Food Quality And the Epidemic of Obesity and Cancer

Food quality is a tragedy in this country. The vast majority of people are permanently malnourished not because there is not enough food to go around but because foods are no longer nutritious.

The media like to blame various health ailments on “the American diet” and it is difficult to disagree. That’s what makes this argument seem so convincing even though it is only half the truth. Of course you have to avoid trans-fats, lower your intake of Omega 6 fatty acids in favor of Omega 3 and eat veggies. But there is more to this than meets the eye (or the lens of a TV camera, for that matter). Avoiding fast food, sipping orange juice of decaffeinated Espresso and puring low-fat milk in your breakfast cereal are not as healthy choices as you might think. It is not that simple, at least not the way the media would want you to believe.

Nutritional Poisons Right On Your Plate

Some foods which were considered healthy a century ago are nutritional poisons of massive proportions in our modern diet. From meat and diary with artificial hormones, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals through mercury in fish to our choice of drinks (even bottled water, which is magnesium-deficient due to an Act of Congress, no kidding) we can no longer trust our cultural traditions nor can we rely on our “gut feeling”.

Industrial mass production of meat is only the tip of the iceberg. Processed foods such as biscuits and other cookies or even bread are far more harmful to us today than they ever were in the history of mankind both because of how they are made and because of what else we eat.

Processed foods such as bread are no longer made from healthy ingredients. Food manufacturers are using high-tech tricks even though our bodies cannot adapt to them in the course of our entire lifetimes. It is your money and your health at stake.

Too Much Sugar Will Kill You

We eat a higher share of carbs today than humans ever used to, compounding the negative effects of carbs and sugars and creating a vicious cycle of permanently high insulin which leads straight to hypoglycemia and diabetes. Fruit juice is very much a part of that picture and almost as much of a culprit as sodas. I know it’s hard to believe.

Excessive sugar is the culprit in the epidemic of obesity and it appears there might be financial considerations behind it: The saturated fat scam: What’s the real story?

Our ancestors could not get around eating carbs because they had to store food without refrigerators (unlike with carbs, you can’t do that well with fats or proteins). We eat carbs because we have taught our bodies to crave sugars and that’s how we get our sugar fix: with sugars or carbs or both.

On top of that, we do not move our bodies nearly as much as we should and so we have to adjust what we eat not merely in terms of the calories we can burn but in terms of the nutritional value of what we do eat.

Foods Are Misunderstood

Some people who indulge in “fake foods” which make them sick are at least aware of it and they have made a conscious choice. But there are also those of us who consistently opt for what they think are actually the healthiest food choices around (such as cereals with orange juice for breakfast), only to pay for getting diabetes or for getting poisoned day in and day out (think diet sodas).

I see it all the time at the supermarket and it breaks my heart.

Sometimes one look at someone’s shopping cart will tell you that they were sold on empty promises of supposedly “healthy” foods or “healthier” food choices. Claiming that something is good for you because it is “low fat” even though it’s full of sugars is a scam, but many people fall for it. I don’t blame them.

I first became aware of the incredible power of foods when I was forced to correct almost everything in my lifestyle (I wrote about it in an earlier post). It took me a long time to understand what is important and what is not important. I also had to realize that the standards of our society regarding food are not helpful when it comes to staying healthy and it has nothing to do with “the American diet”. It is mainly about “processed” versus “unprocessed” foods. Please forgive me the expression but the only “food processing” should happen in your mouth.

You don’t have to eat carrots and celery all the time in order to eat healthy. Quite the opposite. But you do have to make conscious choices.

Why The Low-Fat Diet Kills

Our bodies need healthy proteins and fats, which means, again, unprocessed fats, such as non-refined oils. Proteins are the stuff our bodies need to repair themselves. Fats are used to repair cell membranes as well as to produce many signalling molecules, including hormones. The so-called “low-fat diet” has proven a mass killer because it feeds people worthless sugars the body can only burn or–more easily–store. it increases the likelihood of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Bu the way it is far more difficult for the body to store fat than it is to turn sugars into fat for storage because in order to store either one of them you need insulin. Insulin is secreted in response to the presence of sugars in the blood as a means of lowering the glucose level in the blood. If you combine sugars or carbs with proteins and fat in a meal you have a sure-fire weapon against loosing weight. The carbs and sugars make your glucose level go up (your body converts carbs into sugars), as a response to which the body makes insulin. In the presence of insulin, the fats you ate with the will get stored in your fat cells instead of being used up for repairs. Do you remember how as a child you hated the bread but loved the cheese? It turns out there is a reason for that. If you want to stay slim, skip the bread and eat the cheese.

Eat Organic Or Else

Our bodies also need a lot of antioxidants and these are, as a general guideline, only present in organic foods. Plants grown with chemicals do not produce enough antioxidants because they don’t get the stimuli which require these antioxidants for the plant to fend off fungi, bacteria and insects in nature. As a result, non-organically grown foods are pretty much worthless as foods. Eat organic.

Complacency Is No Longer An Option

Food production is steadily evolving and so we have to constantly educate ourselves about how modern food is being made and what it does to our bodies.

There are no shortcuts to health, but there are some basic principles every one of us should follow to avoid getting tricked into paying for “killer foods”. I will tell you what I discovered in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

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