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Archive for the ‘Kevin Trudeau’ Category

Say What?: Oh, Kevin

It’s been a while since I’ve written about our friend Kevin Trudeau.

Earlier today I leafed through his bestseller Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About and came across a truly eyebrow-raising sentence I had previously missed but had to share here.

In his chapter titled “Reading Food Labels”, Trudeau briefly discusses the nutritional impact of home cooked meals versus prepackaged food.

Rather than discuss, say, higher sodium and fat amounts in ready-to-eat or frozen meals, Trudeau judges these two on how much love they offer.

Cooked food, he claims, allows you to put love into your food, whereas major food companies sell products “where no love has been added.”

Okay, I guess I can kind of follow his train of thought.

I can see how someone might feel emotionally “better” eating something they conconcted in their kitchen, being familiar with the ingredients and “enjoying the fruits of their labor,” so to speak.

It was the next sentence that I had to reread three times to make sure my eyes weren’t playing a belated April Fool’s joke on me:

“The energy a person adds to food by preparing it himself actually causes the electrons in the food to spin in different directions, causing a much healthier product for the body.”

Maybe Trudeau got bored and decided to play Mad Libs while writing his book?

That’s the only explanation I have for such far-fetched, faux-scientific (“insert the world electron to make it sound intelligent”) ridiculousness.

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Say What?: Oh, Kevin

It’s been a while since I’ve written about our friend Kevin Trudeau.

Earlier today I leafed through his bestseller Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About and came across a truly eyebrow-raising sentence I had previously missed but had to share here.

In his chapter titled “Reading Food Labels”, Trudeau briefly discusses the nutritional impact of home cooked meals versus prepackaged food.

Rather than discuss, say, higher sodium and fat amounts in ready-to-eat or frozen meals, Trudeau judges these two on how much love they offer.

Cooked food, he claims, allows you to put love into your food, whereas major food companies sell products “where no love has been added.”

Okay, I guess I can kind of follow his train of thought.

I can see how someone might feel emotionally “better” eating something they conconcted in their kitchen, being familiar with the ingredients and “enjoying the fruits of their labor,” so to speak.

It was the next sentence that I had to reread three times to make sure my eyes weren’t playing a belated April Fool’s joke on me:

“The energy a person adds to food by preparing it himself actually causes the electrons in the food to spin in different directions, causing a much healthier product for the body.”

Maybe Trudeau got bored and decided to play Mad Libs while writing his book?

That’s the only explanation I have for such far-fetched, faux-scientific (“insert the world electron to make it sound intelligent”) ridiculousness.

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You Ask, I Answer: Low Calorie Diets

What would you say is the minimum substantial amount of total calories you should eat to lose weight?

Are 800 calorie diets really that bad?

I was told that if you eat below 600 calories, your body goes into starvation mode.

But if you stay from 600-1000, then you’re guaranteed weight loss?

I just want to figure out what I’m doing wrong and fix it.

I recall you saying that’s the wrong way to go but then why do so many dietitians and weight management centers recommend this ?

– Janie (last name unknown)

New York, NY

Low calorie diets (those going below the minimum daily recommended intake of 1,200 calories) are a terrible idea.

I take issue with the entire concept of a “diet.”

If you go on one, you will inevitably go off it. And then what?

Most likely, old habits return — along with the weight you initially set out to lose.

What I recommend is a metamorphosis towards improved dietary patterns and relationships with food.

I want to point out that this should always be looked at as a work in progress, and a process that isn’t consistently moving in one direction.

An emotional setback or particularly stressful time, for instance, might have you reverting to old dietary patterns or seeking out high-calorie, sugar-laden comfort foods.

Not surprisingly, in a society where we are basically told that if we do not get what we want in 7 days or less we might as well resign ourselves to the fact that we are failures, this thinking doesn’t exactly dominate the mainstream media.

Instead, people are told that in order to lose weight, they must:

Believe that food does not make them fat (The Secret)
Not eat brown rice and chicken in the same meal (Suzanne Somers)
Get a colonic every 2 days (Kevin Trudeau)
Drink a hideous mix of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (Hollywood fast).

And so on and so forth.

If any dietitian, weight center, or book recommends that you eat less than 1,200 calories a day, RUN – do not walk – away.

Going below this figure poses several problems.

From a weight loss perspective, metabolism slows down (especially since the thyroid gland slows down production of thyroxine, a hormone that plays a major role in metabolism), lean mass is lost, and muscle tissue is broken down in order to create glucose.

So, when you return to your normal caloric intake, you will undoubtedly gain weight because your body is no longer as efficient at burning calories.

Going below 1,200 calories is also problematic from a health perspective.

With such low caloric intakes, it is extremely difficult to obtain necessary nutrients from food, including fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Sure, there are always supplements, but healthy compounds like polyphenols, lignans, and certain antioxidants are exclusively found in foods, not pills.

What always strikes me as odd is that many times I see people who normally consume 2,500 calories start a 1,200 calorie diet overnight.

Completely unnecessary.

If that person were to simply slash 500 calories each day, they can enjoy 2,000 calories on a daily basis and kick-start weight loss.

You mention not knowing “what you are doing wrong.”

I am assuming you are having a difficult time losing weight.

I do not know your individual circumstances, but by reducing your caloric intake (say, by 300 calories each day) and increasing your physical activity, you should begin seeing slow, steady results.

If this is not the case, I recommend having your thyroid checked by an endocrinologist.

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You Ask, I Answer: Low Calorie Diets

What would you say is the minimum substantial amount of total calories you should eat to lose weight?

Are 800 calorie diets really that bad?

I was told that if you eat below 600 calories, your body goes into starvation mode.

But if you stay from 600-1000, then you’re guaranteed weight loss?

I just want to figure out what I’m doing wrong and fix it.

