With Easter Sunday behind us and many half eaten Easter eggs laying ravaged on our living room tables, waiting to be polished off in front of the TV today, I thought it could be the perfect time to start talking about ‘The 6 Essentials’: Starting with what we eat.
Whether it’s eat to live or live to eat, we all eat. In fact, we eat several times a day when you include snacks. In a time when abundance surrounds us, food is ever-present and nowadays, food does more than sustain life; it greases the wheels of social harmony. From morning business breakfasts and ladies what lunch to evening barbecues with friends; when two or more are gathered together you can bet your bottom dollar that food will be involved.
Generally speaking, our food choices are based on habits, culture, what we like, what we are accustomed to eating, and what we expect the food to do, or not do, for us and to us. The Western world and parts of the East are starting to realize the health hazards associated with eating copious quantities of fatty foods and as such, the current popular trend in diet is toward eating more fruits and vegetables (maybe avoiding carbs – don’t get me started!). Why this style of eating? Well, vegetables and fruits provide needed vitamins and minerals without the undesirable fat. Those in the know have also observed that people with fruit and vegetable centered diets seem to have fewer incidents of cardiovascular disease and other physical issues than those whose diets are meat-centered or high in fat.
“Make Wellness Your Priority”
Research is showing that serious veggie buffs fare better in the health department than heavy meat eaters and it goes far beyond avoiding plugged-arteries. Dietary fat and cholesterol in moderation actually pose little threat to health. Your body needs both, is designed to handle both, and produces both. Your body produces its own cholesterol and, somewhat annoyingly, converts the excess energy-source glucose into fat. The health threat doesn’t actually hide in the fat and cholesterol of the food we eat, but in the fat and cholesterol carriers – high protein foods like meat.
We realize that this is quite a departure from traditional thinking. We have been conditioned to “Get plenty of protein; it builds muscles – you can’t get too much protein!” We are not here to argue the “protein builds muscle” point, but when you find out how your body has to respond to protein by-products you’ll see why any excess protein is really the health damaging culprit rather than the cholesterol and fat. Remember, this is excess protein according to your body’s needs, not according to the RDA.
The amount of protein recommended for adults 19 to 51+ years old ranges from 46 – 63 grams per day. The wide range reflects lower protein needs of older females and higher needs of younger males. In the government’s current effort to make nutrition requirements simple, the 46 to 53 grams of protein translates to 12 -15% of the daily caloric intake. We believe that no matter how you phrase it, that’s too much protein! Half that amount is much more appropriate from your body’s point of view.
There are two internal conditions behind disease: excess acid and inappropriate timing. For now, we’re talking about the toxicity side of the story. Your body becomes toxic when it is too acid and too much dietary protein is the foundation of acidosis toxicity. Your body MUST keep its internal environment slightly alkaline.
The problem with high-protein food is it leaves an acid residue – acid ash, which has to be eliminated somehow. Unlike the acid produced from exercise, the acid from acid ash-producing foods can’t be eliminated through the lungs. It must be neutralized, processed through the kidneys, and eliminated. The Neutralization process uses essential alkaline minerals from your store of neutralizing minerals. These are the alkaline reserve. However, anyone with a bank account knows, even a reserve has a limit. When you take out everything and replace nothing, the reserve is gone. High protein foods are long on protein and short on alkalizing minerals. If you eat mostly high-protein foods, you use more neutralizing minerals than you replace. When this pattern continues for long periods, eventually your alkaline reserve will dwindle and ultimately disappear. A slightly alkaline internal environment is essential to life and health.
Good news! You can replace these minerals. Vegetables and fruits replenish the supply of minerals your body needs to process moderate amounts of dietary acid. And, when you eat mostly vegetables and fruits, you get enough neutralizing minerals in your diet to replenish your alkaline reserve. A well-stocked reserve means a favorable climate inside the body (internal environment).
How can we help maintain a well-stocked reserve? A gradual change to your diet towards 75% vegetables & fruits, and 25% of other foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and grains) is what we recommend at Beyond Physical. What we eat is one of the most important choices we make many times each day. Learning to make the correct choices is paramount for creating the good health we want for ourselves and for everyone.
Remember, if you have a poor diet, a mile away from what we recommend, make changes slowly. Try starting off by adding a portion of vegetables each day and halving one serving of protein. Sudden drastic changes in your diet can be a shock to the system and totally detrimental! Have fun with it and try new things, go for colour… there are a world of foods out there, most of which aren’t beige!
Good luck and be well.
Images courtesy of Google