Tom Ballard, ND's blog

Weight Watchers Endorses McDonalds
December 2, 2010, 1:09 am
Filed under: Commentary, News | Tags: , , , ,

Some nutritionists (although not nearly enough) were shocked when Weight Watchers (WW) endorsed Chicken McNuggets as a “healthy meal.”

I wasn’t.

Weight Watchers has a long history of recommending questionable foods. More importantly, their entire approach to losing weight – cut fat and calories – has a 95% failure rate. It does not work for long-term weight loss for 95% of its clients.

I’ve asked WW to provide some proof for the effectiveness of their program. All they have are a few sketchy studies showing that lifetime members lose weight. Well, yes, lifetime members are the minority that is more likely to be successful. They remain members because it’s working for them (I suspect these are the ones with the worst diets going into the program). But what about all the millions who drop out because they lost a few pounds, then gained more? They aren’t counted.

What I dislike even more about WW than their endorsement of unhealthy food and failed program is that they crush people’s spirits. Millions have signed up for their program because it has been around so long that it’s become part of the fabric of our culture. It is so ubiquitous, so recommended by doctors and nutritionists, that it becomes the first stop for many people trying to lose weight.

When it doesn’t work, when the person finds their body won’t allow them to be on a low-nutrient diet, they blame themselves. The message becomes: If you were a strong person, you could do this – it’s your fault you failed.

Who wins when we feel defeated? The food and beverage industries and the medical industrial complex. They thrive on our misery.


Toxic Fat Deposits
December 21, 2009, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , , , ,

People tend to think of their weight as a result of calories ingested (food) and calories burned (exercise). Little attention is paid to the role of toxins that have accumulated in fat.

Your body has evolved elaborate processes for detoxifying unwanted elements (solvents, plastics, adhesives, heavy metals, etc). The major site for detoxification is the liver. Our modern polluted world places a constant strain on the liver. Every day it is confronted with chemicals that until recently were never found in nature. But detoxification is only one of the liver’s many roles. It is also responsible for manufacturing proteins and burning fat.

Our livers, overloaded with their responsibilities of detoxification, are less able to handle the task of burning fats. The problem has become so severe that there is now a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver in which functional liver tissue becomes replaced with non-functioning fat cells. These people are less able to detoxify and are more prone to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.  This may explain why so many people are unable to lose weight (or lower their cholesterol) even while following a low-fat diet.  Their liver simply does not have the ability to perform all its tasks efficiently.

At Pure Wellness Centers we believe that restoring proper liver function is the key to achieving a healthy weight.

We are all fatheads
October 14, 2009, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , , ,

While those unschooled in nutrition are still hanging on to the old misperception that all fats are bad, research continues to show otherwise.

Low cholesterol is associated with increased Alzheimer’s disease. Fatty foods increase memory. It’s no wonder – our brains are about 70% fat. Of course, quality makes a difference: If your fat intake is mostly saturated and trans-fats, then your brain will not work as effectively as it will when your intake of omega-6 and -3 oils are high.

Don’t be fooled by the low-fat food craze or let your cholesterol go too low. Eat abundant amounts of healthy fats from fish, nuts, seeds, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy.

Be a smart fathead.