What Type Of Sugars Should We Eat?

Our food products tend to contain either natural sugars or added sugars. The nutrition label does not make it clear which sugars are natural and which have been added to the product. The best way to check for added sugars is to look at the ingredients list. If you see the terms fructose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, or maltose, these are sugars. Having foods with natural sugars is not a big issue so long as you are eating a balanced diet and consuming appropriate portion sizes.

Are You Eating Too Little Fat?

By Deirdre Parkinson

Many of my patients proudly describe their diet as being fat free. When I check their blood test levels of basic adrenal hormones, I see that they are very low. This is why they are suffering from fatigue, memory loss, and even menopausal symptoms. Fats are also needed for the absorption of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for maintaining good strong bones and also to protect the body against infections and cancers. Fats are also needed for the absorption of 3 other major vitamins, these being vitamin K (blood clotting), vitamin E (the sex vitamin) and vitamin A (for night vision and prevention of lung infections).

And this is only touching on the importance of natural fats in the diet.

The picture of the iris below shows a lady with memory loss due to poor peripheral circulation to her brain. It was not due to having too much cholesterol, but due to eating foods that cause the fats she was eating to oxidise in her blood and therefore cause the cholesterol to thicken and narrow the arteries.

Myth 1. All saturated fat is bad

Sat fat is needed by the body for many synergistic and necessary physiological “jobs.”

It is only “bad” when it becomes oxidized, i.e. damaged as a result of high heat, lengthy air exposure, or food processing.

Eskimos who have a diet high in sat fat (whale blubber) have lowest incidence of heart disease on the planet!

Saturated fat means all the available spaces along the long carbon chain of the garden variety fat molecule is filled with 2 hydrogen atoms. This makes the fat solid at room temperature. It also makes this fat resistant to oxidation. Oxidated fats cause cell destruction, aging and illness. This is why the body prefers saturated fat.

There is always a percentage of sat fat in every oil (from about 6 to 18%) and it is naturally pure & undamaged, unless cooked at high temperatures or been exposed to air for a long period.

Myth 2. Unsaturated vegetable oil is good

“Unsaturated” means one or more pairs of electrons are missing. Mono-unsaturated fats are missing one double bond. Poly-unsaturated oils are missing 2 or more double bonds. The missing bonds create a liquid oil at room temp.

Mono-unsaturated oil (Omega-9) are a liquid at room temperature but start to solidify in the fridge. Nature grows these oils in the warmer climates so that they don’t solidify, eg Olive oil from the Mediterranean & Macadamia Nut oil from Hawaii.

Poly-unsaturated oils (Omega-6) will not solidify in the fridge only in the freezer. Nature grows these oils in the colder climates, e.g. with Soy & Canola from Canada & Russia.

Due to the misconception that saturated fats are bad, the myth is that all unsaturated fats are good for us. However it needs to understood that it is the oxidation (i.e. rancidity) of the oil that causes disease, not the oil itself. Processing of oils during their heat extraction also causes them to become oxidized. Processing involves refining the oil, bleaching it & then deodorizing it. By then the oil is extremely oxidised, creating a danger to health and increasing the risk of cancer. Mono-unsaturated oils have only one pair (mono) of missing hydrogen atoms (one DB) therefore they are more able to resist oxidation if cooked or exposed to air. The polyunsaturated oils e.g. canola, sunflower, peanut, will oxidise faster and therefore need to be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. Olive oil, which is mono-unsaturated is more resistant to oxidation and therefore the preferred oil for cooking.

Fish oil & krill oil (Omega-3) are poly oils. Arctic fish have more omega 3s than tropical fish due to Nature choosing the more poly-unsaturated oils to suit the colder climate.

Due to the processing of the food oils, they becomes rancid and oxidised, causing increased cancer risk and aging of the body’s cells. The medicinal food oils are not processed and therefore not oxidised and therefore safe. Common poly food-oils are Corn, Soy, Grape seed, Safflower, Sunflower, and  Cottonseed. Even though Canola has 54% Mono-oil, it is the processing (bleaching and deodorizing) of its 35% poly-oil that makes it as dangerous as the other poly oils.

