Why The Tooth Fairy
Gave Up Grains & Sugars

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
December 4, 2017

 

 

Why the tooth fairy gave up grains & sugars

(Way back in August 2014, I wrote this tale and published it on my website. I also included it in my book, Crazy-Good Living.  Several readers asked me to republish it on my website. With some tweaks and revisions, here is the tale for children to read or for parents to read to their children.)

 

A Whimsical Tale – updated

You may think you know all about tooth fairies. You know that they discreetly appear at night to sneak away your child’s baby tooth, which is hidden under his or her pillow. You also know that tooth fairies exchange the tooth for little trinkets. These little pixies flutter about with their cute big eyes, their huge smiles, and their soft silky wings. But what you probably don’t know is that these precious little busy bees have been around for a long time. As a matter of fact, they have been around for thousands of years.

 

These tooth fairies knew of a time when little boys and little girls hardly ever got tooth decay. In those days, mommies and daddies worked hard gathering and hunting food. The children ate all the good, nutritious foods that their parents brought to the table. Bodies were strong and lean, and teeth were white and straight. Adult teeth lasted a lifetime, as they were designed to do. But then, something changed. Unfortunately, the fairies didn’t realize it until much later.

 

Starting about 10,000 years ago, certain foods were grown on farms. As years went by, some people began to change these foods. Good things were removed from these foods, and bad things were added to these foods. These “new foods” eventually became part of almost everyone’s diet. The fairies didn’t think any harm was going to come from them. But, it did. These foods started to damage the teeth of children and adults. All of a sudden, it seemed like many people started to develop toothaches and loose teeth and holes in their teeth. The fairies finally learned that something was wrong with these “new foods”. They discovered that these “new foods” – these grain products and processed sugars – were a cause of dental problems and other health problems that were beginning to harm children and adults.

 

The fairies made a pledge to give up grain products and processed sugars and to try to tell everybody that these were not healthy foods.

 

Before these “new foods” came into the picture, children ate very healthy. So, the fairies became focused on a new mission – to tell the world that unhealthy grain products and unhealthy sugars needed to be avoided in order to regain dental health and overall health. You see, our bodies were never designed to eat these modern-day foods. These foods irritated our guts and eventually upset our bodies. It took a long time for the fairies to grasp that so many other diseases were caused by these “new foods”.

 

So, the fairies gave up grain products and processed sugars and started to teach the world to be a healthier place. Most importantly, the fairies wanted to teach better eating choices to the children, whom they were meant to protect.

 

Message for Moms and Dads

Parents can create healthy meals for their children. To that end, parents need to consider removing unhealthy grain products and processed sugars from meals and replacing them with healthier choices. Choose healthy varieties of meats, fish, eggs, and fats from animals that have been raised humanely in their natural environments. It is important to include leafy green vegetables at every meal. Over 50% of every “plate of food” should consist of non-starchy vegetables of all colors. You could add in some fruit or a starchy root vegetable or a few nuts and seeds. The foods hunter-gatherers ate for thousands and thousands of years are the foods that will allow healthy bodies of all ages to survive and thrive today. These food choices are part of a Primal (or Paleo-type) Lifestyle.

 

Here are two tables I created. One provides substitutes for unhealthy grain products, and the other provides substitutes for unhealthy sugar products.

 

The recipes I have created and published on my website are nutrient-dense foods that are healthy and delicious. I invite you to explore some of them.

 

 

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Crazy-Good Living

Six Steps to the New You

evolution rSo, it’s the New Year and you’re thinking about the New You.
 
You think you want to go Paleo or Primal or Ancestral. They basically are all the same with only slight differences. Here are 6 steps to reach your goal of eliminating the bad foods. Although some people may want to jump in all at once, there may be problems going too fast.
 
For example, research has shown that refined sugars may be as addictive as cocaine. You could have intense cravings for refined carbohydrates during the first few weeks. It also would be reasonable to expect some withdrawal symptoms like headaches, sluggishness, or a little “brain fog” after eliminating these from your diet. Going slowly may be the best thing for you.
 
