Top Five Misconceptions in the Natural Health World That are Dangerous to Your Health

By Raluca Schachter

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

The world is full of health information these days. And conventional medicine along with many other “health and nutritional experts” do a whole lot to misinform and brainwash the population about low fat, low salt diets, “no calorie” food, vegetable oils and soy products, about how a magic pill can miraculously “cure” everything and everybody! So, what is good for you? Lean or fat protein? Soy? Vegeterianism? Paleo? High carb? Low carb? It never ends!

It’s really overwhelming to come to a conclusion with so much conflicting advice that overflows the health arena. But to the end of it, you don’t have to be an “expert” to figure it all out. Common sense and logic along with careful observation of how your body works, and rediscovering your ancestral roots are just enough to get you started on the right path of your health journey.

Here I intend to challenge you to ponder over the following most common five misconceptions in the natural health world. Most probably you have encountered at least one of them in your life:

1. One size/ supplement/ diet fits all – disregard for metabolic individuality

If we were all the same, then why don’t the same diets / treatments work with all conditions, on all people?

We are all unique on a biochemical level as we are in our fingerprints. Biochemical individuality is responsible for the fact that nutrients behave differently in different metabolisms. William Wolcott, founder of the Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing explains :

“Fat doesn’t make you fat. Protein doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates don’t make you fat. And even calories per se don’t make you fat. But what does make you fat is the inability to properly metabolize, or convert to energy, carbs, proteins, fats and calories.

Eat the right foods for your Metabolic Type (metabolism) and eat the right ratios of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) and you’ll be giving your body the right kind of fuel for your engines of metabolism. Science is beginning to awaken to the idea that much of what our bodies do with food is in our genes.” — William Wolcott

The theme of “metabolic type” was present in every ancient medical system: Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, ancient Egyptian medicine and many others treated diseases by customizing their treatment according to different functioning metabolisms.

There are metabolisms that thrive on high amounts of red meat and fat (think of an Eskimo, as an extreme protein type) and there are metabolisms that thrive on lean, white meat instead (think of a Quechua Indian as an extreme carbohydrate type). And there are those in between, that thrive on a diet where foods have to be in a certain combination and proportion. Ratios of animal proteins and fats as well as the type of proteins and fats vary tremendously from person to person, from culture to culture, from metabolism to metabolism.

So what is a “healthy diet” then?

The only healthy diet is the one that meets one’s genetically-based requirements. In other words, the way your great grandma and grandma used to cook using local, wholesome foods, is good for you. To that, add this very important aspect:

Our nutrient requirements are also heavily influenced by our environments and the kind of lifestyles we lead. Both of which have shifted dramatically over the course of the last century.

Since we live in a “genetic melting pot” today, trying to find the very foods that our metabolism thrives on and keep us healthy, without using Metabolic Typing, would really be like playing Russian Roulette.

How about supplements?

The same principle applies to taking generic supplements containing wrong quantities and ingredients that might push your metabolism even more into imbalance.

Let’s say we have two individuals that have elevated cholesterol levels and they both take niacin. One discovers improvement and the other a worsening of the situation. Why? Niacin helps normalize cholesterol levels in some metabolisms (like slow oxidizers) but it disrupts cholesterol metabolism in other metabolisms (like fast oxidizers). So, two (or more) people can have the same adverse symptom or health problem for virtually opposite biochemical reasons.

You read every day about a nutrient, herb, natural remedy, how it works wonders on a certain condition. You try it on yourself only to find it fails completely. You try the same on someone else and it works wonderfully.

So it’s important to realize that the benefits of any particular nutrient do not apply to everyone. – “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” (Lucretius)

2. Fasting

How did it all started?

Although the concept behind fasting goes back to ancient times, it is a totally different story in today’s modern world. Ancestrally, we were exposed to periods of lower caloric intake (if not complete absence) when, for example, the hunt was unsuccessful, and abundant caloric intake when a trophy was brought home. Across millions of years, the human physiology adapted to this to function effectively. Functional human physiology is well adapted to fasting – and can even benefit from fasting in the right environment and under the right conditions.

Still a good idea today?

The problem is that, almost without exception, we are talking about a generation of people with dysfunctional human physiology. Simply put, we have become far too toxic these days. And fasting initiates utilization of stored fat for fuel and thus the release of all the toxins stored in the fat. So, fasting leads to rapid release and circulation of massive toxic loads.