The research for the for the above 2 myths about fats is credited to Alan Graham  alan068@centurytel.net


Digestive Insufficiency – Part Two

By Carolina Rossi

Last newsletter I mentioned about the importance in improving digestion and suggested small changes such as chew your food until liquefied, avoid fluid with meals, don’t eat on the run or when stressed and control portions size.

If you have put in practice these basic principals but still experience some digestive discomfort it is time to have a look at what you are eating.


  • Cold foods and drinks
  • Raw foods. At the same time that raw foods is good for us those who have weak digestive system might experience bloating and discomfort when eating raw foods. It is important to improve digestion first then introduce raw foods gradually according to progress.
  • Dairy products including cheeses and yoghurt
  • Rich oily food
  • Excess sugar and sweet  food such as cakes, chocolate, lollies, biscuits, added sugar to drinks
  • Excess bread, cereal and pasta
  • Excess red meat especially fried
  • Yeast rich foods – bread and alcohol


  • Warm cooked meals: soups, casseroles, stir-frys, and roasts
  • Spices and herbs such as Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, basil, rosemary, nutmeg, cloves, sage, and turmeric
  • Onions, garlic, leek, chives, shallots
  • Warm teas between meals: fennel, ginger and peppermint
  • Vegetables: pumpkin, celery, lettuce, alfalfa, mushrooms and radish,
  • Legumes / beans and especially aduki
  • Lean meats – avoid frying
  • Brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet

To book an appointment with Carolina phone the clinic on (07) 5522 0505.

Digestive Insufficiency – Part One

By Carolina Rossi, Dietitian

Digestive ability is the key to our physical health and is reliant on adequate enzymes and absorption. So to directly enhance our general well-being and heal many diseases (that are due to nutrient deficiencies) we must increase our digestive abilities.

A system low in digestive enzymes due to exposure to the wrong type of foods or too much food of the same foods leads to the poor or partial breakdown of food and build-up of excess mucous which accumulates toxins and adheres to the intestinal wall, from this nutrient absorption and assimilation is impaired and toxins start to leach into the body, accumulating in areas and causing disease.

Further complications can include irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, parasites, bacterial or viral infections, candida, food intolerances, allergies, sinus congestion/allergies, to mention more. As it is the foundation of our health digestive disturbances can lead to any disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as bloating, wind, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea and/or stomach cramps your digestive system might not be functioning to its best potential.

Small changes can improve such symptoms and make a big difference to our health:

  • Chew your food slowly. The digestive process starts in our mouth.
  • Control portion size. Do not overeat.
  • Taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in 3 teaspoon of water 10 minutes before each meal might help support stomach digestion and blood sugar regulation
  • Avoid having fluids with your meals. Wait 20 minutes before and after a meal before drinking.
  • Avoid eating on the run or eating when stressed or emotional – give yourself time before and after food to relax and don’t eat while working.

Look out next month for Part 2 – Foods to Avoid and Foods to include!

To book an appointment with Carolina please contact us on (07) 5522 0505!

Food Allergies, Stress, Fatigue and Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory, in order to have good health we must have sufficient energy, called Chi and your body’s internal organs must be balanced and work in harmony with each other’s energy.

TCM views food allergies and intolerances as a result of imbalances within the Kidneys, Spleen, Stomach, Liver and Large Intestine. Most food allergies are not always actual allergies to food, but rather food intolerances that develop because of exhaustion of the body’s internal energy.

Food intolerances arise when the organs become imbalanced and weakened and can no longer carry out their function in the digestive and kidney systems.

Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a vast variety of symptoms. To name just a few:

– Abdominal pain / distention, IBS,  Bloating / Gas,  Indigestion,  Constipation / Diarrhoea / Both, Decreased or increased appetite, Nausea and vomiting,  Floating, foul smelling, bloody or mucus stools, undigested food in stools, Anaemia, Bone and joint pain / Osteoporosis, Weight loss/ Weight Gain, Fatigue, Depression / Anxiety, Food cravings

It is estimated that up to 80% of Adults in the USA and Australia will experience adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion in their life time, yet it remains one of the most under diagnosed illnesses and is seldom related to food allergies.

Your adrenal gland is no larger than a walnut and weighs less than a grape, and sit on the top of each Kidney. They are responsible for one of the most important functions in your body, managing your stress. They are the fight/ flight glands of your body and brain. They give you the ability to run (move) or fight (defend yourself) and have evolved for our survival.