Others might have uncomfortable body reactions because already-stored toxins could be released too quickly and bad bacteria could be overwhelmed too quickly. These reactions might manifest in various ways like acne, diarrhea, nausea, stomachaches, bloating, gas, muscle or joint aches, or headaches. For these reasons, some people may prefer to take it slowly.
 
There are some people who may not have made up their minds that a new program is right for them. They might prefer to test the waters by taking baby steps.
 
Here is a progressive program that eases you into a healthy eating lifestyle over the next 12 weeks – one step at a time. Remember, this isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle change. Of course, you don’t have to take it slowly; you could jump in 100% on day ONE.
 
Step 1: Eliminate unhealthy oils and fats
For the next 14 days, remove all vegetable and seed oils, chemically produced trans fats, and partially hydrogenated fats from your diet. The reason: these oils and fats are toxic to your body. The only oils you will put on salads in moderation are macadamia oil or extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to sautéing, the only fats you will use will be saturated fats like coconut oil, butter or ghee from grass-fed cows, or other saturated fats like tallow from grass-fed and grass-finished cattle or lard from pastured pigs. You will completely avoid such liquid polyunsaturated oils as canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, etc. If you are eating processed foods, you will need to investigate the ingredient lists of these foods to see if they contain any forbidden fats or oils.
 
Step 2: Eliminate all grains
For the next 14 days, remove all grains from your diet. The reason: these carbohydrates will damage the lining of your gut, will change your gut bacteria to produce more harmful microbes, and will interfere with your normal hormonal balance. Grains include all cereals, breads made from wheat or other grain flours, pasta, crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, pretzels, popcorn, rice biscuits, and anything on a label that includes any grain product. If you eat foods from grain-fed animals, you ultimately will be eating grain that was incorporated into their meat and fat.
 
Step 3: Eliminate all added sugars and artificial sweeteners
For the next 14 days, remove all added sugars and artificial sweeteners. The reason: refined and artificial sugars eventually stimulate your hormones to function poorly creating cellular damage as well as damage to your gut lining and to your healthy gut bacteria. Look at labels on processed foods. Many are loaded with sugar and sugar aliases like high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, cane juice, dextrose, etc. Artificial sweeteners consist of aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), Saccharine, etc. If you need a sweetener, you sparingly may use local, raw honey, which is a whole food.
 
Step 4: Eliminate all legumes
For the next 14 days, remove all legumes from you diet. The reason: legumes contain antinutrients that prevent certain minerals being absorbed through your gut and damage the lining of your gut. They include peanuts, black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lima beans, soybeans, lentils, etc.
 
Step 5: Eliminate pasteurized and homogenized milk and milk products
For the next 14 days, remove all conventionally processed milk products that include all pasteurized and homogenized products. The reason: these milk products have been physically, chemically, and biologically altered in such a way that it may be damaging to your gut lining and your hormone balance. Also, many people are lactose intolerant and/or sensitive to the casein protein in milk, which can mimic the gluten protein. Raw and non-homogenized milk and cheeses from cows and goats are OK if you can tolerate them.
 
Step 6: Eliminate most processed food products
For the next 14 days, remove processed food products. The reason: these generally contain chemical additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, genetically modified foods, excess unhealthy salt, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, acellular carbohydrates, and various elements that may be toxic to your body over time. If the processed food only has healthy ingredients you recognize, then don’t be concerned. But if this food product has ingredients you cannot pronounce or obvious offenders as I have described, avoid it.

Healthier Mouth … Healthier Lifestyle … Healthier You
Part 2 of 5

evolution rMy eating style is based on human evolution – sometimes known as Paleo Lifestyle, or Ancestral Lifestyle, or Primal Lifestyle. They are all the same. Below are the foods that our ancestors never ate because these foods did not exist over the 2.5 million years of human evolution. Our bodies were never designed to ingest and digest these foods.
 
