Who are the Villains of the Kitchen Table?

by in American Sickcare System, Holistic Nutrition Tips, Kitchen Sink April 20, 2008

shutterstock_3012703.jpgRecently I read an article discussing the importance of branding your website or business with the appropriate villains.

Which got me wondering who Dr. Nicole’s arch nemesis might be?

Who do you think the top enemies of the kitchen table are? Alcohol? Caffeine?

Oh no! Those are just the small time crooks of the kitchen table. When enjoyed in moderation caffeine and alcohol are welcome at the kitchen table as a normal part of human socializing. So let’s talk about the REAL bad guys that should never be invited to join you at family dinner time.

shutterstock_3176257.jpgFarmed Salmon– Incredibly high in PCB content (toxins thought to cause cancer) this fish has been banned in European countries as it is not seen as fit for consumption. According to the Environmental Watch Group PCB levels would have to drop 90% to compete with the low levels found in Alaskan Wild Salmon. Be careful when purchasing fish as there is a company out there that is called “Wild” despite the fact that all their fish is farmed raised. As if shopping wasn’t complicated enough! You can find a list of seafood categorized by mercury levels at

shutterstock_8366341.jpgMargarine- Nothing will age you faster and make you more unhealthy in my opinion than the trans-hydrogenated fats found in shortening, margarine and fried foods. First of all margarine has a very long shelf life because only humans are silly enough to eat it. Foods that do not spoil are not real foods and should be avoided whenever possible. Second of all, there is no real reason to eat margarine when butter is readily available. The unstable molecules in margarine run rampant in your system clog your arteries, resulting in cardiovascular disease and to make matters worse get stored as fat. The body really doesn’t know what to do with margarine, except pack it away in your fat cells.

Eating margarine is like eating plastic that just instantly makes you fat!

Please use ORGANIC real butter or a natural spread found at a whole foods grocery store that is without trans-hydrogenated fats. Nature is perfect man is not. Avoid all man-made chemicals whenever possible. Things we once thought were safe like lead pipes, asbestos and azo yellow dye (the old yellow coloring in margarine that is now known to cause cancer) have not lasted the test of time that natural whole foods have. If you want to add some Omega 3’s to your family’s spread you can melt a cube of organic butter, allow it to cool to about 100 degrees (about body temp) and then pour in an equal amount of flaxseed oil (or less depending on how soft you want it to be). Store this “Sunshine Butter” in an airtight container in the fridge and serve in lieu of margarine for spreading on pancakes, breads and what nots. This is a simple way to get your kids to eat the Omega 3’s that are needed for proper brain and nervous system development.

shutterstock_3529294.jpgAspartame- A million times more evil than sugar, the aspartame villain should never be allowed to run rampant at the kitchen table. A doctor colleague was once asked “Sugar or aspartame?” and he quickly retorted “Diabetes or cancer?”

Now we don’t yet have evidence supporting the suspicions that surround aspartame and cancer, or it would be yanked off the shelves by now. Only in laboratory rats. But after interviewing countless patients about their diets I have found some suspicious trends. Other diseases possibly associated with aspartame that particularly concern me are fibromyalgia and autoimmunity. A study of four patients with fibromyalgia by Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center found complete resolution of their symptoms simply by removing both aspartame and MSG from their diets. The best thing to do until further evidence comes out to support this, is to just avoid the use of artificial sweeteners.

We do have evidence that using artificial sweeteners actually makes you fat though! Yes, isn’t that a horrifying thought? You are using diet products to lose weight right? Well research does not support that. Researchers found that those that consumed diet pop actually gained more weight in ten years than those that drank regular pop. New studies have come out recently with conflicting evidence, but from what I have seen everyone that is overweight drinks diet pop. I’m not sure if this is a chicken and the egg phenomena or not…but if you want to lose weight, drink green tea for it’s thermogenic properties.

As a biochemist, I prefer to error on the side of caution with all chemicals. As a doctor, I would rather have my patients drinking regular soda than diet soda, ideally they should drink green tea though. Ask yourself if you have a reason to have a chemical in your diet, if you don’t then get it out. Obviously if you have diabetes you will need to turn to artificial sweeteners at times, but do try to make the most with stevia as much as possible. I am not a fan of Splenda because it is a sugar molecule that has been modified by adding a chlorine atom to the structure so that it is not asborbable. My issue with this is that chlorine ages the system. Chlorine destroys healthy cells. I am not a pessimist, I am a realist.