Like many other health promoting practices, fasting is just a tool. Under careful observation and with very healthy individuals it can promote health benefits, like improved digestive function (through rest and recovery of the system), decreased immune hypersensitivity and therefore decrease in auto-immune disease, improved insulin sensitivity, improved leptin sensitivity. BUT it is NOT the solution, as under the actual conditions it could generate more harm than good. Bottom line, choose your fastings very wisely and for short, intermittent periods of time if you really feel you need them.

3. Detox

To Detox or Not to Detox?

Detox procedures are actually essential these days. We are bombarded from any direction with an arsenal of toxic substances, from Monsanto’s Round Up to nuclear radiation. Water, soil, food, air, EVERYTHING is polluted these days. Luckily, part of the genetic intelligence in every cell is the ability to detoxify. If that was not the case, every cell in our body would die from autointoxication.

But then how does the body become toxic and why would it need to detoxify ?

The answer is that in those people who need to detoxify, cells don’t have what they need in order to FUNCTION properly.

So detoxes have their place. Cells need raw materials – to chelate or pick up the toxins, energyto move the toxins out of the cells, selective membrane permeability -the ability of cells to open and close their membranes appropriately, to let good things in and close to keep bad things out. But if your diet is not correct to meet your genetically-based requirements for nutrition, then none of these three functions needed to detoxify will work properly.

How should we detoxify our body and what can happen if we do?

The greatest “detox procedure” anyone could ever do is to eat right for their Metabolic Type. This is the first and most important thing, that will lead to balancing your body chemistry and seriously help with reversing health conditions.

Many “health experts” and various, numerous health publications advise for “detoxifying” where specific procedures and herbs are involved. Very few talk about the fact that detox is just a step in the whole very complex process of natural healing; it is just a tool, not a “cure”. Detox shouldn’t take place without previously preparing your body to do so. A pretty good digestion, liver, kidney and adrenal function are all required in order to handle the whole process well and use it to your benefit.

Depending on all of the elements of individuality, as change begins to take place, if too many supplements are taken for too long, the rate of change can exceed the body’s capacity to keep up with it. For example, as you balance body chemistry, the body will quickly begin to mobilize toxins out of storage sites into the blood stream. If the rate of cellular detox exceeds the rate at which the organs of detox can eliminate toxins from the body, then there will be a backup in the blood stream, producing all the various symptoms of detox (constipation, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, etc).

In this case, a very “good” thing has become “bad” due to the rate of change that is occurring. All that needs to be done in such a case is to start “cycling” – a procedure that means taking the specific supplements on and off for determined periods of time, until symptoms subside. Carefully observing all these subtle or pretty obvious signs the body is sending us on a daily basis is the core premise of true natural healing.

4. Disease / Symptom oriented approach vs. Patient oriented approach

What is the disease / symptom oriented approach?

Let’s shed some light first upon the basic paradigm that seems to dominate today’s healthcare system and beliefs. The conventional, western model of medicine is a symptom and disease oriented approach. There is no real prevention here. Action is taken when symptoms appear and that action is mostly based on prescribing drugs for a lifetime. Deep, underlying factors that determined the disease in the first place are not considered.

Even alternative medicine is mostly disease based, where symptoms are suppressed by natural remedies; sure, it’s not that toxic as taking drugs but it’s not the solution for long term health either.

What is the patient oriented approach?

“It’s far more important to know what person the disease has, than what disease the person has”. — “Hippocrates”

This model is one that aims to go much deeper than symptoms and treating diseases on the surface level. This patient-oriented paradigm is a totally different approach altogether, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met. We are talking about METABOLIC INDIVIDUALITY, about how and why “one man’s food is another one’s poison” and how and why “one diet/herb doesn’t fit all”.

It’s not the diseases that should be treated but the underlying metabolic imbalances that have caused the diseases that need to be addressed.” — William Wolcott”

5. Alkaline or Acidic?

Where lies the solid clinical research and health expertise on the matter?

The “acid – alkaline body” is one of the most misinterpreted and complex concepts in natural healing and nutrition. There are actually many nutritionists, clinicians, naturopaths and dieticians out there continuously advising us to “alkalinize” our body. To fully grasp this concept one would need to have extensive knowledge in biochemistry and physiology to say at the least.

The famous health expert Emanuel Revici, who Einstein believed to be “the greatest mind he had ever met”, offered in his 77 years of clinical research more than 120 significant medical discoveries and revolutionary concepts.

He showed that pH in a normal, healthy person should cycle twice over a 24 hour period above and below the median. The median for urine is 6.2 and for saliva is 6.7. He also proved that a pH stuck acid OR alkaline was evidence of pathology and the body’s defense against a degenerative process. For example, he found that some cancer tumors proliferated in an acid environment but others thrived in an alkaline environment.

