changes will enhance the health of the gut and provide the immune system with many of the necessary ingredients to defend your body.


Supplements of vitamin C, vitamin D, glutathione, and zinc have been suggested to help prevent or possibly treat COVID-19 infection. However, along with lifestyle changes, the nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diets I have recommended will provide most of these nutrients in their natural states as they exist in real, unprocessed foods.


Medical research will come up with an adequate treatment protocol to deal with the acute and life-threatening manifestations of the COVID-19 virus. Scientists also may develop an effective vaccine or an array of vaccines to protect people prior to the invasion of the COVID-19 virus. But your proactive efforts to support your immune system will also help with fighting the virus, preventing periodontal disease, and avoiding other chronic diseases. A healthy immune system will go a long way in maintaining your well-being.








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Tooth Decay
– 5 Things You May Not Know –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
August 27, 2018 [printfriendly]



Tooth DecayTooth decay is an epidemic in the civilized world today. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has determined that 92% of adults have had tooth decay! However, the fact is that teeth are not designed to rot.


Take a look at animals in the wild. Rarely do they have tooth decay. In addition, our primal ancestors rarely had tooth decay. When we examine the mouths of some isolated primal societies living today, it is rare to find tooth decay. The fact is that dental decay is predominantly the result of lifestyle factors that plague our civilized world.



Dentistry’s Answer to Tooth Decay

Several years ago, while I was working as a periodontist in a general dental office, I remember several parents who brought their children into the office. These parents asked, “Why do my kids have so much tooth decay?” The disconnect was that these parents were holding a bottle of “Mountain Dew”. For that reason alone, their families were at a high risk for tooth decay primarily because of bad food choices.


To offset the risk and damage of tooth decay, dentistry developed various “barriers” to coat the teeth to prevent and stop decay. Also, chemicals were discovered and created to kill bacteria in the mouth as well as to help remineralize teeth. These products could decrease tooth decay and possibly repair damage. Unfortunately, some of these barriers and chemicals could produce unhealthy effects in the body. While barriers and chemicals may help stop and repair decay, it would be more productive, less expensive, and healthier to prevent this disease naturally.


Fortunately, there are biological reasons for tooth decay that we can control. We just need to know. We need to be proactive. Here are 5 things that you may not know.



5 Things You May Not Know

  1. A healthy gut supports a healthy mouth: If you increase the diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut, you will increase the healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth. More variety of bacteria in the mouth is healthy. Balanced bacteria in the mouth help to prevent tooth decay.
  2. A healthy immune system can prevent unhealthy changes in the bacteria in the mouth: The body is always fighting off unhealthy bacteria. If it didn’t, we would die as soon as we took a deep breath or got a cut on our finger. A healthy immune system is an important factor to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth.
  3. Saliva carries necessary nutrients: Saliva constantly bathes the teeth. Nutrients in the saliva can neutralize excess acids and can provide calcium and phosphate ions to remineralize the tooth surface 24/7.
  4. Dental plaque is healthy until it’s not: Plaque provides at least 3 beneficial effects to the tooth surface. The family of bacteria in dental plaque maintains a healthy acid level around the teeth, kills off other pathogenic bacteria that try to invade the space, and allows necessary nutrients to enter the surface of the tooth to repair early decay.
  5. Sugars feed decay-causing bacteria, and acids demineralize teeth: Sugars will feed unhealthy bacteria to produce acids that decay teeth. Also, drinking soda and eating highly acidic foods can damage the balance of bacteria in dental plaque. Unhealthy changes in dental plaque, which cause excess acids, will weaken the surface of teeth. The end result is tooth decay.



Be Proactive

  • Provide healthy food choices that don’t damage the gut and that don’t feed bad bacteria in the mouth. I have written about nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods many times in the past. Here is one article.
  • Learn the correct way to clean your mouth efficiently. Here is an article I wrote that explains how to do it.
  • Consider taking spore-based probiotics. These have been shown to survive stomach acid and improve gut health. Here is research published in 2017 that supports this benefit.
  • Schedule dental appointments regularly with a dentist who understands the biological needs of the mouth and practices preventive dentistry.



