Sunday, December 27, 2009

Client Satisfaction Survey Results

Feedback is important to all of us. We all want to know how we are doing and through constructive feedback we learn how to get better. One of the best ways to get feedback is to ask. Back in my corporate days at Norlight Telecommunications we were very serious about making sure our customers were satisfied with our services. We did an annual customer satisfaction survey and a monthly new customer survey. Since it worked so well at Norlight, I knew it could help me too.

In October I asked my clients for feedback and heard back from almost 50%. For those of you not familiar with market research that is an excellent response – so thank you to everyone who participated. And, in December, I started my monthly new customer survey, which provides timely feedback. If someone is not happy with something, I can rectify the situation quickly. Fortunately, I learned this is hardly ever the case. In fact, I was very pleased with the results and would like to share them with you.

As far as overall satisfaction with the services provided and results achieved:

97% of respondents were satisfied with the services provided, with 88% being either extremely or very satisfied.
95% of respondents were satisfied with the results they have achieved, with 63% being extremely or very satisfied.
100% of respondents would recommend my services.

These are awesome results!

Some additional findings:

95% of respondents have been motivated to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
93% say I’m responsive to their individual needs.
86% have identified and changed unhealthy patterns or behaviors.
85% have made significant changes in their eating habits.

Pioneers of Nutrition: Francis Pottenger, Jr., MD

In a prior article I introduced you to Weston Price, the dentist who traveled the world studying the nutritional qualities of native traditional diets that produced very healthy humans with no dental problems (cavities and crooked or crowded teeth) and not plagued by the degenerative diseases of modern man – cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. He contrasted the native diets with the Western diet based on processed foods and the accelerating increase of cavities and crooked or crowded teeth he observed in his patients along with the rise of other degenerative diseases. He found the native diets vastly superior to the Western diet in terms of nutritional quality. They contained ten times the amount of fat soluble vitamins A, D and K and four times the amount of water soluble vitamins and important minerals than the Western diet. He concluded that the Western diet and its sub-standard nutritional qualities was a major cause behind the increase in disease (a cavity is one of the most basic forms of disease) he was observing.

Now I’d like to introduce you to another pioneer of nutrition – Francis Pottenger, Jr., MD. He is famous for his exploration of cats – over 900 cats were studied from 1932-1942. Dr. Pottenger’s interest was in preventing chronic illness, thus his research looked for its causes and focused on the role of nutrition in maintaining good health. His findings were remarkably similar to those of Dr. Price.

Like many discoveries, the basis for his research came about by chance. Here’s the “not so nice” part of the story. He was developing a formula to support adrenal gland function and as was practice of the time was using cats for the study. Part of the study was to remove their adrenal glands and then provide them the formula to see if it was effective. He noticed that most of his animals were not very healthy and many would not survive the operation thus impacting his ability to complete his study. He was feeding them what all the experts of the time said was a healthy diet for cats – raw milk, cod liver oil, and cooked meat. Then a funny thing happened. His supply of the cooked meat was cut off and he had to switch to raw meat. Then he observed something remarkable. The cats eating the raw meat were healthier and survived the operations.

With his scientific curiosity peaked he began to refine his studies looking at the meat and the milk he provided the cats. He investigated raw meat, cooked meat, raw milk, pasteurized milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, raw milk from cows fed grains, and raw milk from cows fed grass.

What he found was that only diets containing raw milk and raw meat produced optimal health, with the raw milk from grass fed cows superior to that of grain fed cows. Cats on this diet had healthy bone structure and density, no crowded teeth, shiny fur, no parasites, and no disease. In addition, they had no problems reproducing and were well behaved. They lived happy lives.

In contrast, cooking the meat or any milk other than the raw milk resulted in physical degeneration and reproductive difficulties which increased with each generation. By the time of the third generation, kittens of these cats died within six months and they were unable to reproduce. Even worse, these cats had miserable lives – parasites, skin diseases, allergies, weak bones, and behavioral issues. They died out completely by the fourth generation.

Now here’s the link to the work of Weston Price – they found the same results – poor nutrition leading to facial structural issues and the onset of degenerative diseases! Interesting enough is that many of the traditional diets studied by Price included raw milk and raw animal product.

What does this all mean? There is a definite link between the nutritional quality of the food we consume and our health. As we continue to consume processed foods our health continues to deteriorate. Another side note - do you know anyone who has had trouble or is having trouble reproducing? If you study the fertility rates now being experienced in the Western world you will learn that many fine people struggle to reproduce. And a little “food for thought” - what generation of processed food are we now on? And what health issues are we observing becoming more prevalent in today’s children?

If you’d like to learn more about the cat study the book to read is Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition by Francis Pottenger, Jr. MD. I’d also direct you to the official website of the Price Pottenger Foundation – – a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public regarding nutrition. And, if you’d like to learn more about healthy diets and nutrition, there are many wonderful resources available.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pioneers of Nutrition: Dr. Weston A. Price

I am often asked by my clients or after a group presentation, “So, what do you eat?” My answer - I follow the dietary guidelines of Weston Price. Which of course leads to the next question, “Who is Weston Price?”

Weston A. Price was a pioneer in the world of nutrition. Through my next couple of articles I will introduce you to several more of these pioneers who have had great influence on the nutritional practices that I follow and teach.

So, who is Weston Price? He was a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio who lived from 1870-1948. Back in the early 1930s he began to notice an increase in cavities and crooked teeth in his patients. Whether you know it or not, dental caries (cavities) are one of the most basic forms of disease that is common in many humans. And, teeth come in crooked and/or crowded due to deformed dental arches due to not enough space in the mouth for the teeth to come in correctly.

His mission – to discover what was causing the degeneration in dental health he was witnessing. Coincidently, he repeatedly heard stories of isolated peoples in distant lands who supposedly had no cavities and perfectly straight teeth. If this were so, then what he was experiencing in his practice could possibly be the result of nutritional deficiencies and not inherited genetic defects (the prevailing thought of the time).

Over the next ten years he traveled around the world to every continent (except Antarctica). And what did he find? When native people ate their traditional foods – sure enough – there were no cavities and they had perfectly straight teeth. However, here’s what makes the study fascinating. This was a time when our Western processed foods were just beginning to creep into these native cultures. “Foods” such as canned milk and vegetables, white flour, and sugar were being introduced to those natives who wished to “modernize.” This is critical because it allowed the same genes to be analyzed based on the nutritional quality of the diet. What he found was that as the native people adopted a Western diet, they had more cavities and crooked, crowded teeth. The more they abandoned their native diet, the worse their teeth were. His travels are documented in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It contains many pictures and stories about what he encountered along the way.

The next question was – how did these diets differ? What was in the native food that was not in the Western food? Since he traveled all over the world he saw a wide variety of diets. There were Eskimos that ate almost exclusively animal products; there were others who ate more grains and vegetables. As a side note, he did not find any native diet that was strictly vegetarian; they all relied upon some animal foods for survival.

He took samples of their foods and brought them back to the United States to be analyzed. What he found was that the diets of the isolated peoples in comparison to that of the American diet of the day contained at least four times the water soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods such as butter, fish eggs, shellfish, organ meats, eggs, and animal fats! Certainly not the foods your cardiologist will tell you to eat!

The specific nutrients in these foods are the fat soluble vitamins A and D, along with one that wasn’t yet identified. Price called it “Activator X”, which we now understand is vitamin K. These fat soluble vitamins are vital to health as they act as catalysts for mineral absorption and protein utilization.

And depending upon how closely you read the preceding paragraphs, what are some of the key nutrients missing? They happen to be ones we often hear today we don’t get enough of are we are deficient – calcium and vitamin D!

So, does this way of eating work? Well, it has proven successful for me and many of my clients. Following the guidelines we have lowered our cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increased our energy, and lost weight. But, I have an even wider audience. Recently I attended the annual conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have referred to their excellent web site in the past ( The conference had over 1200 attendees. Statistics for our general population show that 75% of adults are over weight (25% of them being classified as obese). At this conference, my quick visual assessment was that maybe 5% were over weight. Plus, when I talked to other attendees they all told the same stories of weight loss, improved digestion, and overall better health!