When the adrenal glands are over taxed Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees that the kidney/adrenal chi will become exhausted or empty. In Western Medicine adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion is a chemical /hormonal problem while in TCM it is both energy and chemistry.

Two tell-tale signs of adrenal burnout is feeling chronically fatigued and having food allergies. The basis of most adrenal fatigue or burnout is stress, long term chronic stress.

The precipitating event for most people is a period of intense emotional stress.  It doesn’t have to be negative stress. I have had clients who are young men who love to participate in triathlon events. After a couple of years competing in these gruelling events they develop food allergies and eventually all the symptoms of chronic fatigue.

When your body/brain is in flight or fight mode your physical body responds. Your breathing increases, over a 1000 different chemical reactions occur, hormones are released that cascade down through all of the endocrine system, adrenaline is released giving you the energy to act and react very quickly, heart beat rate increases, digestion slows and blood is taken away from the stomach into the muscles, blood thickens in case of bleeding, nervous system and brain become hyper-alert.

Now, these are all needed for your survival, but only while you are in real and present danger. States of chronic stress happens when your body doesn’t have the time to relax, recreate, replenish and restore these vital energies needed for a healthy and harmonious life.

Infertility for female and males is directly related to this exhaustion of ancestral energy/kidney essence. The IVF program is helping us create babies, however at what cost to their vital energy. One health issue that is arising is that IVF children may experience a slower growth rate than other children. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is can be directly related to a low level of Kidney essence.

With each generation humanity is becoming weaker due to the excesses and ignorance of the generation before. Doctors in the USA are beginning to see 12 and 15 years old boys and girls with food allergies and adrenal burnout.

Throughout the last 30 years, I have experienced that the best way to heal food allergies and restore this vital energy is using Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Taoist breathing exercises coupled with deep relaxation and emotional balancing.

Acupuncture will restore the baseline and over time help you to return to optimum health. For any treatment to have lasting results the client needs to implement a health program that focuses on relaxing and de-stressing their environment, and to appreciate and understand the importance of rest, relaxation and inner calm.

High liver GGT Enzymes & Leaky Gut Syndrome

By Deirdre Parkinson, Naturopath

Have you had blood test results that were in in liver enzymes? So high that your GP wondered if you were a closet alcoholic!? High liver GGT enzymes can hint at a toxic liver. Alcohol in excess will cause liver toxicity and can cause a rise in GGT enzymes in a liver test. However high GGTs can also be caused by two other common toxic byproducts.  One is certain medications.

Many pharmaceutical drugs need to be metabolized though the liver, and can therefor cause a rise in liver enzymes. Another surprising cause of liver toxicity is a condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. In this case, the very toxins that are meant to be passed out of the body through good gut function and elimination are instead leaked back into the blood stream and passed back to the liver for recycling!

Causes of leaky gut syndrome range from our rather toxic Western Diet, to past infections from parasites or food poisonings. Testing is quite easy, although the current symptoms and health history are generally enough to confirm the need for gut detox and gut repair.

Some of the warning symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome are any in the list below:

  • Indigestion /Heart burn /Reflux
  • Stomach pains / Nausea /Vomiting
  • Burping /Bad breath / Loss of taste
  • Crave sweets /Sleepiness after consuming a high carbohydrate meal
  • Bowels do not open regularly every day
  • Diarrhea or Constipation or both?
  • Bowel gas / Bloated stomach
  • Itchy bottom
  • Blood in your stools or on the toilet paper
  • Thinner stools then normal
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowel
  • The sensation of a lump/pain/or discomfort in your lower abdomen
  • Antibiotic medications: when?
  • High cholesterol / Gallstones / Pain the right side
  • Hepatitis / High alcohol consumption
  • Cold intolerance / Heat intolerance

Treatment involves first using herbal based medications to eliminate any chronic parasitic infections. The next step is to heal the “leaky” damaged gut lining. Herbal and nutritional compounds are used. The next few steps involve re-establishing the normal gut flora, checking for food intolerances, establishing good bowel function, and helping make healthy diet choices.

PS. It is important to know that the reference ranges for most blood tests are based on random bloods from the population that is following a Western lifestyle that is not  evolutionarily correct or healthy. The so called “normal range” of a gamma GT used to be a lot lower than it is now, but has been allowed to be higher because this enzyme is raised by alcohol and prescription drugs which so many people have today on a regular basis. So now it’s considered “normal to be toxic!