Even more critical, when you view a pH test result that is acid or alkaline, you do not know whether you are viewing an actual problem or the body’s defense against a problem. Following the example above, trying to shift an acid pH alkaline in a cancer patient that has an alkaline tumor would dangerously undermine the body’s (acid) defense and actually accelerate tumor growth.
pH is an effect, not a cause of problems. Health requires that the body be able to shift alkaline OR acid as the situation requires.

What about “acidic” and “alkaline” foods?

Over the last 35 years, the system of metabolic typing evolved based on historical precedent, anthropological and epidemiological evidence, known science, clinical observation and empirical research. Today this system is able to determine in a very accurate way how foods have certain acidifying or alkalinizing effect on different metabolisms. Certain foods stimulate, strengthen and support the Parasympathetic System ( alkalinize ), while other foods stimulate, strengthen and support the Sympathetic System ( acidify ). In the Oxidative System, the effects of these same foods are actually reversed! This is why nutrition can be so confusing, complex and unpredictable.

ANY food can be either stimulating or sedating, acidifying or alkalinizing — NOT due to an inherent quality of the food itself, but rather due to the effect of the food on the dominant control mechanism in your body. The acid/alkaline ash of foods plays a very limited, minor role in the determination of pH. Far more potent is the specific stimulatory/ inhibitory influence of foods and nutrients on the specific control systems.

Have you ever observed your reactions after eating an orange? High potassium foods like this will cause certain body’s pH to shift alkaline and produce a SEDATING EFFECT. But in a different metabolism, the same amount of potassium or an orange will produce an acid shift and a STIMULATING RESPONSE.

Why is this important? It is a fact that acidosis is pathological, and can generate a lot of imbalances in your body, but what is not known as widely in the health world, is that alkalosis (resulting in a loss of intracellular potassium and loss of hydrogen necessary for production of stomach acid) is also pathological and will cause just as many, if not more problems with your health.

Now, stepping out of the complex world of clinical research and scientific studies, the message here is to: question everything, do your own research and educate yourself as much as you can about what you put in your mouth and on your body. One day you’ll realize you’ve become your “own healer” and feel great about taking responsibility for your own health.

Article Resources:

Recommended reading by Raluca Schachter:

About the author:

RalucaLong-time contributor Raluca Schachter is a passionate Nutritionist, Metabolic Typing Advisor, and a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader. She believes in the benefits of traditional unaltered food, ancestral wisdom, sustainable farming and simple living.

Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her unique Metabolic Typing® Ecological Lifestyle Programs for Optimal Health offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. Raluca offers her services for local and distance clientele.

You can connect with Raluca via:


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  • Good article Raluca. You have addressed some common mis-conceptions to items that are often discussed in the press. I suggest going farther.

    For example, you suggest that “The only healthy diet is the one that meets one’s genetically-based requirements.” I’d like us to look for the ‘optimal healthy diet’ – which would, of course go beyond the basic level of health, to optimal healthiness – and would of course require optimization for each person. I believe we will learn much more about health if we aim to optimize healthiness rather than simply to attain healthiness.

    You also raise the issue of “Disease / Symptom oriented approach vs. Patient oriented approach” – again I suggest a further advancement. I suggest an optimal healthiness oriented approach. Optimal healthiness is important even when you are not a ‘patient’, even when you are not suffering from a ‘disease’.

    Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthiness. The pursuit of optimal healthiness.

  • Kiwi-Pete

    Thanx Raluca, Was delighted with your opening paragraph as I just came from the W-u-W article on “H2O2 Uses & Benefits” and was abhorred to see the omissions made in advice on the uses of Hydrogen Peroxide… Grave misconceptions about advice given by the writers in blanket usage of this compound without regard to the interaction with other products &/or treatments… We would do well to remember that holistic advice is most often sought by those people who are already self medicating, often for chronic conditions.

  • Wesley

    A very good article. It’s just a shame that this article doesn’t enjoy the same exposure as a “health supplements” do on TV and other media worldwide.

    I would like to point one thing out though: eating meat of any kind is, as a generalisation, not good for our bodies in the long term – irrelevant of unique metabolisms between individuals. I would suggest that readers search for Forks Over Knives to see the truth of the matter.

    I’d say 99% of our issues can be attributed to ourselves – our bad habits, our cravings, our vices. It also does not matter what you eat if you are a person who could only be described as a couch potato at every opportunity you get. The body is a machine and it does require activity in order for each of it’s parts to continue to work optimally.

