“Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food.. stay away from these” – Michael Pollan
There’s been a great deal of confusion over the years about what constitutes healthy nutrition. In this blog article I’m going to discuss how to unlock your nutritional DNA to achieve lasting health.
Human beings require macronutrients to sustain life and maintain health and vitality. Our genetic make-up has not caught up to eating packaged foods at our current stage of evolution. Whilst we’re able to assimilate them, inevitably they deprive us of long term well-being. Packaged food is generally devitalised and lacks minerals and macronutrients. Macronutrients are essential substances derived from proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which provide the essential energy or calories to thrive and sustain life.
When selecting food, it is important that you orientate toward whole foods that are complete in macronutrients. The concern with packaged foods is the processing they undergo before reaching the supermarket shelf. In order for packaged food to have a long shelf life additives, preservatives and colours are added to make it both aesthetically pleasing to the purchaser and maintain a long shelf life.
Marketing and nutritional companies repeatedly extol the virtues of processed food via print and television advertising, by appealing to our emotions. Advertisers use lifestyle images which portray young people having fun while consuming a particular food or beverage. Coca-Cola has perfected this form of advertising, by using young people gathered in social situations having fun while drinking their product. It is important that we become alert to being influenced by media to the detriment of our health.
As human beings evolved, there have been periods throughout history that have influenced the way we eat nowadays. The agricultural and industrial revolution heralded the manufacturing and processing of grains which allowed consumers to purchase food ready-made.
Ancestrally speaking, our DNA is not well equipped to mix fuel sources. When we eat foods high in complex carbohydrates, high in sugar and high in trans-fats, we overburden our digestive and hormonal system to process and assimilate such foods into nutrients our body can use. The proliferation of autoimmune diseases and allergies has all been attributed to products containing white flour. Weston-Price showed back in the early century that man does not require refined food to sustain life, as evident by the populations of indigenous tribes they encountered around the world.
The abundance of food choices in our modern era was not readily available to prehistoric man. The limited food consumed during this period may have included proteins, fats and starchy vegetables whether above ground or below ground. Therefore prehistoric man had a limited variety of food from which to acquire nutrients. Albeit, their lifespan was shorter than modern man; the point worth making is that our genetic constitution remains largely unchanged from our ancestors.
The premise of this article is a return to wholefood nutrition in order to sustain a healthy and well balanced life.
Therefore in order to provide the body with the greatest macronutrients possible, a diet high in essentials fats and includes moderate animal protein and plant vegetables has been shown to be ideal in relation to fueling and nourishing the body long term. This way of eating does not mix fuel sources and provides a spectrum of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
My contention as a health and well-being professional is to provide you with pertinent information which allows you to make informed decisions about your health. Avoid buying into a way of eating which advocates or insists on one form of nutrition alone, without conducting your own research. I suggest you test any claims or diets before incorporating them as a way of life. What works well for one person may not be suitable for you.
We have lost the intuitive know-how embedded in our past, to discern what is ideal nutrition for our body. Centuries ago, tribes living off the land instinctively knew how to nourish their bodies without buying into marketing hype. In light of that, we should return back to a simple way of eating by following our intuition and inner guidance rather than being influenced by modern culture.
Let’s abolish the war between vegetarianism, meat eaters and the like. Many primitive cultures sustain their way of life exclusively on either diets and still manage to thrive. In Vilcabamba, Ecuador, the Hunza region, Pakistan, Southern Russia and Okinawa, Japan many of the elders who live beyond one hundred years do so by incorporating very little meat in their diet except on festive occasions.
We need to return to whole foods as a way of life and learn to trust and follow our inner guidance as it relates to food selection. The wisdom of the body knows best. What may work well for you at one stage of your life may no longer be suitable at a later stage. They key is to be attuned to your personal evolution and in doing so listen to the guidance your body offers you.
I hold firm to the belief that packaged foods have no place in human consumption. As an experiment, try feeding your pet a week’s supply of the food you consume and note if their health diminishes. People report in horror when I propose this experiment, yet they’re quite happy to frequently consume candy bars and chocolate. Might our motives be misdirected?
Your diet should be whole and complete by offering you all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it requires to sustain health and vitality. If you’re taking a host of vitamins and supplements to make up for the shortfall lacking in your diet, I would question whether you’re diet and food selection is appropriate for your body’s needs. A healthy diet will provide a broad range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals while relying minimally on supplementation.
Supplementation may include the following and should only used to complement a health body: digestive enzymes such as HCL, Probiotics, fish oils and vitamin D. Depending on your geographic location, it may be necessary for certain populations to supplement with vitamin D to make up for the shortfall of vitamin D obtained from sun exposure.
Wherever you are in your nutritional evolution, remember to make sound judgements on the types of food you nourish your body with. Resist being dictated to by nutritional and marketing companies that advocate products or services essential to your health. Question everything you put into your mouth and conduct your due diligence before adopting any long-term health plan.
As Deepak Chopra stated earlier this year, survival of the fittest will no longer be enough as we move into the next stage of our evolution. It will be “survival of the wisest!”