Did you know that the major causes of unhealth that result in 85 percent of all deaths are health issues that can be addressed through diet and lifestyle changes?
The good news is that you can learn how to make healthy changes in your life, starting with learning how to eat to live.
Proper diet is imperative for extraordinary health, but since the mid-20th century, the standard American diet has lost its nutritional power due to factors such as:
- Commercial farming methods resulting in mineral-deficient soil; an over-reliance on pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs used in raising livestock.
- The popularity of fast-food, processed foods and junk foods with chemical additives, unhealthy fats and trans-fatty oils, white flour and refined starches—all with low to no nutritional value.
- Environmental pollutants which poison our air, land, water and food.
The first thing to remember in eating to live is to eat what has been created for food and eliminate or at least minimize processed, commercially grown food. The second thing is to eat foods in a form that is healthy for the body. Emphasize a whole-foods diet rich in the highest quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. These are found in foods and beverages like organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, pure water, cultured beverages and organic, free-range meat and poultry products.
Macronutrients and Micronutrients
Macronutrients are nutrients required in the highest amounts; micronutrients are essential dietary elements required in only small quantities. Our bodies require the three macronutrients protein, carbohydrates and fats. Proteins supply energy and provide the structural components necessary for growth and repair of tissue. Carbohydrates and fats function to supply energy. Vitamins and minerals are needed in small quantities (micronutrients), but are essential for normal growth, muscle response, health of the nervous system, digestion, production of hormones and metabolism of nutrients.
Eat What Has Been Created for Food
Eating what has been created for food includes consuming a diet rich in healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats found in lean wild meats, poultry and fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, properly prepared grains and healthy sweeteners and beverages. Consuming whole foods (unprocessed foods) is key. Organic foods are recommended. They’re foods without commercial pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics and preservatives.
Include healthy proteins, which are the building blocks of organs, muscles, nerves, enzymes and hormones. Only animal proteins, like meat, eggs and dairy, contain all of the essential amino acids and are complete protein sources. Recommended animal proteins are properly raised beef, lamb, buffalo, venison and other clean red meats; fish with fins and scales from oceans and rivers; chicken, turkey and other poultry raised in a free-range setting.
Carbohydrates provide energy needed to drive bodily chemical processes. The simple sugars eaten by our ancestors were highly nutritious fruits and vegetables, raw honey and sprouted/germinated grains. (Sprouting and germination allows grains to come alive, making nutrition within the seed available.)
Healthy fats are necessary. Here’s why:
- Fats are building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters (messages from your brain to your body that make you think, feel and move).
- Fats slow down food absorption so you can go longer without feeling hungry.
- Fats are needed to absorb and use vitamins A, D, E & K.
- Fats help to keep us warm and cushion organs.
- The brain is 60 percent fat and needs fat for connecting brain cells and making sure signals get through.
It is important to get healthy fats, so include foods such as properly raised beef, ocean-caught fish and free range, organic high-omega-3 eggs. Choose grass-fed, free range or organic meats because when animals graze on their natural diet of greens, their diet is automatically rich in these essential fats.
Remember, eating food that is healthy, useable and health-promoting for the body—natural, organic, unprocessed and properly prepared—provides food that is high in nutrients, easily digestible and free of chemicals and additives.
The Perils of Modern Processing, Additives, Preservatives, etc.
Since the early 1900s whole grains have been routinely processed, removing most of their nutritional content, and the average diet has been comprised of processed foods rather than fresh foods. The past two generations have literally grown up on highly-processed fast foods, leading to diets of:
- Increased sugar, refined grains and flour
- Pasteurized, homogenized, skimmed dairy products from antibiotic and hormone-laden cows
- Unhealthy fats (such as trans-fatty-acid laden hydrogenated oils)
- Soda (one of America’s most popular beverages)
- Junk foods with little or no complex carbohydrates, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and never meant for human consumption.
Whole Foods and Organic Foods
Remember, consuming whole foods (unprocessed) is key to eating the healthiest way, and organic foods—foods lacking commercial pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, hormones and preservatives—are recommended. Whole foods contain all the essential nutrients and other important natural compounds, and have not been highly processed or loaded with man-made chemicals.
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