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Dentistry in the Future:
Conventional Meets Unconventional

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
August 6, 2018 [printfriendly]




Dentistry in the future: conventional meets unconventionalUp until now, dentistry has been “conventional”. However, dentistry in the future may be quite different from dentistry in the past. In the future, I see dentistry broadening and deepening its approach of treatment. The conventional way of “doing things” may begin to embrace current unconventional ideas of functional medicine and other progressive healthcare modalities.




Conventional means “something that is based on what has been done or believed in the past”. Dentistry is a profession which has been practiced for the most part in a conventional manner.  The role of dentistry has been to repair the damages done to the mouth.


The far majority of mouth damage has been a result of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Other damage has been the result of trauma to the mouth, developmental abnormalities, and diseases other than tooth decay and periodontal disease.


The problem with conventional dentistry as well as conventional medicine is a lack of insight. Conventional thinking has not been aware that there are “outside factors” causing cellular damage. which eventually could cause various dental and chronic diseases. The overwhelming problem is that conventional healthcare professionals have not been able to prevent disease because of ignorance of the underlying causes.




Unconventional is the opposite of conventional. Basically, unconventional means “something that is not based on, or conforming to, what has been generally done or believed”.


The unconventional modalities that I believe will gain traction in the practice of dentistry are related to understanding and putting into practice the “outside factors”, which eventually affect every cell in the body. There will be a more holistic and integrative means to understand what is happening in the mouth and the rest of the body based on functional medicine concepts.



Functional Medicine

Environmental factors, diet, and personal lifestyle are the “outside factors” that cause the body to be either healthy or unhealthy. Functional medicine attempts to identify and address these root causes of disease. Functional medicine practitioners view the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by dental and medical specialties. This unconventional medicine delves deeply into discovering and treating the actual causes of disease and not just treating the symptoms of disease.



Conventional Meets Unconventional

The unconventional methods of functional medicine are providing evidence that there is more to dental health than just brushing and flossing. Environment, diet, and lifestyle have a huge effect on the health of the gut, the mouth, and the rest of the body.


The body and the mouth are intricately and intimately connected. Whatever affects one cell in the body ultimately can affect every other cell in the body. This includes human cells and microbial cells. All cells communicate with each other. They do this by emitting biological chemicals and electrical frequencies that can travel within the fluids and nerve tissues of the body.



Chronic Disease

Almost all chronic diseases, including dental diseases, have their origin in the gut. Processed foods, added sugars, excess carbohydrates, environmental toxic substances, stress, poor sleep, and lack of exercise as well as excess exercise have been shown to be insults to the gut. These “insults” are the “outside factors”.


These insults can cause the trillions of microbes in the gut to become out-of-balance, allowing unhealthy bacteria to overgrow. This condition is known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis creates inflammation in the gut and damage to the lining of the gut (which is only one-cell-layer thick).


Damage to the gut lining will create small holes in the gut. Toxic substances and undigested foods in the gut can then leak into the bloodstream through these holes (often called ‘leaky gut”). Once this occurs, the immune system will try to eliminate the substances that are invading the bloodstream by creating inflammation. Too many invading substances over an extended period of time create excess and continuous inflammation known as chronic inflammation.


Chronic inflammation begins to weaken the overall immune system. Both of these can damage other organ systems. A person’s inherited genetic code will determine which organ system may suffer. The result is the manifestation of various chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dental diseases, and many other auto immune diseases.


In addition, these insults can prevent essential nutrients from either being available to the body or being absorbed by the body. Healthy cells require essential nutrients to survive and thrive.


In the mouth, a compromised immune system, lack of essential nutrients, and systemic chronic inflammation can cause a healthy balance of bacteria to become out-of-balance and unhealthy. Then, poor food choices like unhealthy carbohydrates can feed these overgrown unhealthy oral bacteria. In turn, these pathogenic bacteria could flourish and begin to create periodontal disease and dental decay.