Foods to Avoid:
 
• Modern grains can initiate inflammation and a leaky gut, through which undigested foods and bad bacteria can leak into the bloodstream. Not good! This creates a cascade of events that can cause various chronic diseases and obesity. Grains also encourage the development of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, which never evolved to digest grains completely. Unhealthy bacteria in the gut mean unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. Grains need to be eliminated from our diets.
 
• Unnatural sugars contribute to unhealthy bacteria and chronic diseases as grains do. From a dental standpoint, sugars are fermentable carbohydrates that feed oral bacteria, which cause dental decay and gum disease. All added sugars like fructose, agave, and high fructose corn syrup should be avoided.
 
• Polyunsaturated vegetable oils (like canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil) are unstable and break down easily as a result of commercial processing and normal cooking. Ingestion of these fats damages metabolic processes causing harm to individual cells. Also, chemically altered trans fats and partially hydrogenated fats are toxic to the body. All of these need to be avoided.
 
• Processed foods contain too many carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and an excess of unhealthy salt. They also contain various chemicals, which attempt to add back nutrients and to help food maintain a longer shelf life. Many of these additives are toxic. Processed foods should be avoided.
 
• Legumes have anti-nutrients that irritate the intestinal lining and prevent proper absorption of many minerals. Legumes are not essential for health and only offer a low level of nutrients per gram. Legumes include most beans, peas, lentils, soy, and peanuts. Commercially available soy and peanuts should always be avoided because cooking cannot destroy peanuts’ anti-nutrients, and soy contains phytoestrogens and trypsin inhibitors. The phytoestrogens confuse the body into thinking it is real estrogen, and the trypsin inhibitors interfere with normal protein digestion. However, soaking other beans, peas, and lentils for 8-12 hours and cooking them long enough to reduce the harmful level of anti-nutrients are methods that may make these legumes less harmful.
 
Tomorrow I will suggest those foods that are critical for health.
 
NOTE:
I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FROM ANY OF THE COMPANIES I HAVE RECOMMENDED.
 

How I Changed My Life

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     October 1, 2014  


 
 
     
 

evolution r

My story is interesting because I could have died.
 
You would think that a healthcare professional like myself would have learned everything that was necessary to be personally healthy. But, not true. Medical and dental professionals have a paltry amount of nutritional training – and no training in the importance of primal nutrition and lifestyle.
 
My story begins in December 2006:
 
I had been in practice for 32 years. I was treating my body as well as I thought was appropriate. I ate low fat, high fiber foods including grains, skim milk, fish, and meat. I didn’t like non-starchy veggies, but I thought I was doing just fine. I exercised aerobically 4-5 days a week for about 40 minutes a day. One of my loves was to snack on popcorn, which I believed supplied me with healthy fiber.
 
Then, in December 2006 I had a life-changing event. My daughter (who was staying with me and my wife while her family was transitioning to Portland, OR from Charleston, SC,) was sitting on our living room floor while I was standing with my laptop in my hands. All of a sudden I felt a shock travelling from the computer up my arm. I dropped the computer on my sofa, and my daughter exclaimed, “What’s wrong?” I said that I just got a shock from my computer. Her response was, “Dad, don’t be so melodramatic.” A week later, I had a stroke.
 
The stroke must have occurred while I was sleeping. When I woke up, my grandson was at our house, and I attempted to ask him if he wanted to go out for breakfast. But, the words could not come out. I was unable to speak. I felt fine, but I couldn’t speak. My wife, who is a nurse, realized what was happening, and drove me to the hospital. I was lucky.
 
My doctors explained that the “shock” that I thought was from my computer was actually a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). Many people who have a stroke will experience a TIA days or weeks before the stroke as a warning sign of an impending crisis. I was not aware of such a warning sign, so I paid no attention to it.
 
While in the hospital for a week, my cardiologist and internist put me on three types of blood pressure meds, a cholesterol med, and an acid reflux med. My vascular surgeon put me on 81mg aspirin and Plavix. Their medical advice was for me to take these meds for the rest of my life. Within three weeks, I was able to speak normally. I returned to work after six weeks.
 
