July 19, 2007

Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 5)

Let's continue with Kevin Trudeau's secrets that will help us never get sick!

Too bad “not reading Kevin Trudeau’s books” isn’t one of the tips; I simultaneously get nauseous and high blood pressure every time I read some of his ridiculous ideas on health and nutrition.

For example…

"Do a seven to thirty day fast."

Trudeau recommends going to his website to find out specific suggestions and guidelines, but, lo and behold, you can only see this information if you subscribe to his website – and pay $9.95 a month.

Although I was considering forking over that amount for the sake of research, I then crashed back to reality and realized I didn’t need to see Trudeau’s suggestions to discredit this piece of advice.

Fasting as a way of losing weight or "getting rid of toxins" is not only ridiculous, but also unsafe.

When our bodies are in ‘starvation mode’, they go into ketosis (a state in which they burn fat, rather than carbohydrates, for energy). If you were ever on a low-carb diet, I am sure you remember being told this was ideal.

Not so much. States of ketosis often result in kidney damage that can lead to filtration problems down the road, and also prevent our brains from being nourished in the most optimal way -- with glucose (a carbohydrate).

If you are concerned with toxins and “cleaning out your system”, then eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, integrate whole grains into your diet, stay hydrated, and perform physical activity.

Starving yourself for seven days, or drinking only cayenne pepper, water, and maple syrup for three weeks is one of the least helpful things you can do for your body.

How could you possibly be benefiting from starving yourself and thus not nourishing your body with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals?

Bottom line -- fasting weakens our immune systems, thereby elevating our odds of getting sick.

"Do not eat any food produced or sold by a publicly traded corporation or is a 'brand name' product."

Which leaves us with…? I would love for Mr. Trudeau to tell me how I'm supposed to eat in today’s world without getting at least a handful of foods that are brand name products.

The standard "get everything at your local farmer’s market” isn’t enough in this situation.

Don’t get me wrong – I am all for supporting local farmers and getting fresh produce from them, but why this expectation that they should be our sole source of food?

Farmer’s markets, for instance, can’t provide me with raisins, edamame, tempeh, oatmeal, or brown rice - some of the healthiest foods in this planet! As far as I know, these are only available from publicly traded companies, no matter how small.

“Do not eat anything that comes out of the microwave.”

The reason for this? “When you microwave anything, it becomes energetically toxic to the body. [It] weakens your immune system and causes depression and anxiety”, Trudeau explains.

Going back to the real world, microwave cooking can be beneficial in some aspects. Since microwave cooking requires less time than conventional methods, more nutrients are retained when cooking certain foods.

Water-soluble nutrients (vitamins B and C, in particular) are quickly broken down if they are boiled in hot water; in a microwave, however, they will be retained in a similar fashion as to when they are steamed.

Additionally, microwaves are often the best way to defrost certain foods by reducing the risk of foodborne illness.

“Do not drink diet sodas.”

“The idea that diet sodas have fewer calories, [and] thus are good for weight control, is a total lie,” Trudeau revels.

In fact, if you follow his advice, you can replace diet soda with regular soda and not gain weight. Good luck!

If you are currently drinking 3 cans of Diet Coke and replace them with regular Coke, you’re talking about 400 extra calories added to your day. If you change nothing else about the way you eat, you will undoubtedly gain weight.

While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate drinking diet sodas, I also think this concept of “don’t you ever take a sip of Diet Coke” is hysteria.

This summer, a student in a class I was assisting with raised her hand and proceeded to breathlessly share "facts" about Coke that have been circulating in e-mail chain letters for the past ten years. Among them, "If you put a penny in a glass of Coke overnight, it disintegrates!"

The supposed link we are supposed to make is, "Wow, if it can do that to a penny, imagine what it does to our body!" Except that pennies don't have the same protective acids our stomachs do, and our internal organs are not made of copper.

Sorry, but spam chain letters are not good sources of nutrition advice.

If you are eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, having a Diet Coke or two every weekend is not going to kill you.

Apart from the calcium-leeching properties of diet soda, the big concern is that these are usually accompaniments to unhealthy fast food. If you pop open a can of soda in the afternoon, you are most likely to have it with chips, cookies, or candy rather than fruit, vegetables, or a handful of trail mix.

Come back next week for more nuggets from the book the New York State Consumer Protection Board billed a "fraud"!


Anonymous said...

Although I admit the fee for his website is kinda shady, I agreed with a lot of what Kevin said in his book, even before I read it. This country is set up to make you sick from food so they can put you on (Rx) drugs. FDA...coincidence? I think not. There are plenty of brand-less name products out there, microwaves DO make food taste funny, diet sodas have too many chemicals in them, and I always feel AMAZING on the master cleanse. Don't knock things until you try them, and if you do and it's not your thing, that's just fine. Everyone's body is different - respect the fact that Trudeau has at least one person in agreement.

Andy Bellatti said...

I don't have to respect anything Kevin Trudeau says, no matter how many people are in agreement with him or how many millions of books he sells.

The fact is he has absolutely no background in nutrition and is using a common belief (the US overmedicates) to spout ludicrous advice. Come on, 15 colon cleanses a month?

As for the Master Cleanse -- how anyone can feel amazing after 10 days of sugar water beats me.