I recall you saying that’s the wrong way to go but then why do so many dietitians and weight management centers recommend this ?

– Janie (last name unknown)

New York, NY

Low calorie diets (those going below the minimum daily recommended intake of 1,200 calories) are a terrible idea.

I take issue with the entire concept of a “diet.”

If you go on one, you will inevitably go off it. And then what?

Most likely, old habits return — along with the weight you initially set out to lose.

What I recommend is a metamorphosis towards improved dietary patterns and relationships with food.

I want to point out that this should always be looked at as a work in progress, and a process that isn’t consistently moving in one direction.

An emotional setback or particularly stressful time, for instance, might have you reverting to old dietary patterns or seeking out high-calorie, sugar-laden comfort foods.

Not surprisingly, in a society where we are basically told that if we do not get what we want in 7 days or less we might as well resign ourselves to the fact that we are failures, this thinking doesn’t exactly dominate the mainstream media.

Instead, people are told that in order to lose weight, they must:

Believe that food does not make them fat (The Secret)
Not eat brown rice and chicken in the same meal (Suzanne Somers)
Get a colonic every 2 days (Kevin Trudeau)
Drink a hideous mix of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (Hollywood fast).

And so on and so forth.

If any dietitian, weight center, or book recommends that you eat less than 1,200 calories a day, RUN – do not walk – away.

Going below this figure poses several problems.

From a weight loss perspective, metabolism slows down (especially since the thyroid gland slows down production of thyroxine, a hormone that plays a major role in metabolism), lean mass is lost, and muscle tissue is broken down in order to create glucose.

So, when you return to your normal caloric intake, you will undoubtedly gain weight because your body is no longer as efficient at burning calories.

Going below 1,200 calories is also problematic from a health perspective.

With such low caloric intakes, it is extremely difficult to obtain necessary nutrients from food, including fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Sure, there are always supplements, but healthy compounds like polyphenols, lignans, and certain antioxidants are exclusively found in foods, not pills.

What always strikes me as odd is that many times I see people who normally consume 2,500 calories start a 1,200 calorie diet overnight.

Completely unnecessary.

If that person were to simply slash 500 calories each day, they can enjoy 2,000 calories on a daily basis and kick-start weight loss.

You mention not knowing “what you are doing wrong.”

I am assuming you are having a difficult time losing weight.

I do not know your individual circumstances, but by reducing your caloric intake (say, by 300 calories each day) and increasing your physical activity, you should begin seeing slow, steady results.

If this is not the case, I recommend having your thyroid checked by an endocrinologist.

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You "Ask", I Answer: Kevin Trudeau

I just received Trudeau’s new book about weight loss. I haven’t read but a few pages and decided to research this guy on the net and came across yours.

Trudeau makes a statement at the beginning that discounts embellishments in his story.

Also, I already think the government, the ever-so-caring USDA and FDA- whom are supposed to be protected [sic] Americans from bad stuff- allows companies to put in additives.

Regarding artificial sweetners [sic], overprocessed and nutrient dificient [sic] foods—they are so readily available AND CHEAP.

Folks buy and consume, get fat, stay fat, are unhealthy and thus go to doctors who prescribe the other manipulated and deceiving racket of manufactured synthetic drugs.

What is being pumped into everybody= nothing healthy and pure that’s for sure.

So there’s a guy out there that sees this and decides to enterprise on it.

Yeah! We all should be scratching our heads going ‘why didn’t I think of that’…..oh but then those Doritos wouldn’t be wonderful a thing anymore. Long live prepackaged overprocessed nutrient dificient colon clogging wholesome goodness—with a side of carcenigens for ya!!!!

GOVEG.COM PETA.COM – meet your meat……..watch this and tell me something.

– Anonymous (not surprisingly)

Boy, where should I start?

Well, firstly, I’m sorry to hear you spent money on Kevin Trudeau’s new weight loss book.

I haven’t had the opportunity to peruse it myself, so I’m not sure what statements he makes in the introduction that discount embellishments in his story.

Considering his track record, though, I would take most of what he says with many grains of salt.

There are many issues here worth thinking about. For one — the subsidizing of certain crops certainly does not help improve this country’s food supply.

Corn is extremely cheap, so it’s no surprise that high fructose corn syrup is in so many foods. This is a topic well beyond the scope of this blog, and one which I myself am currently not too clear on, but those of you interested in food politics and the current state of farming should DEFINITELY, without a doubt, read an excellent guide to the farm bill called Food Fight.

Onto the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food & Drug Administration. Yes, they have their flaws (I think they often approve some artificial ingredients and components without hesitation), but this idea that they are conspiring to make us fat by adding secret ingredients to foods is far-fetched and completely misses another pressing issue — our food environment.

The reason behind the obesity crisis in the United States is simple — not only are we eating more (due to increasing portion sizes), we are also in an environment that provides constant access to food.

It’s a clear fact that visual reminders of food trigger a hunger response.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you are driving down a road or walking down a street littered with food advertisements, fast food places, and the encouragement of eating on the run, you are much more likely to overeat.

Additionally, as discussed in Issue 5 of the Small Bites newsletter, the problem with large portion is that, as research has shown, the more food we have in front of us, the more we eat, even if physiologically our hunger has been satisfied.

Kevin Trudeau has not discovered anything. The only thing he enterprised on was the opportunity to make unfounded claims (i.e.: bouncing up and down on a trampoline helps beat depression) and make a quick buck.

As I have pointed out on this blog, the suggestions in many of his books are laughable (there is more to come — over the next few days, I’ll reveal more of his “weight loss secrets”, one of which, I kid you not, is to take deep breaths).

It is obvious the man knows nothing about nutrition. He thinks he is a weight loss genius because he tells people to eat a mere 800 calories a day (yet contradicts himself by recommending that people eat as many apples all day as they want and chow down on burgers and fries as long as they are organic).

