Eat Clean – Feel Great !

This is part of an article taken written by a GP who is also a Vet…. He has researched inflammatory response (Pain syndromes, PMS, Parkinsons, Arthritis, MS, Celiac, IBS, Skin disorders, Migraine and Epilepsy etc) to foods for many years, he is well respected and published in the US. Its a bit technical in places – but stick with it… you’ll change the food you buy for your pets too, I hope!!!

Foods rich in glutamate and aspartate:
cause inflammation RESTICT THESE..

1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three but higher than potatoes.

2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.

3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils

4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.

5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios, and almonds. There are more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for you.. in moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .

6) Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame)

7) Prepared foods, soups: 70% of prepared foods and many soups have MSG

8) Meats: Note- All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest, while rabbit and turkey are the highest.
However, I believe that the amount in a normal serving of meat should not be enough to cause problems. I think that it is all of the other “unnatural” sources when combined with the meats that are causing the problems. Again, the main reasons why the “big 4”- gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn- are so harmful are, not only are they rich in glutamate, but they do harm to intestinal villi inducing mal-absorption of nutrients and then shower the body with their inflammatory lectins once absorbed by the body. It is the combination of these effects that make the “big 4” so detrimental in seizures.
Meats (and tree nuts) do not have these other harmful effects. But there are individuals whose neurons are so diseased and overly-sensitized to glutamate that their meat protein intake should be restricted to some degree until they and their brains are healthier. I have now had cases of canine epilepsy that required some restriction of animal protein in order to halt their seizures. But this should be a temporary requirement, with a return to normal levels being accomplished once an individual is off the “big 4” long enough.
One of my newest concerns is the presence of glutamate in the flesh of grain-fed animals, especially chickens, turkeys, and cattle. This is s topic of discussion on the celiac forums and we now believe that this is a real concern and could explain why some Celiacs are not responding to elimination diets. Farmed fish are also grain fed.

But, the fact is that 60-70% of the American Diet is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed and the addition of SOY has led this country into an epidemic of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Epilepsy is definitely on the rise in pets and the combination of wheat and soy in pet foods is playing a huge role. I am seeing first time epileptic dogs within three weeks of starting such diets.

Foods lower in glutamate and aspartate:

1) Fruits, berries

2) Vegetables

3) Potatoes

4) Lamb and eggs are relatively low (compared to beef, chicken, turkey) Choose FREE Range meats (non grain fed)

5) Tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, macadamias) NOTE: These are relatively low when compared to peanuts and cashews. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values. Again, everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. 7 almonds a day gives you what you need .

So, the GARD (Glutomate Aspartate Restricted Diet) should be mostly lean meats, vegetables, fruits/berries, limited nuts, potatoes, and eggs while also limiting known allergens. My site discusses primary versus secondary food allergens. The good news is that if we stay off the primary ones long enough (dairy, wheat/gluten grains, soy, corn) we may be able to eat the secondary ones again.

Remember: Like sufferers of the many conditions that afflict us, epileptics are obviously on a spectrum of affliction. Spending time on this forum has made this painfully clear, especially after reading about the worst cases. My heart goes out to you all. That being said, I feel certain that, as in the pets, there will be those that will respond to minimal changes in diet and those that will require Herculean efforts in the elimination of the foods above.

Also keep in mind that I have had pets that were seizure-free on these duck and potato diets for 6-12 months but that had a seizure within 6 hours of making a mistake (e.g. stealing a waffle). But, I do feel certain that as they (and people) get farther down the road, they will become more resilient to mistakes. This is in part due to the elimination of the casomorphins and gliadomorphins (from casein and gluten) that take up to a year to be eliminated from the brain.

Most of you know that estrogens are “inflammatory” and sensitize neurons to glutamate (catamenial seizures, PMS).

Progesterones are your friend. They are calming, anti-inflammatory (stronger in some regards than cortisone), and they can help suppress seizures.

Too bad there are not dietary sources of these, right? Yes, that is one of the other problems. These same foods are RICH is estrogen but low in progesterone. Balance is everything, isn’t it?

I have evidence with my clients that being really strict for 3 or 4 weeks with your food choices and then re-introducing foods one at a time – you will notice immediately returning symptoms and – be able to identify the foods that your body doesn’t like. You may decide to avoid the foods that cause your symptoms completely – or cheat just occasionally. Remember we have to have one dirty meal every week!!

I hope this helps – let me know how you get on….

Jax Allen
Program Director

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