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trick or Treat..It’s Halloween Every Day at the Supermarket

To stay on top of all the latest nutrition news requires lots of reading, but also lots of sorting through the marketing hype of the latest super food or breakthrough study. I subscribe to many magazines, newsletters, web sites, and blogs to keep up with the latest and greatest so I can pass that information on to my clients. I read what the people I agree with say and I read what the people I don’t agree with say – my form of spying!

Every now and then I come across something that truly amazes me. This occurs when an author is so blinded by either their personal bias or the bias of the publication; they do not even see the inconsistency and hypocrisy of their own writing. I’ve written about the American Diabetes Association on my blog. Here, I’d like to bring your attention to the Nutrition Action Newsletter, November 2009 edition.

To their credit, they do have an occasional useful article. That is where I learned how people are walking out of their favorite coffee shop with sometimes over 700 calories in their cup! But, at the same time they’ve told me that aspartame is poison, but sucralose (Splenda) is safe. I’ve even learned which the best margarines to eat are. Guess if you’re going to poison yourself you should do it with the best!

Back in June I wrote a column entitled The Truth about Soy. If you’d like to read it you can find it on my blog at So, where am I going with this? An article titled, Soy What? The jury’s still out on soy’s benefits. It looks at six areas where some have claimed that soy is beneficial – bones, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cognition, hot flashes, and heart disease. Each section discusses the latest research and then ends with what they call “The Bottom Line.” In each case “The Bottom Line” is a statement to make you think soy is healthy, even when the evidence cited basically says the opposite.

They have a quote that tells us, “Soy is a good food.” Yet, that is followed by, “But we can’t say right now that it has a positive effect on bones.” Or this one, “The idea that soy can stop prostate cancer is a wonderful hypothesis that hasn’t yet been adequately tested in men.” How about, “It’s unclear if any soy food reduce breast cancer risk.”

The true “Bottom Line” that they won’t come out and say is that there is not convincing evidence for any of the claims being made on behalf of soy. In fact, the FDA has been reviewing claims made for soy benefits and some of them are no longer allowed!

What does this mean to you and how does it tie to the Supermarket? There are so many health claims on all the boxes of packaged foods that are misleading and deceptive. Crackers are presented as “whole grain” or “multi-grain” and the main ingredient is white flour. Margarines say “Zero grams trans-fat” yet contain partially or hydrogenated oil. “Low fat” foods contain artificial sweeteners and more carbohydrates than the full fat versions which in your body actually produces more fat! “Natural” appears all over everything, but as I like to say – my wooden table is natural but that doesn’t mean I want to eat it!

If you like the information in these articles and have a Facebook account I’d encourage you to become a fan of Rosen Wellness. On a typical day I get many e-mails with all kinds of information about health and nutrition. The best ones I link to the Rosen Wellness Facebook page.

One other note – a book recommendation: Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet – One Room at a Time by Beth Greer. It provides useful tips for lifestyle shifts to enhance your health. “This practical guide offers page after page of tips for making the safest, healthiest choices in all kinds of goods including cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaners, furniture, food, and water.”

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Monday, September 21, 2009

Butter vs. Margarine – What’s the Truth?

This past week I gave several nutrition talks about the foods you should include in a healthy diet. I was astounded by the looks I received from quite a few people when I stated that butter is good for you and margarine is not. I also noticed that most of the folks who gave me that look were in their 50’s and 60’s, precisely the group of people who have been pounded with the message that margarine is good for you. In this article I hope to set the record straight and explain why butter is good for you and why margarine is bad for you.

Why butter is good for you:

The proponents (and manufacturers) of margarine have spread the word that butter is a saturated fat and saturated fat causes heart disease. I don’t have the space here to get into the details, but let me say this – there are many doctors, nutritionists, and scientists who do not believe this, including myself. If you want to learn how this theory became the accepted norm despite those who do not agree I’d encourage you to read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s The Cholesterol Myths, or visit the Weston Price Foundation web site

That being said, there is a general consensus that we need some saturated fat in our diet. Butter is a healthy saturated fat, particularly when it is organic, and even better when it comes from a grass fed cow. It is high in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Without proper vitamins we can not utilize the minerals we ingest, no matter what level we eat. Vitamins A & D are essential for growth, healthy bones, proper development of the brain and nervous systems, and for normal sexual development. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and vitamin K is important for bone building and blood clotting.

Butter also has CLA (conjugated linolenic acid) that helps fight weight gain and butyric acid which is anti-viral and anti-cancer. For those with an allergy to the dairy protein casein, ghee (clarified butter) is an equally healthy option.

Why margarine is bad for you:

What may get lost in the discussion of whether or not butter is good for you, is the fact that margarine is definitely harmful to you. The bottom line is that margarine is made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. That means trans-fats. One fact that everyone who talks about nutrition agrees on is that trans fats cause cancer. (The other fact is that sugar is bad for you.)

A major problem we run into is that food labeling, particularly trans fat labeling is very deceiving. Basically, food manufacturers abuse the FDA labeling rules. According to FDA guidelines if products have less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving it can be labeled as zero grams of trans fat. The typical serving size is one tablespoon – that’s not all that much. One manufacturer, Smart Balance, has created an advertisement to show it has the least amount of trans fats compared to other brands. They conclude that of all the leading brands theirs stands out as it is “the closest to zero grams trans fat nature allows.” Quite the statement. They admit there is trans fat; trans fat causes cancer; but hey, it is as close as we can come. Sounds like a cigarette company telling us to smoke just one cigarette each day, because that is as close to zero as you could come!

Another basic problem with margarine is that it is made from a variety of vegetable oils which are polyunsaturated fatty acids. When exposed to heat and oxygen – both during manufacturing and later in cooking at high temperature – “free radicals” are created. These are the villains that damage our cells and tissues causing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Our body knows the truth:

A summary of the biological facts concerning saturated fats and trans fats: saturated fats are essential for healthy cell membrane function, trans fats interfere with it; saturated fats enhance hormone production, trans fats interfere with it; saturated fats suppress inflammation, trans fats encourage inflammation; saturated fats raise “good” cholesterol, trans fats lower “good” cholesterol; saturated fats help insulin receptors, trans fats inhibit them; saturated fats enhance the immune system, trans fats depress it. So as you can see, from a biological perspective we need saturated fats and not trans fats.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Kase for Vitamin K (and another reason to avoid Splenda)

Vitamin K may be one of the most overlooked vitamins when it comes to our overall health. It is one of the fat soluble vitamins, along with A, D, and E that are critical for many bodily functions. In particular, it is very important for heart health and studies have shown it do reduce arterial calcification and improve bone density. Unfortunately, many of us lack sufficient levels of Vitamin K. The main food source of Vitamin K is leafy green vegetables. However, there is another source – the beneficial intestinal bacteria that live within us. For much of human history this provided a significant proportion of Vitamin K. Here again is a problem of modern man and our diets. Many of us do not have adequate levels of the friendly flora in our guts. If you suffer from digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and acid reflux (to name a few) it is likely your personal bacteria are out of balance.

And now here’s the big “ah-hah” moment! We’ve all heard how our use of antibiotics kills the friendly flora, well here’s another. When experimental animals were given “FDA acceptable daily intake” amounts of sucralose (that’s Splenda) for 12 weeks, numbers of key beneficial flora were decreased significantly. Even after another 12 weeks of being off sucralose key levels remained significantly depressed. (Information courtesy of Nutrition & Healing September 2009 newsletter by Dr. Jonathan Wright.)

So – if you are having digestive problems and can’t figure out why, Splenda may be the culprit. And to be honest, any time you have something you can’t figure out, lay off all the artificial sweeteners for about 45 days and see what happens. They’ve been connected to all kinds of health maladies.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School Nutrition Ideas

In the spirit of “back to school” I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on nutrition for kids. (Of course this advice applies to adults as well.) In all honesty, it is probably the most challenging aspect of my private client practice. While it can be difficult to get adults to eat healthier, kids can be even more so. The food producers and manufacturers have developed special foods that they call “kid’s food”. If you take the time to read the list of ingredients you will find that most of it is not food and should not be consumed by anyone, particularly our children. Our children are growing and need the healthiest foods available to properly fuel their minds and bodies.