After my stroke in 2006, I knew that I needed to get educated about good nutrition. So, I began my reeducation. For the next 6 years, I actively pursued my needed education in nutrition. I thought I was doing well.
 
In April 2013, I enrolled in a 5-day nutrition course that changed my life. I was excited because I believed that this was going to be the program I had searched for to confirm what I was doing currently was correct. I hoped to learn a few new things to hone my skills and update the knowledge that I already acquired. This program wasn’t about basic nutrition as I had been learning; it was about primal nutrition – the foods and lifestyles that allowed our species to thrive for 2.5 million years. What I learned in those informative and enlightening five days did change my life. I learned that almost everything I was doing was wrong. That blew me away!
 
Among other things, I learned that most processed foods were making us sick. I learned that modern grains of any type were one of the worst things I could put in my body. I learned that healthy fats were essential, and anything that was processed to be low-fat or no-fat was unhealthy. I learned that all the fruit I was eating contributed way too much sugar to my body, and leafy greens and other multicolored veggies were required at every meal. I also learned that exercise needed to be efficient, sleep needed to be restorative, various stresses on my body needed to be reduced, and that sitting most of the day was almost as bad as smoking. Wow!
 
So, I traveled back to my home in Charleston, SC and informed my wife of what I learned. She was not happy. But, she allowed me to make a 30-day test of my new fangled ideas. We removed all the processed foods, grain products, and sugar aliases from our pantry and fridge, which added up to 7 grocery bags that I took to my local Food Bank. We joined our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program to obtain locally grown, organic veggies weekly. The foods we started eating consisted of grass fed beef and wild caught fish; all kinds of shellfish; free range chicken, liver, and eggs; all kinds of vegetables raw and cooked; some deeply colored fruits and occasionally nuts and seeds that we soaked overnight.
 
At that time, my meds were still the same. My HDL was 48, my triglycerides were 120, and my resting blood pressure was 137/87 even with three blood pressure meds. I weighed 184 pounds. My physicians’ advice was, “Continue to take your meds.” Unfortunately, my physicians were ignorant of the science of primal nutrition and lifestyle, as I believe most physicians are.
 
Today, I am still practicing periodontics, and I plan to continue treating my patients for the foreseeable future. As I am writing this, my resting blood pressure is 119/72, and my pulse rate is 54. My HDL is 76, and my triglycerides are 112. I weigh 154 pounds.
 
It has been stated that it takes one month of repairing a nutritionally damaged body for every year of the manifestation of a disease. I am still a work in progress; I have much farther to go to regain optimal health. I am patient, but I am diligent and motivated. I can’t believe the way I used to live was slowly destroying me. I can never return to the way it used to be. I am a changed person, and I want to spread the word.
 
The doctors, whom I depended on in 2006 while I was having a stroke, were exceptional. They saved my life, but I had to learn how to get healthy on my own. I only learned what was going on in my body after I learned about evolution and how our ancestors thrived.
 
Why didn’t my physicians help me understand why I had a stroke, and how I should improve my lifestyle to get healthy? Why didn’t my physicians explain how I should wean off my meds over time? The science is there, but most of the medical profession hasn’t gotten the message.
 
While making a change in my life, I also am making a change in my patients’ lives. In June of 2014, I received the designation of Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, which helped me understand why and how diseases start at the cellular level. In September, I received the Certified Primal Blueprint Expert designation, which brought the concepts of primal nutrition and primal lifestyle into a cohesive game plan to incorporate with my active periodontal treatment. I teach all my periodontal patients the importance of primal nutrition and primal lifestyle. When you enable each cell in the body to function properly by giving it what it needs – which is nutrient-dense real foods and exercise and sleep and reduction in all types of stresses – each cell will help all other cells to thrive. Your gut will become healthier; your overall body will become healthier; and your mouth will become healthier.
 
I’ve reenergized my life and reengineered my professional career. I offer the knowledge that I have learned to all my patients and to all who want to listen.
 

