Messages about what we “should” eat have been rather confusing over the years. From the Food Pyramid first introduced in 1992, which morphed into MyPlate and, more recently in Australia, the Healthy Eating Guidelines.
What they all have in common is that carbohydrates in general, and grains in particular, form the foundation, with a strong message to avoid fats and cholesterol.
But the evidence of chronic degenerative diseases that seem to be affecting us all at ever younger ages suggests there is a problem with the advice about what to eat.
So what are we to do? How can we sift through all the evidence-based marketing, and find nutritional advice that actually works?
Dr Ron Ehrlich in his book, A Life Less Stressed – the five pillars of health and wellness outlines various problems we face that may cause ‘nutritional stress’ and some basic principles to follow in deciding how to maximise your nutritional decisions.
The best foods to load up your plate with:
Lots of above-ground vegetables with a variety of colours
Moderate amounts of pasture-fed meat (as a guide; 1 gram of protein for every 1 kg of weight)
Good natural fats like coconut oil, olive oil or butter and animal fat from pasture-fed animals (important for so many biological processes but also stops you getting hungry and making poor high carb food choices)
Drink filtered water – I use a reverse osmosis filter, which takes everything out of the water. I then add a few grains of Himalayan rock salt – my own clean mineral water
Include trace minerals – use Himalayan rock salt; Don’t use common table salt (usually just sodium and chloride)
Limit seafood for two reasons: sustainability and toxicity. If you really want to eat seafood, eat sardines (a nearly perfect food for seafood lovers, as long as they are wild caught)
Foods to avoid:
Carbonated drinks – Not only the amount of sugar but the acidity of the drink both of which promote chronic in ambition.
Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – Found in a huge number of processed foods which raises insulin levels, the body quickly converts to fat and promotes chronic inflammation.
Vegetable oils – such as canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils which are highly processed and unstable when heated. They easily become rancid and produce large amounts of damaging free radicals in the body.
Limit or avoid grains – Will quickly be converted to sugar and stored in the body as fat, resulting in obesity and imbalance in body chemistry. Grains can also cause an increase in the permeability of the gut lining, which means that undigested proteins enter the blood stream and the body mounts an immune response. The process is often called ‘leaky gut’ which can lead to a wide variety of ‘autoimmune diseases’ where the body attacks itself. Depending on your genetic predisposition will depend on how that manifests itself; skin= psoriasis; joints= rheumatoid arthritis; digestive system = Cohn’s, IBS or Coeliac; nervous system = Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.
Limit or avoid coffee and alcohol – Affect blood sugar, stimulate the nervous system, places a strain on liver function and both promote chronic in ammation. There are social reasons for drinking these, but no good health reasons.
French fries – The double whammy of carbohydrates and being fried in unstable vegetable oil at high temperatures. Try this recipe instead!