Dentistry in the Future

Dentists will become students of the effects from the environment, diet, and lifestyle on the health of the body. Dental professionals will begin to integrate this knowledge as they treat the mouth. They will begin to educate their patients about these factors and will help patients modify them to improve their mouth as well as the rest of their body.



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Switch to Healthy

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 23, 2018 [printfriendly]




Switch to Healthy


The big switch in on.


It seems that many people want to switch to healthy. The big question is, “What is healthy?” While there are many ideas out there, it is a fact that over the course of human evolution, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory ways of eating have served societies the best. These plant and animal sources were endemic to where these peoples thrived.


“Nutrient-dense” means that there are many nutrients per calorie of food. “Anti-inflammatory” means that these foods do not cause inflammation in the gut and into the blood system.



Talking With Patients

I discuss with all my patients the benefits of nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory food choices. But, not in overly complex terms. Actually, I explain how to switch to healthy and eliminate the not-so-healthy.


I have learned that if I want to bring up the subject for patients to switch to healthy, I need to be supportive and not condemning. Patients need to feel a need to change. They need to have an emotional “Why?” for this to happen. They need to make this “change” their own.


Most importantly, I must offer appropriate and appetizing food substitutions up front in order for patients to see better options. They need to know there are substitutes for bread and pasta that will satisfy. They need to know there are yummy snack replacements. If I can’t offer appealing choices, I could turn them off right from the beginning.


So, this is my secret to help patients. Give them tempting and delicious ideas and recipes that can replace those not-so-healthy foods they are eating every day. Sometimes we talk taking “slow, baby steps”; other times we talk jumping in “all at once”. These approaches are based on what the patient needs.



Offending Foods

Initially, I point out the major offending foods that are inflammatory and provide little nutrition. Here are the major “food categories” that are not-so-healthy:

  • Grains (especially gluten grains)
  • Free sugars (sugars that are added to foods)
  • Over-processed seed and vegetable oils
  • Pasteurized milk products
  • Processed and packaged foods, which have added preservatives, emulsifiers, and chemicals


As I just noted, it is critical for me to offer delicious substitutions for these frequently consumed foods. If I were only to say, “Stop eating these foods” without giving suitable replacement choices, I would lose my patients at the start.


To that end, I created tables that identify various unhealthy choices along with my personal suggestions of healthier options that are available locally or online. In addition, I provide resources for many recipes and foods.


Also, I give patients my original recipes, which are on my website. For example, instead of bread made from grains, I offer my recipes for almond bread and cashew bread. Instead of wheat pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast, I give them my recipes for blueberry plantain pancakes and no-oat oatmeal. Instead of conventional pudding or apple pie for dessert, I provide my recipes for chocolate avocado pudding or apple crisp with honey.


Here are PDFs that offer some healthier alternatives for grains, sugars, and over-processed oils.



3-Day Food Journal

It is important for me to learn what my patients really are eating. Although many may tell me they already eat healthy, it is amazing to see their real diet when we get down to the nitty gritty. So, I give them my 3-Day Food Journal to fill out.


In this journal of three consecutive days, they list everything they eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks. This is detailed. They also note any exercise they are doing and specifics about their bowel movements. Here is the 3-Day Food Journal I give my patients to complete.


After they complete this journal, I sit down with them and figure out what foods are in the “bad” or “unhealthy” category. I make specific suggestions to replace these foods with more “healthy” and appetizing choices. Here is a summary form I prepare that points out my recommendations for the changes they may want to make.



30-Day Reset

Last, I give my patients my 30-Day Reset, which summarizes the healthiest foods, the foods to eat in moderation, and those foods that must be totally eliminated because they have few nutrients per calorie and are inflammatory to the body. Here is my 30-Day Reset.



