There is a huge range of opinions over what is healthy food. Any hapless person starting out trying to find the best healthy food choices could be forgiven for being totally confused. Should you focus on protein? Should you reduce carbohydrates? Should you limit your calories?
First, it’s wise to be aware of the origins of much of the literature and guidelines, even government guidelines, or perhaps especially. We live in an incredibly corrupt world. Corporations profit enormously from passing myths off as the truth. They have infiltrated all the governments of the western world and most others. They dominate mainstream media. Their pockets are deep. They are the major influencers of today.
So it’s wise to look at the origins of humans, at independent studies that have no agenda and at common sense.
Let’s look at our origins. I challenge the hunter/gatherer concept. It’s more gatherer/hunter. Hunting is a dangerous pastime. I don’t believe people would have engaged in it as often as some history books would like us to believe. Gathering is far easier. And with a much smaller population, no chemical farms, no cities, plant life would have been in abundance. How easy gathering the plant offerings would have been. And what incredible diversity.
When you look at our bodies, the signs scream at those who can see, that we may be omnivores, but we are at the herbivore end, not the carnivore. Our teeth are more like horses teeth than cats. Our intestines are long like a herbivore, rather than short as carnivores have. We thrive in an internal alkaline environment.
All animal protein (red meat, white meat, eggs, dairy) has an acidic effect on our bodies. Acidity in our bodies create inflammation. Chronic inflammation that comes from eating animal protein daily is the reason behind all ailments, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Heart disease and cancer are the first two leading causes of death.
But the protein myth continues unabated. Yet plants also contain protein. T Colin Campbell, a nutrition researcher I have a great deal of respect for, discovered that humans need about 10% protein. Plants, on average, have 10% protein. That means we can get all our protein from eating a variety of healthy plant based food. Without making our bodies acidic.
Another myth is calcium. The idea is that we can only source calcium from milk. Yet, looking at horses again, a young horse will grow from birth to fully grown in a single year, simply on a diet of grass. Horses have massive bones. It is truly unthinkable to consider that we need milk, a food for babies, and baby cows at that, for our bone health.
Meat needs calcium to digest. When we eat meat without the bones that accompany it, the body pulls calcium from our bones and teeth to digest the meat. So now, not only are we more acidic, now we also have poorer bone and teeth health.
So if animal protein is bad for you, what is healthy food, in reality? After all, most people base every meal around animal protein.
Healthy foods are carbohydrates. Before you throw up your hands in horror, know that there are basically two types of carbohydrates. All plant based foods are carbohydrates. White sugar is a carbohydrate. So is a fresh peach. Yet their effect on use differs enormously.
White sugar has been processed. The goodness, the minerals and other healthy nutrients that are needed to digest it, has been stripped away. When you consume white sugar (a better name for it is white poison), again your body removes minerals from other areas to help digest it.
When you consume a fresh peach, your body can easily digest that.
It now becomes easy to create a healthy food list as well as an unhealthy one:
A List of Healthy Food
- all fresh produce unsullied by processing or by chemical farming methods
- this includes fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds
- frozen produce can also be healthy as can dried produce as long as preservatives have not been added
A List of Unhealthy Food
- all processed produce such as white sugar, white flour, white rice, packets of foods, any food with additives and E numbers
- this means most commercial bakery items and fast food outlets are unhealthy
- any animal protein consumed more than about three times a week – the only exception to this would be for Eskimos or desert dwellers
Now for the research.
A study published in Neurology with over 27,000 people in a period of 56 months, found that cognitive decline was lowest in those who ate the most fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
The University of Pittsburgh published a study in Nature Communications involving swapping the diet of 20 African Americans (typically full of meat, meat fat, fast food) with that of 20 rural South Africans (typically plant based of cornmeal and beans) for two weeks.
The South African diet reduced secondary bile in the colon by 70% in the Americans, but the American diet increased this carcinogenic bile by 400% in the South Africans.
The American Journal of Health Promotion published a study by a psychiatrist who used diet instead of anti-depressants for depression. In an 18 week study in a corporate setting, changing the diet to a plant based nutrition programme improved depression, anxiety, fatigue, productivity and, for those with type II diabetes, blood sugar. They also became more socially active.
A presentation at the European Congress on Obesity showed that those who ate large quantities of protein and small amounts of carbohydrates – similar to the Atkins diet – were almost twice as likely to gain more than 10% of body weight and experienced a 59% increase in mortality. High protein diets are associated with increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease and insulin sensitivity.
Old habits die hard. However, for those truly looking for ways to improve their health, for those truly looking for foods that are healthy, will find the truth. When people want to know what is healthy food or what is a healthy lifestyle, they need to be able to discern the truth (with reasons) from the myths.
Trust your instincts!
More on what are healthy foods – gives you a comprehensive guide on how to eat for health.