Let’s Get Back To Basics

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Back to Basics

Surprisingly, malnutrition is our leading cause of disease. Yet, when our poor nutrition causes health problems, we almost always blame our illnesses on germs, aging, or faulty genes rather than recognizing it for what it is - poor nutrition.

Partly adapted from an article by Raymond Francis…

According to the World watch institute in Washington, D.C., Americans are among the 1.2 billion people who are starving to death because they eat too much of the wrong kind of food. We are overfed and undernourished; study after study has concluded that almost all Americans are chronically short several nutrients. Meanwhile our excess calories are causing an epidemic of obesity.

A diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat and fish will significantly reduce a person’s risk of disease. Recent studies indicate that 9-13 daily servings of vegetables and fruits are recommended by the USDA. Yet only a handful of Americans eats such a diet. Typical deficiencies include calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, B6, C, E and folic acid.

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Any level of malnutrition will create susceptibility to disease

“one” nutrient will cause disease

Any level of malnutrition will create susceptibility to disease. In fact, a chronic shortage of even “one” nutrient will cause disease. Because of malnutrition more than three out of four Americans suffer from a diagnosable chronic disease. We are not vitamin deficient, we are whole food deficient. Physicians, who typically lack nutrition education themselves, usually tell us wrongly that we get all the nutrition we need from a standard diet. With such misinformation, we tend to make decisions out of ignorance that can be harmful to us.

How did we get ourselves into such a mess?

Our problems started with the industrial revolution as people moved off farms and into cities to work in factories. The challenge to feed all these people led to the birth of commercial farming and the processed food industry. These in turn have led to a dramatic reduction in the nutritional content of our foods, as well as a significant increase in our toxic content.

Food manufacturers almost always favor qualities such a shelf life, taste, appearance and marketability, rather than nutrition and health. The problem is so bad that in 1998 the National Academy of Sciences announced that even those who eat fruits and vegetables are not getting the vitamins they need for good health.

Supplements have become a foundational necessity. Current agricultural technologies to grow food for transport- farms to supermarkets is overwhelmingly destructive. Commercial farming depletes soils of essential minerals. Produce is often harvested before it is ripens so it does not get its full spectrum of nutritional vitality. It is stored for long periods, trucked across the country and subjected to harmful methods that artificially ripen or color produce (gas it) so it looks appealing in the supermarket.

Many produce items have lost much of their integrity by the time they roll down the supermarket checkout lines. Once we get our food home we tend to overcook vegetables which further depletes the nutrients. Too little of our food (virtually none for many people) is eaten “raw”. Some cooking methods, particularly those that use high heat or that char foods, create powerful mutagens, and carcinogens.

The way we eat our foods, such as inadequate chewing, often prevents us from getting optimal nutrition even from people with very good diets. We eat the wrong combinations of foods i.e. meat and potatoes for example which does not digest well, v.s. eating protein with plants.

Most of us are attempting to achieve the impossible in trying to maintain health while eating a diet that does not support health. Although our bellies may be full, malnutrition even those even eating a seemingly “balanced diet ” is our leading cause of disease. We are indeed what we eat, and this cliche should guide the choices we make about our food.

The four worst food choices are…

sugar, white flour, processed oils and milk products. Sadly, this is is the (SAD) Standard American Diet. Processing is the worst robber of all. Handling and preparation methods from extended storage of foods through refrigeration and freezing, to refining, grinding, bleaching, hydrolyzing, hydrogenating, chopping and mashing, rob foods of many nutrients such as vitamins and mineral that we think we are consuming.

Of course, the logical response is to our malnutrition epidemic is to supplement with multi-vitamins. Unfortunately, more than half the population does not supplement on a regular basis and we tend to supplement with the wrong isolated concoctions because we don’t know exactly what our deficiencies are. We just suspect we have them. It becomes a slippery slope.

Most people who do supplement realize few benefits and may be doing harm by overdosing. The vast majority of the vitamin and mineral supplements sold today are of poor quality and none are regulated by the FDA. These supplements do not produce us with the nutrients we think we are getting as they are not absorbed by the body. Even the best selling brands contain toxins.

Dr. William Sears says that 75% of all disease is preventable through diet and Lifestyle.
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What can we do to improve our health?

We need to follow more of Michael Pollan’s advice- “Eat Food, Not too Much, Mostly Plants”. It is for this reason when I heard about Juice Plus+ Whole Food nutrition, it made sense to me. It was food, it was safe, it was proven through years of research and my body knows what to do with it.