Tag: diet

HIgh Fructose Corn Syrup, Obesity & Heart Disease

word cloud showing junk food and high fructose corn syrup

Weight Gain & Heart Disease Courtesy of Big Food

Most processed food, like cereal, is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). When HFCS was first introduced about 30 years ago, we consumed about 1 pound per person per year. Today we take in almost 60 times that amount in drinks, hamburgers and chicken, cookies and cakes, breads and crackers, yogurt and granola bars, pizza and fast foods.

When we digest glucose, our body increases a hormone controlling appetite and fat storage called leptin, and decreases the hormone causing hunger pangs known as ghrelin. But with HFCS the opposite happens so we are left feeling not quite satisfied and hungry soon after eating. The University of Minnesota also found a diet high in fructose elevates triglyceride levels, long associated with obesity and heart disease.

If you recall the movie Supersize Me, the actor consumed nothing but fast food for 1 month and was tested medically before and after. Afterward he’d gained considerable weight, his triglycerides were high and there were signs of liver damage. The movie speculated that it was the grease from the fast food causing these, but it turns out it was the high fructose corn syrup in all the Supersized soft drinks that was the culprit.

Just say no to Supersizeing, or any size serving when it comes to high fructose corn syrup. Here’s one other word of caution, manufacturers are aware that consumers are trying to avoid HFCS and as a result, are now just labeling it as “fructose” in the ingredients, even going so far as to claim that the product contains NO high fructose corn syrup, when in fact it does.  Keeping processed foods to a minimum, or having none at all, is your best bet.

Get your fructose from a piece of actual fruit.

Want more diet advice? Our naturopaths are diet experts.  Call us at 416-481-0222 or book online now.

Bye Bye Blood Pressure Medications

Man with high blood pressure or hypertension

Healing Hypertension at the Source

High blood pressure is typically a symptom free condition that is only picked up on physical examination and is a common (but not normal) problem with age. There are many possible causes of high blood pressure:

  • Blockage or hardening of the arteries
  • Magnesium or potassium imbalances
  • Poor adrenal gland function
  • High cholesterol
  • Poor kidney function
  • Over stimulation of the nervous system/stress

High blood pressure won’t go away without some intervention. Often borderline high blood pressure people are sent home until their next check up and without making some changes, the only place to go is up. If you neglect your blood pressure, you can expect a lifetime of multiple prescription drugs, and heart disease such as strokes or heart attacks.

To correct high blood pressure we:

  • Clean out the arteries with proteolytic enzymes and herbs
  • Correct magnesium and potassium imbalances
  • Nourish, balance and support the adrenal glands
  • Reduce cholesterol through dietary changes and exercise
  • Heal and support the kidneys
  • Reduce stress and nervous system stimulation through exercise, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, psychotherapy, massage therapy, herbs and other nutrients

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc (Hons), ND.  Our licensed naturopaths can help treat your high blood pressure to reduce or avoid medications.  Call us at 416-481-0222 or book online now. 

Natural Medicine Research Nuggets

woman doing natural medicine research

A brief round-up of some natural medicine news

  1. Use of SSRI medications (anti-depressants) increases the risk of osteoporosis.
  2. At least twice per day intake of grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoes were protective for wheezing and rhinitis (allergies).
  3. Folic acid supplementation effectively reduces the risk of stroke.
  4. A double-blind placebo-controlled study found that supplementation with a Korean red (Panax) ginseng (2 g/meal) improved plasma glucose and plasma insulin regulation in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

Here’s What I Believe

what a naturopath believes

Why Do I Believe in Naturopathic Medicine?

I believe, because I’ve seen success with it time and time again.  People who were told they had a 1% chance of success conceiving and having healthy pregnancies, people who were told that they would never conceive on their own and their only hope was donor eggs, conceiving and having healthy pregnancies naturally, people who had had repeated failed IVF attempts, forgoing all the drugs, turning to vitamins, minerals, diet and herbs and having healthy pregnancies.  I’ve seen acne improved, hair loss stopped, skin cleared, digestion working normally, hot flashes relieved, weight loss, energy and vitality returned to normal, breathing cleared, babies made, cramps gone, thyroid and immune function restored and on and on.

When you’ve witnessed it for 16+ years with your own eyes, you can’t help but believe in the power of the human body to heal and the power of nature to help it along.   We can help you too, call us at 416-481-0222 or book online now.

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Beauty Tip: Healthy Skin

woman with beautiful skin from vitamin A

Healthier Skin from the Inside Out


Moisturize your skin from the inside out, every skin cell consists of a little bag of water, not enough water leads to cells that look like raisins instead of grapes.


Every skin cell that is a little bag of water needs essential fatty acids to hold the water in. Omega 3 fatty acids from foods like avocados, eggs, nuts and seeds and fish are especially important.

Vitamin A, C & E

Because of their antioxidant value, vitamins A, C and E are important for healthy skin. The antioxidant effect helps fight free radicals that can damage the skin. Topical vitamin C cream has also been shown to improve skin quality.

Make it edible

I always recommend that you only use products on your skin that you would put in your belly. At least 25% of the chemicals that you apply to your skin are absorbed into your blood stream and the liver must then detoxify them and remove them. I like extra virgin organic coconut oil to protect my face and lips from winter’s dryness and wind.


