Paavo Airola - Nutrition Forum - Let's Live - August 1975 Index

Exercise to Lose Weight?

Q. I have great difficulty in keeping my weight down. I am always 10-15 pounds overweight. I have tried to exercise, especially walking and jogging, but now I read that exercises only increase your appetite, so you eat more and get fatter. Is this true or false? Mrs. S.C., Glendale, AZ.

A. False! Recent study conducted at the University of California at Irvine, under the direction of Dr. Grant Gwinup (reported in May '75 issue of Internal Medicine, publication of the AMA) showed that obese persons lost plenty of weight by exercise alone, without any dietary changes. In this study, 11 obese women lost from 10 to 38 pounds, and averaged 22 pounds loss, during the period of one year, on exercise alone. Dr. Gwinup said that brisk walks, beyond a half hour a day, and preferably two to three hours, are the best form of exercise for reducing. It stands to reason that a combination of exercise, which takes off about a half a pound a week, with systematic undereating will bring quicker results.

How much protein do we need?

Q. We have been told that we need lots of protein in our diets the more the better. Some nutrition authorities advise 120 grams, 150 grams, or even more. I have noticed that some of these high-protein advocates also sell high-protein supplements, or are connected with such protein industries as the dairy or meat industry. So, I am confused. Do we really need that much protein? What is the real, scientifically proven truth about our protein need?

A. According to the scientific studies conducted by such famous nutrition scientists and doctors as Dr. R. Chittenden, Dr. William C. Rose, and Dr. Hegsted in the C. Rose, and Dr. Hegsted in the United States, Dr. Ragner Berg in Sweden, Dr. Kuratzune in Japan, Dr. V.O. Siven in Finland, and Dr. K. Eimer in Germany, our actual daily requirement of protein is only 20 to 25 grams. This is sufficient for all normal and healthy functions of the body. Adolescents between 13 and 20 years of age, and pregnant and lactating women need 10-15 grams more.

The outdated and disproven notion that we need 120 or more grams of protein a day was based on badly conducted experiments by German scientists Dr. Von Voit, Dr. Von Liebieg, and Dr. Max Rudner at the end of the last century. Only animal proteins in cooked form were used in these experiments and nitrogen balance was the only criterion on which protein need was based. No consideration was given to the possible harm which could occur from the excess of protein in the diet.

Note that the official tables of RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) for various nutrients, which are determined by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, reduced your daily protein need during the last twenty years from 120 grams to only 46 grams in their recent tables for 1974. Obviously, these wise scientists and doctors who determined your daily requirements for various nutrients know something you are not aware of. Namely that 1) the previous calculations of the protein requirement were wrong, and 2) that too much protein in the diet (anything over the actual need) can be extremely harmful, contributing to development of such diseases as arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer, as shown by recent research.

Anemia - Nutritional Approach

Q. Several doctors have diagnosed my condition as iron-deficiency anemia. They all suggested iron injections and lots of liver. Being a vegetarian, I would prefer to solve the problem by nutritional means. What foods are best for anemia? P.A., Flagstaff, AZ.

A. Not knowing the severity of your condition, I would suggest that whatever treatment you undertake, do so under the supervision of your doctor. If your doctor is not nutritionally enlightened, write to me (c/o Let's LIVE Magazine) and I will send you a list of doctors that I recommend - doctors who are nutritionally and biologically oriented. (Please enclose self-addressed stamped envelope).

Foods best for the treatment of anemia are dark-colored foods: dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, alfalfa, watercress, kale, green onions, chard, broccoli, parsley, radish, carrots, beets, yams, tomatoes; also dark-colored fruits: prunes, raisins, blackberries, dark grapes, apples, apricots, strawberries. Bananas, although not dark, are very beneficial as they, in addition to easily assimilable iron, contain folic acid and Vitamin B12 - both extremely important factors in the treatment of anemia. Other iron-rich foods are: sunflower seeds, crude blackstrap molasses, black beans, sesame seeds (tahini), peas, honey, brewer's yeast, egg yolks, pumpkin seeds, lentils, and kelp. Eggs, brewer's yeast, sunflower seeds, kelp, bananas, raw wheat germ, and Concord grapes also contain natural B12. Liver, usually prescribed in iron-deficiency anemia, would be an excellent remedy if healthy nontoxic liver was available. Due to the fact that animals are subjected to an extremely toxic environment (hormones, insecticides, preservatives and drugs in food, water, and air) and liver, being a detoxifying organ collects and stores all these poisons, it can no longer be recommended. Desiccated liver supplements, on the other hand, are often made of Argentine beef liver which is much better.

