Download this article as a PDF: Ideal Nutrition: What To Eat, What To Avoid, Part 1
My article, “What is Real Food and Why Should I Care?” resulted in a number of readers with basically the same question: “I get the concept, but what should I eat in real life?” We don’t have to re-invent the wheel – we can just observe healthy populations. Dr. Weston Price did that extensively in the 1930’s, traveling to 14 such cultures, and discovered that there are underlying principles to healthy eating that will work for everyone. For more, please visit www.PPNF.org, based on Dr. Weston Price’s unparalleled work, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Rebuilding The Body
Your body needs to rebuild itself with the components of which it is made. Every minute of every day, your body makes a million new “you” cells via millions of chemical reactions per second. These reactions require the proper quality nutrients for your constant regeneration. You are made of quality live nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Any “diet” that eliminates any one of these groups will make you deficient in something. Proteins are mostly animal products, but good quality protein can be derived from vegetable sources, too. Fats are both animal-and vegetable-derived. Carbohydrates are where the big confusion comes in. There are nature-made carbohydrates, primarily fruits and vegetables . Over 4500 studies have shown that they prevent cancer. There are man-made carbohydrates – pizza, pasta, pretzels, cakes, cookies, etc. – for which a case could be made that they are responsible for most of our degenerative disease. As the late, great Jack LaLanne used to say: “if man made it, don’t eat it.” So, when I recommend that approximately 40% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates, guess which kind I mean? The rest of your calories should break up into about 30% good essential fats and about 30% protein.
Ok, So What Should I Eat?
Humanity has thrived on raw milk (non-pasteurized, non-homogenized, full fat) and its products: cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc. from grass-fed cows, goats, and sheep. Since commercially produced cow milk is now so adulterated that it has become a white chemical cocktail, I recommend goat products. They are readily available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. They are less processed and, therefore, more real food, which makes them also less allergenic. Most people who are casein (a protein in cow milk) intolerant, can easily tolerate goat products because the casein fraction is different in goats’ and sheep’s milk. For instance, I don’t do well with cow milk, but a large percentage of my 8-18 ounces of protein required daily for a woman is met with goat yogurt and a variety of goat cheeses. Most people aren’t even aware that goat cheeses come in varieties such as cheddar, Swiss style, etc. Whole Foods carries an exceptional selection of these and, if you explain to their very helpful staff that you are experimenting with some new foods, they’ll be happy to let you taste several to see which you like best.
Grass fed beef, wild caught seafood; smaller deep-sea fish such as cod, halibut, mackerel and sardines are healthiest because they don’t store large quantities of mercury and other toxins in their tissues. Soup stocks and broths make great meals that you can freeze. Fermented foods are not only nutritious, but create the right ecology formaintaining the balance of friendly bacteria in your gut. This is essential for proper digestion and assimilation. Healthy fats and oils, much maligned in the last 25 years of ineffective and seriously dangerous low fat diets, include olive oil, chicken fat, lard, goose grease (yes, enjoy that paté), duck fat, and real (not hydrogenated) coconut oil. I use extra virgin olive oil for all my salads and cold food preparation and coconut oil expeller pressed for cooking. Coconut oil can tolerate much higher temperatures than any other oil before it becomes a trans fat and is a provider in its own right of excellent omega 9 fats. Coconut oil, amongst many of its other virtues, has been shown to support thyroid function. Trans fats are what all those nasty hydrogenated oil (fake fat) products contain in processed foods. Trans fats are why deep fried food is not recommended. When fats go “trans,” they are not only unusable by your body, but they also block the use of “essential fats,” of which most of us are already lacking. When a nutrient is labeled “essential” by the traditional medical community which denied nutrition even had anything to do with health until late in the 1960’s, you know it has to be important. The best source of essential fats are fish and fish oils. Flaxseed oil is also a popular source of essential oils, but I stay away from recommending it because flaxseed and flaxseed oil attenuate thyroid function and, with the huge percentage of thyroid deficiency I encounter, I don’t like to take the chance with it.
Eat Organic Local Foods
Organically grown fruits and vegetables are more nutrient dense and do not have the toxic pesticides and fertilizer chemicals found in commercially grown foods. Organic have two to five times more nutrients as their commercial counterparts and most people agree that they also taste much better. When you can’t get organic, at least soak fruits and vegetables in one teaspoon of baking soda to a couple of quarts of water for about 20 minutes. This won’t put more nutrients in the food because that is dependent on the richness of the soil, but it will at least draw out some of the toxins. Of course, rinse the produce out after soaking it or it will taste like baking soda. I realize that these guidelines are a tall order for the person suffering from SAD, or the Standard American Diet. Think of it this way: changing your diet even a little at a time will help you avoid being the standard American unhealthy statistic. I also highly recommend supplementing with organic whole food concentrates. You can probably already guess how difficult it is to replicate eating like your great, great grandmother. For more information on whole food supplementation, visit www.standardprocess.com.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Avoid unfermented soy (tofu, soy milk, etc.). Soy contains anti-thyroid agents causing hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, weight gain, etc. Soy was eaten by Buddhist monks to reduce libido and is linked to impaired or disturbed sexual development in boys. Good soy (fermented soy) is tempeh, miso, natto, tamari, and soy sauce, and are a source of vegetarian protein.
Avoid aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) like the plague! These fake sweeteners have been linked to brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, aggression, anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory loss and many more problems. And, on top of all that, diet sodas cause weight gain!
Avoid margarine or any hydrogenated oils or trans fats. They are present in all commercially made doughnuts, crackers,
cookies, pastries, deep fried foods including those from all major “fast food” chains, potato and corn chips, imitation cheeses, frostings and candies. Why are these nasty non-food fats so pervasive? Because they allow food manufacturers to put a product on a shelf that will not spoil for years! That’s because these fats are not food. Big hint: if it never goes bad, it was never good. Real live food is supposed to spoil. Remember when the milk man made deliveries every 3 days? Now milk stays “good” for six weeks or more. How do you think that happens? Dangerous chemical preservatives that only benefit profit margins, not people.
Avoid industrial table salt. Table salt, pure sodium chloride, is a fake food. Use real salt like sea salt, Celtic salt or, my favorite, Himalayan salt. They contain 84 elements vital to life: sodium, magnesium, silicone, chloride, calcium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, and many more. These are the elements that are found in the ocean, where life originated.
Avoid fluoride. It’s been linked to suppression of multiple hormones, hypothyroidism, bone cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. Fluoride lowers IQ and is linked to dementia.*
Avoid chlorine. Chlorine has been linked with cancer. People showering in chlorinated water are 83% more likely to get bladder cancer. Chlorinated water nearly doubles risk of birth defects.
Avoid microwave ovens to cook or heat food. They alter the structure of foods in ways that make them unusable by the body and can turn a perfectly good food into another toxic load.
In conclusion, eat organic, traditional, nutrient dense foods that you enjoy. If you don’t know what these are, experiment by emulating the diets of the healthiest people in the world. Those would be the Mediterraneans – of those, the Cretans are the healthiest – and the Japanese. Lots of great information is available about the Mediterranean style diet – and it’s probably the easiest diet since it is composed of foods with which most of us are familiar. Lest we forget, drink 32 ounces of water (just plain H20) daily for every 50 pounds you weigh, for optimum hydration. For more on “water,” please read my article on “The Water Cure.” Until next time, see you and your water bottle on the dance floor.
*”Fluoride risks are still a challenge.” Chemical and Engineering News. 2006; 84(38):34-37
This article was first published in The Delaware Valley Dance Spotlight, March/April 2011. It is the sole work of its author, Dr. Veronica Collings DC.