No Cook, Dairy Free, Black Bean Choc Fudge

By Deirdre Parkinson, Naturopath

There’s no doubt that Fudge is a high favourite for anyone with a sweet tooth. However it is very high in sugar, and if you’ve been diagnosed with a dairy allergy or need to lose weight, this alternative recipe might do the trick. You would never believe there are black beans in them!

As a legume, black beans are a good source of protein which reduces the craving for snacking, builds muscle, and helps balance hormones. The high fibre content in this recipe keeps the bowels regular, balances blood sugar levels, and reduces cholesterol.


1/4 cup coconut oil

1cup pitted medjool dates or if using dried pitted dates its best to cook them in the 1/4 cup  coconut oil first until they soften i.e. 5 mins.

1 ¼ cup cooked black beans (turtle beans), cannellini, or even chick peas.

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup either tahini or almond butter

2 tsp vanilla extract



Firstly blend the dates and the coconut oil. If using dried pitted dates you need to heat them in the 1/4 cup  coconut oil first until soft i.e. 5 mins.

Blend all the ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Using a spatula, press and flatten the mixture into loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper.

Using the same spatula, make incisions to precut into squares.

Refrigerate in freezer for at least an hour to firm up, them you can break them into the square shapes. They will store in freezer for a month, but you will most likely eat them all before the next day!.

Some suggested addition:add a scoop of your favourite vegan protoein powder- rice, hemp, or pea. They give a nice grainy texture if you used the tahini instead of the almond spread. Also you could add broken pieces of macadmaias or pecans..


Deirdre Parkinson, Registered Naturopath, ANTA (Australian Natural Therapists Association),

Recognized by all private health funds

Bachelor Soc Science Nursing & Psychology. Medicinal Herbalist, Nutritionist, Iridologist, Kinesiologist, Live Blood Testing, Cellular Health Analysis, Toxic Metal Analysis, Hormone testing

Member of YA (Yoga Australia), Cert IV TAA

Cassia Wellness Clinic: 14 Cassia Drive, Varsity Lakes 4227

Phone: (07) 55220505      Fax: (07) 5522 0138

Email: Deirdre.parkinson.naturopath@gmail.com  www.deirdreparkinsonnaturopath.com

Are Your Hormones Making You Fat?

By Manuela Boyle, ND, Clinical Nutritionist

Imagine waking up every morning to the sound of your alarms, excited and happy to start a new day. When you look in the mirror you admire your body. Everyone tells you how great you look and asks what your secret is. Sound too good to be true? If you, like many other women, don’t feel this way, you may have a hormonal imbalance.

Research has demonstrated that over 40 percent of women have an un-diagnosed under active thyroid gland. If you feel tired all the time, crave sugar, use alcohol and coffee to lift yourself up, retain weight around the middle and feel the cold, you could be suffering from this problem…

What does the thyroid do and what does this mean for you?

The thyroid gland is the major player in controlling how many calories your burn. It produces hormones that control the body’s metabolism. If your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism), it is almost impossible to lose the weight around you middle, no matter how many carbs you cut out or how many hours you spend on the treadmill.

Blood testing

Current blood testing methods do not tell the whole story. Blood tests (TSH) can only measure how much thyroid hormone you have in your blood. It does not measure how well your hormones are working. So, if you do have a thyroid problem, it may not always be picked up.

The thyroid makes three hormones that it secretes into the bloodstream. Two of these hormones, called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), increase your body’s metabolic rate

The other hormone helps to control the amount of calcium in the blood.

In order to make T3 and T4, the thyroid gland needs iodine, a substance found in the food we eat. T4 is called this because it contains four atoms of iodine. T3 contains three atoms of iodine.

In the cells and tissues of the body most T4 is converted to T3. T3 is the more active hormone; it influences the activity of all the cells and tissues of your body.

The activity of the thyroid is controlled by hormones produced by two parts of the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary. The hypothalamus receives input from the body about the state of many different bodily functions. When the hypothalamus senses levels of T3 and T4 are low, or that the body’s metabolic rate is low, it releases a hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH travels to the pituitary via the connecting blood vessels. TRH stimulates the pituitary to secrete thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

T4 is important to determine how the thyroid is functioning, and tests to measure this are called the Free T4 (FT4) and the Free T4 Index (FT4I or FTI).