Going Forward

Follow-up is critical for success. After my patients work on their diet for at least 30 days, we get together for another appointment. They complete a new 3-Day Food Journal, which we review. They usually have many questions, which I proceed to answer. We need to tweak some food choices and figure out solutions to the problems they have encountered.


Some patients need more one-on-one coaching going forward. If they need extra help, I offer my 12-Week Total-Body Coaching Program to help them personally navigate an overall lifestyle change for a lifetime.


All this is exciting!


The switch is on!


These people are effectively making their switch to healthy!



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I Have Been Interviewed
– FITx Talks: Freedom Series –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 3, 2018 [printfriendly]




FITx Talks: Freedom SeriesCan you imagine how much I can say in 10 minutes?


I was asked to speak on FITx Talks: Freedom Series. This is a series of 10-minute talks by various speakers on subjects that may change your life.


Don’t miss this event. 10-minute talks are unique, and everybody can find 10 minutes to listen! To get access for this FREE Series, click HERE.


My 10-minute talk is about My 5 Health Tweaks that Changed my Life. Over the past 12 months, I added these tweaks to my Primal Diet and Lifestyle method. Amazing!


I am one of 30+ experts who have participated in this Series. These experts will tell you how to reset your life and get the results you want. I think you will be amazed at what can be said in only 10 minutes.


Topics will include the next level of happiness, relationships, love, fitness, health, and many more.


This is a FREE event. But, you need to sign up for the Series to receive the Series via email.



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Dr. Howard Farran
Dr. Al Danenberg

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
April 30, 2018 [printfriendly]





I had the great opportunity to be interviewed by Dr. Howard Farran on his exceptional podcast series titled, “Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran”. It was released on April 28, 2018 and runs for about 58 minutes.


We chat about big pharma and big agriculture. We question the incentives of these companies to provide “healthy choices” to the masses. I explain the importance of the gut microbiome, the mouth, and dental diseases. You will learn so much from these 58 minutes.


Take the time to view and listen to “Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran” as he talks with me about so many pertinent subjects.



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My 5 Essential Lifestyle Tweaks

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
April 2, 2018 [printfriendly]




My 5 Essential Lifestyle TweaksThis month, I start my 6th year of living a Primal Lifestyle. I wrote about My Primal Lifestyle in 2016. Since then, I refined and perfected the ways I do things. Over the last 12 months, I began to incorporate my 5 Essential Lifestyle Tweaks to further improve what I had been doing.


Back in 2007, I had a stroke and could have died. Yet, I didn’t learn about a primal diet and a primal way of living until 2013. Fortunately for me, embracing a Primal Lifestyle in 2013 saved my life.


Fast forward to April 2018 when I will be 71 years old. I feel healthier today than I have ever felt. My blood chemistries have improved considerably from where they were in 2013 – with additional impressive test results since I included these 5 tweaks.


Following my stroke in 2007, my physicians prescribed 7 medications for me to take for the rest of my life. Not being comfortable with that scenario, I reinvented my life and have weaned off my last medication this month.


The way I live is based on a nutrient-dense diet, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and stress reduction – all of which I discuss in my book, Crazy-Good Living. In addition to all this, recent medical research is uncovering new and exciting facts about the importance of the gut microbiome and the mitochondria. Both areas are where I have refined and focused my current efforts.


The Gut & The Mitochondria

I recently published two articles – one about the gut and one about mitochondria. Big Bang Theory of Chronic Disease describes the importance of the gut as the starting point for most systemic diseases. Mitochondria, Gut Bacteria, and Vitamin K2 describes the importance of mitochondrial health for the proper function of almost every cell and organ system. Both articles are loaded with links to peer-reviewed medical papers to support my conclusions.


5 Essential Lifestyle Tweaks

The following 5 tweaks are focused methods, which I have added to my primal lifestyle program. They are reported to improve the gut microbiome and the body’s mitochondria:


1  Intermittent fasting and multi-day fasting
Published medical research has demonstrated that fasting is beneficial in a variety of ways. It improves fat-burning, builds muscle, enhances brain health, reduces oxidative stress, improves mitochondria health, and reduces inflammation to name a few. Several months ago, I wrote about my fasting experience.