The consumption of “kid’s food” and more sedentary lifestyles (lack of exercise, lots of television, computer, and video games) is greatly impacting the health of our youth. Here’s some scary statistics from the CDC. Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 25 years, increasing from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 more than tripled, going from 5% to almost 18%. Keep in mind, before being classified as “obese” there is “overweight” classification, which I have seen estimates between 20 and 25%.

How do we get our kids to eat healthier foods? One successful strategy that I use is to make subtle substitutions to the foods they like to eat. Let’s take something as simple as the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For the peanut butter use organic peanut butter that is nothing but peanuts and peanut oil. Most commercial peanut butters contain added sugar and hydrogenated oil (trans- fats). We know trans-fats are linked to cancer and that added sugar adds empty calories. I stress the organic because peanuts are one of the most highly pesticided crops, so non-organic peanut butter will contain potential chemical residues and toxins. Ever wonder why there are so many peanut allergies today? For the bread I recommend sprouted bread. It comes in a variety of flavors and is the healthiest bread option. It has more vitamins and fewer calories per slice. However, it is made from wheat so for those with gluten intolerance use another bread option such as flax and millet bread. For the jelly, find the most natural product you can. Look for spreads that do not add sugar or have less sugar added. The fruit already has plenty of sugar.

What are some other healthy substitutions? A major area to look at is the carbohydrates. Our kids eat a lot of them – bread, rice, pasta. Our goal here is to shift from the refined and processed white flour products to whole grains. In addition to the switch to sprouted breads, we can use brown rice instead of white rice and pasta from brown rice rather than refined wheat (the white pasta). All of these substitutions taste virtually the same. They just look a little different and that may turn off the kids. But, covered in tomato sauce they will never know the difference!

Then there are snacks. The kids get home from school and they are hungry and it is not quite dinner time. There are certainly some better choices than chips and dips. Another societal norm is this idea of “snack food.” Just like with “kid’s food” we need a little retraining. What is a snack? It is a small meal. So, think of something healthy that would be part of a meal. It can be a half of a sandwich, one hard boiled egg, a cup of yogurt, some fruit, something spread on a stick of celery, vegetables and dip. There’s nothing special about these foods, except that they are healthy. I like to tell people not to worry about if something is considered “breakfast” food or “snack” food – just eat healthy food when you are hungry!

A valuable resource is the web site It has lots of great ideas for school lunches and snacks. For more ideas and recipes go to the web site and click on “Brown Bag Lunch Ideas” or “After School Snacks.”

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ten Things to Know About the Swine Flu Vaccine

I received this in e-mail form today and wanted to pass it along. I thought the Blog would be an efficient way! The author credits are at the bottom of the posting. This is definitely one line you want to be at the back of.

Let's not beat around the bush on this issue: The swine flu vaccines now being prepared for mass injection into infants, children, teens and adults have never been tested and won't be tested before the injections begin. In Europe, where flu vaccines are typically tested on hundreds (or thousands) of people before being unleashed on the masses, the European Medicines Agency is allowing companies to skip the testing process entirely.

And yet, amazingly, people are lining up to take the vaccine, absent any safety testing whatsoever. When the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. announced a swine flu vaccine trial beginning in early August, it was inundated with phone calls and emails from people desperate to play the role of human guinea pigs. The power of fear to herd sheeple into vaccine injections is simply amazing...Back in Europe, of course, everybody gets to be a guinea pig since no testing will be done on the vaccine at all. Even worse, the European vaccines will be using adjuvants -- chemicals used to multiply the potency of the active ingredients in vaccines.

Notably, there is absolutely no safety data on the use of adjuvants in infants and expectant mothers -- the two groups being most aggressively targeted by the swine flu vaccine pushers. The leads us to the disturbing conclusion that the swine flu vaccine could be a modern medical disaster. It's untested and un-tried. Its ingredients are potentially quite dangerous, and the adjuvants being used in the European vaccines are suspected of causing neurological disorders.

Paralyzed by vaccines

I probably don't need to remind you that in 1976, a failed swine flu vaccine caused irreparable damage to the nervous systems of hundreds of people, paralyzing many. Medical doctors gave the problem a name, of course, to make it sound like they knew what they were talking about: Guillain-Barre syndrome. (Notably, they never called it "Toxic Vaccine Syndrome" because that would be too informative. )

But the fact remains that doctors never knew how the vaccines caused these severe problems, and if the same event played out today, all the doctors and vaccine pushers would undoubtedly deny any link between the vaccines and paralysis altogether. (That's what's happening today with the debate over vaccines and autism: Complete denial.)

In fact, there are a whole lot of things you'll never be told by health authorities about the upcoming swine flu vaccine. For your amusement, I've written down the ten most obvious ones and published them below.

Ten things you're not supposed to know about the swine flu vaccine

(At least, not by anyone in authority... )

#1 - The vaccine production was "rushed" and the vaccine has never been tested on humans. Do you like to play guinea pig for Big Pharma? If so, line up for your swine flu vaccine this fall...

#2 - Swine flu vaccines contain dangerous adjuvants that cause an inflammatory response in the body. This is why they are suspected of causing autism and other neurological disorders.

#3 - The swine flu vaccine could actually increase your risk of death from swine flu by altering (or suppressing) your immune system response. There is zero evidence that even seasonal flu shots offer any meaningful protection for people who take the jabs. Vaccines are the snake oil of modern medicine.

#4 - Doctors still don't know why the 1976 swine flu vaccines paralyzed so many people. And that means they really have no clue whether the upcoming vaccine might cause the same devastating side effects. (And they're not testing it, either...)

#5 - Even if the swine flu vaccine kills you, the drug companies aren't responsible. The U.S. government has granted drug companies complete immunity against vaccine product liability. Thanks to that blanket immunity, drug companies have no incentive to make safe vaccines, because they only get paid based on quantity, not safety (zero liability).

#6 - No swine flu vaccine works as well as vitamin D to protect you from influenza. That's an inconvenient scientific fact that the U.S. government, the FDA and Big Pharma hope the people never realize.

#7 - Even if the swine flu vaccine actually works, mathematically speaking if everyone else around you gets the vaccine, you don't need one! (Because it can't spread through the population you hang with.) So even if you believe in the vaccine, all you need to do is encourage your friends to go get vaccinated.. .

#8 - Drug companies are making billions of dollars from the production of swine flu vaccines. That money comes out of your pocket -- even if you don't get the jab -- because it's all paid by the taxpayers.

#9 - When people start dying in larger numbers from the swine flu, rest assured that many of them will be the very people who got the swine flu vaccine. Doctors will explain this away with their typical Big Pharma logic: "The number saved is far greater than the number lost." Of course, the number "saved" is entirely fictional... imaginary... and exists only in their own warped heads.

#10 - The swine flu vaccine centers that will crop up all over the world in the coming months aren't completely useless: They will provide an easy way to identify large groups of really stupid people. (Too bad there isn't some sort of blue dye that we could tag 'em with for future reference... )

The lottery, they say, is a tax on people who can't do math. Similarly, flu vaccines are a tax on people who don't understand health.

John Miksa ND, Co-Owner
The Natural Path LLC
2910 S Delaware AveMilwaukee, WI, 53207
www.thecompasssyste link.aspx? a=thenaturalpath

Don't Get Tricked at the Grocery Store

One of my pet peeves in the world of nutrition is all the false claims and misleading marketing that we are subject to each day. Everybody (including me, although of course I am right!) is telling you what to eat and what not to eat. Often times the information is conflicting and/or confusing. As a result two things can happen. Either you will begin to ignore the information and give up on your attempt to eat healthier or even worse you will be misled into believing something is healthy when in fact it is not.