Disagreeing with Kevin Trudeau does not mean I think Doritos are healthy or a ‘good food’. And, as far as your PETA links, I am not sure what the relevance is.

I have not eaten beef, pork, or poultry since 1998 out of personal choice due to my disagreement with the conditions that exist in the animal processing/farming industry, and while diets rich in meat products and lacking in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increase the risk of certain diseases, I certainly do not think people who occasionally eat meat are endangering their health.

Thanks for writing and allowing me to bring these issues to light.

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Trudeau In Hot Water

As many of you know, Kevin Trudeau is not someone I look to for sound nutritional advice and knowledge.

If this is your first time at the Small Bites blog, please click on the “Kevin Trudeau” link on the right-hand side of the main page and enjoy my various “Shame on You” postings in which I take great pleasure in deconstructing his New York Times bestseller Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.

Although I have received 92 e-mails over the past few months from readers who love the section and share their own impressions of the book, I have also received a few strongly worded missives from fervent Trudeau supporters who tell me “I just don’t get it.”

Well, I think it’s Mr. Trudeau who just doesn’t get it. In case you haven’t heard, the Federal Trade Commission is breathing down his neck again, this time for misrepresenting claims in his latest book, Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You To Know About (which I was planning tackling after I got through Natural Cures…)

Turns out Trudeau calls his weight-loss plan “easy to follow” and “safe”, yet “in court documents, the FTC pointed out that one required phase of the protocol requires that consumers get daily injections of a prescription drug that is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for weight loss.

It gets better! To obtain the drug, a consumer would need to either go overseas, or find a doctor in the U.S. who will prescribe the drug for off-label use. The injections must be intramuscular, and Trudeau even instructs the dieter to do the injections under the care of a licensed physician. Besides the injections, this phase also requires a 500 calorie/day diet for 21 to 45 days, and the consumer cannot use any medicines, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, most cosmetics, and no creams, lotions, or moisturizers.”

Five hundred calories a day? Okay, allow me to give you some perspective. People imprisoned at Nazi concentration camps were fed approximately 800 calories a day. Think about that. Someone is telling you to go on a diet and consume less food than a victim of the Holocaust. Apart from being completely disturbing, it also goes to show you how unhealthy (and potentially lethal!) some of these ludicrous diets are.

Two big thumbs up to the hard working people at the Federal Trade Commission!

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Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 7)

I recently received a handful of e-mails from eager readers wondering when the next installment of “Shame on You” featuring Kevin Trudeau would be up. Rejoice, that day has come upon us!

When we last left our best-selling author, he was sharing earth-shattering weight-loss secrets like “eat organic grapefruits all day” and “do not eat after six p.m.”

Let’s see how Mr. Trudeau rocks our nutrition world this time around.

“No white sugar or white flour.”

The reason? They make us fat, according to Trudeau! In fact, “if you want to sweeten something… sugar should be your last option,” he states.

It gets worse! “As I have mentioned previously, [white flour], when mixed with water, makes paste.” Yes, and if you overcook a piece of salmon, it becomes overly chewy and dry. So what?

This idea that white sugar and white flour make us fat is pure hysteria.

What always bothers me about this kind of comment is that white flour and white sugar have been around for centuries, long before obesity rates skyrocketed to current levels.

As NYU professor Lisa Sasson recently shared with us, the much respected Mediterranean Diet — followed by many people looking to shed some pounds — includes white flour products!

Now, allow me to explain something. It is indeed true that I recommend people try to make the large majority of their grain intake come from whole sources such as oatmeal, barley, quinoa, amaranth, and whole wheat.

As explained in issue 1 of the Small Bites newsletter, this is largely due to the fact that the high amounts of fiber found in these foods helps us feel full faster (and thus consume less calories). Whole grain foods also contain a larger amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

However, white flour (or sugar, for that matter) in and of itself does not “make you fat.” True, many of the nutrient-void, high-caloric snacks people consume contain white flour and/or white sugar, but that does not mean these two ingredients are to blame for obesity.

Dunking a slice of delicious fresh-baked white bread into a small plate of olive oil at a restaurant will not make you gain weight. More than likely, it will be the ridiculously large size of your entree that will contribute as much as 70% of your day’s caloric needs!

Mr. Trudeau also falls prey to the ridiculous myth that brown sugar is “healthier” than white sugar. Bull! All sugars contain 4 calories per gram, and are metabolized and digested the exact same way, regardless of color. Our digestive system is anything but racist!

“Eat organic apples all day.”

“Apples are loaded with fiber and nutrients,” Trudeau explains. Yes, true. So is every other fruit known to mankind. Why not make a more reasonable suggestion like, “eat two or three pieces of fresh fruit every day.”?

I’ll attribute this particularly random tip to Trudeau’s editors telling him his first manuscript was 20 pages too short, and he needed more tips for his weight-loss chapter. Or, at least, that’s how I can attempt to rationalize how such a clueless statement managed to get published.

What is with this “eat x food all day” advice? In my last installment I showcased a similar weight loss tip he shared: “eat organic grapefruits all day.” Huh???

If you were to take Trudeau’s advice and have six apples a day, you’d be adding 431 calories to your day — the same amount you would get from a McDonald’s double cheeseburger.

True, 431 calories from apples contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber (and a lot less saturated fat and sodium) than a Mickey D’s cheeseburger, but if we are just looking at calories, there is absolutely no difference.

And, as I never get tired of saying, weight gain is directly related to consuming more calories than you are burning.

“Eat only organic meat, poultry, and fish.”

In and of itself, not a bad piece of advice for those who can afford such foods.

