Must I avoid Eggs and Coconut on The Liver Cleansing Diet?

Eggs are very high in cholesterol and if we listen to some nutritionists and the popular press we usually find that eggs are portrayed as dangerous and unhealthy, especially for those with heart problems. I do not agree with the general opinion that eggs should be considered suspect, because eggs contain high concentrations of many valuable nutrients. Moreover most of the studies that showed eggs raise cholesterol were done using powdered eggs. Powdered eggs contain oxidized or damaged cholesterol known as oxy-cholesterol, and this has a different effect in the body than pure fresh cholesterol. Other studies have found that hard-boiled eggs do not raise cholesterol levels in the majority of patients. A study done at the University of California found that the consumption of two boiled eggs daily did not increase cholesterol levels. The reason why eggs consumed in moderation is health promoting, is that eggs have a high content of lecithin. Lecithin has been proven to lower cholesterol and helps to keep it soluble so that it does not form plaques in the blood vessels. Eggs are also high in the sulphur bearing amino acids taurine, cysteine and methionine, which are required by the liver to regulate bile production, detoxification and cholesterol levels.

Eggs are only healthy if they are cooked correctly, and the best way to eat them is poached or boiled (soft or hard-boiled is OK). Never fry eggs and only use fresh eggs. Try not to break the egg yolk while cooking the eggs because air and light will begin to oxidize the egg's cholesterol. Of course you do not need to become paranoid, as this does not happen within a few minutes.

Generally speaking I would say limit the ingestion of eggs to no more than 10 to 12 per week, however this is an individual thing. If you have very high cholesterol you should ask your doctor to guide you, however I do not believe that you must avoid all eggs. Ask your doctor to do a fasting blood test to check the effect of eating eggs in your particular case. This way you can be sure and prove what effect they have. Remember that everyone is an individual with unique hormonal and metabolic differences, and nutritional medicine takes this into account.

Coconut is another much maligned food and indeed is unworthy of its jaded reputation. I personally prefer Asian sauces, especially delicious Thai recipes, which are made with coconut milk or coconut cream, to creamy sauces made with dairy products. I find that coconut milk and/ or cream sauces are light, and do not produce mucus in the body. I have never found that fresh coconut, coconut milk or coconut sauces have caused high cholesterol levels or weight problems in my patients. If you have a fatty liver it is important not to overindulge in any fat and this is just common sense. Simply consume a sensible and satisfying amount of these foods, and make sure that they are fresh so that their contained fats are not oxidized. Remember that the liver makes 80% of the body's cholesterol and cholesterol levels are regulated automatically by a HEALTHY liver. If you consume a little more cholesterol on one day, the liver will not manufacture as much of its own cholesterol and things will balance out nicely. Liver function has a much greater effect upon cholesterol levels than does a modest consumption of healthy foods containing cholesterol.

What quantities of celery, parsley and carrot do I use in the morning juice on The Liver Cleansing Diet?

Use 1 - 2 medium sized carrots, 2 sticks of celery and a sprig of parsley; this is sufficient for one person. Increase if there is more than one person. You are not limited to this recipe and may use other combinations of fresh vegetables. See the book "Raw Juices Can Save your Life" by Dr Cabot for recipes suitable for particular health conditions and symptoms in an A - Z format.

Can I eat liver on The Liver Cleansing Diet?

Some people not only love their liver, they love eating liver in their diet and are not sure if this is advantageous to their health. If you want to eat liver regularly I encourage you to find a reliable source of organically raised sheep and cattle so that their livers are not contaminated with growth hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. The animal's liver being the garbage disposal service of the body, will accumulate these toxins which will then end up in your liver. Calf or lamb liver can be cooked in various ways that can be delicious and also provides a source of amino acids, vitamins A, E, B and iron. Well-respected Australian physician, Dr Ruth Cilento, discusses the health benefits of eating liver in her excellent book titled "Heal Cancer", Hill of Content Publishing. On page 376 of this book she describes some tasty recipes containing calf and lamb liver. Make sure that you wash the liver thoroughly and cook it well to remove any chemicals or micro organisms.

How can I follow The Liver Cleansing Diet when eating out?

This can be achieved with a little planning and forethought on your part, which is more important if you suffer with food allergies, food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome. Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach and do not mix your drinks. Sip the alcohol slowly and alternate it with still water. Let the restaurant or hostess know ahead of time that you will want to avoid certain foods, and this can allow them the time to prepare specific dishes and also avoids a fuss at the table. Advise them that you want to avoid preservatives and additives such as MSG and don't forget to be assertive as you will be the one who will suffer later! If the hostess insists that you try a food that you know will upset you or completely blow your diet, insist that you will be perfectly happy to eat the other delicious things that she has prepared and that you do not feel deprived at all. If you want to avoid dairy products you will find that Italian and Asian restaurants have many dairy free dishes on their menus. They usually use coconut milk or tomato sauces instead of dairy creamy sauces. Always order a nice fresh salad, and specify that you do not want commercial salad dressings but require olive oil, organic vinegars or lemon if these things suit you. A safe dessert is fruit salad or fruit sorbet. Some types of puddings made with fresh ingredients may be easy to digest. If you suffer with gas and indigestion do not forget to take your enzyme tablets and liver tonic with you to the restaurant or party.

