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The Triage of Bad Health

July 23rd, 2012
Triage of bad health

Despite advances in medicine, more technical surgical procedures, and significant amounts of time and money spent on research, our modern health is at a steady decline. We consistently see higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer among other illnesses. And while much attention has been given to a “cure” for these disorders, not enough is being given to what is “causing” these to happen.

The Triage of Bad Health


Hyperinsulinism is an over production of insulin from the beta cells of our pancreas relative to our production of glucagon, this is a state of insulin resistance.  We know that hyperinsulinism is the causative factor behind glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, obesity and diabetes. It is also shown as a strong correlate to many other illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, fertility problems and mood disorders. If we can understand what eating habits put our body in a state of hyperinsulinism and avoid these habits, we can drastically reduce our chances of becoming victim to these diseases of civilization.

The Problem

Our modern diets and eating habits are rich in processed and refined foods along with grains, cereal, rice, pasta, and starches. These foods are extremely rich in carbohydrates (have lots of sugar) and low in vitamins and minerals. They also get converted to sugar extremely rapidly in the blood stream. Frequent eating of these foods sends a surge of sugar to our blood stream which then sends a signal to our pancreas to produce lots of insulin, creating a state of hyperinsulinism.

The Solution

Focus on getting carbohydrates from more nutrient dense sources with less sugar, such as vegetables and a little fruit. Also, make efforts to eat a protein and healthy fat at every meal to stimulate a glucagon response in order to balance out your hormones of metabolism.

Not all carbohydrates are created equal!  

Carbohydrates consist of:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • grains & starches
  • fake food/processed and refined food

*As we move down the the above list from above from vegetables to fake food we notice an increase in carbohydrate density.

For instance in total carbs:

  • 1 can of soda or juice = 2 ½ slices of bread = 2 apples = 10 cups of broccoli
  • 1 bagel = 1 cup of pasta = 2 cups of grapes = 16 cups of kale

Fat:  A poor ratio of omega 3 to omega 6

*These are your essential fatty acids that must be obtained from food because your body cannot make them on its own. Our ancestors typically ate a diet with a ratio anywhere from a 1:1 to 1:4 omega 3 to omega 6. In our modern diets we usually see a ratio of anywhere from 1:20 to 1:30.

The Problem

Our modern western diets are very high in omega 6 polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, corn oil as well as trans fats. These are found in processed foods, frozen foods, fast foods, and in most restaurants. Also, most of our conventional meat sources are fed grains which cause the fat from these sources to be rich in omega 6. Over consumption of these omega 6 fats (such as what we see in our modern diets) as compared to omega 3 fats can lead to systemic inflammation and disease.

vegetable oil

The Solution

  • Eat grass-fed meat, wild caught fish and pastured eggs rich in omega 3
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid cooking with polyunsaturated industrial oils
  • Don’t over consume nuts and seeds as these are very high in omega 6
  • Start using more saturated and monounsaturated fats for cooking (see guide)

Gut Irritating Foods (Grains, Legumes, Dairy)

  • The human species has been around for over 2.5 million years. It was not until 10,000 years ago after the Agricultural Revolution that we began consuming Neolithic foods such as grains, legumes and dairy. Upon introduction of these foods in our food supply, we notice an immediate decline in our health with an increased rate of bone malformations, dental cavities, nutrient deficiencies, infant mortality, and a decline in physical stature. Anthropologists tell us that it takes over 40,000 years for a species to evolve to its new environment, and therefore we are not yet genetically equipped to eat these foods.

The Problem:  Grains, legumes and dairy can wreak havoc on your entire body in a variety of ways. These foods not only spike insulin levels, but they can irritate and destroy the gut lining. This is especially concerning due to the fact that 80+% of your immune system resides in the gut. Grains contain harmful proteins called lectins that can severely compromise the integrity of the gut by allowing these almost entirely intact proteins to enter your blood stream, along with foreign pathogens and unwanted food particles. These complex proteins can stimulate an autoimmune cascade and thus lead to various autoimmune/chronic diseases (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer).


The Solution: Avoid grains (especially gluten containing grains), legumes and dairy. Eat quality meats, vegetables, little nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar and no processed foods.

Chad Walding, DPT

12 Responses

  1. Barbara Barrett says:

    Thanks! Very helpful to me, a beginner!

  2. madeleine homes says:

    I would like to continue having 2 glasses of wine with my diet-how will this alter it??

    • brenda.walding says:

      We recommend avoiding alcohol for at least 30 days to optimize and cleanse your system. You may not know if wine is a problem for you unless you remove it for a while and then add it back in. Just something to consider. But..we would much rather you improve your eating and include the wine than do nothing at all.

  3. Thomas.F says:

    I love the article but would want to know:
    – which grains, at least are good.
    – why legumes(French equivalence of vegetables) are considered bad while vegetables are good.
    – while nuts(Almond for instance) are highly recommended by other schools of thought, you advise against heavy consumption-can I know why?
    Always keep me posted on new discoveries and or important/helpful articles

    • brenda.walding says:


      We recommend excluding all grains due to their gut-irritating and inflammatory properties. If you were to consume grains I would choose non-gluten containing grains and learn to properly prepare them (soaking, sprouting, fermenting)

      Legumes also have gut-irritating and anti-nutrient properties. Again with legumes, if you choose to eat you should learn how to properly prepare them.

      Many nuts, such as almonds, are healthy and we do recommend eating…just not in super large quantities. When people start on a Paleo Diet they often tend to over consume nuts. Instead of potato chips, they shovel in handful after handful of nuts. Nuts also have anti-nutrient properties and are calorically dense. Too many nuts can be upsetting to the stomach and prevent weight loss. Consider eating about a handful for a snack or on salad, but not the huge bags of them in one sitting.

  4. Gladys Alvsrenga says:

    I’m do happy with paleo diet I’m on my second week and noted a big difference I have more energy feel good and I workout better

  5. brenda.walding says:

    Awesome! Paleohacks is great…not familiar with Healing Gourmet. If there are some questionable ingredients in some of the recipes, just sent us a note and we will help clear it up for you. Best of luck!!

  6. Deanna says:

    Our entire family, myself, hubby and daughters ages 10 & 11, started the paleo challenge on January 1, along with drinking more water. My husband and I have a goal of a gallon a day and the girls have 60 ounces a day (a little more than half their body weight). We are all doing great! The biggest changes we’ve seen is ALL cravings for sugar have disappeared, and my oldest daughter & I are addicts! I’ve also noticed in us more even keeled moods, a desire to clean/purge/organize, and in my daughter, her ability to focus has improved immensely. This has been a lot of work, now cooking 3 meals a day, but the change in the energy/atmosphere of our home has made it worth it! Thank you for your diligence and research you’ve put into this program.

  7. Karen says:

    What about Ezekiel bread?

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