On top of the list comes the “low fat” craze. I’ve written before that we need fat. It is an essential nutrient for a healthy body. However, we’ve become scared of fat. We believe that eating fat makes us fat. While that is true to a certain extent when we consume large amounts of bad fats, for most people the true culprit making us fat is eating too much processed flour and sugar. Here’s a classic example. We buy the low-fat version of our favorite cracker. The label claims “33% less fat than the original.” Sounds great. But here’s what it really means. The original version has 3 grams of fat per serving, while the low-fat version has 2 grams. That’s your 33% - one gram! Now here’s the problem. In order to make the cracker taste like anything you’ll want to eat the manufacturer adds more refined flour and sugar. So guess what – in your body this will create more fat!

Another problem with “low fat” foods is that they often contain either more sugar, or for “low calorie” they contain artificial sweeteners. Let’s look at our human biology again. It is fat that is satiating. It is fat that tastes good. It is fat that fills us. When they take out the fat, in order to make the “food” palatable, that’s where the sugar and artificial sweeteners come into play. I’ve written several past columns about sugar and artificial sweeteners so I won’t go into that here. The point being, neither the sugar nor the artificial sweetener will satisfy our hunger and we will want to eat again soon and consume more of these empty and non-satiating calories. Recent studies have shown that these “diet” foods actually cause us to eat more!

Ever notice all the different logos on products claiming various health attributes. Did you know that those are bought? Did you know that the instant oatmeals with the American Heart Association health seal actually have more sugar per serving than the perceived “sugary” cereals such as Froot Loops? All the logo means is that it meets the AHA’s “food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.” The irony of course is that sugar is one of the contributors to stress and ultimately the cholesterol our body is making to deal with the stress!

Another favorite of mine is the “good source” claim. If a serving has 10% of the recommended daily value of a specific nutrient is qualifies as a “good source.” On that criteria a good source of calcium is honey teddy grahams. The only problem is that they also contain 23 grams of carbohydrate or almost 6 teaspoons of sugar to your body. And here’s the list of ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Sugar, Graham Flour (Whole Grain Wheat Flour), Soybean Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Honey, Maltodextrin, Calcium Carbonate (Source of Calcium), Baking Soda, Salt, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier) – sounds real healthy! By the way the calcium you’ll note is from calcium carbonate – not the most absorbable form of calcium; or better known as chalk, limestone, or marble. Now that sounds yummy!

So, as you can see there is quite a bit of deception going on with food labeling. It is all legal and within regulatory requirements. Unfortunately it does not protect you – the consumer. If you are going to buy boxed food it is in your best interest to read the label very carefully. Know what you are buying and putting in to your body. And, if you need more help, please give me a call or e-mail me.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Common Cents to Save Dollars

On many of our minds is the current debate over whether or not to nationalize health care. From my own perspective I’ve often said that what we need is a national health plan, not a national health care plan. Note the subtle difference. If we encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle (a “health plan”) their need for future health care will be likely reduced. My purpose in writing this column is to share my knowledge with you in the hope it encourages you to make healthier choices. Nothing gets me going more than all the misleading advertising and promotion under the guise of something being “healthy” when in fact it is not. Past articles have discussed a few of my favorites - artificial sweeteners and soy.

That being said and whatever your political view on this issue is, I think we can all agree that a reasonable objective is to stay away as best we can from doctors and hospitals. Certainly they serve a needed function, but we usually enter “disease management” because we have become sick. A healthy lifestyle encourages health and discourages disease. I’ve seen a variety of statistics quoting a range of sources including the Surgeon General of the United States, with the common thread that 75-80% of chronic disease (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke) is lifestyle related – primarily poor diet and lack of exercise.

So, what can you do? I’m going to make it real simple and straight forward.

1. The number one thing that almost everyone can do is to cut back on the amount of sugar you consume. Sugar comes in many forms and is often hidden in our packaged and processed foods. The bottom line is that the human body was not designed to process the amount of sugar we put into it. And when I say sugar I’m not just talking about candy and cake. I’m talking about white flour that is used in bread and cereals and many other “foods”. To our body it is sugar. It creates havoc in our blood stream and is a major cause in the development of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. This is something that all health professionals agree on. Unfortunately, no one is really willing to do anything to change the habits and sweet tooth of the population. This is something you have to decide to do for yourself.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Yes, you’ve heard that a million times. Why are these foods so important? They contain valuable vitamins and minerals that our body needs to function properly. They contain antioxidants which neutralize the free radicals that cause damage to our cells and tissues. They contain fiber which aids all aspects of our digestion process. How many of you suffer from acid reflux, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea? These are all signs of poor and neglected digestion. Without good digestion your body does not get all the nutrients it needs from the food. Here’s the simple equation: less nutrients equals greater likelihood of disease.

3. Eat healthy fats – omega 3 fatty acids from cold water wild fish, olive oil in salad dressings, coconut oil in cooking, butter (yes butter – organic is best). Do not eat margarine or anything else in a tub that is not butter. Despite what the low fat crowd is telling you these are not healthy foods. The processing of these “foods” utilizes high heat which oxidizes the fats. When you consume them they create free radicals. Among the worst foods you can eat are most of the salad dressings you see in the stores. They are loaded with sugar and unhealthy oils.

4. Drink water - our body is 65-70% water. Many people are walking around dehydrated and do not even realize it. Simply drinking more water has been known to reduce a variety of symptoms. But a caution – water is not fruit juice or coffee – water is water.

5. Exercise – move your body. Our body was designed to move. That is what makes the lymphatic system work. That is how the cellular waste ultimately gets out of your body. Start with walking or bouncing (or being bounced) on a rebounder – a mini trampoline. Start slow and work your way up.

See, it really is not all that difficult. A few simple changes and you are on your way to a healthier life style. But it is up to you. Do you want to feel better and enjoy life? Plus you get an added bonus. By being healthy you won’t have expensive doctor and hospital bills and you’ll be able to use your money to do the activities you enjoy!

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Truth about Soy

Where to start? We’ve all heard that soy is a health food – a great source of protein, a substitute for meat and milk. It is the backbone of a vegetarian diet and has launched a whole new wave of “health foods”. Unfortunately most of these new creations are not healthy and in many cases one could argue if they are even food! The truth is that soy consumption is hazardous to your health. The soy industry spends millions of dollars creating new products and marketing them. Studies are cited to “support” the health claims. Of course the more the study is investigated, the more the inconsistencies and inaccuracies become apparent. For an excellent expose on the soy industry I highly recommend the book The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food by Kaayla Daniel, PhD. Or, on the web visit The Weston A. Price Foundation at For this article I’m going to focus on three key reasons why soy is not good for you. For a more complete list and more details I refer you to the book and the web site.

1. Soy is bad for your thyroid. Soy contains goitrogens – substances that suppress thyroid function by inhibiting your body’s ability to make thyroid hormones and may cause hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). The thyroid is responsible for metabolism. Impaired metabolism can result in weight gain, fatigue and diminished sex drive. Soy consumption has also been linked to thyroid cancer in adults and autoimmune thyroid disease in infants.

2. Soy is hard to digest. Soy contains one of the highest levels of phytates of any grain or legume. Phytic acid reduces the assimilation of key minerals that your body needs including calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Unlike other grains and legumes the phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by soaking, sprouting, or cooking. The only form in which the phytates are broken down is fermented. Fermented soy products include tempeh, miso, and natto. These are the only soy products I’d recommend eating.

Soy also contains trypsin and protease (enzyme) inhibitors which interfere with protein digestion. So, go figure, we are told to eat soy as a protein, yet its very essence does not allow us to digest it!

High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children and test animals fed soy exhibited stunted growth. Perhaps you might want to reconsider using soy baby formula. The Israeli Health Ministry issued an advisory for young children and adults to use soy sparingly and for infants to avoid it completely!