Exfoliation can damage the skin because it strips off protective oils that keep moisture in. It also removes layers of skin before underneath layers are ready, exposing tender new skin cells to the elements.

Want customized advice as to how to have fabulous skin that ages gracefully?  Our naturopathic doctors can help.  Call 416-481-0222 or click here to book now.
By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc,ND.

Top 3 Healthiest Foods

Top 3 Healthiest Foods

  1. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts – proven anti-cancer benefits, rich in minerals like calcium, rich in indole-3-carbinol for liver detoxification and high in fiber
  2. Wild blueberries – anti-cancer, full of bioflavonoids, polyphenols, anti-oxidants, good fiber, beneficial for vision
  3. Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, collard and beet greens  – good for calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, folic acid, B vitamins, beta carotene, good for blood pressure, heart disease, anti-cancer.

This list is of course debatable, there are always new “superfoods” being touted, but these are the ones that have stood the test of time while fads like acai, mangosteen etc came and went.

Low Carb Diets Work for Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes nutrition information has, until now, been terrible!  Nutritionists are still trying to follow the Canada Food Guide recommendations, which just doesn’t work with diabetes.  A new study by a consortium of physicians and nutrition researchers suggests the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines due to the inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes.  In other words, what they have been telling people to do (low fat, calorie restriction, avoid saturated fats etc), isn’t working.

The 12 points of evidence from the study backed up by other clinical studies are:

  1. High blood sugar is the most salient feature of diabetes. Dietary carbohydrate restriction has the greatest effect on decreasing blood glucose levels.
  2. During the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, caloric increases have been due almost entirely to increased carbohydrates.
  3. Benefits of dietary carbohydrate restriction do not require weight loss.
  4. Although weight loss is not required for benefit, no dietary intervention is better than carbohydrate restriction for weight loss.
  5. Adherence to low-carbohydrate diets in people with type 2 diabetes is at least as good as adherence to any other dietary interventions and frequently is significantly better.
  6. Replacement of carbohydrates with proteins is generally beneficial.
  7. Dietary total and saturated fats do not correlate with risk of cardiovascular disease.
  8. Plasma-saturated fatty acids are controlled by dietary carbohydrates more than by dietary lipids.
  9. The best predictor of microvascular and, to a lesser extent, macrovascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes is glycemic control (HbA1c).
  10. Dietary carbohydrate restriction is the most effective method of reducing serum triglycerides and increasing high-density lipoprotein.
  11. Patients with type 2 diabetes on carbohydrate-restricted diets reduce and frequently eliminate medication. People with type 1 usually require less insulin.
  12. Intensive glucose-lowering by dietary carbohydrate restriction has no side effects comparable to the effects of intensive pharmacologic treatment.

These are things I’ve been telling patients for 15 years!  Finally, conventional medicine has caught up.
Source: Nutrition July 2014 and diabetesincontrol.com.

Tips to Meet Your Calcium Needs


  1. Eat at least 2 cups of dark green leafy vegetables every day.  Dark green leafies come complete with vitamin K, B vitamins and all of the other minerals needed to make healthy bones.  For osteoporosis prevention they are the complete package.  These include parsley, kale, spinach, collard greens, Brussel sprouts and Swiss chard.
  2. Eat a small handful of almonds a few times a week.
  3. Cook bones in the slow cooker!  If you are eating meat, leave the bone in.  Minerals from the bones will leech into the meat or the cooking liquid and provide a full range of readily absorbed minerals.
  4. Eat canned salmon with the bones mashed up in it.  As an added bonus, canned salmon is wild salmon.
  5. Keep your existing calcium.  To lower your need for calcium and to keep more calcium in your bones lower your stress and cut down on carbs.  Carbohydrates get metabolised into acidic end products which requires the body to pull calcium and other minerals out of the bones to buffer the acid.
  6. Build bones by exercising, preferably outdoors to get your vitamin D at the same time.    

New Research

  1. The fat composition of the diet appears to influence the blood vitamin D response to supplemental vitamin D3. Diets rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA’s eg. nuts, seeds, olives, avocados) may improve, and those rich in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA’s eg. corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower) may reduce the effectiveness of vitamin D(3) supplements in healthy older adults. Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2011 Oct; 96(10): 3170-4.
  2. Results of a new study suggest that treatment with acupuncture may be effective for reducing infertility-related stress. J Altern Complement Med, 2011 Oct 6
  3. Children and adolescents sharing 3 or more family meals per week compared to those sharing less than 3, were 12% less likely to be overweight, had a 20% reduction in the odds of eating unhealthy foods and had a 24% increase in the odds for eating healthy foods. Pediatrics 2011; 127(6): e1565-e1574

The Nervous System and Weight Loss

Researchers found that successful weight losers had significantly higher resting sympathetic nerve activity than those who had trouble shedding pounds. They also found that successful weight losers showed large increases in nerve activity after they ate a carbohydrate test meal. This did not occur in those who were weight-loss resistant. I have seen patients whose metabolism picked up after we fixed their adrenal glands and they lost weight without any changes in activity or diet.

Source: February 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.