However, here’s where my BS detector goes off (and my blood pressure skyrockets): “If you want to lose weight, eat as much meat and poultry as you like as long as it is organic, grass fed, ideally kosher, and most importantly, has not been given growth hormones.

I agree that it is best to consume animal products free of growth hormones. However, here is the bottom line: organic products have the exact same amount of calories as their conventional (non-organic) counterparts.

I recently had a reader write me and wonder why she gained weight in spite of substituting foods with high fructose corn syrup for those with real sugar. Repeat after me, everyone: it’s all about calories in, calories out!

I can’t believe Mr. Trudeau would be so irresponsible as to urge readers to eat unlimited amounts of certain foods — especially in a chapter dedicated to “losing weight effortlessly”!

“Do a liver cleanse.”

ANOTHER cleanse? This is the sixth one Trudeau recommends!

His reasoning? “If you are overweight, your liver is most definitely clogged.” He won’t say with what, but he’s certainly quick to direct you to his website for more information (at a price, of course).

There is absolutely no reason to believe that “cleansing” one’s internal organs with pills and potions does any benefit to the body. If anything, you are ridding your body of necessary minerals and electrolytes.

Besides, the liver is a self-cleansing organ! In fact, a lot of these “juice only” diets meant to clean your insides end up messing with our body’s self-regulating processes and often weaken the liver, reducing its self-cleaning powers.

“Eat a big, huge salad at lunch and dinner.”

Trudeau shamelessly says, “I don’t care if your lunch is a cheeseburger, french fries, and a pint of ice cream. Add to it a big, huge salad and eat that first. You’ll be amazed at how you lose weight.”

What a concept! Clearly, if you stuff yourself with nutritious food first, you’ll be satisfied long before you finish half that cheeseburger or even a quarter cup of that pint of ice cream.

The fiber in the salad will help bring on f
eelings of satiety, especially if you’ve drizzled some healthy fat (like olive oil) over the veggies and added a source of lean protein on top (i.e.: canned tuna, grilled chicken, etc.)

What he’s basically saying is to have salad for lunch and dinner every day to “miraculously” lose weight. That miracle? Less calories!

“Rebound.”

I’m saving the best for last.

In this specific tidbit of advice, Trudeau is referring to jumping on a mini trampoline ten minutes a day, which he claims increases metabolism and is “effective for weight loss.”

I would love to see what study he got this from. I have a strong suspicion this specific tip was pulled out of somewhere, and I’m not referring to the pages of a nutrition research journal.

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Shame On You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 6)

Now that Kevin Trudeau has shared some of his “earth-shattering” secrets for warding off sickness with us, let’s take a peek at chapter eight, titled “How to Lose Weight Effortlessly and Keep It Off”.

This was one I was anxiously awaiting and simultaneously afraid to read.

Trudeau begins this chapter by setting up an all-too familiar tale. Once an overweight child, he was always conscious of his weight.

He claims to have done everything under the Sun to lose weight through adulthood (even “exercising as much as five hours a day,” which sounds more like hyperbolic prose than reality), but it wasn’t until he “went abroad” that he found the answer.

While living abroad, I ate everything I wanted, yet began to lose weight without trying,” he confides.

While it is true that obesity in the United States is reaching unbelievable proportions, the rest of the world isn’t immune. For instance, 12% of French adults are obese and 40% are overweight, while half of Great Britain’s adult population is overweight.

Truth is, downing croissants and hot cocoa for an entire month will add on pounds, whether you’re doing it in Seattle or the Alps.

Over the next few weeks I’ll analyze some of the “secrets” Trudeau claims are 100% guaranteed to help you lose weight.

Hopefully, with each passing week you share my disbelief that this man has sold five million copies of Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.

“Do not eat after six p.m.”

One of the most aggravating nutrition myths. For some reason, Oprah loves to dispense this “tip” to her viewers anytime she discusses weight loss.

The fact of the matter is, calories do not care when you eat them. A 600 calorie ice cream sundae will provide 600 calories whether you have it for breakfast or at 10 PM.

Trudeau claims, “… the good news is you can virtually eat like a pig all day long. And if you stop eating after 6 p.m., you will still lose weight.

Really? I dare anyone who normally eats 2,000 calories to consume 3,500 calories between 9 AM and 6 PM and drop half a pound.

Not to mention, why is 6 PM the “magic number”? Why not 7? Or 8? Or 10? Beats me! Trudeau appears to have picked this number out of thin air. There is absolutely no research proving that eating carelessly all day and abstaining from food starting at 6 PM results in weight loss.

Not eating after 6 PM might be plausible if you go to bed at 7:30, but if you don’t hit the sack until 11 PM or midnight, going to bed on an empty stomach does not make you thinner.

Trudeau should be emphasizing healthy habits, not telling people to down as many calories as they want while the sun is up with the ridiculous claim that as long as they keep their mouths shut after 6 PM they’ll lose weight.

The only thing this 6 PM rule is likely to do is decrease your total caloric intake each day, resulting in weight loss. People fall prey to unhealthy snacking late at night, so cutting that out (along with the extra calories) will obviously result in some weight being shedded.

“Do a colon cleanse.”

I went over this in a previous post — but allow me to repeat. This results in immediate water weight loss, but you will not burn fat or truly lose weight by flushing out your colon.

“Eat organic grapefruits all day.”

Uhhh. OK. The reasoning behind this? “There is an enzyme in grapefruit that burns fat. Eating grapefruits all day, as many as you desire, will speed the fat burning process.

People are too quick to select an isolated enzyme that shows promise in a controlled lab setting and attribute it to a food. Yes, true, there is an enzyme in grapefruits that speeds up the fat burning process, but not enough to help anyone lose weight just by having some grapefruit slices.

Remember, grapefruits still have calories. So if you are eating 8 grapefruits a day (which I guess is allowed according to Trudeau since he’s encouraging people to eat them “all day long”), that’s 640 calories added to your day.

