Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Highlights from recent reading on the Tooth Decay Diet

A few posts back I shared our tooth decay story of the past year. I had originally intended to write a more detailed post sharing some of the more scientific aspects of how our bodies work and heal teeth etc. but I've found that approach is just beyond me. Instead I'm just going to give you the highlights of what I've gleaned. My intent is to inspire those of you who are interested or have similar tooth decay issues, to do your own research. The book that I am reading is Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Diet by Ramiel Nigel. I ended up buying this book on my Kindle as it was nine dollars as opposed to twenty-nine dollars on Amazon. I wish I'd just bought the hard copy so that it would be easier to share with friends. I should have bought this book last spring, but I procrastinated paying money for a book on dental care. How ironic given how much money we spend on dentist bills, vitamins and supplements.

Without picking up the book, and just occasionally glancing at my notes, I'm going to share the gist of what I've taken away from my recent reading.
  1. Our glands and hormones need to be functioning properly in order to remineralize teeth and prevent further tooth decay. The main cause of gland and hormone imbalance is white sugar, too much sugar even natural sugar, or an imbalance of calcium and phosphorous.
  2. Our bodies must have the correct balance of calcium and phosphorous 2.5 to 1. Otherwise necessary minerals are pulled from our teeth.
  3. We need fat soluble Vitamin D (considered a hormone rather than a vitamin) in order to maintain healthy hormone levels, keep our glands healthy and to maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorous. Fat soluble Vitamin D is found in Shellfish, fish and the fatty parts of land animals including eggs, milk and organs. These animals should be eating fast growing grass.
  4. Our bodies need high amounts of fat soluble Vitamin A, also found in the highest quantities in animal fat and products high in animal fat such as; cod liver oil, animal liver, fish, grass fed raw milk products and eggs.
  5. Activator X, which is in the same foods that are high in Vitamin D and A, is essential for balancing the levels of calcium and phosphorous. 
  6. Any foods containing sugar, including raw honey, or fresh fruit, change blood chemistry and cause tooth decay. The affects last three hours after eating any form of sugar and during that time calcium and phosphorous ratios fluctuate causing calcium to not be available for use by the body during that time.
  7. Grains, Nuts, Seeds and Legumes all contain high amounts of phytic acids and plant toxins. Phytic acids inhibit mineral absorption - especially iron. They also inhibit enzymes needed to digest food. These foods do contain high amounts of phosphorous but it is bound up as a phytate and is not absorbable. When these foods are soaked, sprouted and cooked, about half of the phytic acids are neutralized. Phytic acids and plant toxins are heaviest in the outside of the grain. So if you do insist on consuming grains, you should coursely grind the grain then sift out the hull and bran, then ferment what is left before cooking it. Which is the process that most cultures went through before consuming their grains. For this reason grains, nuts, seeds and legumes should be completely eliminated from the diet while one is trying to remineralize their teeth. 
  8. If you are going to eat bread/starches, eat organic white flour sourdough bread that has been fermented 16 hrs. or more, white rice, or semolina flour products as the germ and bran have been removed.
  9. A NOTE ON OATS. Ramiel Nigel believes that because of the way rolled oats are heat processed, that no amount of soaking and cooking will reduce the amount of phytic acids and plant toxins in the oats. He strongly recommends avoiding oatmeal at all costs. This has been a big one for us. For the past few years we have consumed more and more oatmeal, soaking it overnight with yogurt and water, cooking it and then topping it with thawed wild blueberries, raspberries, pasture butter, goat milk/cream and a drizzle of our own raw honey. I love oats. Oatmeal, homemade granola bars, homemade granola, oatmeal cookies. I still have not come to terms with this information. But our recently purchased fifty pound bag of organic rolled oats has been booted from the house and is sitting on the front porch. 
  10. Eat as few sweets as possible. Honey, maple syrup and real fruit are preferred. Agave nectar and processed Stevia are not recommended.
  11.  Try to start out the day with savory foods, eat a big savory lunch, eat sweets if any, early in the afternoon and follow with a light savory dinner. 
  12. Eliminate or significantly reduce all immune suppressants such as alcohol or coffee. Red wine or homemade beer, mead or cider being preferred above hard alcohol.
  13. Limit consumption of members of the nightshade family; potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes.
  14. Very Important to success of diet: Take two capsules or half a teaspoon of Fermented cod Liver Oil with High Vitamin Butter oil two to three times daily. Take 1/8tsp. skate liver oil twice daily. To meet fat soluble vitamin A and D requirements.
  15. Consume mineral rich bone broths on a regular basis, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
In summary, one is encouraged to eat a diversity of meat and seafood, raw and cooked. Bone broths, liver and organ meats are highly encouraged. Lots of eggs from poultry on grass, raw and cooked. Raw dairy, again from animals on grass. And lots of cooked as well as fresh vegetables, and fermented vegetables. Fortunately we have a lot of our own healthy milk, eggs, cheese and meat. We also are still enjoying our own fresh and frozen vegetables as well as buying those we no longer have at the store. D and I are going more hard core than the kids as far as eliminating grains and sweets. Although the kids diets have still changed quite a bit as well. We used to use very little white sugar. Instead we use less refined sugars and our own honey. We ate fruit multiple times a day without thinking anything of it. Now, I realize that our bodies rarely went three hours without some form of sugar, whether it was the fruit with our oatmeal, clementines, apples with peanut butter or yogurt with homemade berry and honey jam for a snack.