Realistically until a chemical has withstood the test of time and passed through generations of people without causing any known diseases how do we know that it is safe? We don’t. So use these chemicals judiciously and be sure they are not regular guests at your kitchen table. In the grand scheme of things, Splenda is probably just the new Saccharine. Let’s not be so quick to jump on the bandwagon.

shutterstock_1440492.jpgRed #40 the ugliest of all the food colorings as it is thought to specifically be a “neuro-aggravator” for those with attention deficit disorder. Now whether or not this is true, let’s just stop and ask ourselves if we REALLY need food coloring in our diet? No. We don’t. Especially since most people have a tough enough time concentrating as it is. I agree that food should have color in it, but just in the form of GREEN chlorophyll, RED lycopene, ORANGE beta carotene, and PURPLE proanthocyanins. We should always be eating the rainbow. We should just be doing it with food that is real. Not fake food.

Just say no to fake food!

shutterstock_6147844.jpgBand-aids- Now obviously no one likes to find a band-aid in their food. Ewwwwww! But even worse yet is when we cover up our “problems” with band-aids. Now of course band-aids are highly necessary and helpful for temporary problems and quick fixes, but I am a proponent of tough love. I am a huge fan of ripping off band-aids. Let’s take a look at what is really going on. Let’s examine that festering green bloody wound that has been sitting there untouched for so long, clean it out, figure out what can be done to actually help it heal, and then can stand by patiently to SUPPORT that process. Never suppress.

With that all being said Dr. Nicole’s personal nemesis is none other than the very very EVIL donut. The terribly tempting trifecta of sugar, wheat and trans-fats that is her personal kryptonite.

shutterstock_688454.jpgOh my that sure looks good!

What is your kryptonite?

Who are your personal or business enemies?

Who am I leaving out? Who else is an enemy of the kitchen table?

Dr. Nicole Sundene

  1. Isn’t it replusive the things that corporations do to the masses of people…all in the name of profit…regardless of health hazards…

    We could have been having coconut oil butter instead of margarine…but that makes people “healthy”! And don’t get me started on MSG.

    Reminds me of the web presentation we recently put up on our website called Do You Care What You Eat?

    Just one shocking revelation after another.

    Great post. Keep up the great work!

  2. Yes I am a big fan of coconut everything! Medium Chained Triglycerides are great for diabetics and athletes. Sometimes I get extremely frustrated by “evidence based medicine” and just have to fall back on common sense. I know a lot of my doctor colleagues will be upset by this post, but I just have to go on a tirade about chemical from time to time. Thanks for stopping by Timothy!

  3. My kids are exasperated that I do not allow items with both sodium benzoate and citric acid. Ginseng for the under twenty crowd? Not in my house. Nitrates like the ones in processed meats? Nope. But my number one food no-no? Meat packed in carbon monoxide. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

  4. I figured out a couple of years ago what what consuming aspartame in diet soda was doing to me. I had started drinking diet coke with aspartame in it and 2 weeks after drinking it, I started noticing a rash that was developing on my upper thighs as well as my arms, it resembled prickly heat. I decided start reviewing what I was consuming differently and I found out it was the aspartame, as soon as I stopped drinking the soda, the rash slowly started to dissipate. I will never eat or drink anything with that ingredient in it again .You have confirmed my suspicions by reading your blog, thanks , you are a walking encyclopedia of knowledge!!

  5. Reading this reminds me of how our ancestors used to eat. They ate butter, whole milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, wild fish, farm grown meat, etc, and lived long healthy lives. Then, in the name of progress, additives began being used to preserve, sweeten, and color foods, and we begin seeing serious health issues in ourselves and our children.

    Years ago I was a die hard Diet Pepsi drinker. I began having heart palpitations and the doctor said to cut out caffeine. I quit the Diet Pepsi, and also cut way back on sugar and white flour products, and the heart palpitations went away. It makes me wonder what really caused the problem as I can now drink coffee and am not affected.

    Personally I like to cook from scratch, avoid fast food and try to revert back to “the good ‘ole days”, but unfortunately it’s not always easy.

