Clinical Nutrition: Taking Dr Vikki’s Challenge? Need help?
The Challenge is On!
A couple of weeks ago we published the Dr Vikki Challenge. It’s a two week challenge, created as a service to our clinical nutrition patients, wherein you are required to do only two things over and above your normal diet:
1. Drink half your weight in water (in ounces)
2. Consume 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables
The post elaborated quite a bit on the above and if you missed it you can read it here.
What Does That Sticker Mean on Fruits and Vegetables?
What I want to focus on today is a question I’m often asked by my clinical nutrition patients, as regards the quality of fruits and vegetables.
Since these foods are an integral part of the challenge I want to make sure you have this important information. There is a tremendous difference between conventionally grown foods, genetically modified foods and organic foods. It would be so much easier if one could just ‘look’ at a fruit or vegetable and know whether it was organic or not, but a pretty strawberry that’s organic doesn’t look much different from its conventional cousin.
It’s unfortunate that we have to be so concerned with pesticides, insecticides and genetic modification of our foods, but it is a fact so we may as well be educated about it.
If you have ever wondered what the little stickers on the produce in the grocery store mean, here are some answers that are easy to remember. While the string of digits is only four or five long, that small sequence can tell you a lot about how that particular piece of produce came to the market.
Know How to Avoid Genetically Modified Food
It is called the ‘PLU’ code or product lookup number. Here is the straight scoop on the PLU numbers:
• If the code begins with a 4 and is four digits long, it means it was conventionally grown using some type of chemical pesticide and fungicide. As a clinical nutritionist I’d like you to avoid these as much as possible. Some are worse than others and that information is in the original ‘Challenge’ post – the link is in the first paragraph above.
• If the code begins with an 8 and is four digits long, it means it has been genetically modified (GMO) or chemically altered. This is an absolute avoid – please do not consume GMO foods. ‘8’ means ‘stay away’!
• If the code begins with a 9 and is five digits long (see picture), it means the food was organically grown free of pesticides and not genetically altered. Organic food, by law, is not allowed to use any GMO seeds or synthetic (unnatural) ingredients. So we’re going for ‘9’s at the start and five digits total – just remember that nothing’s perfect, so not a ‘10’, but very close – a 9!
I hope this is helpful. If we all stop buying those dangerous ‘8’ GMO foods, perhaps grocery stores will get the idea that we don’t want them. It’s sad that the benefits fruits and vegetables provide you are negated when they are chemically altered, GMO, or sprayed with pesticides, but that is the case.
The wonderful detoxifying and purifying effects of phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) and antioxidants that high quality produce provide are, for the most part, lost when they are chemically treated and altered. I hope you find this helpful. Knowledge is power so now you are armed with the mystery of those ‘codes’ and can get healthier.
Will You Try These 2 Simple Changes?
Please let me know if you take the Dr Vikki Challenge and what you notice. As clinical nutritionists, we here at HealthNOW know the power of some simple changes.
A current statistic stated that 40-60% of American children leave the house in the morning dehydrated. I would say that adults are likely also that bad, if not worse. Similarly, we are lucky if we get 2 servings of fruits and vegetables per day in this country, and those are typically not of the highest quality. I promise you that you’ll see a big difference in how you feel if you ingest 7 to 9 servings of high quality organic fruits and vegetables for two weeks. Let me know how you do. HealthNOW’s Destination Clinic sees patients from across the country and internationally – we are here to help.
Is Your Health At Its Optimum?
If you want better health—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”