3. Soy is disruptive to endocrine gland function for both men and women. In women soy phytoestrogens have been linked to infertility and breast cancer. What about the old story that Japanese women eat lots of soy in Japan and do not get breast cancer until they come to the United States? Another great story. They do not eat lots of soy. The soy they do eat is mostly fermented. And, they eat lots of other healthy foods like more wild fish and sea vegetables.
For men the story is not much better. Remember the Seinfeld episode about the “Mansiere” or the “Bro” – Cramer’s invention for male breasts? Well, that’s what can happen from too much soy. There is a great story in the recent issue of Men’s Health about a man who was drinking three quarts of soy milk a day and developed breasts. Soy also has been linked with sperm count reductions. A study found men consuming soy on a daily basis have 32% less sperm per milliliter of ejaculate.

Unfortunately there is more, but I’m out of space in this column. I haven’t even mentioned what happens when soy is processed to make veggie burgers, veggie chili, soy cheese, etc and what they add to it to make it palatable.

I sincerely hope you have found this article informative. Unfortunately the nutrition industry is full of hype and misinformation. It takes time and research to discover the truths. When something is repeated and repeated we start to believe it is true, just because everyone is saying it. As I like to tell my clients – I was a vegetarian before I studied nutrition!

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salmon Update – More Reasons to Avoid Farm Raised Fish

Here's some more reasons to avoid farmed fish, particularly salmon. This information comes from an article in the May 2009 issue of BestLife magazine. I have previously described how one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids is fish from cold water, particularly salmon. However, this salmon has to be wild, not farm raised. When raised on a farm, the fish do not eat the same diet as in the wild, they are often fed grains. While you will find statements that farm raised salmon is a good source of Omega 3’s, which is true, it also contains a significant amount of Omega 6’s from the food it is fed. Therefore, when we eat it, we are not doing anything to improve our Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio which is the reason we are eating these foods. In addition, farm raised salmon (branded as Atlantic Salmon) is naturally grey in color. How come it looks pink in the store? It is injected with a pink food dye. And, that is on the label!

Here’s the new information. The salmon farms are often placed near natural outlets for the wild salmon. The farms have many bright lights which attract young wild salmon. These are eaten by the larger Atlantic farmed salmon which see them as a different species. As a result the natural populations of wild salmon are being greatly reduced and in some places disappearing entirely. With millions of salmon in a central, yet still accessible location natural predators such as eagles and whales, as well as seals and sea lions are attracted to the site. Farmers are given permits to kill the seals and sea lions, obviously negatively impacting those populations. And, with all these salmon in one place there is also an issue with waste disposal. The salmon feces mix with the uneaten food pellets to make the ocean floor uninhabitable for shrimp and other small fish. Last but not least – sea lice. Salmon farms attract sea lice which infect both the farmed and the nearby wild ones who just happen to be passing through! The farmed ones are treated with antibiotics to kill the sea lice. Guess where the traces of the antibiotics, as well as the fungicides, pesticides, and all the other chemicals used in raising the salmon and the manufacturing the pellets winds up? I think you know that answer.

In summary, not only are the farmed raised salmon not healthy for you, they are also unhealthy to the environment and to wild salmon. The wild salmon population is under threat as is your right to healthy and nourishing foods. So, when you are eating out and think you are getting something healthy when you order salmon, ask to make sure it is wild salmon, and make sure it is cooked thoroughly to avoid potential parasites.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Friday, April 24, 2009

Diabetes (Type 2) Rant - Part 2

I'm sorry, but I have to do it again. The current issue of Diabetes Forecast was so loaded that I need to vent.

It starts with page 9 and The Wake Up Call - What's Your Diagnosis Story? by the Editorial Director. And I quote, "If you're diagnosed relatively young, as I was, you've got a lot of years of disease management ahead of you, and a lot of years to worry about screwing up." How about, "If you're diagnosed young, you have a great opportunity to look at your life style, change it, and perhaps allow your body to heal itself." The attitude - I'm in disease management mold for the rest of my life. That's not going to get you better.

On page 11 we hear from "a dietician for more than 25 years" about feeling the pinch at the grocery store. So we get the great advice to "shop for canned or frozen foods to save money. Look for lower-sodium canned vegetables..Buy canned fruit that has no added sugar." Canned fruits and vegetables? Come on. Look for lower-sodium and no added sugar? Canned vegetables have very little nutritional value. How about look at the junk food you are buying and spend the money on the healthy food.

On page 20 we learn that "Gastric bypass surgery seems to be a powerful treatment for type 2 diabetes in some obese adults, and now a study suggests the procedure may work for teens, too." Great news. "Within a year, the blood glucose levels of all but one (of 11) teen who had surgery were normal without medication..." Well what about in two years or five years? What will that body be able to do without normal functioning of processing and absorbing nutrients? Perhaps there was/is a better answer than to "cure" type 2 diabetes with gastric bypass surgery?

On page 37 we learn then when you need to raise your blood glucose in a hurry, there are some sources suggested: glucose tablets, regular soda, orange juice, life savers, jelly beans (large), gum drops, sugar, honey, raisins, and SKIM MILK!!! Yes, skim milk. That food they tell you drink. Have low fat or non-fat products. Missing the connection? Skim milk causes a fast rise in blood glucose levels! So why drink it with your cereal in the morning??? UGH!!!

On page 44 begins the article titled "So, What Can I Eat?" It starts off great - "For most people who are new to diabetes, the one thing that seems clear is that sugar is off limits, right? Think again: It turns out that a diabetes diagnosis doesn't mean your sweet tooth has to go cold turkey. in fact, you can eat many of the foods you love - yes, even desserts..." Great advice. Don't change any habits. Permission to "cheat". A great way never to get better. There is the usual advice for "low-fat versions, such as skim milk". Isn't that the same skim milk that will raise your blood glucose levels in a hurry????? The ongoing lie that "both saturated fats and trans fat up your risk for heart disease and stroke...replace butter.." And "protein from lean meat, fish, or soy products like tofu." Guess they haven't read the latest about the dangers of soy either.

But the best is on page 48 where "free foods" are discussed. They contain fewer than 20 calories or 5 grams of carbs. Suppose they don't add up quickly - examples are "a quarter cup of salsa, a tablespoon of fat-free cream cheese...and as much as you'd like of sugar-free gelatin, sugar substitutes..." UGH, or did I already say that?

This advice is really sad and I feel bad for the honest people who want to live healthier and follow this advice. I guess that's why the magazine contains all the advertisements for medical equipment. Follow the advice and you will definitely need all the advertised products.

Want some good ideas about diabetes. Go to and do a search on diabetes. Read the work of Dr. Thomas Cowan. He helps people to get blood sugar under control. He recommends that the diet contain 60 carbs per day. What is in this magazine - 60 carbs per meal. See the difference?

Well, I feel better. I hope you find this educational. Rant over.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Agave Nectar Update

As I warn all my clients, there is a lot of hype around nutrition. The "health food industry" is in fact that - an industry. Unfortunately, that can mean it is concerned with profits and not necessarily providing truly healthy food.

The latest of these hypes to come to my attention is agave nectar. Given this new information, I have removed it from my list of acceptable sweeteners to use as alternatives to sugar. Like many of these nutrition hypes the agave nectar story begins with a basis of truth. We are told how native Mexicans used the "product" for thousands of years for a variety of purposes, including medicinal. Then we get the truth - the "nectar" is not produced as the ancients did. In fact, in the case of agave nectar, we have a process that is similar to how corn starch is converted into high fructose corn syrup! And we all now about the dangers of HFCS. Agave nectar is a manmade sweetener which through a complex chemical process converts fiber and starch into the unbound, manmade chemical fructose. High fructose agave doesn't spike blood glucose levels, but the fructose causes the same damages as that from high fructose corn syrup - mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

A special thanks to the Weston A. Price Foundation and their excellent research. I urge all my readers to join the Foundation. Part of the membership includes the quarterly publication Wise Traditions. It contains many gems of knowledge, including the information I am passing along regarding agave nectar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Five Nutrients You're Likely Missing

Here are five key nutrients that most of us are not getting enough of from our diet. One of them is likely not a surprise to you. In fact I call it the "vitamin du jour" - the one everyone is talking about - Vitamin D. The others are Magnesium, Vitamin B12, Potassium, and Iodine.

