The very first book I read after discovering my food allergies was Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I’ve never read a book so fast and furious before, but it felt like at the time, the quicker I could get through the book, the sooner I could save myself from the slow and painful “death-by-food” path I was on. I literally was killing myself with processed foods, and I physically and mentally hurt everywhere, every day of my life. Until I read Michael’s book. Then everything changed.
I had my list of my food allergies, and I was successfully avoiding those foods, but I still wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t quite figure out why. After reading that book, I realized there was an entire world of food additives I never knew existed. I mean, ricotta cheese is ricotta cheese, right? Ice cream is ice cream. Soup is soup.
That’s not the case at all, and the damage caused by my food allergies had made me incredibly sensitive to additives, dyes, artificial everything, natural flavors, gums (which are part of my allergies), and the stabilizers put into manufactured foods to make them less expensive, last longer, taste better, and make them more appealing to consumers. God forbid your yogurt separates.
Food is not just food when it comes in a package.
Remember that phrase every time you go to a restaurant, the grocery store, anywhere there is food. If it came from a package – whether milk, cheese, sorbet, crackers, ketchup, mustard, fresh pasta, frozen pizza, whipped cream, chicken broth – 99% of the time, it contains some kind of additive or highly processed natural flavor.
Although most of these additives have a GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status, I can tell you from my personal experience, and from working with clients, that these additives do make an impact on the body’s inflammatory response. In other words, they can cause inflammation in the body. And as you’ve heard me discuss throughout my programs and seminars, chronic inflammation leads to disease. If you have an autoimmune or autoimmune-related disease, you’ve already experienced this first-hand.
After In Defense of Food, I immediately read Food Rules, also by Pollan. And when I began my Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition, I was assigned to read three books that gave me the full picture and understanding of what food can do to the body – good and bad. These books literally changed my life. I hope they make as much of a positive impact on yours as well.
3 life-changing food books for navigating autoimmune disease:
- Deep Nutrition, Cate Shanahan, MD
- Grain Brain, David Perlmutter, MD
- Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
Ok, so that was really 5 life-changing books altogether.
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