There is no food that, when eaten, results in negative total calories. None.

Also, what kind of nutrition advice is it to tell someone to eat a food “all day” in unlimited quantities?

“Absolutely no aspartame or artificial sweeteners.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t tell someone currently not consuming artificial sweeteners to start, but an occassional diet Coke or sugar free popsicle will not kill anyone.

Regardless, this is more of a wellness/health debate, not a weight loss one. Aspartame does not contribute calories. Having it does not contribute to weight gain.

As I have mentioned before, though, the problem with artificial sweeteners is that they are often found in foods that are nutritionally empty and offer nothing in terms of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

“No fast food or chain restaurants.”

Well, depends on what you’re eating — and how much! As Dr. Lisa Young recently told us, portion sizes in fast food restaurants have been exploding. So, yes, it is easy to consume half (or more!) a day’s worth of calories in one sitting when an order of large fries is as large as a toddler’s head.

However, according to Trudeau, the problem isn’t the food itself, but rather the hidden dangers found in food produced by chain restaurants.

You can actually eat French fries and cheeseburgers and lose weight, provided that the ingredients they use are all organic and contain no chemical additives,” he throws out with quite a bit of chutzpah.

This is another huge myth. Organic food (while lacking pesticides and being environmentally friendly) is not less caloric or fattening than the same conventional product. Organic butter has as many calories per teaspoon as non-organic butter, and an organic hamburger bun is still lacking the fiber in a Wonder Bread hamburger bun.

Trudeau contends that fast food restaurants are placing addictive chemicals into their food that keep us coming for more, which in my opinion is a provocative, yet feeble, conspiracy theory.

I always find it funny that a food is only considered “addictive” when it is unhealthy.

For instance, someone eating nine grapefruits a day (which Trudeau appears to be s
o fond of) might be considered a “health nut”.
No one would ever dream of pointing the finger at the grapefruit and accusing it of being a dirty, rotten fruit that drives people to addiction.

However, change that grapefruit for a Dorito and suddenly Frito-Lay is suspected of throwing in a pinch of crack in their nacho cheese flavoring.

If hamburgers and fries are a daily staple for you — whethey they are organic or not — you’ve got your weight loss goal cut out for you.

Next week — more of Trudeau’s “secrets” (and my eye rolls).

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Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 5)

Let’s continue with Kevin Trudeau’s secrets that will help us never get sick!

Too bad “not reading Kevin Trudeau’s books” isn’t one of the tips; I simultaneously get nauseous and high blood pressure every time I read some of his ridiculous ideas on health and nutrition.

For example…

“Do a seven to thirty day fast.”

Trudeau recommends going to his website to find out specific suggestions and guidelines, but, lo and behold, you can only see this information if you subscribe to his website – and pay $9.95 a month.

Although I was considering forking over that amount for the sake of research, I then crashed back to reality and realized I didn’t need to see Trudeau’s suggestions to discredit this piece of advice.

Fasting as a way of losing weight or “getting rid of toxins” is not only ridiculous, but also unsafe.

When our bodies are in ‘starvation mode’, they go into ketosis (a state in which they burn fat, rather than carbohydrates, for energy). If you were ever on a low-carb diet, I am sure you remember being told this was ideal.

Not so much. States of ketosis often result in kidney damage that can lead to filtration problems down the road, and also prevent our brains from being nourished in the most optimal way — with glucose (a carbohydrate).

If you are concerned with toxins and “cleaning out your system”, then eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, integrate whole grains into your diet, stay hydrated, and perform physical activity.

Starving yourself for seven days, or drinking only cayenne pepper, water, and maple syrup for three weeks is one of the least helpful things you can do for your body.

How could you possibly be benefiting from starving yourself and thus not nourishing your body with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals?

Bottom line — fasting weakens our immune systems, thereby elevating our odds of getting sick.

“Do not eat any food produced or sold by a publicly traded corporation or is a ‘brand name’ product.”

Which leaves us with…? I would love for Mr. Trudeau to tell me how I’m supposed to eat in today’s world without getting at least a handful of foods that are brand name products.

The standard “get everything at your local farmer’s market” isn’t enough in this situation.

Don’t get me wrong – I am all for supporting local farmers and getting fresh produce from them, but why this expectation that they should be our sole source of food?

Farmer’s markets, for instance, can’t provide me with raisins, edamame, tempeh, oatmeal, or brown rice – some of the healthiest foods in this planet! As far as I know, these are only available from publicly traded companies, no matter how small.

“Do not eat anything that comes out of the microwave.”

The reason for this? “When you microwave anything, it becomes energetically toxic to the body. [It] weakens your immune system and causes depression and anxiety”, Trudeau explains.

Going back to the real world, microwave cooking can be beneficial in some aspects. Since microwave cooking requires less time than conventional methods, more nutrients are retained when cooking certain foods.

Water-soluble nutrients (vitamins B and C, in particular) are quickly broken down if they are boiled in hot water; in a microwave, however, they will be retained in a similar fashion as to when they are steamed.

Additionally, microwaves are often the best way to defrost certain foods by reducing the risk of foodborne illness.

“Do not drink diet sodas.”

“The idea that diet sodas have fewer calories, [and] thus are good for weight control, is a total lie,” Trudeau revels.

In fact, if you follow his advice, you can replace diet soda with regular soda and not gain weight. Good luck!

If you are currently drinking 3 cans of Diet Coke and replace them with regular Coke, you’re talking about 400 extra calories added to your day. If you change nothing else about the way you eat, you will undoubtedly gain weight.

While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate drinking diet sodas, I also think this concept of “don’t you ever take a sip of Diet Coke” is hysteria.