The diet should also include moderate amounts of whole grains such as wheat, rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, beans, and soybeans. The diet should be supplemented with an organic iron supplement (the dosage for each individual determined by a doctor), B12, B6, folic acid, B-complex, vitamins E, C, PABA, manganese, and bone-meal tablets. Hydrochloric acid should be taken with each meal. HCl and Vitamin C both promote iron absorption in the body.

It is advisable to drink several glasses of fresh vegetable and fruit juice each day. The best juices are green vegetable juice, red beet juice, and grape, blueberry, black currant, prune, and apricot juice. Avoid tea and coffee - both interfere with iron absorption in the body.

Baby Feeding

Q. I have a two-month old baby, and although I believe strongly in breast feeding, I don't have enough of my own milk to nurse her. Please tell me what I should do, since I do not wish to feed her commercial formulas or canned baby foods. I wish you would have written about this in your books. I looked and looked, but couldn't find anything on baby feeding . K.A., Venice, CA.

A. Yes, I wish I had written about it, since so many people are asking me about baby feeding. I have some personal experience, being the father of 5 children. Although their mother wasn't able to breast feed them longer than 4 months, they are all very healthy, have no allergies (which are usually caused by feeding babies anything but mother's milk before the age of 8 months), and three of my children are cavity-free, although now in their twenties.

It would be impossible for me to give you a complete and detailed baby-feeding program in this column because of space limitations, but here are the most important points to remember:

  1. Try to nurse her as long as possible, even if only part time, even if only once a day.
  2. Do not worry about your milk supply. Worry will only make matters worse. Relaxation, plenty of rest, moderate exercise all are important.
  3. Eat the optimum diet as recommended in my books, with plenty of grains, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable juices are vital. Take lots of supplements, especially brewer's yeast, calcium lactate, comfrey and alfalfa tablets, and bone meal.
  4. The best formula to supplement your own milk for a two-three month old baby, would be raw goat's milk diluted 50-50 with boiled and cooled water and sweetened with milk sugar, or lactose (sold in drug stores).
  5. You may add some fruit or vegetable juices to her diet, again diluted with water; not more than one teaspoonful of juice at a time.
  6. From the age of 5 months, she may be fed goat's milk diluted 50-50 with oat water. Simmer health-store quality oats in water for half an hour, then strain and use only the liquid.
  7. From the age of 6 or 7 months, she may be fed whole goat's milk.
  8. From the age of 8 months, but not before, you may begin feeding mashed, cooked and raw fruits and vegetables plus strained cereals, especially millet and oats, in addition to goat's milk. Note that before the age of 8 months, your baby does not have the enzymes to properly digest carbohydrate foods. Cow's milk can also be used now, but goat's milk is always preferable.
  9. Give your baby cod-liver oil as directed on the bottle. Use plain, unfortified cod-liver oil sold in health stores and drug stores.
Good luck, and God bless you and your baby.

Drinking Water

Q. I am so confused on water drinking. Some experts say I must drink 8 glasses of water a day, three of them first thing in the morning. Is that good? After three glasses of water and lemon juice in the morning, I feel frozen for several hours. Also, drinking water with meals is confusing. I've read in several books that this is an absolute no-no. Yet, many of my friends always drink water with meals and have no complaints. I deliberately never drink anything with meals, and I have indigestion and gas like you wouldn't believe! What's wrong? Mrs. J.C.M., San Diego, CA.

A. Of late, I am beginning more and more often to ask myself this not very "scientific" question when I wish to determine the soundness of a certain fad, practice, or advice: does it make sense? Common sense is something we often forget to use while trying to orient ourselves in this growing labyrinth of contradictory and confusing information on issues of nutrition and health. Please, follow my example and use your common sense when you are in doubt. Does it make sense to you to drink that much water, even though you are not thirsty, only because someone said so? To me it doesn't. In deciding when and how much we should drink, and when and how much we should eat, follow the common sense rule that no scientist will ever improve upon: drink when you are thirsty and eat when you are hungry! Conversely, do not drink if you are not thirsty and do not eat unless you are hungry - it doesn't matter how many "experts" tell you otherwise.

Regarding drinking with meals, although the general rule (remember, it is only the general rule, and it may not apply to you) is that we should avoid drinking with meals, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. If you come to the table thirsty, not having had an opportunity to satisfy your thirst before the meal, your chewing, salivation, and digestion of food will be impaired unless you drink some liquid while eating. Even under "normal" conditions, some milk, juices, or herb teas, if not in excess, are permissible parts of a meal, if you feel like having them. Remember: common sense is the rule! Drink when you are thirsty and eat when you are hungry and you can never go wrong no matter what someone else says.