2. 4-minute daily exercise created by Dr. Zachary Bush
This may be as effective as high intensity interval training. It is reported to increase the production of nitric oxide. I try to include this exercise protocol several times a week.


3. Spore-based probiotics
A randomized and double-blind study published in 2017 demonstrated that spore-based probiotics grow in the gut and can increase the diversity of other healthy bacteria in the gut. Personally, I take this probiotic daily along with the Vitamin supplement I discuss next.


4. Vitamin K2
This unique form of vitamin K helps prevent inflammation and move calcium into the proper areas in the body. In addition, medical research using an animal model showed that vitamin K2 could rescue damaged mitochondria.


5. Pulsed electromagnetic fields
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy improves the energy of cells. In this way, it may improve the functioning of mitochondria, and thereby improve many chronic conditions. In the next few weeks, I will devote an entire Blog to the science and application of this important medical application. One company that offers this technology in the United States is QRS (Quantum Resonance Systems).


Wrapping It Up

I have experienced personal benefits from these 5 tweaks. My results are anecdotal; I am not part of a controlled study. You may not have the same effects as I have. The facts are that the gut microbiome is critical for overall health, and the mitochondria in every cell of our body are critical for the healthy functioning of each cell.



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I Will Be Speaking at Paleo f(x) 2018

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
March 28, 2018 [printfriendly]




Paleo f(x)™ 2018 event tickets

I am excited to be a speaker at Paleo f(x) 2018. I’ll be on stage, along with many of my Paleo friends, and it would be awesome to see you there, too.


Our friends at Paleo f(x) have tickets on sale now for their epic conference in Austin April 27-29, 2018, and you’re invited!


Why attend Paleo f(x)?


It’s the biggest Paleo gathering in the world, filled with like-minded people sharing the best and brightest ideas and the most cutting-edge science.


If you’ve never attended, it’s the perfect place to become inspired and empowered to take your health to the next level. Throughout the weekend, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to:

  • Mix and mingle with your tribe—Connect with like-minded colleagues and friends who are as passionate about living a vibrant life as you are.
  • Immerse and empower yourself—Discover something new or deepen your knowledge. We’ll have experts speaking about the latest in epigentics, biohacking, Keto, AIP, nootropics, blood testing, strength conditioning, sleep, stress and much more.
  • Play and try out the latest technology, gadgets and workouts—learn from our trainers, taste-test delicious, paleo-friendly foods, and discover how fit you really are with the Paleo f(x) Fit Score.


Click here to get your tickets now and save


You deserve to be vibrantly healthy. And you deserve to have supportive, uplifting friends who get you.


At Paleo f(x) you’ll have three full days to dive in and accelerate your learning about all things ancestral-health related. You’ll be among your tribe–the people who lift you up and really get you!


If you’re committed to taking charge of your well-being and optimizing your health, please join me for the full Paleo f(x) experience.


Meet me in Austin April 2018 – save $ on @Paleofx tickets.



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… The Real Diet …
the “Next Best Thing”

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
February 26, 2018 [printfriendly]




The Real Diet - the "Next Best Thing"


Fads come and go – especially dieting fads. It’s always the “next best thing” that replaces the previous “next best thing”. These diets seem to work to some extent until they don’t. Or, the fad diet you’re on makes you sick. What do you do? Move onto the “next best thing”?


Some of these diets are based on facts. Most of them are based on hype and anecdotal justifications. When a celebrity endorses a new fad diet, the masses rush in to become a part of the “next best thing”.


This style of dieting sets you up for one experiment after another. The Real Diet, which I’ll discuss near the end of this article, should complement your body’s requirements to survive and thrive. It should be a lifestyle diet and not a “next best thing” diet.



