Canadian College or Homeopathic Medicine TV?: An interview with Dr Gary Hardy on the role of nutrition in practice.
My name is Beverly Isla, a graduate of CCHM and today my guest is Dr. Gary Hardy. He has been practising for 30 years in the field of chiropractic therapy, naturopathy and homeopathy and is one of the faculty members of CCHM. He was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Academy of Homeopathy. It’s great to have you here!
Bev: In addition to the 3 modalities you work with, you also incorporate nutrition in your practice. Nutrition is the basics that we all have to deal with since we all have to eat. In what ways does nutrition play a role in your practice?
Gary: Well nutrition is kind of the foundation. For me, it’s the foundation of health, that with nutrition you can create the condition for health to exist in the body. Food is extremely powerful; food itself can both create diseases and it can also take that pre-disposition and dramatically remove that person from that diseased state to a more healthy state.
When I talk about nutrition, it’s not so much supplements. For me, it is much more important to talk about whole food. When we talk about whole food today, people think of it as being health food. I look at whole food; whole food is basically what my grandparents and great grandparents ate.
When we talk about having, say, a roast beef dinner with vegetables, well, now we have to talk about is it grass fed? Is it organic or is it regular feed lot meats?
So for me, when I’m talking about whole foods, I’m talking about beef that was grass fed. That’s what cows are supposed to be eating…is grass.
Now we have to talk about fruits and vegetables. Are they genetically modified or not genetically modified? So again, it’s going back to the basics. It’s going back to the foundation on what food is ideal for us for centuries for thousands of years, and that’s the type of food I like to put people on.
Bev: Even just walking around the grocery store, for 3 weeks I was off the 7 things- the starch, the corn and it was really limited to what I can have. Like they say, you walk around the perimeter and everything in the middle is no go.
Gary: A lot of the foods in the middle of the grocery stores were not ever present. 60% of them were not present 70-80 years ago. You know this new food technology does not necessarily mean it’s good or healthy for us.
You know back in 1961, there was an American physiologist that appeared in time magazine. It was a physiologist and marine biologist and he came up with this theory called. The Fat Hypothesis or Lipid Hypothesis. What he basically said was; that saturated fats cause cardiovascular disease. It wasn’t until 1977 I believe, that the McGovern Report from the US senate came out and said ‘we strongly recommend that people decrease red meats, increase grains and eat more fruits and vegetables.
Well since 1977, since people started taking that advice, all the products out there are ‘low fat’ products. What’s happened is now we have an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, we’re getting younger children coming in, developing diabetes and elevated blood lipids.
We’ve created a paradigm by which rather than getting healthier, we’re getting sicker. And it’s based on a hypothesis that was never proven. Now we know that saturated fats do not cause cardiovascular disease. You can eat eggs, two, three eggs a day and I guarantee your cholesterol levels won’t elevate. Has nothing, absolutely to do with it.
Carbohydrates are the main triggers for increasing your blood lipids, elevating cholesterol and increasing cardiovascular disease. Even carbohydrates are related to things such as Alzheimer’s which is now known as the diabetes of the brain.
So it’s really important. There are so many myths out there in terms of nutrition. We’ve got to make dramatic changes and start breaking those myths because I’ll have patients coming in that have seen cardiologists and they’ve said cut out those red meats and cut out your eggs. I’m saying well there’s no evidence, scientific evidence indicating that by reducing those aspects will have any effect on cholesterol. By reducing the carbohydrates you get a dramatic decrease in your blood lipids, cholesterol levels, uric acid levels will drop.
It’s far more important to address the real underlying problems in terms of our diet rather than these perpetuate and ongoing myths that both corporations and other professions have been perpetuating.
Bev: In terms of carbs, are you thinking all carbs or just certain carbs?
Gary: Depends on what state of health the person is in. If you have a patient, for instance, that is on very high levels of metformin and glyburide; and their blood sugar is very very elevated; it’s almost like a pendulum. If your blood sugar is very elevated over here, you have to do an equal amount of decrease carbohydrates in order to bring it down.
So if a person is very very high, I’ll take them off carbohydrates in terms of grains. I’ll still have them on some carbohydrates; they’ll get some from vegetables. But the amount of grains, I’ll basically put them on a no grains diet because what you’ll notice is not only will the blood sugar drop down very quickly, but also if they have weight issues, their weight loss will start taking place as well.
They’re still having meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, but some of the fruits will be, not the tropical fruits but more the berries and perhaps some apples, peaches, plums. We’ll have them on some fruits but totally off the grains.
But again, if a person just has slightly elevated blood sugar, you can do less. It just depends on where the person is and what point they’re coming to see you and to what degree you have to see a change take place. The greater the change, the more you have to do.
Bev: Do you often treat people with just nutrition and nothing else or do you combine?
Gary: I usually combine but it depends. If someone comes in and say they have diabetes for example, the forefront will be nutrition, the background perhaps homeopathic medicine or something else; depending if they have some other side issues.
But if the person comes in with diabetes but they have a lot of other complications as a result of it, or other problems such as sleep disorders or skin problems, then it might be 50/50. So it just depends, you have to sort of arrange it according to what is presented in front of you.
Bev: That’s good that you customize it like that. It’s not a one box fits all.
Gary: It’s got to be customiazed
Bev: How does nutrition play a role in homeopathy and vice versa?
Gary: Homeopathy is…I kind of look at homeopathy is it takes care of the conditions that have evolved. Say a person comes in and they have migraines, headaches, they have eczema, they have say, some bowel problems. Homeopathic medicine will, in a sense, will be able to change the expression of those problems.
In other words, if a person has migraines, headaches and you treat with homeopathic medicine, the homeopathic medicine will begin to reduce those migraine headaches, becoming less and less frequent to the point where they’re resolved. Same thing with the skin conditions etc.
The nutritional part comes in and like I said, it creates a condition where health can exist. And in some cases, some of those foods can be contributing factors to triggering a migraine or triggering the skin condition. So they work hand in hand together. So I really don’t see how you can treat a person without using nutrition as a foundation. I don’t think there’s a single person that comes into my office that we don’t talk about nutrition. To me, it’s the foundation, it’s what nourishes a body, it’s what keeps us healthy.
You know it’s like exercise, and drinking plenty of fluid, and food. Those are the foundations of health.
Bev: How often have you come across a case where nutrition completely took over?
Gary: That’s really hard to say. I can think of a few times where people have come in and they are quite healthy and they just want to know what they can do to increase their health. So in those cases there, we’ve sat down, and discussed what they’re eating and made some alterations and that’s all what was necessary.
Majority of my practice though tends to be people that come in with more serious disorders. But yes, I’ve had some people come and say ‘I’m healthy now I just want to maintain that and prevent things from down the road.’
Bev: Can you give an example of a case where you used nutrition with homeopathy?
Gary:I use homeopathy and nutrition with all autoimmune diseases. Crohn’s disease is a good example where I use nutrition to remove factors that trigger the inflammation and foods that will assist in repair and assist in providing the most nutrient dense foods that are easiest to digest and allow for repair to take place.
Bev: Thank you so much for that information and hopefully this video gets in the hand of one person that can be helped.