Food - More than just fuel for the body.
Intro - Most of the things you know about food are wrong. That’s right. Shocking, isn’t it? Further yet, most of the things you put into your body each day are detrimental to your health.
Allow me to explain a few things. Humans developed into these wonderful specimens in the prehistoric times and adapted slowly over hundreds of thousands of years to fit their environment. In those days there were relatively few of us about, we were not technologically advanced and we led active lifestyles. We developed into omnivores, capable of eating and digesting most things that were available to us. We got ample nutrition from the meat and the plants because the plants were rich in nutrients and those traveled up the food chain. Thus all was well.
Fast forward to farming and industrial revolutions when cheap and plentiful grains and sugar became the staples and requirement for activity lessened. Our biological evolution has not yet been able to catch up with the speed of our cultural evolution - basically there is a mismatch between what we are doing and what we are designed to do. This discrepancy is glaring in terms of food and drink.
Why - Paying attention to what you eat and drink should be a no-brainer. We are what we eat, as everything we ingest causes a cascade of reactions and responses in the body. In the olden times the logic was simple, you ate something bad, you got sick and either learned a lesson or died. Nowadays it’s a lot more convoluted. Often the deleterious effects only manifest years later in which case the cause of the problem is difficult to pinpoint. At the same time advances in modern medicine have allowed us to continue behaviours that are clearly harmful but with lesser immediate consequences.
What - When man tries to tinker with nature it always backfires. Always. A lot of the chemical additives have been proven to be carcinogenic or otherwise harmful. Industrial farming has depleted the soil to such an extent that the vegetables today only contain a fraction of the nutrients they used to. Another short term economical folly is cheap food. When it’s mass produced and refined it may fill you up on calories but you will be lacking in nutrients, thus you will end up eating huge portions as you are perpetually hungry (due to being short on nutrients). And you will end up picking up the medical bills later.
As we are creatures of comfort and convenience the modern life is very appealing to us. I get it. When you come home late at night, tired from a demanding day the temptation is to get a pizza delivered and then gobble that up while sitting in the sofa watching telly. It certainly is much easier than having to go and wrestle a wild boar and then wait for it to cook over a campfire. The problem is that we are filling up with very high octane fuel at wrong times of the day in obscene quantities. This makes us inflamed. This causes obesity and illness. Eventually it catches up with us and reduces our quality of life.
How - Diets don’t work. None of them. All diets are based on dramatically cutting calories to produce weight loss. Instead you must gain knowledge. I urge you to learn about biochemistry and nutrition. Not the dietetics association dogma of “Balanced Diet” or the “food pyramid”, but actually learn about what different foods do in your system. Once you know what fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals do in your body you can start making your own educated choices in terms of food. I will elaborate more on specific food topics in future articles.
I will only make two suggestions at this point. First, avoid anything processed at all cost. It the food label contains ingredients that you do not understand, such as chemical names, put it back on the shelf. Your body will not recognise it either. Second, Go organic whenever possible and choose grassfed as opposed to corn fed meat. The differences in the meat quality and nutritional yield are staggering.
Take Home Message - You need lots of food. Good, old fashioned, nutritious food that provides your body with sufficient energy and building blocks to let your body thrive.