You are What You Eat … How to Avoid Enemy Food Attacks with 10 Valuable Good Food Environment Tips
Humans will swallow almost anything that does not swallow them first … the new enemy is our advertised appetite and preoccupation with food
Good nutrition is fundamental to good health. Good health is based on nutrition, a complex system requiring a total balance of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients in correct amounts and synergy.
“It is … one of the key factors in maintaining human optimum growth and development, structure and function, immune system competence, prevention and management of disease states, as well as the establishment of a healthful lifestyle with optimum fitness and health.” (Dr. Laz Bannock, Introduction to Nutrition and Health, 2001 IICN)
The Big Picture View
About 90% of money spent on food is on processed food and only 10% on fresh food … and it should be the opposite.
Our food system has moved beyond independent family farms and local processors to “forced production” giants in agriculture and conglomerates or “food chains’. National chains of supermarkets, super centers or franchised restaurants bombard our culture with endless “food stuffs.”
Food may appear cheap and convenient, but it is often nutrient deficient due to several reasons: green harvesting, time lag between harvesting and stores, storage, transportation, preparation, and the refining of sugar, corn syrup, cereals, and grains.
There is also the problem of the unnatural degree of environmental toxins in soil and water. Large amounts of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on vegetable crops. Even in 1930’s scientists warned that not fertilizing with trace minerals would result in an epidemic of chronic diseases.
It is estimated that 70% of all antibiotics are used in crowded agricultural settings like feed lots to prevent infections in animals, which are then ingested by people.
What is your current personal food supply?
What are you “transporting” from the grocery shelves to your amazing galaxy of cells? A shopping cart full of cans, bottles and boxes is not the same as early diets based on grains, fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. Our thousand year old Neanderthal digestive biology hasn’t changed. Our 23-foot long small intestine is designed to take time to digest vegetation.
Reduce sugar intake is on the top of your priority list, because it’s been proven over and over that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, weight gain and premature aging, and more. Watch for hidden sugars in juice drinks, cereals, canned fruits, snack bars, etc.
Ask some serious questions about using hydrogenated artificial margarine as an alternative to natural butter. The objective of the hydrogenation process is to take away the fluid nature of the oil, make it more solid at room temperature and enhancing shelf life. These trans-fats give the same rigidity in cellular membranes. Trans-fats are known to promote high blood-fat levels, increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce good cholesterol (HDL).
Look for trans fats in labels on manufactured foods…cookies, crackers, In fact, the FDA now requires that trans fats be listed on food labels link. Check disease conditions caused by trans-fats.
Switch to healthy recipes or modify family favorites.
For example, one of the unhealthiest foods is deep-fried French Fries. Make a healthier sweet potato side dish by slicing, tossing in olive oil, sprinkling with sea salt and herbs, and baking it in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes and rich in vitamins, fiber and healthful carotenoids. Make a herb infused satay instead of fried chicken strips. Make a variety of delicious salsas instead of ketchup.
Remove advertisements for processed foods from your main menu. The food manufacturing industry is the third largest industry often setting our cultural eating habits to reflect corporate marketing.
No advertisements on early Saturday morning kids’ cartoon shows that will NOT mention the breakfast cereal will dramatically increase inflammatory markers in the blood stream up to 4 hours after eating it.
Keep an open mind that food labeling regulations cannot carry health claims. However, because of clinical evidence, the FDA allows some foods to carry health claims with more to come. For example, an intake of monosaturated fats from olive oil reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Other approved health claims are allowed for oats, oat bran and certain amounts of soy protein.
Be prepared for future advances in bio-engineering or fortification of foods to enhance naturally occurring nutrients. The term nutraceutical was coined in 1992 to describe a functional food with an added modification that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients. For example, milk has added Omega -3 oils. Breads have added isoflavones and margarine is refined with phytosterols. Check out more definitions.
Ten Tips on How to Maintain a Good Food Environment
Will power is better than pill power to care for the body’s ecology
- Read the labels as carefully as if reading a drug label before a food product enters your home. Be wary of such items as white sugar or fructose; saturated fats, trans fats or hydrogenated vegetable oil; white flour because of its effect on insulin regulation; sodium; sodium nitrites and other additives or preservatives; MSG, aspartame and other excitotoxins. Be aware of any lists of other dangerous additives.