Can I cook with oil on The Liver Cleansing Diet?

Did you know that low fat diets are often very boring and difficult to stick to for more than several weeks because they do not produce a feeling of satisfaction after eating? You will be more successful if you follow the "right fat diet" and not a "low fat diet". Oils used for cooking should be cold pressed varieties of vegetable and seed oils. They should be fresh, and stored in a cool place (refrigerator is best) away from the light to prevent the oils from becoming rancid. If possible buy and store oils in dark colored glass bottles because light is more damaging to oils than contact with air.

Does The Liver Cleansing Diet book only apply to people who want to lose weight?

No, the Liver Cleansing Diet will not result in weight loss, unless you are overweight, as it balances your metabolism. Many sick people are underweight and by improving their liver function will increase their appetite and maintain or gain weight. By improving liver function the load upon the immune system is reduced and many illnesses caused by inflammation or chronic infections will be gradually overcome.

Will The Liver Cleansing Diet help me if I have liver disease?

Yes, the Liver Cleansing Diet will help those with liver diseases such as fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and gall bladder disease.

Once I finish the eight-week menu plan of The Liver Cleansing Diet can I eat red meat?

If you like red meat you may eat it, provided it is fresh and lean. Restrict red meat to two to three times weekly.

Is it safe to follow these diets during pregnancy and breast feeding?

Yes you can, but only under your doctor's supervision The LCD has not been designed for pregnant or breast-feeding women, who have special nutritional needs; they must take the advice of their own doctor or dietician. It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women preferentially follow the 12 vital principles for a healthy liver and undertake the 8 week eating plan once the baby has been born and/or weaned. While on this diet or following the principles you should take supplements of calcium, iron, and folic acid.

Do I have to follow the recipes in the books or can I make up my own?

You may use your own recipes and interchange or omit ingredients as desired. Just make sure that the foods you are eating abide by the principles of the diet that you are following. EG: Follow the 12 vital principles of "The Liver Cleansing Diet".

What if my skin becomes too yellow?

If you are consuming a large amount of yellow and orange colored fruits and vegetables or their juices, you may find that your skin becomes a slightly yellow to orange color. This is due to the high amount of the natural antioxidant carotenoid pigments present in these foods which gives you a natural bronze tinted "sun tanned" appearance. This is not dangerous in any way although this alarms some people. If this happens to you, simply reduce your consumption of orange colored fruits and vegetables to a level that does not make you too yellow. If you take supplements of beta-carotene it is important to take only natural betacarotene or a natural carotenoid complex.

How much fresh juice should I drink?

This is an individual thing because some people love raw juices while others cannot stand them. Generally speaking, for the average healthy person who is trying to improve liver function, one medium sized glass of juice daily is sufficient. If you do not enjoy juices you do not have to make them and you may simply eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables instead. Diabetics are advised to avoid juices containing sugar, such as all fruit juices and carrot juice, and confine themselves to juices made with green vegetables and their leaves. See "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" for some delicious healthy juice suggestions.

Can I drink coffee and tea on Dr Cabot's programs?

The best way to consider coffee and other beverages high in caffeine is as an occasional treat rather than a habit. Like nicotine and alcohol, caffeine is potentially addictive or habit forming, and this is seen in the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that occur after eliminating coffee in those who consume large amounts regularly. Caffeine may exacerbate the cramps and diarrhea common in irritable bowel syndrome. Heavy use of caffeine (say more than 6 cups daily), may produce stomach inflammation and aggravate stomach ulcers by causing an increased secretion of stomach acid. Caffeine relaxes the valve between the esophagus and the stomach, which can allow acid stomach contents to reflux up into the esophagus. This can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Even decaffeinated coffee can cause digestive problems because, like strong tea, it contains tannic acid which can aggravate the stomach. It is best to keep your consumption of coffee down to one to two cups daily. If you have digestive problems such as IBS you may need to eliminate it all together. Strong tea can be an intestinal irritant just like coffee and should not be drunk regularly. Very weak tea and even better, herbal teas are much easier on the mucosal lining of the stomach. Some people drink their tea and coffee with cow's milk and over the course of a day may be consuming a large amount of cow's milk. It could be the cow's milk that is upsetting your digestive tract rather than the coffee or tea. I think that soy milk tastes quite nice in ordinary tea, and some people enjoy it with instant or plunger coffee. This is a personal thing and some people enjoy "soychinos" instead of cappuchinos.