Vitamin D is required for healthy bones and teeth. It allows for absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus in the intestine. It maintains a stable nervous system and normal heart action. A recent study in Circulation found that people deficient in Vitamin D were up to 80% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. The belief is that Vitamin D may reduce inflammation in the arteries. (Men's Health, April 2009)

Lack of Vitamin D may cause osteoporosis or softening of bones, rickets, tooth decay, poor healing of fractures, lack of vigor, muscular weakness, inadequate absorption of calcium, or retention of phosphorus in the kidneys.

Vitamin D is created in the body from the Sun's ultraviolet B rays (yes those very rays that we are protecting our self from with sunscreen). Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so people following "low fat" diets may not have the right kind or sufficient fat to absorb and assimilate the vitamin.

The best way to check Vitamin D levels is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. The best sources of Vitamin D are cod liver oil, eggs, butter, and oily fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, and herring).

Magnesium is needed for over 300 different bodily processes. Magnesium helps prevent heart attacks by regulating the neuromuscular activity of the heart and maintaining normal heart rhythm. It helps prevent calcium deposits, kidney stones, and gallstones. Magnesium is needed for proper Calcium and Vitamin C metabolism. It converts blood sugar into energy. And, has been found to aid in bowel regularity.

A shortage of magnesium can show up in a variety of emotional symptoms such as nervousness, tension, and confusion. On a physical level it can result in tremors, muscular excitability, gallstones, kidney stones, or constipation. It has also been linked to blood clots in the heart and brain, along with brittle bones.

If you drink alcohol or eat a lot of sweets, it may be a good idea to supplement with magnesium. Alcohol and sugar deplete magnesium in the body.

Your best sources of magnesium are dark green vegetables, most nuts, seeds, and legumes, whole grains, and avocado.

Vitamin B12 regulates the nervous system, increases energy and agility, and is required for the formation and regeneration of red blood cells. It is necessary for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, as well as calcium and iron absorption. It helps improves mental condition and attitude.

Lack of Vitamin B12 is related to fatigue, dizziness, poor appetite, itching, stinging or burning sensation of the skin. Severe deficiency will cause pernicious or iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin B12 is important for nervous system, so deficiencies will cause nervousness, neuritis, neuropathy, degeneration of the spinal cord, depression, lack of balance, or loss of motor control.

An important aspect to B12. My research tells me it needs to come from animal sources to be properly utilized and absorbed by the human body. Tests on "vegetarian" B12 supplements indicate the body is not getting the B12. The best food sources of B12 are meat, most fish (especially the oily ones), crabs, oysters, eggs, and yogurt. Organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney are also high in B12.

Potassium is effective in reducing and preventing high blood pressure. Very important - it works with sodium to regulate the body's waste balance and normalize heart rhythms. It will help to increase energy and support clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain. It preserves proper alkalinity of body fluids, stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes, and promotes healthy skin.

Lack of potassium can lead to high blood pressure, poor reflexes, nervous disorders, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, or muscle damage.

The balance of sodium and potassium is very important in the body. So, loading up on high sodium foods can further get the body out of balance.

The best sources of potassium are leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes (skins), citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, raisins, whole grains, fish, and meat.

Iodine is required by the thyroid gland to produce its hormones which ultimately control the body's metabolism - or how efficiently you burn calories. It is important for mental agility and promotes healthy hair, nails, skin, and teeth. Iodine is also helpful for breast health, particularly in women.

Lack of iodine can cause serious problems for the body due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. It can lead to weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, dry skin and hair, impaired reflexes, slow speech and mental reaction, loss of physical and mental vigor, and skin sores.

I've been doing a lot of research into iodine recently and have concluded that most of us are lacking. A great source of information on iodine is

The best sources of iodine are from the sea - fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables (particularly kelp). Bromine, which is added to many baked goods and breads, is an iodine depletor.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Pass or Not to Pass the Salt - That is the Question

Pass the salt or not to pass the salt, that is the question. This is another area of nutrition confusion. To begin our understanding of this we have to recognize the difference between salt and sodium. Sodium is essential to life. Just as I discussed how the sweet taste coincides with our need for Vitamin C, our tongue also senses salt, so we can get the sodium we need. What does sodium do? It is critical for the ongoing health of every cell in our body. That’s a pretty important job! It is part of the fluid between the cells. Along with its partner potassium, the two minerals balance the nutrient and waste exchange of each cell. Sodium is also in our blood, our lymphatic fluid, and is required for the production of hydrochloric acid so we can digest our food. Sodium is involved in nerve and muscle functioning where it again teams with potassium. It also maintains our body’s fluid balance, electrolyte balance, and pH balance.

You can certainly see that we need sodium. So, where do we get it? There are many places. Healthy sources of natural sodium include vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and meat. Unfortunately, the place where most of us get it is refined table salt or sodium added to processed foods. These are unhealthy forms of sodium. Like all other processed or refined foods, they have been stripped of all the naturally occurring minerals. In this case of table salt all that remains are the sodium and chloride. In addition, during the manufacturing process it is chemically cleaned, bleached, and heated so high that the chemical structure changes. Anticaking agents are added so the salt will not mix with water when in your salt shaker. This is fine in the salt shaker, but it does the same thing in your body. The refined salt does not dissolve and combine with the water and fluids in our body. So what does it do? It builds up in the body and leaves deposits in our tissues and organs leading health problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, fluid retention, weight gain, headaches, stomach ulcers, and stomach cancer to name a few.

How much sodium do you need? The answer is based on individual needs. As a guideline, the FDA recommended a maximum of 2400 milligrams daily. That is the equivalent of approximately one and a quarter teaspoons of natural salt. Because most of us eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) high in processed and refined foods and low in healthy fruits and vegetables many of us far exceed that level.

One of the big misconceptions about salt is that we need to use salt that is iodized. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to function correctly. Iodine has been added to table salt for that purpose. However, unrefined sea salt, Celtic salt, or Himalayan salt are examples of natural salts that contain many minerals and foods such as ocean fish, kelp, and other sea vegetables also contain iodine. Celtic salt, Himalayan salt, and unrefined sea salt are the healthy salts that I recommend to my clients. For more information on iodine I highly recommend the web site One way to determine whether or not you have sufficient iodine is called the iodine patch test. You can Google “iodine patch test” for more information and instructions.

Many people crave salt. That may be an indication that your adrenal glands are stressed out, meaning you are stressed out. According to Chinese medicine salt cravings are a sign of too much sugar or alcohol in the diet and the body’s way to come back into balance. Sometimes salt cravings can be a warning for oncoming hypertension. One of the best sources I know of for learning more about salt is Ann Louise Gittleman’s Get the Salt Out. You can get her book at

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Best Options for Satisfying the Sweet Taste

4/21/09 - my original article include agave nectar as a better choice. I have removed that reference.

The last couple of articles warned about the dangers of sugar and artificial sweeteners. I’ve presented lots of “bad news”; but the truth. There is another truth of course – we all live in the real world, sugar is a part of it, and most of us enjoy a treat. Part of my purpose is to educate and inform. So, given that sugar is part of everyone’s life, I’d like to share with you what I believe your best options are to satisfy the sweet tooth.

First, I’ll repeat, use as little as possible. Second, avoid artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame (and its derivatives) and sucralose. Here’s a list of natural sweeteners that are better choices: dehydrated cane juice crystals, maple syrup, honey, blackstrap molasses, date sugar, stevia, and fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

You can find dehydrated cane juice crystals in most grocery stores under the name Sucanat. It is made by evaporating the water from sugarcane juice. The crystals retain some of the nutrients from the original sugar cane, so at least it has some nutritional value. It can be used in about the same amounts as you would use white sugar.

Maple syrup and honey are also natural sweeteners best used in small amounts. Maple syrup comes from the sap of a maple tree and contains the minerals potassium and calcium. Honey is of course made by bees and contains enzymes and some minerals. Raw honey is best, however should not be given to children under two years old. For both of these sweeteners, organic is recommended.