Timeline of Diets

Rene Lynch wrote an excellent article, which sets up a timeline of major diet crazes.[1] There are many diets that have gone in and out of favor over the decades. I’ve summarized some of the earliest ones as well as some of the more bizarre ones below:


1830: One of the first “diet crazes” was created by Reverend Sylvester Graham. He emphasized a high-fiber diet based on whole grain breads. His work inspired the manufacturing of graham flour and graham crackers.


1863: William Banting was an Englishman who was obese. To improve his own health and lose weight, he developed a low-carb diet and wrote about it in “Letter on Corpulence”. He was the first to popularize a weight-loss program based on limiting carbohydrates, especially starchy and sugary foods.


1925: Of all things, there was The Cigarette Diet.  Lucky Strike, a brand of cigarette, created an advertising campaign with the slogan, Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”.


1928: The Inuit Diet became popular with the publication of “Studies on the Metabolism of Eskimos” by Peter Heinsbecker. His book emphasized eating meat, raw fish, and whale blubber.


1930: The Grapefruit Diet was a 12-day crash diet. It required eating a grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice at each meal.


1934: The Banana and Milk Diet was created by a medical doctor at Johns Hopkins University for his patients with diabetes. The diet consisted of eating four to six bananas and drinking three to four glasses of milk every day for two weeks. Then, for the next two weeks, patients would eat only meat, fish, eggs and vegetables, avoiding other fats or carbohydrates.


1950: The Cabbage Soup Diet is still popular today. It’s a 7-day diet that consists mainly of fat free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day. Other specific foods are allowed as the diet progresses over the course of 7 days.


1962: The Drinking Man’s Diet was published by Robert Cameron. He suggested dieters should count carbs and not calories. He stated that his diet, “… would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce Béarnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce.”


1975: The Cookie Diet was the baby of Dr. Sanford Siegal, a physician who specialized in treating overweight patients. He created a low-calorie cookie made with his secret “hunger-controlling” formula. These cookies were touted to keep appetite down and calorie-count low. There was a scheduled plan for eating Dr. Siegal’s cookies during the day along with a low-calorie meal for dinner.


1976: The Sleeping Beauty Diet suggested that being sedated is necessary to help people lose weight. It recommended taking sedatives when hungry to avoid eating too much. In essence, a person would sleep instead of eating.


1981: Judy Mazel created The Beverly Hills Diet to help her lose weight. It was based on the actions of enzymes on various foods as they were being digested. The diet detailed when specific foods could be eaten and in what combinations they should be eaten.



The Real Diet

Enter The Real Diet.


It’s not a fad at all; it’s a lifestyle. It’s my “slogan” for what humans have been eating over the course of evolution – different foods based on different locations throughout the world.


For the last 200,000 years or so, modern humans – our primal ancestors – have learned to survive and thrive on the foods that were endemic to the areas of the world where these people lived. The DNA of our ancestors slowly evolved to become the blueprint, which guides our lives today. Our gut microbiome, which is continuously evolving more rapidly than our human cells, plays one of the most important roles in our overall health.[2] Our human cells and our gut microbiome require specific foods to provide the nutrients for us to survive and thrive, just as was true for our primal ancestors.


There is enormous variation in the foods that can provide our body with everything it needs. However, over-processed foods, ingested chemicals and medicines, and an overly-antiseptic lifestyle have caused our cells and our microbiome to malfunction.


Fad diets are not the answer. The “next best thing” should be The Real Diet. We need to return to a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory way of eating supported by a lifestyle embedded with efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and reduction in all forms of stresses on the body.



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My Ragdoll Cat Eats Paleo, Too

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
February 19, 2018 [printfriendly]



My Ragdoll Cat Eats Paleo, too!


Meet Cricket. She is my adopted 2-year-old Ragdoll cat, who is a fluff ball. She eats Paleo, too! Just like me, sort of. (I define Paleo to be equivalent to Ancestral.)