    Although we still have “villains” enter our home (due to lack of reading labels or food brought in by others), one by one, I try to show them the “exit”.

    My kryptonite…an occasional Snickers bar or dish of ice cream.

  6. Prior to moving to the US I hadn’t had a cold in almost 5 years. I got 3 in a year when I moved here and also put on 6lbs. The weird thing was we were tasting sugar (or aspartame) in everything we ate. Even the bread tasted sweeter than in the UK and almost everything tasted more processed, if indeed that is a taste 😉

    I knew salmon was much better wild but THAT much better? I had no idea! We also eat Olivio thinking it’s healthier than butter and non-fat creamer because it’s better than milk. Well that looks wrong too. I’m looking at the ingredients and see all the crap that they put in something as basic as a coffee creamer. Is there a conspiracy with the food manufacturers to kill the nation in as horrible a manner as possible?

    Thanks for the advice because I would be mad as hell if I died from ignorance.

    My kyrptonite is wine which isn’t too bad, is it?

  7. Oh heck Doc!! You just ruined my appetite! Seriously, I can’t have butter so I have a Dairy Free Margarine thing instead – and it’s that bad? Now I’m depressed!

  8. I know my kryptonite “Tontinos”

  9. Txpoppet- good for you! I am glad to see some like minded people around here that aren’t totally shocked by this list. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go over be new to cyberspace and all.

  10. Mtnbarbie- you are lucky to pick that up on your own. Sometimes it takes a while for a doctor to be able to figure something out like that, especially since many patients know better than to report their diet soda use to their naturopath. I have seen some terrible cases of head to toe eczema clear up just from eliminating aspartame. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. Excellent article. I’m going to post the link to the 1,000 plus members of the Aspartame Victim Support Group, at yahoo.

    Re: aspartame poisoning.

    The CDC DID do a human study about aspartame many years ago proving how dangerous it was because when the participants stopped using aspartame, their symptoms went away and on re-challenge, the returned.

    Dr. H.J. Roberts cites 1200 cases in his book “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic.”

    The worst news is that the aspartame close, Neotame can now be put in products without labeling.

    Hot off the press. Graphic photos of what less than one diet soda did to Sprague-Dawley rats. It is legit or I would not have written the introduction.

  12. Barbara- that is very interesting. Palpitations can be improved by decreasing caffeine and increasing magnesium. Refined foods and food additives deplete magnesium from the body as magnesium is needed by the liver to process those things and get them out. Yes, that is exactly it! People just need to eat like the good old days. Bake a chicken, steam some veggies and you are good to go. Now I am not that mean of a lady, I think that a little bit of chocolate and ice cream is good for the soul from time to time. Just buy the good stuff!

  13. Kryptonite = Nestle Raisinets

    Then again it does not have to be Nestle’s Version

    I have to keep them out of the house and away from me – they are the greatest weakness I have. But its fruit – good for you – right?


  14. Tim- Wow that is an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing that…it just proves my point that sugar and toxins suppress the immune system. There is tons of research out there now supporting it and i can’t tell you how many countless patients I ‘heal’ from just getting junk out of their diet. Our cell mediated immunity, which is the first line of defense in our immune system is suppressed by toxins. As our environment becomes more toxic, more and more people are having immune system dysfunction and other strange diseases. Autoimmunity is huge right now and in my mind has to be attributed to a great deal of “junk” to put it politely.

    LOL- I hope this isn’t total American “conspiracy theory” because I don’t want to hire a body guard now after posting this. But you just proved my opinion on American food. It does taste more “processed” and it has loads of hidden sugars in it that people just don’t need.

    Americans are addicted to the sweet flavor and nothing else. We need balance. We need all five flavors according to Chinese medicine.

    Thanks for your great comments.

  15. Justin- well I am sure you won’t starve to death for long my friend 😉

    Yes, if you have issues with dairy you need an alternative dairy free margarine, they are making them at whole foods markets now that are not trans-hydrogenated. Look for one that is full of Omega 3’s to get the most bang for your buck!

