Most of the nutritional ideas floating around out there in our culture are misleading due to marketing ploys and studies that don’t stand the test of time. Just because they claim it promotes health, doesn’t mean it’s true. There’s nothing like real unprocessed whole food, prepared properly, that the body can recognize with all its innate co-factors intact. Let’s turn “conventional” thought about food upside-down!
Sugar and Disease. Our bodies were not designed to eat sugar. Diabetes is now rampant in our culture and is creating a health crisis in our country. Did you know that cancer cells are detected by how much glucose they consume? They need sugar to survive!
Studies done on indigenous tribes eating native diets revealed that when they introduced sugar and white flour into their diets, disease and deformity began to occur. Each generation deteriorated. Sugars include honey, molasses, corn syrup, organic cane sugar, maple syrup, fructose, etc., all natural sweeteners except for Stevia. (See “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A. Price)
Corn syrup is one of the worst offenders and is found in most processed foods. Modern breakfast cereals contain very little nutrition because it has been refined out, the wheat germ removed, turning it into a carbohydrate that quickly breaks down into sugar inside the body. Juices are mainly concentrated sugar and cause dehydration. Instead, eat fruit or vegetables that are less sweet, in their whole form, in small amounts with all their natural fiber intact i.e., berries, kiwi, cucumber.
Chips and other processed foods are also high in refined carbohydrates and contain preservatives that are addicting, so that you can’t eat just one, literally. The bottom line is that all carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body, but the refined ones do it faster providing less nutrition than unrefined ones, so choose carefully! Try to combine them with fat and protein to slow the process even more.
Hypoglycemia reflects sugar handling problems. The adrenals, pancreas, and liver are all involved in sugar metabolism. Eating sugar stresses the body, depletes vitamins, creates loss of muscle tone, insulin resistance and diabetes leading to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and other chronic illness. Pancreatic exhaustion from a diet high in sugar is known to be a precursor for digestive disorders, leading to disease.
When the body gets overwhelmed by too much sugar and is unable to find places to store it, the excess turns into dangerous free radicals that attack the inside of the blood vessels creating a need for cholesterol to repair it. As more sugar is consumed, the damage inside the blood vessels builds up and more cholesterol is deposited until the vessel becomes clogged. It’s a natural healing process that’s been overwhelmed due to too much sugar in the diet. Cholesterol isn’t the enemy, sugar is and you can control that very easily.
What is a Healthy Fat? A high protein/fat, low refined carbohydrate diet is much better suited for the body. Protein from meat is important because vegetable protein does not contain the full range of amino acids that the body requires for its biochemical processes. Without fat, the body cannot absorb protein, vitamins, make hormones or control inflammation!
Most vegetable oils are delicate and should never be used at high heats. These oils are not the best to cook with because heat damages them and turns them into free radicals (in the human body, oxidized free radicals are believed to cause tissue damage at the cellular level — harming our DNA, mitochondria and cell membranes). Go to this link for more information on safer fats for cooking: http://www.ntptalk.com/articles/safer-fats-for-cooking-part-2.php
Transfats can actually lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol. They’re also referred to as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Most processed foods and restaurant fare contain transfats that cause weight gain and form plaque in the arteries. Transfats also prevent the proper assimilation of good fats.
“A transfat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil–a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats. Transfat can be found in vegetable shortenings, margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fat, raises the LDL cholesterol that increases your risk for coronary heart disease”. -Quote from the FDA
Unrefined virgin coconut oil is great for cooking. It’s a healthy saturated fat that the body won’t store and is less likely to become damaged in the cooking process. It has anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic properties and helps to fight infection. Just rub some on your next cut, cover with a bandaid and you’ll see what I mean.
Saturated Fat. “Bad saturated fat” is a term that “threw the baby out with the bathwater”. It came from a study that was done on vegetable oil transfats not saturated animal or coconut fats. Saturated fat is naturally more stable and can be used for cooking on medium heat without the risk of turning it into a transfat. Our bodies can utilize saturated fat to our advantage. (See article, “The Oiling of America” by Mary Enig at www.westonaprice.org)
Always cook meat on low-medium heat because high heat damages the fats in meat too. Buy breads without flax seeds or nuts because they contain delicate fats that can become transfats when exposed to the heat used in the baking process.
A Word About Soy. Lastly, when it comes to soy, think again. Soy is virtually indigestible and contains goitrogens that suppress thyroid function. In Japan, soy is consumed in very small quantities, and is usually fermented. Japanese diets also contain lots of iodine-containing foods like shellfish and kelp that balance soy’s thyroid suppressing action. Whenever we take a single food out of any other culture’s diet we should consider the whole of what they eat because the results will not be the same.
Educate yourself about the food you eat. You can enhance your quality of life dramatically. I recommend a cookbook called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon to learn more about properly preparing your food. It’s full of facts and information that will change the way you eat forever!