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My Gums are Bleeding and Sore

evolution rAbout a year ago I was asked to evaluate a patient who had bleeding gums, which was not responding to daily, good oral hygiene and had not responded to a deep cleaning by the hygienist in his dentist’s office.
 
This was a 71-year old gentleman who had ongoing gum issues for over 3 years. When I spoke to him, he did not complain of pain all the time, but he explained that his gums would bleed when he brushed his teeth and were a little sore. He wanted a quick fix like an antibiotic.
 
I told him we first needed to rule out infections and any blood diseases including serious diseases like cancers. As I questioned him, he told me that he had bouts of diarrhea and bloating. He also complained of acid reflux disease for which his medical doctor put him on an acid-reducing prescription. When I questioned him about his eating habits, he told me he had a healthy bowl of oatmeal every morning and usually some pasta dish with dinner. I suggested that some of his problem could come from the grains that he was eating.
 
He immediately dismissed my idea because he had been eating this way his entire life, and that obviously could not be at the cause of his gum sores. He left my office to seek other opinions.
 
Then several months later, I saw him again. He had seen an oral surgeon and then his own medical doctor who put him on anti-inflammatory prescription drugs. These meds did not resolve his bleeding gums. He finally allowed me to make my suggestions.
 
I had him fill out a 3-day food journal listing everything he ate. He also had to write down the frequency of his bowel movements and any exercise he participated in during these three days. When I reviewed his journal with him, we discovered he was eating some type of grain product with every meal as well as every snack. He also realized that he was eating very few green vegetables. Most of his drinks were laden with sugar.
 
I had him promise to do an experiment for 30 days. Since he had been suffering with bleeding, sore gums for several years, to experiment on himself for 30 days would not be too much to ask of him. He agreed, and here is what I recommended:
 
• Eliminate all grains – I described the foods that had grains and grain products, which had to be eliminated. I also gave him a list of foods that could be substituted for these grains and snacks. I even included some of my favorite recipes.
 
• Eliminate all sugary drinks – I recommended various drinks including regular water that he should be drinking.
 
• I suggested that he begin to take a nutrient-dense supplement of fermented cod liver oil capsules as well as organic kelp powder capsules every day. I gave him resources online where he could purchase them.
 
• I explained the benefits of coconut oil as an excellent mouthwash. He would place about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in is mouth and swish. At the end of 10 minutes, he would spit it out and rinse with water. He could do that several times a day if he wanted.
 
• Then, at the end of 30 days, he and I would get back together to see what happened.
 
To his astonishment, his bleeding gums were significantly better after 30 days – not healed yet, but much better. My further discussions with him were to include improving the bacteria in his gut and continuing to modify his diet to remove all offending items and replace what needed to be there. If necessary at a later date, I would suggest some functional testing to delve into specific cellular problems.
 

Why the Tooth Fairy Gave Up Grains:
A Whimsical Tale

evolution rYou may think you know all about tooth fairies. As you know, they discreetly appear at night to exchange your child’s baby tooth, that’s tucked away under his or her pillow, for little trinkets. They flutter about with their cute big eyes and their huge smiles and their soft, silky wings. But what you probably didn’t know was that these precious little busy bees have been around for a long time. As a matter of fact, they have been around for tens of thousands of years.

 

These tooth fairies knew of a time when little boys and little girls hardly ever got tooth decay. In those days, mommies and daddies worked hard gathering and hunting food. The children ate all the good, nutritious foods that their parents brought to the table. Bodies were strong and lean, and teeth were white and straight. Adult teeth lasted a lifetime, as they were designed to do. But then, something changed, but the fairies didn’t realize it until much later.

 

About 10,000 years ago, certain foods were cultivated that slowly became part of almost everyone’s diet. The fairies didn’t think any harm was going to come from these new foods. But it did. In time, these foods started to damage the teeth of children and adults. All of a sudden, it seemed like many people started to develop toothaches and loose teeth and holes in their teeth. The fairies finally learned that something was wrong with these new foods. They learned that these foods – these grains – were the cause of the dental problems and other health problems that were beginning to plague humans.