I am trying to compromise with the kid's meals. They are rebelling already at the loss of their oatmeal and the reduction of their fruit consumption, so they are on an every other day sweet breakfast schedule. A typical sweet breakfast would be a berry raw yogurt, raw egg smoothies with a sourdough berry muffin. On sweet breakfast mornings we are making sure not to have sweets for lunch and trying to skip fruit in the afternoons and the rest of the day as well. Alternate mornings are some form of eggs and vegetables or potatoes. On those days the kids get fruit and or raw yogurt with jam in the early afternoon. By limiting their sweets to once or no more than twice a day, their blood sugar level is only up for a part of the day and not all day.

One of the biggest challenges I'm having is feeding the kids without giving them sandwiches or bread. So, they are still getting some bread. But every time I give them a sandwich or slice of bread I feel conflicted about it. I have always thought of our fermented whole grain bread as a healthy nutritious food to put in our body. Now I wonder constantly how much of those nutrients we actually benefit from.

With the Paleo diet becoming so popular this past year I've found myself rolling my eyes more than once and thinking to myself that my family doesn't have grain or gluten issues. I have told myself, that most of our grain products are soaked, fermented and sprouted. I believed that we were neutralizing the majority of phytic acids and plant toxins, as I read in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditons. I think that if we can remineralize our teeth. That we will add in small amounts of sourdough or sprouted grains. But certainly not with every meal

This year I grew very small patches of grains with the intention of cooking with them ourselves. I have still not processed them all the way. I don't have the patience for the cleaning and sorting. I realized though, that grains are not easy to process or cook properly, and have come to the conclusion that people truly were not meant to eat grains on the scale that we do now.

 I've heard that this diet resembles the Whole 30 diet. Others have mentioned that it is similar to a Paleo diet. I have to say it is better than the Whole 30 in my mind as one is encouraged to eat lots of dairy as long as it is raw milk dairy. For me this diet makes the Paleo diet seem appealing, as I am missing tahini, hummus, lentil and bean soups, salads and spreads.

Today I found myself searching all the backs of the bags of tortilla chips looking for an ingredient list that didn't say stone ground (because I didn't want the whole corn), and did say processed with lime so they would be more digestable. However, the concession I made was that they were cooked in an unhealthy oil and were not organic or gmo free. The irony was not lost on me.

I think what is one of the most frustrating aspects of this issue of health and eating is that we thought we were eating and cooking healthy. I was going way out of my way to sprout and ferment and soak our grain products. And we had made those changes after reading a book on nutrition. It would be nice to do more research. For now we'll be monitoring our teeth and making close observations to how our bodies respond to this change in diet. I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Another interesting post you've made.

I do not understand why you would exclude salads from your diet if you're going Paleo?

I'm Primal myself, my better half is usually Paleo, and we both eat salads. We use guacamole or olive oil as a salad dressing. If that helps?

We're in the same boat as you RE: missing beans, chips, oatmeal, humus and that sort of thing.

There's a brand of chip that's Primal (Terra) but like you noticed in other chips, it's cooked in canola oil.

You wrote, "The main cause of gland and hormone imbalance is white sugar"

I've read that sugar is toxic, so that makes sense. Mercola says to keep your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day


It's not always easy, as you note.

Have you read the book, Wheat Belly? If not, I think perhaps you'd find it interesting.

I came across the link to the Weston A. Price article discussing magnesium deficiencies in soil. I presume you've read it already, but if not, here it is:


I've read good things about Stevia. Dr. Group says Stevia is Good for Your Teeth:


I have other links about that but I don't want to flood your blog with them.

If you want some good Primal or Paleo recipes, marksdailyapple.com is great spot for that, plus it's full of information about the Primal/Paleo lifestyle.

I can relate to your comment about breads. I've tried a couple of Paleo breads but so far I can't say I like them. We've been plying around with what I call 80/20 breads (which are more like 70/30 ratio) wheat with coconut flour and hazel nut flour or almond flour. It's not cheap though. It might help you to transition?

- PanarchistamericanHelot

Emily said...

Thanks for the wealth of information. I am in need of recipe ideas and cook book ideas and a support group :) Vegetables in all forms are recommended, but this book stresses the importance of fermented and cooked vegetables because they are easier to digest. D and I are eating salads daily as well. I haven't read the book Wheat Belly, I'll check it out. Nor have I read about the magnesium soil deficiencies although I do know that our soils for the most part are lacking in trace minerals in general. Thanks again.

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Anonymous said...

I heard that the pH-level in your mouth actually has a lot to do with how well bacteria can flourish in there and cause tooth decay; you might want to look into that.

I'm very leery of fad diets that are marketed as being the heal-all. Since humankind has adapted to thriving in wildly different areas all over the globe, I'm sure that a blalnced approach to eating that relies for a good part on what's present naturally in the environment can't do much wrong.


Hi Emily! It's been awhile since I've done any blog reading. This was interesting information. There is so much conflicting "evidence" out there it can be so challenging to know which direction to go in and who to trust. It can be especially challenging with children. I have gone through dietary changes/restrictions with both of my kids at one or more times in our lives and it isn't easy to explain, control, or keep tabs on. I am looking forward to hearing more about this journey of yours. Would love to see some meal ideas and recipes as you forge ahead! Blessings!

sustainablemum said...

A thought provoking post. It is a minefield trying to navigate through health and food, what to do?

I was forced to stop feeding my children bread for lunch everyday as my eldest was struggling to digest all the yeast and had definite candida symptoms. I have worked hard to find lunches they love that don't involve bread, l make it vey rarely now and we eat it once a week or less. It does mean more time in the kitchen on some days but as we homeschool it mostly works!

Teeth Care said...

Thanks for sharing this information.

Teeth health has been an issue for me for a long time. I know that I need to take care of my teeth hygienically, but never knew that diet can help as well.