Blackstrap molasses is what is left after sugar crystals are removed from beet juice or sugarcane. It still contains small amounts of calcium and iron, so again has some nutritional benefit. You’ll notice that all these natural sweeteners, despite the processing, do contain some nutrition via the minerals. Date sugar is made by pulverizing dates; therefore it retains the fiber and minerals.

One of the latest natural sweeteners to come on the scene is stevia. Stevia is a sweet herb, all natural. It has been used in South America (where it originates) for hundreds of years. It is very sweet so new users need to be extra careful. If you use it like sugar and dump in a whole packet you are likely to be surprised by a bitter taste. Too much sweet will become bitter to the palate. Stevia has also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and does not raise blood sugar as other sweeteners do.

One thing to be aware of with stevia – it has just received approval to be used in diet soft drinks. It will be marketed to the public as stevia, but it is not the same. The manufacturers will be extracting just the part that provides the sweet taste and not using the entire plant. I don’t believe this has been adequately tested and we all know that when we remove specific parts we don’t always get the same effect as the whole. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to stay away from stevia when used as a food additive.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) naturally occur in fruits, vegetables, and grains. They are an extra large sugar molecule so they are not digested by the body as sugar. Since it is not digested, it will not affect blood sugar levels. FOS has another great benefit – it encourages the growth of the good bacteria in our intestines and does not feed the bad bacteria and the yeast (Candida) as other sugars do.

So, there you have it – sugars you can use. But again, I caution, they are sugars, and we still should aim to reduce and limit the total sugar we consume.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Does Lettuce Cause Heart Disease?

I'll bet raised a few eyebrows! It did for me as well when I heard Sally Fallon say that at a conference I recently attended. Traditionally we never really ate that much lettuce. But, when we were told salads were healthy for us we decided we needed dressings in order to make them palatable. The problem is the ingredients in most commercial salad dressings. They are loaded with bad fats and sugar.

Check out this ingredient list from Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch Dressing: Water, Corn Syrup, Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk*+(Skim Milk, Condensed Skim Milk, Active Cultures), Maltodextrin, Modified Food Starch, Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk, Less Than 2% Of Vinegar, Garlic Puree, Onion Puree, Garlic++, Onion++, Green Onion++, Salt, Sugar, Spice, Sour Cream *+, ++ (Cream, Nonfat Milk Cultures), Pectin, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin+, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed And Soybean Oil +, Distilled Monoglycerine+, Natural Flavor, Artificial Color, Monosodium Glutamate, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Disodium Phosphate, With Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, TBHQ, And Calcium Disodium EDTA As Preservatives, Alpha Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), Lemon Juice Concentrate. ++ Dried, + Adds A Trivial Amount Of Fat, * Adds A Trivial Amount Of Cholesterol.

Hard to know where to start. Let's start with sugar. The following ingredients are essentially sugar: corn syrup, maltodextrin, modified food starch, xanthan gum; all derived from corn. Not too mention the lowfat and nonfat buttermilks whose milk sugar content breaks down quickly as well in your body. Then we have the bad fats - the partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oil. We all know how hydrogenated oils create trans-fats which are known to cause cancer. And, I didn't even mention the preservatives, the MSG, the natural flavors, or artificial color!

You may say that your dressing doesn't have these oils. The truth is outside of extra virgin olive oil (that you should make your own dressings from), any oil that is in a commercially produced salad dressing is not good for you. Why? They are heated to high temperatures during processing. This damages the fats and oxidizes them. In your body this increases the number of free radicals which damage cells and tissues, including your arteries. The excess sugars contribute to blood sugar spikes and ultimately insulin issues which also damage arteries and cause diabetes.

One more item to chew on - even canola oil is not really good for you. Yes, chemically it is a healthy monounsaturated fat similar to olive oil. However, I'll put this quite simply - have you ever seen a canola tree? (Hint: There is no such thing. It is a processed oil.)

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

The Alternative to Sugar - Artificial Sweeteners – Are They Safe?

Previously I have written about the evils of sugar. If you thought that was scary, there is something I believe is actually worse – the artificial sweeteners that are offered by the food industry as a “no calorie” alternative.

Why are they dangerous? Quite simply they are a mix of chemicals combined in a laboratory to create a “sweet” taste. They are not food. What has happened since artificial sweeteners have been introduced? Rather than reducing our sugar intake, it has actually increased! Several recent studies have shown a connection between consuming artificial sweeteners and a subsequent increase in food or calorie intake. What does this mean? It means they are making us hungrier! Why? Because of what happens in your body.

Our body was designed a long time ago, way before the introduction of these and other chemicals. Artificial sweeteners were created to trick the body into thinking it was getting something sweet. However, the body is never really tricked. It has received the signal of “sweet” and therefore mobilizes to deal with “sweet”. The proponents of artificial sweeteners say they are good for you because they do not raise insulin levels as regular sugar does. There’s a catch – they still raise insulin levels. Insulin is released to help process the sweet and when no recognizable sweet is found there is excess insulin in the blood stream that has to be dealt with. But now it is worse because your body is looking for the food which it can not find because there is none. This makes your body want food, thus the increase in food and calorie intake. Let’s review this very important point. Your body still produces insulin in response to artificial sweeteners. One of the functions of insulin is fat storage. This does not sound like consuming artificial sweeteners would be a good strategy for someone who is diabetic (insulin) or attempting to lose weight (fat storage).

Artificial sweeteners are used in all types of products – soft drinks, sports drinks (diet and “regular”), hot chocolate drink mixes, protein shakes, nutritional bars and shakes, gelatins, puddings, apple sauce, sauces, toppings, syrups, processed fruits, gum, candy, baked goods, snack foods, dairy products, and even in flu remedies, toothpastes and lozenges. These products will be labeled as “low calorie”, “sugar free”, “fat free”, or “low fat.” They are also in products not labeled “sugar free.” They are in products were they don’t even appear on the list (per government regulations if an ingredient is less than 2% it does not have to be listed). They are all over. You have to read your labels and even then you can not be sure.

The most common artificial sweeteners are sucralose and aspartame. Independent researchers, particularly in Europe, have found these chemicals harmful to human health. In fact, scientific research has linked artificial sweeteners to weight gain, disruption of sleep patterns, sexual dysfunction, increases in cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and diabetes. Why these outcomes? Again, it rests with how the body works. The body does not recognize them as a source of nutrition, and therefore it struggles to process them. Since they may not be completely processed, they have nowhere to go, so they may accumulate in the body. They can accumulate in vital organs such as the brain or liver, they can pollute the bloodstream, and they form the basis for eventual cell mutations. All of this can cause serious damage to your body. How long and what symptoms will develop will vary depending on the individual.

If you want more details on the scientific studies that have been conducted I suggest you go to the following web site: Dr. Hull is an aspartame poison survivor. She has an interesting background and is an expert in the dangers of the artificial sweeteners and has written several books on the subject. If you want some practical tips on reducing sugar in your life I recommend the book Get the Sugar Out by Ann Louise Gittleman.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Diabetes – Is There Hope for Prevention or Cure?

When I first wrote this I neglected to acknowledge the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes - two very different diseases. The comments below are in reference to Type 2 only. I have received comments pointing this out - sorry for the confusion. Bernie (3/6/09)

As many of you know, I am quite passionate about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Government health agencies acknowledge that 80% of the chronic diseases that Americans suffer and eventually die from (diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer) are directly attributable to lifestyle. This means that they can be prevented through diet and lifestyle modifications. These are the diseases of the 20th and 21st Centuries, rare in the early 1900’s, but significantly rising since the 1950’s in both incidence and mortality.

On a daily basis I educate, advise, and encourage people to make diet and lifestyle changes to improve their health. This can be a challenge as there is always some resistance; that is to be expected. It can be frustrating; yet I know those who are compliant will experience the benefits and be healthier.

Once per month I experience a high level of frustration. This is when the latest issue of Diabetes Forecast, the official publication of the American Diabetes Association, arrives in the mail. Their stated mission is “to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.” Unfortunately, if anyone actually follows the advice in the magazine that will never happen. The diabetic following what they read is destined to remain on medications and have their life continue to deteriorate. Let me explain by citing from the February 2009 issue.