This summer, a student in a class I was assisting with raised her hand and proceeded to breathlessly share “facts” about Coke that have been circulating in e-mail chain letters for the past ten years. Among them, “If you put a penny in a glass of Coke overnight, it disintegrates!”

The supposed link we are supposed to make is, “Wow, if it can do that to a penny, imagine what it does to our body!” Except that pennies don’t have the same protective acids our stomachs do, and our internal organs are not made of copper.

Sorry, but spam chain letters are not good sources of nutrition advice.

If you are eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, having a Diet Coke or two every weekend is not going to kill you.

Apart from the calcium-leeching properties of diet soda, the big concern is that these are usually accompaniments to unhealthy fast food. If you pop open a can of soda in the afternoon, you are most likely to have it with chips, cookies, or candy rather than fruit, vegetables, or a handful of trail mix.

Come back next week for more nuggets from the book the New York State Consumer Protection Board billed a “fraud”!

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Shame On You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 4)

When we last left our infomercial wiz, Mr. Trudeau was making the ridiculous claim that animals in the wild never get sick and, therefore, we must really be doing something wrong if we get a cold once in a while.

Chapter Six, titled “How to Never Get Sick Again” was one I could not wait to sink my teeth into.

Trudeau opens the chapter by arrogantly claiming it might as well be titled “How to Be Young Forever” since his tips will not only prevent you from getting sick, they will also reverse the aging process!

I’m surprised he doesn’t pitch something along the lines of “If you call within the next 30 minutes, I’ll even provide you with a small bottle from the Fountain of Youth! CALL NOW!”

Trudeau claims that “a healthy person has little, if any, body odor, bad breath, foot odor, [and] their urine and stool do not smell.”

Really? I know plenty of people with diabetes who don’t have body odor or bad breath, just as I know people who are in fine physical condition but apparently don’t get along too well with their bar of soap and toothbrush. I’ll chalk this one up to yet another Trudeau opinion spun as fact.

He then goes on a rant about life expectancy, explaining that our sense of aging is completely warped. In his mind, living until the age of 85 is a darn shame, since our bodies are meant to live until we are at least 120.

“The fact of the matter is a person 100 years old should be strong, flexible, full of life and energy, and have the physical capacity of what the average forty-year-old person has,” he explains.

Since Trudeau is so hell-bent on using animals and nature as benchmarks, perhaps he can see that all animals — including humans — go through a life cycle, which goes from birth to death, and includes childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Being 100 years of age and unable to run a marathon like someone in their thirties is not a sign of decay and disease!

Trudeau then goes on to list his “amazing secrets” for never getting sick and remaining young. I will divide these into several posts so I can break down my favorites at length.

1. “Get 15 colonics in 30 days.”

That is one colonic every two days! As I mentioned recently, colonics are completely unnecessary. The only thing they accomplish is the loss of water weight, which is immediately gained back. Additionally, they destroy all the healthy bacteria in our colon, which is responsible for fighting away infection!

Trudeau claims that as I am reading his book, I have “three to fifteen pounds of undigested fecal matter stuck” in my colon, which in turn cause gas and bloating, slow down my metabolism, and prevent me from absorbing nutrients! I’m surprised he isn’t also blaming the death of baby penguins in Antarctica to my colon.

Furthermore, if Trudeau is so concerned with nutrients, why is he advocating people get colonics, which wipe minerals like potassium (which our colons absorb) out of our bodies?

I am going out on a limb here and assuming Trudeau has never taken a basic human physiology course. Otherwise, he would know that toxins can not build up in our colon since it consistently sheds its lining.

As I have mentioned before, the best way to cleanse your system is by reducing the amount of junk food you eat and increasing your intake of fresh, whole foods, getting at least 30 grams of fiber a day, and staying hydrated. This alone will keep the nasty stuff moving through your system so it can be excreted.

And, if you want to speed up your metabolism while getting rid of toxins, do physical activity! This way, you’ll sweat the toxins away while keeping your metabolism working at a speedy rate.

Tips two through eight consist of more cleanses! That’s right — Trudeau wants you to get liver, kidney, gallbladder, parasite, and full-body cleanses.

Is Trudeau supposed to be helping people get healthy? The above sounds like the perfect way to suck out all sorts of nutrients from our body. Enough said.

10. Use a rebounder (mini trampoline) ten minutes a day.

“A rebounder stimulates the immune system and is incredibly effective at cleaning out toxins out of the cells.”

And, according to Trudeau, it stimulates all major organs and glands.

The same can be said for ANY exercise, whether it’s power walking, lifting weights, taking an aerobics class, dancing for 20 minutes, or doing jumping jacks in your underwear.

There is no need to go out and keep a mini trampoline handy to prevent from getting sick.

11. “Walk one hour a day.”

“Walking outside reduces stress, stimulates the lymphatic system, promotes a thin, lean body, and walking while looking at the world eliminates depression and dramatically reduces stress.”

Again, any physical activity will result in the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” natural chemicals that have been linked with feelings of vitality and
happiness.

I do want to point out that exercise will not cure or eliminate depression. If you are clinically depressed, power-walking for 60 minutes a day might help, but it should by no means replace counseling or any medication you may be on.

And, yes, ANY physical activity will promote a thin, lean body if it is also accompanied by a sensible and balanced eating plan. Walking one hour a day and then dining at Burger King is a whole different story.

The important thing is to simply move more. Your body doesn’t care if you’re walking in Beverly Hills or a treadmill in Des Moines, Iowa. Simply move!

If you weigh 300 pounds and do not exercise regularly, do not attempt to walk for one hour if you currently feel short of breath after going up one flight of stairs.

Rather, simply start by walking for as long as you can handle, even if it’s just five minutes. Then, slowly try to increase the amount of time you walk each day — even if it’s just 20 more seconds each day.

Although you need to challenge your body’s limits, you also need to respect them to avoid from getting hurt.

In a few days, I’ll post more of Mr. Trudeau’s gems. Come back for a good laugh!

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Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 3 — Addendum)

In his fervor to prove that the field of medicine is hell-bent on not curing diseases (by throwing statements like “there are more people diagnosed with cancer than ever before”), Kevin Trudeau fails to mention that no one is dying from scarlet fever, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, or smallpox anymore.

I would also be interested in learning how Mr. Trudeau explains the fact that life expectancy is higher now than 100 years ago.

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Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 3)

Chapter 2 of Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About is titled “What’s Wrong with Health Care in America?”

Kevin Trudeau sets up his argument that the medical community is basically worthless by throwing out the following vague statements (which are not cited, sourced, or backed up with any evidence). My comments follow each one.

“More people get cancer than ever before.”

Define “ever before.” If you are comparing today’s cancer rates to 1750, when no one even knew what the disease was, then yes, we currently have millions more people diagnosed with it.

“More people have acid reflux, ulcers, and stomach problems than ever before.”

So what? Getting food poisoning from eating undercooked kitchen has nothing to do with how healthy you are. Also, ulcers are caused by a bacteria named H. Pylori (the whole “ulcers from stress” explanation is a myth) which is currently being researched by gastroenterologists. It is not yet known how people get it in their systems, or why some harbor it without displaying symptoms.

“More women have menopause problems than before.”

No, the symptoms are now understood . In 1875, women with menopause symptoms were declared insane and locked in attics.

“More people have bad skin and acne than before.”

Proof? Additionally, the majority of teenage acne is caused by the surge of hormones that accompanies puberty. Completely irrelevant to what Trudeau’s book claims to address.

“More people suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress than ever before.”

Yes, because all the above can now be identified and diagnosed. It’s not that suddenly people are more depressed, it’s that now people with any of the above can be understood and helped, rather than be told they are witches and burned at the stake.

Strangely, Trudeeau finishes his laundry list of bizarre and unfounded claims with this bullet point:

“There are more surgeries performed than ever before.”

This is relevant how? Yes, thanks to surgery, malignant tumors can now be removed, impaired vision can be restored to 20/20, and knees and hips can be replaced. Besides, plastic surgery alone has increased dramatically in the past 20 years, so in comparison to surgery statistics from 1960, today’s numbers will obviously be higher.

Trudeau attemps to dismiss nutrition by starting that:

“More people are on diets than ever before.”

Yes, FAD diets. The ones all nutritionists tell people are just gimmicky and not a smart way to lose weight.

“More people take more diet products than ever before.”

Seriously, what is with this “ever before” business? Has Trudeau found records showing what prehistoric cavemen did to lose the flab? Anyway, the reason why people purchase and consume more diet products is because there are now thousands of them out there, as opposed to a small handful in 1945.

“Yet more people are fat than before.”

Yes, Mr. Trudeau. Although you don’t believe in calorie control, may I suggest you look into the explosion of portion sizes in the United States? People are being fed larger amounts and, thus, eating more calories. Its as simple as that.

Trudeau finishes this chapter by letting us know we are a doomed species, since we are the only ones to get sick. He exclaims, “animals in the wild… do not get sick!”

Really? How does Mr. Trudeau explain bird flu, gorillas infected with ebola, or millions of rats dying as a cause of the Bubonic plague? Or, closer to home, rabid skunks and raccoons?

The back cover of Natural Cures… claims Trudaeu “provides hope, provides answers, provides solutions.” How about providing refunds for the millions who own this book?

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Shame on You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 2)

Kevin Trudeau begins Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About by sharing a personal anecdote. At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse (a disorder in which the structure of the heart isn’t developed correctly, thus interfering with normal bloodflow).

He goes on to say that doctors told him he had a very short time to live unless he took experimental drugs or had risky surgery.

Hmmmm… well, I went to one of the best sources in the world for information on heart health – the Mayo Clinic.

According to them, “In most people, mitral valve prolapse is harmless and doesn’t require treatment or changes in lifestyle. It also doesn’t shorten your life expectancy. In some people with mitral valve prolapse, however, the progression of the disease requires treatment.”

The treatment can involve surgery in serious situations, but it can also include rather standard (not at all experimental) drugs like beta blockers — which help regulate the heart muscle — and aspirin.

Kevin Trudeau is quick to point out that many of these drugs have terrible side effects and should be avoided like the plague, since they end up causing more health problems.

While it is true that you often see a plethora of side effects linked to all medication, this is largely due to legal protection. If a given drug has been shown to cause nausea in 1% of test subjects, this symptom must be listed on the package to prevent lawsuits. A “possible symptom” should not be used as a scare tactic.

For instance, when I had to have two wisdom teeth extracted a few years ago, I had to sign a waiver saying I was aware that there was a chance I might die as a result of the general anesthetic. Does this mean wisdom tooth extraction surgery is a public health threat? No.

Trudeau claims he chose to have live cell injections in Mexico and Switzerland, which miraculously cured his condition. I would love to know more details (not surprisingly, his account is terribly short and vague), especially since there is no way live cell injections can change the shape and structure of someone’s heart and completely do away with mitral valve prolapse.

Furthermore, Trudeau appears to forget that live cell injections also carry risksincluding inflammation and the formation of tumors. Additionally, gene therapy is not a “one shot” deal. Mind you, this kind of treatment is still fairly new, but subjects who undergo it need several rounds of the treatment to reap any benefits.

Trudeau claims he told his doctors about the miracle cure, thinking they would be overjoyed and pretty much ready to tell anyone who had mitral valve prolapse, “Take a jet to Switzerland and get this amazing treatment!”.

Instead, they told him that it was very likely he had been misdiagnosed (especially since live cell injections are supposed to be used for conditions related to one specific gene defect, which mitral valve prolapse is NOT). Trudeau, however, uses this as initial “proof” to his belief – that there are natural cures out there purposefully being denied to us by doctors and the government.

Interestingly enough, he refers to all these things as cures, rather than treatments. By using the word “cures”, he is undeniably saying that these methods will absolutely rid someone of their disease.

He then boldly states, “Yes, there are all-natural, nondrug, and nonsurgical cures for most every illness and disease.”

Of course, Trudeau doesn’t tell you what these are because, according to him, he is being censored by the Federal Trade Commission.

Mind you, throughout his book, Trudeau mentions he is “mad as hell” at the fact that food companies and the healthcare industry “are all about the money.” However, he doesn’t appear to flinch when it comes to having people pay for his book and then direct them to his website, where they have to pay more fees just to read his newsletter (which, according to him, is an active way to support his cause).

In Chapter 1, Trudeau claims the field of nutrition has consistently changed its mind about what causes obesity and that, at the end of the day, “nobody knows.”

What he fails to realize is that it was not nutritionists advocating low-fat diets in the 90s, low-carb diets a few years back, or trying to push ridiculous diets like food combining or “eat for your blood type”. These diets have all been created by people with no nutrition credentials, or understanding of the field.

It was always nutritionists who came out and said, “It just comes down to calories. If you are interested in losing weight, rather than eating a block of Swiss cheese and 2 pounds of ham but avoiding oatmeal, just have half of your ham and Swiss sandwich for lunch and save the rest for dinner.”

The cause for the rising obesity problem in the United S
tates is very well-known: people are consuming more calories and burning less of them.

Portion sizes in this country have been expanding at alarming rates over the past two decades (which, incidentally, will be the topic of the next issue of the Small Bites newsletter). For Kevin Trudeau to say that “no one really knows” what causes obesity is not only misleading, but also untrue.

Chapter 1 is just the beginning of Trudeau’s gutsy claims. This weekend, we’ll take a closer look at some of the statements in Chapter 2 that had me shaking my head and furiously scribbling on the page margins.

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Shame On You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 1)

Kevin Trudeau has been earning millions thanks to his book The Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, and, frankly, I can’t stomach it anymore.

Here is a man with absolutely no knowledge of nutrition, making the most bizarre and unfounded claims and essentially lying to people. Over the next few weeks, I will dedicate the “Shame On You” segment to Mr. Trudeau and his outrageous claims so you can see for yourself why he is a joke – and an insult – to the field of nutrition.

Before we even delve into his book, though, I would like to share some information on this character.

The cover of The Natural Cures… boasts a round sticker in all capital letters reading, “As Seen on TV”. Yes, true enough. At 2 AM. On informercials HE produces and pays for.

Any other time he has been on television outside of his infomercials, it is to be unmasked as the fraud he is.

Trudeau’s court records don’t tell a very pleasant tale. In 1990, he deposited $80,000 in false checks. He accomplished this by fooling banks into thinking was a doctor when he hadn’t spent a single minute in medical school!

Trudeau has “hit back” by saying that precisely because he is not a doctor, he is the best person to dish out medical advice since he hasn’t been “brainwashed” to “write prescriptions.”

One could certainly make the argument that Western society suffers from “pill syndrome” (believing that medication should be taken the second one feels slightly off-kilter).

However, Trudeau has absolutely no academic background in — and does not understand — biochemistry, physiology, disease, or nutrition, and it clearly shows. His book not only makes ludicrous suggestions and arguments, but is backed up by basically no research.

By 1998, the Federal Trade Commission was hot on his trail and fined him half a million dollars for the false claims he was making in many of his informercials.

In 2003, Trudeau was once again sought after by the FTC, this time for making claims that a supplement he was hawking – Coral Calcium Supreme – could cure all sorts of cancers. At the time, Trudeau was making the preposterous, misleading, and downright dangerous claim that diseases like heart disease and diabetes were a direct cause of low calcium intake, and that taking his supplement was the cure everyone needed!

Trudeau hasn’t just been duping television audiences in the United States. The Brits were “lucky enough” to see his infomercial for “Perfect Lift”, a non-surgical procedure which promised to bring back years of youth to a person’s face.

Not surprisingly, the British FTC equivalent quickly took him off the air for telling complete lies.

I will analyze this New York Times bestseller (I think my blood pressure shot up 200 points as I typed that) in detail in forthcoming posts, but allow me to formally introduce you to it.

Acording to Trudeau, pretty much every disease known to mankind is due to nutritional deficiencies, toxins, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and chemicals in our food. It is these things, he says, that render our immune systems weak and vulnerable to disease.

He claims that by changing the way we eat, we can prevent disease.

Fair enough, I also believe that our dietary lifestyles play a role in our health, along with other factors such as environment and genetics. However, Trudeau’s idea of health and nutrition is as real as an episode of “24”.

Much of his misleading information starts on the cover of his book. “Includes the natural cures for over 50 specific diseases!” it screams. Except that to see this information, you must go to his website and pay a monthly fee. Nowhere in the book does he say what these supposed cures he knows about are (but he does tell you that stress isn’t good for your health. Groundbreaking!)

There is MUCH more to come. You will not want to miss this.

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Coming Soon: Shame On You

“Shame On You” is a new feature of Small Bites, revealing the truth behind some well-known figures in the field of nutrition (many of whom, interestingly enough, don’t have any nutrition credentials).

Later tonight I will post Part 1 of what will be a very lengthy “Shame On You” on Kevin Trudeau, author of The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.

Scarily, despite tackling nutrition in a grossly inaccurate, and often ridiculous, way, Trudeau’s book is a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Over the next few weeks, I will take you through a detailed analysis of key parts of the book to prevent you from being duped and lied to by a man whose record speaks for itself.

Stay tuned.

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