What You Must Know About KIDNEY DISEASE by Rich Snyder, DO


Before reading this book, I thought the kidneys were minor twin organs in our bodies. But Rich Snyder’s Introduction set me straight: “The kidneys are our bodies’ unsung heroes and are vital to helping us maintain our health and vitality.”  As I worked my way through this helpful, comprehensive guide to our kidneys, I have to agree with the author’s comment.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part One: An Introduction to Kidney Disease

Part Two: Inflammation, Causes of Kidney Disease, and Standard Treatments

Part Three: Complementary Treatment Approaches and Lifestyle Changes

What I appreciated most about the book is the author’s objective, scholarly descriptions of the treatments that are standard Western medicine protocols as well as alternative protocols.

Briefly, I learned that the kidneys filter our blood and instinctively know when the body is out of balance, which translates into the important role the kidneys play to maintain the body’s acid/base (alkaline) balance.  (I have been studying this very important aspect of eating foods that are more alkalizing, since our cells are about 80% alkaline and our Standard American Diet (SAD) is overly acidic for our health. es)

Since the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and also bone health, I began to realize the importance of these two  “kidney shaped” organs.

The author also writes about the impact that inflammation has on the kidneys in Part Two. He notes that while there are several different causes of kidney disease, as well as different levels from mild to acute, he writes that “The future study of kidney disease will be a study of inflammation…..”  I have been reading more and more about the importance of the negative impact that inflammation has on our bodies, causing a number of health issues, because inflammation “can easily become a never-ending cycle as inflammation will only cause further inflammation and damage.”

Part Two also contains all the standard procedures to use on kidney disease and I appreciate his objective view of these “medical” recommendations, because as a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), I believe he tends towards more complementary treatments, which follow in Part Three.

These include everyday lifestyle changes, the importance of diet, supplements, herbs and complementary therapies, and also the spiritual and emotional components to heal kidney disease. (Much of his information can also be applied to other illnesses.)

I found this book extremely comprehensive and thorough, giving a fair description  to both standard treatments and complementary treatments. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the health of their kidneys or are already affected by kidney disease. It also includes a helpful Glossary, Resources, and References.

What You Must Now About Kidney Disease is published by Square One Publishers. Interestingly, 25% of all proceeds received for this book will be donated to the American Kidney Fund. This 180-page book costs $17.95

UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault

UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault

MY NOTE: I had planned to post some “Healthy Bytes” for National Nutrition Month, which I thought was April,  so I am posting it in early April.  I just finished this and it is is a more powerful statement for any month than any of the interesting “bytes” I would have posted, which I may do at a later date.

Author Dr. Renee Joy Default jumps right into the topic of food safety with the first sentence of her Introduction: “This book is about creating a food supply in your home that is safe and free of toxic substances.” With her doctorate in Health Education and  jobs at National Institutes of Health/NIH (Environmental Health Officer), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Default has the credentials, experience, and passion to educate us about this important issue. In fact, in 2010, she founded FIHRA, the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute. Why? Because when she worked for the FDA, she discovered toxic mercury residue in the plumbing systems of food manufacturing plants and in processed supermarket foods. When she reported this to her superiors, she was told to STOP her investigation.

Following the courage of her convictions, Unsafe at Any Meal opens up a box of worms that I was totally unaware existed. The collective health of so many people is being affected by facts that most of us know nothing about—so this book is an eye-opener, an exposé, and a nutritional report on food safety all at once. Each chapter tackles a specific area concerning the toxicity in our food, starting with a thorough discussion and definition of toxic substances. The chapters follow a logical sequence with the following topics: Genes; Pesticides; the Western Diet (SAD: Standard American Diet); Autism and ADHD, and its relationship to the previous topics; Food Labeling; and, as the book reaches its conclusion, a chapter titled “Creating a Safe Food Environment at Home.” There are also more than 40 pages of References and Resources that further emphasize the author’s credibility.

As a nutrition educator, I thought I was fairly savvy about food safety, but this book opened my eyes even wider. This whistleblower’s organization (FIHRI) is the “only federally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States devoted entirely to food ingredient safety, consumer education, and research.” The book is also a comprehensive overview of significant magnitude when it comes to toxins and our health. I was impressed by the research and the important information about links between the food we buy in stores and conditions such as autism, ADHD, obesity, and diabetes among others.

The book contains helpful lists and charts; food labels; spotlights on specific items such as sodium benzoate, hypomethylation, and Carbamate Pesticides; and other varied topics, also related to food safety and health. Unsafe at any Meal also makes suggestions with lists such as: eating good carbs instead of bad; good sources of specific nutrients that can help us combat chemicals in food; and general guidelines for monitoring what you eat to avoid the problems of food safety discussed clearly in the book.

If you are going to read one book this year on nutrition, I would recommend Unsafe at Any Meal. It’s a little scary to find out all the information that has been kept from us not only by the FDA but also by the food companies that aggressively aim to obscure and politicize these issues across all form of media. Dr. Dufault’s book is refreshingly honest and eye-opening, with helpful suggestions towards a measurable course of action equally of use by a parent or a teacher.

Regarding the latter, the author bemoans the fact that the course once called Home Economics has been largely eliminated from school curricula, leaving parents and parents-to-be on their own to become nutritionally savvy in order to protect themselves and their children from those foods that they eat.) Reading this book and tapping into Dr. Dufault’s FREE Web-Based Diet Tutorial are the first steps in your own education to food safety. Link: foodingredient.info/safehealthydiettutor/syllabus.html

Unsafe at Any Meal is published by Square One Publishers: (www.squareonepublishers.com),  218 pages, $16.95.

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