By now, you must know that I eat a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet. My healthy lifestyle began at the age of 66. I will be 71 in April of this year. I feel healthier today than ever. My story is interesting, and I have written about it many times.


An ancestral diet and lifestyle saved my life. Our genetic blueprint and our gut microbiome depend on this way of living to survive and thrive. An ancestral way of living also goes for animals – both in the wild and domesticated. Animals must eat and live the lifestyle their bodies require. Sadly, you can imagine what is in commercially processed animal foods that we feed our domesticated cats and dogs.



Cats Are Carnivores

I’ll speak for Cricket.


Cats are obligate carnivores. They must eat animals from nose to tail with few exceptions. However, if you looked at the ingredients of most cat foods, they contain hefty portions of grains, other carbohydrates, byproducts (whatever that means!), flavorings (more chemicals), pesticide & herbicide residues, preservatives, and emulsifiers.


For example, the Ingredient List of one of the most popular cat foods formulated specifically for Ragdoll cats starts off with: chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, wheat gluten, chicken fat, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, natural flavors … etc. These ingredients are at the beginning of the Ingredient List, which means they make up the far majority of the “food”.


Cats demand a diet rich in protein and water. These will help prevent conditions like feline kidney disease and feline IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). Cat liver failure is also a common side effect of poor nutrition that can be prevented by adding a source of water into a cat’s diet.


Interestingly, animals in the wild rarely are obese and rarely have chronic diseases, gum disease, or tooth decay. Yet, our domesticated pets eating unhealthy commercial pet foods suffer from all these conditions. Humans who are eating a Standard American Diet also suffer from advancing and degenerative chronic diseases.



Paleo Cat Foods

So, my fluffy Cricket eats Paleo.


I have done some research and have found a few cat foods that are based on ancestral foods.


One that impressed me was Hound & Gatos. It is an ancestral-based, canned food with no added byproducts, fillers, grains, or artificial preservatives. However, cats in the wild eat raw food, and this product is not raw.


I investigated frozen raw foods for cats and discovered Stella & Chewy and Rad Cat. Stella & Chewy is about 98% muscle, organ meats, and bone; Rad Cat is about 96% muscle and organ meats. Other nutrients necessary for the cat’s health make up the remaining ingredients. Both companies state their products are cage-free or pasture-raised.


If I had the time, I could prepare Paleo meals for Cricket. But, since there is Stella & Chewy and Rad Cat (among others), I am satisfied with these ancestral raw-food choices that are convenient for me and healthy for Cricket. As far as Cricket’s in concerned, she absolutely loves all three choices from Stella & Chewy – rabbit, duck, and chicken.



Transitioning to Paleo

Although your cat requires healthy animal protein, he or she may only be used to eating commercially-prepared cat foods. So, when it comes down to feeding your cat ancestral raw foods, there will be a transition process to get your cat accustomed to these healthier options. You might need to introduce a little raw food along with the usual food your cat has been eating. Slowly increase the Paleo food and decrease the commercial food until your cat is completely eating healthy. Your precious cat may reflect the healthier diet with increased energy, beautiful coat, a healthy mouth, and less veterinary visits because of less sickness.


We were fortunate. After we adopted Cricket as an adult Ragdoll, it took only a week to transition her from a diet of kibbles and commercial canned food to a diet of raw Stella & Chewy foods. We also discovered a holistic dog and cat market called All is Well.


Christi Gephart is one of the owners of All is Well and is a registered dietician. She understands nutrition from an ancestral point of view. One “pearl” Christi told me was to feed Cricket eventually only once a day, which is the way cats hunt and eat in the wild. The company’s website is a great resource of useful information, which you won’t find on many typical animal sites.


Our next step for Cricket is to introduce her to an occasional treat of a pastured, raw chicken wing. Our local Farmers’ Market has vendors that can supply them. My wife and I love them seasoned and baked in an oven at 400 F for 40 minutes. But, Cricket will get one that is raw – powerful for her teeth and jaw!



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