A Second Set With Dr. Eric Serrano (Part 6)

JP: I know you rank coconut oil very high. What about red palm oil?

Dr. S: If your asking which oil I believe is the best, then I would have no answer because I don’t know. You need a combination of them.

Is one oil better than another? It depends on the situation. With joint pain, coconut oil is better. When it comes to food allergies, olive oil, and coconut oil combined is best. With dry skin, I would use olive oil and GLA combined as I mentioned previously.

The problem with red palm oil is that orally it tastes terrible and topically it makes a huge mess so it’s not practical.

JP: How do you determine poor digestion and absorption of nutrients? What are some signs and symptoms?

Dr. S: Well, a comprehensive stool analysis will do the trick but it costs over $400 which many view as too expensive, although in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. You can also check certain bowel enzymes, blood in the stool, bloating, motility, and so on.

The most important diagnosis, though, is determined through one’s history. How often do you go to the washroom, release gas, etc.? Are you bloated? We even listen to bowel sounds. Are they hyperactive? Do you get acid reflux? And if you want a very cost-effective method, simply gauge the smell of your stool. If it smells bad, it can indicate poor digestion.

JP: I’ve heard that taking probiotics can improve a foul-smelling stool. Is that true?

Dr. S: There are a trillion cells and over 500,000 different types of bacteria in the body. How do you know that the one or two bacteria that you consume are the ones that you’re missing? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. You have a better chance of winning the lottery so good luck!

Now with that said, there are some good brands of probiotics out there. There’s a company from Japan that supplies them in little green tablets, but the name escapes me right now. Jarrow is a decent company that most people in the U.S. have access to and another one is Standard Process which you can obtain through a health-care practitioner.

By the way, Standard Process has an excellent product with Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is a beneficial nutritional yeast that produces lactic acid as a by-product of metabolism. This particular yeast helps establish proper pH balance vital for the promotion of nutrient absorption. It’s integral in maintaining the proper environment in which normal intestinal flora thrive and it’s beneficial for the overall healthy functioning of the gastrointestinal (GI) system.

JP: I have a client with red palms and feet and another one with severe eczema. I’m sure both are GI issues. Any suggestions?

Dr. S: They can stem from either a food allergy, low stomach acid, or a fat deficiency. You need to find out which one is the culprit. When it comes to a fat deficiency, for instance, it’s not so much the fats they consume, but which ones they absorb. I’ve made this point before, but it’s worth reiterating. You can eat all the best foods in the world, but it means nothing if you can’t absorb them. In other words, it’s not what you eat, but what you absorb!

JP: So everyone should take digestive enzymes then. Right?

Dr. S: Where do you get enzymes from? Raw, uncooked, whole food. How often do we eat food in its unadulterated state? Very rarely! That’s where people should start.

JP: I guess protein bars are not high on your list?

Dr. S: Protein bars exist for convenience or put another way, for laziness! If you eat these bars every day, you’re going to get fat! Don’t kid yourself. If you have a protein bar occasionally, then it’s fine, but don’t get in the habit of eating them every day.

JP: I completely agree with you. In that case, what are some healthy snack options?

Dr. S: You must make your own healthy snacks. Some options include cottage cheese, boiled eggs (boil them, then put them in a container), raw nuts and seeds, dried fruits (from a food dehydrator), and beef jerky. These are all good examples, but most of the time you need to prepare them in advance. A snack is just another name for a meal.

JP: Very true. How do you feel about game meats?

Dr. S: Love ‘em! Everyone should eat game meats. I just found out that in Canada you can even eat horse meat. Great, go for it! Unfortunately, it’s not allowed in the States.

Tomorrow in Part 7, we examine protein options for breakfast, which salt has the most nutrients, and we’ll end our discussion with a homework assignment from Dr. Serrano.

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