We begin on page 11 with an editorial from Paris Roach, MD, the Editor-in-Chief. He states, “…the most effective ways to address lifelong conditions like diabetes are still being developed.” Lifelong conditions – that means you can not get better. Talk to any natural health care provider and you hear story after story of people getting better, but not from the ADA – it is a lifelong condition. Once you have it, you have it. Follow our advice and it will be a lifelong condition!

We move on to page 16 in the Mail Call section. To set the stage, a monthly feature of the magazine is recipes for diabetics – many of them sweets (cookies, cakes) with sugar substitutes. The letter writer states that Splenda causes a spike in their blood sugar (more on that later – thought it wasn’t supposed to do that) so they are looking for sugar equivalents in the recipes. Here comes our first bit of hypocrisy. The response states, “It would not be appropriate for most people with diabetes”, but then goes on with a detailed explanation of how much sugar to use!

Let’s continue with the recipes for the sweets. The ingredients I’ve seen are sometimes a small amount of sugar, but always Splenda, all-purpose flour, and canola oil. Many nutritionists, myself included, believe Splenda to be poison, and to promote a variety of diseases. Recent studies link it to obesity. Yet, it is considered okay for diabetics by the ADA. Seems to me that the last thing someone who is already diseased needs is more unnatural chemicals in their body, particularly one that has chlorine (a known carcinogen at its core).

These recipes also include all-purpose flour, better known as white flour. White flour, as far as your body is concerned, is sugar. So, we have a diabetic, who is not supposed to have sugar, yet they can have white flour? That does not seem like a good idea to me. What about you?

Canola oil. Have you ever seen a canola tree? Well if you have you did not see it on this planet – there is no such thing. It is a manufactured oil, meaning even though it is chemically a monounsaturated fat (like olive oil), it is highly processed, and therefore of questionable benefit. Manufactured oils are highly processed and heated which causes the fats to oxidize and when consumed will increase the free radicals in our body. Free radicals are known to cause cellular damage and contribute to a variety of diseases – probably not something ideal for a diabetic.

Let’s get back to the magazine. Page 33 had an advertisement for an insulin drug. It features a man who appears to be a baker by trade. He is wearing a suit and tie, an apron, and is holding three large baguettes. He states, “I was completely anti-insulin. Now I’m all for it.” What is the baguette made of? White flour. What is white flour? Sugar!

Then there is an article (page 36) discussing the merits of stretching before exercising. Several views are offered, including this from a MD professor from the University of Minnesota, “Why waste time? Especially for someone with diabetes who is reasonably healthy…” Who with diabetes is “reasonably healthy”? Diabetes is a serious disease. That is not healthy.

The next article explains the importance of Omega 3’s in the diet and the problem of the imbalance in most diets from eating too many Omega 6’s. This is true. Now more hypocrisy. On page 47 an RD is quoted as saying, “It’s (Omega 6’s) even in foods you think are healthy…granola bars, veggie burgers…soybean, cottonseed, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils as well as vegetable oil blends.” These are the oils that diabetics are being encouraged to consume in all the other articles where the “good fats” to eat are discussed!

But this is consistent with the hypocrisy found in other articles. All the recipes and editorials encourage low fat and non-fat eating. Fat, particularly saturated fat is bad. Yet, in an article about carbohydrates they state that fat will slow down the process of the carbohydrate turning into sugar slowing the rise of blood sugar. Excuse me, isn’t this what the diabetic wants? Fat is bad, yet it is has beneficial impact on blood sugar?

One of my favorite articles from a past issue described bariatric surgery as a cure for diabetes. The medical expert said something to the effect that it works because the body is “not absorbing the nutrients.” That gets blood sugar levels under control making the person is no longer diabetic by definition.. It seems to me that not absorbing nutrients is not a good long term strategy for health. How exactly does the body live without the ability to absorb nutrients? Perhaps someone from the ADA could explain that to me.

Another of my favorite articles from a prior issue screams the headline “just because you are diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t have ice cream”. Sure, if you never want to get better, you can have ice cream. There was another recipe that was a mixture of low fat cool whip, fat free sugar free pudding, and some other stuff. Basically it was all chemicals. There was no real food. Sounds real healthy! The “birthday” issue of the magazine was loaded with cookie and cake recipes for diabetics.

Perhaps someone from the ADA should speak the truth – if you are diabetic and you want to get healthier for a period of time you should not have ice cream, cookies, cake, white flour, Splenda, or anything like it. If you want to get better you need to stop the sugar and the artificial sweeteners and clean your body. Of course its hard to tell people, particularly many Americans, that they can’t have what they want to eat. Yet these same people will complain about the cost of health care. Seems they are not collecting the dots! I wonder what the ADA thinks of dots?

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sugar - Not So Sweet

When it comes to what is considered good or bad for us to eat there are often differing opinions. That being said, if there is one “universal truth” in nutrition, it is that we need to cut back on the amount of sugar that we consume and that too much sugar consumption is at the core of the chronic diseases that plague us today. Quite simply – the human body was not designed to process the amount of sugar that we are now putting into it.

In the early 1900’s rates of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease were much lower than today. Obesity was rare. At that time the average American consumed about five pounds of sugar per year. Today, these are major diseases, impacting millions and millions of Americans and driving up our health care costs. Approximately 25% of the adult population is considered obese; another 50% are classified as overweight. The sugar consumption of the average American is approximately 160 pounds per year (and that comes from a source that is now six years old).

If sugar is so bad for us, why do we like it so much? One reason why the sweet taste appeals to us is based in our biology. Humans can not manufacture their own vitamin C; we must consume it. Since the availability of manufactured vitamin C pills is a more current phenomenon, traditionally we had to get it from nature. In nature vitamin C is found in many sweet fruits. Our body has many of these inherent abilities. Poisons taste bad, because they are not good for us. Sweet fruits taste good because we need the vitamin C.

Since we discovered that we like the sweet taste, we then created more foods to deliver that taste. Here is another biological aspect to sugar. Eating sugar causes a biochemical chain reaction that leads to a temporary increase in the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is our “feel good” hormone. It helps us feel more relaxed, less anxious, less stressed, and improves our mood. This is the well known “sugar high”. The key word here is temporary. Once the high is gone, the body desires to return to it. Thus, sugar can become an addiction; and it is a very difficult one to break.

Most of the sugar we consume is refined and has no nutritional value – it is empty calories. In addition, sugar causes spikes in our blood sugar levels. The body desires constant blood sugar levels. Therefore, it must move sugar out of the blood. Insulin does this by either moving the sugar into the cells for energy, or by converting and storing it as fat. Here’s a little secret for you - we do not get fat by eating too much fat, we get fat by eating too much sugar.

Because there is limited nutritional value in the sugary food our hunger is not satisfied for the long term. Hunger is a sign from our body that it needs energy to function. Soon we will be hungry and eat again. Unfortunately this often means eating more sugar, which keeps this pattern going. Eventually our cells become insulin resistant, our pancreas begins to revolt and can not keep up with insulin production. We become pre-diabetic, and ultimately diabetic. On top of that, the constant spikes in our blood sugar are causing inflammation and irritation to our arteries which ultimately leads to heart disease.

But there is more to the story. As our body digests the sugar, it is also depleting nutrients from our body so we can adequately process it. So, not only are there no nutrients in the sugary food, it is taking nutrients out of our body in its processing!

Sugar is also the “food” for the bad bacteria and yeast (Candida) in our body. As we feed them, they take over our digestive system, leading to bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, yeast infections, hormonal imbalances, and a variety of other problems. Often the sugar cravings we experience are these critters sending us the “feed me” signal.

I can not emphasize enough the importance of reducing sugar in your diet. It is one of the key factors behind disease. Reducing your sugar intake is an important aspect of living a healthier lifestyle and at the core of the individualized wellness programs developed for my clients.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (262) 389-9907, e-mail or go to