 

Then, refined sugars became part of most human’s diets. And then, the fairies understood that these sugars added to the problems from grains. The fairies made a pledge to give up these grains and sugars and to try to tell everybody that these were not healthy foods.

 

The way the fairies used to eat, and the way humans used to eat before grains became so much a part of the diet, was the healthy way to eat. So the fairies became focused on a mission – to tell the world that grains and sugars needed to be avoided in order to regain dental health and overall health. You see, our bodies were never designed to eat these modern day foods. Our guts just couldn’t fully digest them, and these foods eventually upset our delicate balance. It took a long time for the fairies to realize that so many chronic problems were caused by these “foods”.

 

So, the fairies gave up grains and sugars and started to teach the world to be a healthier place. Most importantly, the fairies wanted to teach the children, whom they were meant to protect, to eat healthy.

 

To create healthy meals for your children, consider leaving grains and added-sugars out, and replacing them with healthy meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and various spices. It is important to include leafy green vegetables at every meal. The foods hunter-gatherers ate for thousands and thousands of years are the foods that will allow healthy bodies of all ages to survive and thrive today. These food choices are part of a Paleo Lifestyle. A great book that describes the Paleolithic lifestyle is The Primal Blueprint Updated and Expanded (2012) by Mark Sisson.

 

Here are some of my favorite family books to help you design exciting food options for your kids as well as yourselves:

Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans, Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, 2013
Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go, Diana Rodgers, 2013
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach…, Diane Sanfilippo, et al, 2012
The Paleo Primer, Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore, 2013

 

Next time I’ll post some of my favorite recipes. Here are a few that I will post:

• Yummy and Oh-So-Healthy Smoothie
• Cracklin’ Italian-spiced Chicken Thighs
• No-Oat Oatmeal
• Plantain Pancakes
• Wild Caught Salmon Baked in Parchment Paper
• Homemade Ghee the Easy Way

Anyone Can Do Almost Anything For 30 Days

evolution rThink about it. Thirty days out of one’s life is literally a drop in the bucket – just 0.11% of an average person’s lifespan. So, I am going to suggest a 30-day challenge that might be life changing. First, consider what you could learn in 30 days.
 
You might be able to determine if a new job were right for you, or if a certain location were worth moving to, or if the fluffy little dog with the huge inviting eyes you bought for a pet is now your best friend. Thirty days also could tell you if a dietary change might improve your health for the rest of your life.
 
Most of us who are over 40 years old are dealing with at least some type of physical discomfort, or at the other extreme some type of degenerative disease. There are medicines and salves and don’t forget the “in treatments” of the day to care for those problems. But I believe there might be a better way.
 
My suggestion might make a huge change in your health. If I were right, then you could become a huge winner. If I were wrong, then it only would be 30 days out of the rest of your life – not a big deal.
 
Here is my challenge to you:
 
For the next 30 days, or whenever you want to start, stop eating all grains and products made from grains. Grains include wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, millet, and oats. And stop all foods that are made from these grains like bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pretzels, pasta, popcorn, pancakes, pizza dough, etc. You also need to be aware that many grains are in the ingredients of other processed foods. So, you will need to read the ingredient labels on the foods you buy at the grocery store.
 
What’s wrong with grains? Science has shown that grains irritate the lining of your gut, increase unhealthy bacteria in your gut that travel throughout your body, and interfere with your body’s ability to absorb necessary nutrients from your foods. Grains can create chronic inflammation in your body that may contribute to many chronic diseases. Grains also can produce irritations in your mouth like ulcers and sores that seem not to heal.
 
At the end of 30 days, you just might realize that you feel much better than you have felt for a long time. You also may discover that you have lost some of those pounds that you wanted to get rid of for a while. You even may decide to extend this experiment and include additional healthy choices to see what other positive outcomes you could enjoy.
 
I am here to help you with those new choices.