Is being healthy important enough?
So last week we got to the bottom line. GET HEALTHY. Healthy means the absence of symptoms, diseases (as diagnosed by a doctor), and medications.
Environmental toxins (mercury, lead, mold, chemical fertilizers/insecticides/pesticides) definitely impact health, particularly in susceptible people. Stress, inactivity (time spent sitting), and lack of sleep all are ill health contributors. But one cannot be healthy on a bad diet regardless of those factors.
Eat the food that God made, not the food made by man
Whole food includes meat and seafood (including cheese. eggs, butter) and vegetables/fruit in their original form. If you have chosen a vegan diet then the diet is only whole vegetables and fruit. If you elected a Paleo diet, you might choose not to eat dairy. Up to you.
But both the vegan and Paleo diets (and every other credible diet) have this one thing in common. They include only foods that arrive on our plate with out being processed by a manufacturer, including only whole food ingredients or not requiring an ingredient list at all.
Believe it or not, the central issue is not what you eat, it’s what you DON’T EAT.
What is wrong with manufactured food?
Three major things wrong with manufactured food.
First the primary ingredients are wheat, corn, and soybean oil. Wheat and corn start out as whole food but are literally destroyed (processed) in ways that remove the nutritional value, leaving only sugar in the the form of starch. If you need a reminder of the significance of sugar, take a look at this link.
Soy beans also start as a whole food but most of it is destined to become vegetable oil. Other vegetable oil examples are corn and rape seed (canola). Vegetable oils are really seed oils.which have to be mercilessly processed to extract the oil. As with wheat, the processing removes the nutrition, leaving an oil that becomes rancid and oxidative very quickly.
You will find that soy bean oil in almost all manufactured food. The seed oils lined up on the shelf at the grocery are also manufactured.
Manufactured food always has lots of stuff added (commonly called additives), all of which were chemically created for texture, taste, and preservation (not for nutrition) That usually also includes some form of sugar.
Take a look at the ingredient list on your favorite manufactured food – bread, donuts, Twinkies, cookies, chips. If you didn’t know the name of the label, would the ingredient list help you to figure it out?
These are the “foods” that take you down the road to diabetes.
The path to diabetes.
Half (50%) of American are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Just a reminder that essentially every chronic health conditions arrives along the path to diagnosed diabetes. You don’t get diabetes without insulin resistance and you don’t get insulin resistance without persistently too much sugar in the blood. It can take a while to get to full blown diagnosed diabetes but it will happen. And by then you can have a lot wrong.
All along the path to full blown diabetes, insulin resistance delivers excess body fat around the waist, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and much more including neuropathy, dementia, failure to heal, kidney failure, aches and pains. etc, Plus insulin resistance makes you tired.
In other words, you are going to have some very uncomfortable symptoms. Does any of that apply to you?
Please understand that medications don’t fix chronic problems; medications attempt to hide the symptoms, frequently delivering new symptoms as a side effect. Hiding chronic symptoms does not create health.
A bad diet.
A bad diet is missing the essential vitamins/minerals/etc your body requires and delivers too much sugar into your blood stream, setting you up for the bad stuff. The excess sugar sticks to protein in every organ of your body including the blood stream. This is called glycation and is the beginning of trouble. Of course excess sugar has to go somewhere eventually. It is converted to fat and accumulates as body fat.
In the simplest terms whole food stems the tide of too much sugar, actually provides the essential nutrients, and minimizes fat accumulation.
I saw on Facebook this morning someone making these “really simple, 3 ingredient pancakes”. Ingredients: 1 cup of flour (sugar), 1 cup of sugar, and milk. Read sugar, sugar, and milk. Actually there is a little sugar in the milk as well. Oh and we probably will use some pancake syrup which is nothing but flavored sugar. No nutrition or stemming the tide there.
They love to bring you a loaf of bread or a basket of tortilla chips at a restaurant before you get the entree. No nutrition or stemming the tide there. But it will certainly get your blood sugar and insulin pumping. It will, in fact, make you hungry for more. Just like your child’s bowl of cereal (sugar) will leave him craving something to eat in short order.
So the more your daily food comes out of a package, the more excess sugar and less nutrition you are consuming, the more unhealthy you are likely to be. Unhealthy has symptoms.
Eat whole food if you want to be healthy. Odds are you will feel extraordinarily better in ten days or so.
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. Her website is http://www.allaboutthefood.org/ She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 870-490-1836. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/patsmithbooks.