T3 tests are often useful to diagnosis hyperthyroidism or to determine the severity of the hyperthyroidism. Patients who are hyperthyroid will have an elevated T3 level. Situations, such as during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, high levels of total T4 and T3 can exist. This is because the estrogens increase the level of the binding proteins.

You if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it might be due to the fact that you are making antibodies against your thyroid thyroid that either stimulate or damage the gland. Two common antibodies that cause thyroid problems are directed against thyroid cell proteins: thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin.

How does it work?

TSH is released from the pituitary into the bloodstream and travels to the thyroid gland. Here TSH causes cells within the thyroid to make more T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the bloodstream where they increase metabolic activity in the body’s cells.

Gut Health

By Dr Ruth Quinney

How well does our gut perform the function of extracting essential nutrients from our food intake?
Digestion of our food begins in the mouth, with saliva breaking up and softening the food we have just eaten. Good digestion starts with adequate chewing!

Next, the stomach: Stomach acid is essential for absorbing many/most of our essential minerals, such as Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium; also for absorbing Vitamin B12. Zinc is required for both the production of stomach acid and the production of the protective mucus lining of the stomach. People who take P.P.I. drugs such as Nexium & Pariet which stop the stomach producing acid, over the long term ultimately end up deficient in essential minerals and B12. Zinc activates over 200 different enzymes in our body, so a healthy “YOU” starts with a health stomach that produces lots of stomach acid.

Our food bolus, on leaving the stomach, enters the duodenum where it is further digested by bile from the gall-bladder and pancreatic enzymes, including insulin. Insulin production also requires Zinc, plus 17 essential amino acids (the “building blocks” of protein) are required to make Insulin. Hence the importance, of a high protein diet with good stomach acid to obtain these amino acids from the proteins we eat. Insulin release from the pancreas is stimulated by glucose and is dependent on Magnesium. Once again, we need good stomach acid to absorb Magnesium! Approximately 50% of the population is at risk of Magnesium deficiency in this country. Many pharmaceutical drugs deplete Magnesium from the body (by inhibiting absorption or by increasing excretion).

Further digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food occurs in the Small Intestine, so that by the time the food residue reaches the Large Intestine, (the Colon), water is the main nutrient extracted during transit through the colon.

A healthy gut is of paramount importance for optimal health. A healthy gut doesn’t “speak to you”. Symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, reflux, belching, abdominal pain, bloating, gurgling, wind, bowel motions that are not regular (in timing and in consistency) – is usually due to “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” (IBS). IBS is caused by gut sensitivity to various undigested food components. The commonest foods we may react to are gluten & dairy.

Food Sensitivities has implications for successful weight loss and maintaining weight loss. When we experience a gut reaction to a particular food that we have eaten, this produces low-grade inflammation in the gut lining. This inflammation will produce a stress response, ie Cortisol (our stress hormone) is produced, and Cortisol in turn produces truncal weight gain.

In the “Reset phase” of our RFRW program, we teach you how to identify and manage any food sensitivities, providing you with the educational tools to re-evaluate your relationship with food, which then enables you to keep the weight “off” long term.

What is GI and why is Low GI Good?


GI stands for the “Glycaemic Index”, and it is a ranking from 1 to 100 that measures the effect of a food on your blood glucose levels over the two hours after the food is eaten. A low GI food is 55 or less, a medium GI food is 56-69, and a high GI food is 70 or more. A higher GI food will see the blood glucose level rise and fall sharply, while a lower GI food will see a slower, steadier rise in blood glucose levels.

Very high glucose levels after a meal is damaging to the arteries and other blood vessels and they cause an excess of insulin in the body. Eating low GI foods means that you can avoid these dramatic rises and falls in blood glucose levels, therefore giving you a steadier stream of energy. You will reduce your cravings for sugar and other sweet foods. Your risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases is also reduced. Low GI foods are excellent for weight loss. Not only do they fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied for longer, thus helping you to reduce your daily kilojoule intake, they also reduce insulin levels and help you to burn more body fat and less muscle, so that your metabolic rate is higher.