  16. Brett- isn’t that only half of it? LOL

  17. Love it Doc

  18. I don’t eat butter or margarine nor do my kids. I grew up on it. I stopped that stuff when I was 18. Maybe that’s why I get carded a lot. Anyhow I guess I’ll have to stop the aspartame. I went through diabetes during my pregnancy and I’m a sugar fiend any suggestions? I need my one cup of coffe w/ loads of sweet stuff cause I hate the way it tastes. My cereal has to be sweet too because I don’t buy Captain Crunch or whatever.

  19. […] is the latest EVIL VILLAIN of Dr. Nicole for upsetting the hormonal balance of all of her […]

  20. I did not know that use of margarine is still common. When i was growing up, we used to have the Indian equivalent, viz. Vanaspati or Dalda. No one really uses that any more though, thankfully. Good post there about our daily villains.

  21. Just discovered this site and am delighted to see such useful information! So many assume if you buy it at the grocery store it is actually safe to eat…

  22. Isn’t it ironic that with all of the new advances we’ve made in the health industry we are in the midst more deadly diseases now than we were 100 years ago….all for the love of money8~(

  23. I’m glad you dropped your post. Most of this I have knowledge of but margarine is a new one. Glad I don’t buy it!

  24. Well, this is just what I needed to read Doc! I have been struggling with my personal kryptonite – chocolate chips. During the day I do good, but evenings at home have brought out this villain. I’m going to use this as my wake up call to eat better (for me the hardest part of living a fit lifestyle). Thank you!

  25. […] sports drinks are just pollutionfests chock full of Kitchen Table Villains such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, food colorings, additives, preservatives, and artificial […]

  26. […] nut butters to avoid the rancid fats that develop in the roasting process. Roasting turns nuts into “Kitchen Table Villains” that pack on pounds and clog our arteries. Raw nuts such as peanuts and cashews in moderate […]

  27. […] Eliminate MSG, aspartame, and other “Kitchen Table Villains”. […]

  28. […] pre-disposed to developing asthma, however as pollution levels rise, and as we add more and more “Kitchen Table Villains” and McInflammation to our diets we are seeing a consistent rise in rates of […]

  29. […] excipients that may as well not be given a seat at the kitchen table. Food coloring is an evil villain of the kitchen table! Certainly not something you need to be ingesting on a daily basis to improve your health and […]

  30. […] eat food coloring! Food colorings and additives are unnecessary additions to your diet. Avoid the “Kitchen Table Villains” when at all possible, if you argue with the fact that they might be affecting you, simply spend a […]

  31. […] without having to add honey or stevia. And heaven forbid…do NOT use aspartame as it is the EVIL enemy of the Kitchen Table. As a recovering sugar addict, I have learned to enjoy all my herbal teas […]

  32. […] sure to start a whole foods diet, avoid McInflammation whenever possible, and get all the Kitchen Table Villains out as they are sure to needlessly add to the inflammatory fire. Of added interest, this problem is […]

  33. […] aspartame. Aspartame is not just a “Kitchen Table Villain”, but sensitivity is common in those with itchy skin […]

  34. Not than any posters here should be surprised but the Super-Kyptonite is Splenda! And I am sure it is why my Dad got a tumor in his larynx and which eventually killed him!! (I am not exaggerating.)

    Doc Nicole:
    Beware when you speak out about these chemicals. The big corps making profits from chemical sweeteners have big law firms who are looking to silence you. (Again, I am not exaggerating — I WISH I was, but alas AM NOT.)

  35. Not than any posters here should be surprised but the Super-Kyptonite is Splenda aka sucralose which is closer to a pesticide like DDT than something for your morning cornflakes! And I am sure it is why my Dad got a tumor in his larynx and which eventually killed him!! (I am not exaggerating.)

    Doc Nicole:
    Beware when you speak out about these chemicals. The big corps making profits from chemical sweeteners have big law firms who are looking to silence you. (Again, I am not exaggerating — I WISH I was, but alas AM NOT.)

  36. Thanks for being a DR. BOLD enough to say something about the food industry. I tried to tell people about Splenda years ago in my Anatomy class. My instructor inspired us to take a closer look a polysaccarides and so on and this was basic anatomy! Well, ran with it and discovered the EXTRA chemicals they do put in Splenda and call it a “natural sugar.” If its so natural, then just use sugar! Hello! Thanks and love all the posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *