What not to eat.
As outlined above, the less processed foods one has on their plate the better, rather choosing whole foods as close to their natural form.
There are many other considerations when changing our eating habits.
One of the foundation premises in my approach to diet is Bio-individuality: one man's meat can be another man's poison, however some foods that we have been led to believe to be either benign or even healthy, are blatantly harmful and have serious effects on human health.
Here's one helpful perspective to start with by avoiding a short list of specific foods that are highly inflammatory, carcinogenic, damage our gut or inhibit digestion.
Dr Glidden presents 12 harmful foods
Dr Axe Adds to that with a short list of foods that are often touted as health foods but with known issues.
noun: food; plural noun: foods
any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.
the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.
These definitions remind us that food is supposed to energise us, make us live and grow and remain healthy. Food is meant to make us feel good. Not fall asleep, or yawn our heads off because now we need to digest our lunch. Do we pull out a giant yawn after drinking a vegetable juice?
So unless you're living under a rock in a cave on a mountain, you will be convinced that the increase in disease is directly related to the food we are eating.
If we become conscious of our bodies and how they react to what we put in our mouth, we will be able to change the course of our life with simple food choices. Foods that we think are food maybe anything but.
Processed foods are:
Made by transforming raw ingredients into attractive packaged goods which can sit on a shelf for a long time with out rotting, changing consistency, going stale or growing mould.
Artificial ingredients used mostly include monosodium glutamate in its different names and forms (MSG), flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oil, fillers, emulsifiers, tenderisers, corn and wheat, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and many long names that are difficult to say.
They're made for convenience with shorter preparation times so that they can be eaten more immediately.
They don’t offer much in nutritional value - some none (non-foods), many are actually toxic.
They will normally be wrapped in layers of plastic, cardboard, and/or foil, to keep it from degrading and to make you want to buy it.
They didn't exist before the 1900's when hydrogenation was discovered.
Not only is this industry excessively advertised but well subsidised by governments.
You'll normally find them on the middle aisles in supermarkets
Whole foods are:
Grown in fields or greenhouses
Are unprocessed and unrefined
Have a shorter shelf life
Are authentically flavorful, have vibrant colors, and rich textures
If grown in good soil, have contain many micronutrient vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber.
They require longer preparation times
Receive hardly any advertising, and are not well funded with government subsidies. found on the store’s wall aisles to the sides and back of the store
Additionally, this food category can be found at farmers markets, and at fresh fruit and vegetable stands.
Examples include unpolished grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Sugar is the Adversary!
When it comes to good health and nutrition there are clearly many hurdles and adversaries that must be addressed and conquered. However, a strong case can be made, that no adversary is more formidable or needs to be addressed more that the one known as SUGAR!
Now aside from the fact the body really has a hard time processing sugar and aside from the fact that the body’s insulin response to sugar can be as problematic as the sugar itself, (we’ll be talking more about that later), there is the whole subject of sugar’s effects on the skin.
You see sugar explodes, witness the sugar we call ethanol that is used to run cars. Think of a marshmallow when it’s lit in a campfire, poof!. This reaction that sugar has with burning is actually an important part of biochemistry and how energy is produced in the body. Sugar in the form of glucose reacts with oxygen and a type of burning takes place and that’s how we get the energy to blink an eye, think a thought, wiggle a toe and generally move about the world.
The problem starts when there’s too much sugar around and this burning (which is technically called oxidation) goes out of control. Then you have these burnt sugar particles (I’m not being technical here) floating around. These burnt sugar particles are very reactive and one of their favorite things to react with is…protein, as in, the body’s protein. That means every single part of the body is at risk. In fact every single cell of the body is at risk to damage from this burning process which is called glycation. And by the way fructose is a lot more susceptible to glycation than glucose. Which is another reason to stay away from high fructose corn syrup.
Fructose is also associated with elevated uric acid levels and all the fructose we’re ingesting may be one of the reasons why gout, which is a type of arthritis is becoming such a problem. Incidence of gout is increasing and it’s especially increasing among women.
Because of the chemical nature of fructose, it is more likely to react with proteins than glucose, some studies say 10 times more likely. Now, cell receptors are made of protein and because they’re the link to hormones like insulin and thyroid hormone and digestive hormones, you can see how this glycation process, which remember is the result of eating too many potatoes and Twinkies can wreak havoc on multiple systems in the body.
So you’re stomach’s bothering you or your thyroid’s not working like it should for example and you go to the doctor, what’s he or she gonna do? Probably put you on some drug like Synthroid or Lomotil to do what? To TREAT THE SYMPTOM!!! And that’s a classic example of why our medical model doesn’t work.
Now glycation can affect a lot of other biological systems. Take the vasculature. Because blood vessels are in large part composed of proteins like collagen, glycation issues can weaken blood vessels leading to cardiovascular issues like stroke and aneurysms. The body attempts to patch up weak vasculature with cholesterol, so now you’ve got plaques. And what’s pharmaceutical solution? Of course it’s a statin drug that stops the liver from making cholesterol. Or some well-meaning medical person will tell you to stop eating fatty or cholesterol-rich foods. But the problem isn’t cholesterol. That’s just the symptom. Once again if you back track far enough upstream you’ll find the problem is very likely too much sugar. It’s a dietary problem. It’s a food problem. It’s a lifestyle problem. It’s a choice problem.
And that’s the good news, that’s The bright side! We’re not sick or defective, we’re simply making the wrong choices.
Glycation of the vasculature in the extremities, the fingers and toes and hands and feet can cause neuropathies, nerve pain and can even lead to amputations. Glycation in the small blood vessels in the eye can ultimately lead to blindness. And diabetes is a well known cause of both amputations and blindness.
When it comes to the skin, which is my area of expertise, now you’ve got glycation-caused accelerated skin aging. That means photodamage and wrinkles. Wrinkles are caused by breakdowns in skin proteins and one of the leading causes is sugar glycation. If you’re eating the standard American diet of soda pop and desserts grains and fruits, and you’re worried about wrinkles and skin aging it’s not gonna do you much good to stay out of the sun.
And I don’t if they’re whole or processed or whatever, grains are a major source of sugar . Especially corn! Glycation and sugar reactions are far more dangerous to skin health than any reasonable exposure to the sun.
And then there’s cellulite. One of the causes of orange-peel cellulite, and there are several factors involved, but one of the things that happens is connective tissue, in other words proteins, like collagen break down. Connective tissue, which is located in the bottom layers of the skin, which is called the dermis, acts to separate fat into little compartments or chambers. When sugar attacks, glycates connective tissue it degrades it ,and the fat can now leak out. And viola, you’ve got your wonderful orange-peel, cottage cheese look.
So, while there are many factors involved in the formation of cellulite in many ways it can be considered a connective tissue disorder. So if you’re eating lots of glycating sugars it doesn’t matter how much cellulite cream you put on.
There’s lots of nutrients you can take to protect yourself from the ravages of sugar and glycation and for skin health, connective tissue health, circulatory health, for looking good and feeling good, we’ve got to begin to address the impact of the choices we make around the foods we eat and ensure we are supplementing with quality nutritional supplements.
How much Sugar
are you eating?
“If I Can’t Always Afford Grass-Fed Beef, What Should I Buy?”
June 5, 2012 in Categories: by ThePaleoMom
We all know that grass-fed meat is much healthier for us than “conventional” grain-fed meat, but it can be expensive, especially when we venture away from ground meat and start looking at roasts and steaks. Free-range poultry can be even more expensive. And just how healthy is pastured pork? If you can’t afford to have all of your meat come from grass-fed, pastured, and wild sources, which of the conventional meats are your best bet?
In an attempt to help you figure out where your money is best spent, I have ranked meats (including grass-fed and conventional) from best to worst. In many cases, the difference between a higher ranked and lower ranked meat is fairly small. In an ideal world, the majority of your meat would come from the top 4. Variety is still important, both because it tends to keep us happy but also because we do get different amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals from different cuts of meat and from different animals.
From best to worst:
1. Organ Meat from Grass-fed Beef, Bison or Lamb: Organ meat is more densely packed with just about every vitamin and mineral and when it comes from grass-fed sources, the fat content is also extremely healthy. Organ meat also has the benefit of typically being cheaper than muscle meat. Ideally, organ meat should be consumed at least twice each week. Organ meat from wild game (provided the animal is an herbivore, so think caribou but not bear since bear liver can be toxic for human consumption) falls under this category.
2. Wild-Caught Fish: Ideally, wild-caught fatty fish should be consumed at least three times each week. This can include cheaper sources of fish such as canned wild-caught salmon or sardines. Frozen wild-caught pink salmon can typically be found fairly inexpensively. Salmon is in season in the late summer and early fall, so look for sales that time of year.
3. Grass-fed Beef, Bison, Lamb, Venison or Goat: You can read more about the nutritional superiority of grass-fed meat in this post. Ground meat is always the cheapest. Some local farmers will sell you anywhere from 1/8th to a whole animal for a very discounted rate (sometimes as cheap as $2/lb). Look for sales from US Wellness Meats and GrassFed Traditions.
Wild Game: It is possible to buy wild game if hunting is not among your hobbies.
Organ Meat from Pastured Pork and Free-Range Chicken: The fat profile is not quite as good as from grass-fed and finished ruminants.
Farmed White Fish: White fish is typically very lean even when farmed. Tilapia and cod are probably the most affordable depending on where you live.
Conventional Organ Meat: Conventional organ meat usually means chicken liver or kidney, calf’s liver, or beef liver or kidney since anything else can be pretty hard to find. The fat profile is less favorable than grass-fed/pastured animals, but the organs still contain denser nutrition than muscle meat. Because it’s fed more grass, calf’s liver would be the healthiest choice here.
Farmed Fatty Fish (like salmon): Depending on how farmed fish are fed, the fat profile can be quite different compared to their wild brethren.
Pastured Pork and Free-Range Poultry: The diets of these animals are typically supplemented with grain. Look for ones that are not fed soy or corn if you can.
Conventional Lamb and Veal: These animals do spend some time in pasture and do eat at least some grass.
Lean Cuts of Beef: Even though marbling makes for a tender steak, they typically contain 10-15 times more omega-6 than omega-3.
Lean Pork: Usually the lighter colored the meat, the lower the fat content.
Fatty Cuts of Conventional Beef and Pork: Ideally, this would only be an occasional treat.
Conventional Chicken and Turkey: Does it surprise you to see chicken at the bottom of my list? This was surprising information for me too. Battery-raised chicken can have some of the highest omega-6 content of any meat, especially in the thighs and skin. This used to be the foundation of my diet, but now I limit non-pastured chicken to 2 times per week (working toward only pastured chicken once I can afford it).
Organic veggies ?
There are some foods that I highly recommend people either buy organic or even better from farmers markets which often have more nutrients than commercial organic. Or at least 'spray free'.
(There is a 3rd wonderful option in a country where organic food is rare; a food detoxifier / ozone machine which safely removes pesticides, antibiotics etc both on the surface of foods as well as systemically - Read this post to know more).
Organic or farmers market produce will normally be higher in nutrient content if grown in decent soil or at least not covered in pesticides and herbicides. This applies to animals and plants.
Top of the list is to avoid conventional, pasteurised dairy, as we swallow what the animal has eaten. Look for grass fed or pasteured animals, free from antibiotics and hormones. The same goes with eggs.
Concerning veggies and fruit, below is a chart that Environmental Working Group has put together - “dirty dozen” guide to the food you need to buy organic. By using these guidelines and only choosing organic varieties of the dirty, you can reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides by 80%.
The clean 15 are generally much lower in these toxins. EWG reports that eating the 15 least contaminated foods when you can’t afford to buy organic can cut your pesticide exposure from 10 a day to 2 a day on average.
Always wash them in vinegar and water to reduce the topical residue even more.
DIY PRODUCE WASH
Did you know that removing surface pesticides can be done with vinegar and water?
Just two ingredients to healthier & cleaner food!
Fill up a large bowl or your kitchen sink (pre-cleaned, of course!) with
1 part vinegar and 4 parts water.
Let your fruits/vegetables soak in this mixture for up to an hour (non-organic apples can soak for an additional 30 minutes to an hour).
Remove from the basin & give them another quick rinse with water
Read to eat
See the residue that came off the food in the basin.
This mixture also helps to extend the life of your fruits and vegetables so that they last longer without spoiling.
A better option which does this on the inside of your produce as well as meats, grains, nuts etc is the Okamizu Food Detoxifier.
EFA's nutrients we can't live without
To see the importance of fats on a cellular level relating to disease, read here how it can impact conditions like cancer.
Your body knows what you need. Your mind often tells you to substitute a deeper need with a certain desired food.