Healthy Diet

Healthy Diet

 

            Few topics get as much media coverage as diet and nutrition. Almost daily there is a news item claiming why some new health benefit or detriment has been discovered about something we eat or drink. Sometimes we even hear contradictory statements. For years doctors began to discourage the eating of saturated fats as a leading cause of heart disease. Traditional foods like butter were removed from homes and off the menus of restaurants. Now a growing number of health authorities and researchers are beginning to second guess these recommendations which were taken as gospel for the past half century.

            Who's right? Who's wrong? Should we worry at all or just stop paying attention and enjoy ourselves and the food before us? Is eating the most organic, grass fed, locally produced, hormone-free food possible the absolute key to health? As one of my teachers Hakim Archuletta once said, “As long as you do not have hamd (praise) and shukr (gratitude) in your heart, you will not be healthy!” I used to love going to Whole Foods Market in the United States some time back. The choice of organic and wholesome options was amazing and impressive. A times comes, though, when one sees the shelf upon shelf and row after row of choices and begins to ask oneself, “This is a bit too much, isn't it? Choices and options are tremendous blessings from the Creator to the created. Is all of this abundance how we were meant to live? That's another question that begs reflection.

            That being said, our bodies are a trust and what we do with them and put inside them matters. A short summary of how to best nourish ourselves as I have best gathered and understood is as follows:

 

  • Eat What Our Ancestors Ate. This includes traditional manners of food preparation and food ingredients that are not foreign to what our genes have evolved to having become accustomed to.
  • Eat Whole Food over Refined Ones.
  • Eat foods free of toxins to the extent possible, especially with respect to animal products
  • Use unprocessed (or minimally processed) sweeteners in moderation (no white sugar, no high fructose corn syrup)
  • Do not overeat – both in quantity and frequency. Know yourself and recognize when you should not have another single bite at a meal
  • Have periods of fasting. This both increases one's appreciation for food when one has it as well as purifies the body and brain of cellular waste matter and toxins

 

Sources: Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon; Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Toubes; Deep Nutrition, Catherine Shanahan, MD; Brain Maker, David Perlmutter, MD.