    I’m not a vegan, but I believe in sharing truths so that all people can make informed decisions and this article has a lot of truth in it, so thank you 🙂

  • pete

    Unwise to have documents from 100 years ago that you cannot interview the author, Cancers in the Human” body are acid based, Warburg,,against said article,

    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Revised Edition..all Native cultures fasted, all animals fast, fasting is essential to remove toxins..Cellular re-programming is essential..

    To say Fasting is ”dangerous” is is completely natural..and extremely important to a person in todays appalling non food, toxic environment..

    Sleep is fasting, in between lunch and dinner is fasting, just a longer period..

    bad article ill thought out, and again, not observant of Nature..people arent that stupid,

    Unless in a life threatening illness..and guess what your body Naturally does?, restricts food supply..fasts..its not called Fasting… because you get slower..

    Body type diet, what rubbish, if you land on an Island what do you eat? your blood type?,,Did Native cultures know their blood type when they paddled hundreds of miles..ridiculous..

    Treat the cause, not the symptom, and all illness is acid based..Earthing is so important, and alkalising is just so, to reduce the most potent, intelligent predator on the,pete

    • Mycroft

      This comment made more sense than the article.

  • Raluca Schachter

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, it’s always exciting to debate on such health topics! Take whatever you desire from the article, confront it with what you know, take it a few steps further, look for more information if you need too, do your own research and take responsibility for your own health. That should put anybody on the right track.

    A little mention about fasting – people do many reckless things these days, and fasting by choice (NOT due to illness or other natural reasons) is one of them. I know people that chose to fast for determined long periods of time and fell ill afterwards. Fasting releases massive toxic loads stored in fat and most people these days are unable to deal with such stress, their bodies simply can’t handle it. As I said in the article, although a beneficial tool, it is not to be done as a routine and without supervision.

    Metabolic Typing is NOT a “body type diet” or a “blood type” diet, it is an innovative approach to health that is based on metabolic individuality, on balancing biochemistries and developing highly personalized diet plans that fit each individual, on a physiological and biochemical level. And yes, ancestral wisdom plays a vital role here.

  • dorothy

    Very interesting article, thank you.

  • I had always been taught that tumors and disease were acid, never alkaline. This is the first time I have read/heard of the possibility of some tumors being alkaline. I am just a layman, not a health practitioner, but someone who is interested in health. Where would I go to find more information out? Who do I know to believe? Dr. Hulda Clark? Ed McCabe (of Oxygen Therapies)? Those are the folks that I have studied and read and have believed up to this point.

  • Raluca Schachter

    Rebecca: Thank you for your question! There is no “protocol” for cancer that works for everyone. There also is no diet, supplement, herb or nutrient that works for everyone, for every metabolism out there. There were many doctors that successfully treated cancer using natural remedies, BUT they did NOT apply to each and every individual. Were they wrong in their approach to cancer? No…and yes!

    What makes one “acidic” has been demonstrated to make another “alkaline”. This sort of paradoxical response can only be predicted accurately with Metabolic Typing.
    Some metabolic functions operate more efficiently when more acid or alkaline. There is no ideal pH for anyone person or any one system when this is considered.

    Two of the most briliant physicians like Emanuel Revici and Johanna Budwig were so successful at treating cancer, both using omega 3 fatty acids. Should this kind of treatment be applied to everyone with cancer? NO. Anabolic and catabolic imbalances in the body are directly dependent on the omega 3 need. These imbalances are controlled through the balance of lipids in the body and influence cell membrane permeability. When the cells are too leaky, this is called predominant catabolism. When the cells are too stiff and lacking in permeability, this is called predominant anabolism. Someone who is predominantly catabolic has an excess of fatty acids, so supplementation will only worsen the situation. Instead, saturated fats, antioxidants and sterol fats will help increase anabolic processes. But if a person is highly anabolic, omega 3 fatty acids supplementation can be of benefit.

    In dr Hulda’s and McCabe’s approaches we encounter the same pattern. Without really knowing how your metabolism functions it’s wrong to assume that a certain treatment will work on everyone, in all conditions, regardless of individual nutritional, biochemical and genetical requirements. But once you established that, then you’ll know which natural cancer treatment will help you the most.

    Any adverse symptom or degenerative condition can arise due to virtually opposite biochemical imbalances. Any nutrient and any food can have virtually opposite biochemical influences in different metabolic types.

    Start with finding out what your metabolic type is, solve any hidden stressors in your body, (which can be many and varied, starting from gastrointestinal infestations to heavy metals and hormonal imbalances) and then you’ll know what direction to go and what treatment to follow in order to address cancer in your body.

    I hope this helps!