- Maintain a diet as a mathematical equation as closely as possible. It is not personal, a magic weight loss pill, powder or patch, it’s only numbers. Every mouthful of food needs to be metabolized or burned; otherwise, the calories are converted into glucagons and transported to fat cells. If you choose that extra piece of cheesecake, then equally choose an activity that will burn these calories.
Interesting note, that there have been approx 3000 diets where at least 95% of people have failed to maintain a weight loss. Our genetic genome hasn’t changed in 40,000 years.
3. Keep a calorie diary or journal. Remodel the typical American diet that is high in simple carbohydrates — white flour, white salt, and processed food and renovate the aging process. We are getting all the bulk without the nutrients, plus adding to our propensity for developing real food cravings. Some people say you can start to reverse aging by simply choosing to eat the right foods to keep you full of vim, vigor, and vitality.
4. Plan your meals by combining equal amounts of protein with low glycemic carbohydrates. Provide an intake of proper dietary fats such as omega-3 fats from fish and mono and polyunsaturated fats from plant oils, whole grains, legumes and seeds. Essential fatty acids are largely absent from diets because of refining and hydrogenation process (margarine, shortening).
5. Eliminate poor snack choices from your kitchen by keeping handy different nutritious snacks: dried cranberries, almonds, celery and peanut butter. For a healthy drink, instead of a can of pre-mixed “chocolate” powder, mix pure cocoa powder in boiling water, sweeten with stevia a natural herbal sweetener that doesn’t impact blood sugar. You now get the benefits of flavanols that help to improve circulation, lower blood pressure and improve skin hydration.
6. Be immune to promotional product hype and economic incentives. Do not be victimized by the new enemy of the 21st century which can best be summed up as appetite fueled by high volume and billion dollar advertisement pitches.
7. Be aware of consuming High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetener that has increased more than 1000% … more than any other food since 1980. Fructose has no enzymes, vitamins or minerals so it has to assimilate micro-nutrients from the body. It is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic.
Never drink soft drinks as if poison, eat only fruits to obtain juice, avoid sweetened fruit juices
8. Use this stevia supplement that should be on everyone’s list. It is a plant that is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Did you know that the average person consumes 50 pounds of artificial sweetener per year with such side effects as enlarged liver and kidneys, decreased red blood cell count and increased cravings. There have been 10,000 complaints (FDA) because of reported side effects but Nutrasweet (by Monsanto) was approved as a sweetener.
9. Replenish and stabilize friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract with live cultured or fermented probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Remember, these friendly bacteria will create the proper balance your gut needs to be healthy in order to benefit from the balanced immune system.
10. Understand the basis of emotional eating. The comfort of easy food acts like a shell of protection against dealing with real challenges or medicating with food. Regular exercise is important to burn calories. Try and eat smaller meals more often four or five times daily rather than 3 large meals. Eating smaller amounts of protein takes more calories to digest.
This is the last article from a set of 6 articles about how to look at health care from a wellness perspective. See index for preface and disclaimer.
The purpose of these 6 articles is to believe in BIO-NUTRITION because the body’s cells need essential micro-nutrients at bio-available levels that provide health benefits. The hope is to believe that the body has a great ability to heal and defend itself against oxidative stress or free radicals and repair this damage.
I believe we all look forward to the greatest advances in medicine over the next years in nutritional science drawn from Nature’s Pharmacy versus manufactured chemical drugs.
Mike Adams, a holistic nutritionist, has a brilliant summation:
Health is attainable by every single person. It isn’t rocket science, it’s not complex. And it doesn’t require a prescription. Health is easy, it is straightforward, and it is direct. And, for the most part, it is available free of charge if you invoke the healing power of sunlight, pure water, stress reduction, exercise, and healthy food choices.” (Quoted from www.NewsTarget.com)
The road to wellness is not about making a single decision. It’s about making many small decisions every day … drink plenty of water, limit carbohydrate intake, consume good sources of natural fat, get cellular nutrition from whole foods,get enough rest, increase physical activity and take a few sensible supplements.
Questions and comments are always welcome.