Unless you want to be ill and die young..
This isn’t a blip like WW1 plus the Spanish flu combo. This is a downwards trend since 2015.
Where’s it going to stop? And what’s happening to our quality of life?
Chronic disease is on the up and up, rising since 2001 by 11% to over half the world’s population, according to WHO. That means you’re more than likely to become ill. Sooner or later.
Previously the increase in chronic disease was blamed on the aging population but now those ideas are diverging.
What may be to blame? How might you escape being a part of those rapidly reversing statistics?
Well, here’s a thought. Try fulfilling the most fundamental reason to eat; nourishing yourself.
Provide yourself with enough nutrients to allow steadfast interaction with your environment.
That honking, stressful, over-dopamined, keep-up-with-the-Jones’, over-fed, under nourished, ring ring, beep beep, oh Christ how do I look in this photo? world we call the present.
A good diet is as much about what you don’t eat as it is about what you do.
In the developed world we’re overfed yet undernourished. Junk has taken over.
This is because we concern ourselves with calories first and believe by maintaining a certain amount below a given number everything is hunky-dory. That’s the excuse we need.
And all the while we miss the real reason we eat, to obtain nutrients.
If you eat nourishing foods -unfashionable or a pain to prepare by today’s standards- the calories will take care of themselves. And, for the most part, so will your health.
3 Foods to throw away forever
So, here’s my list of three foods you should throw away leaving space for you to enjoy real food that was born or grown and has not had to go via some chemical process.
Highly Refined Grains
Highly refined grains are used as the backbone in many junk foods. By avoiding them you will by default swerve many things that are best thrown away.
They add little in the way of nutrients. In fact, are so lacking that synthetic vitamins and minerals are added. This is called fortification and has been a necessary step in counteracting nutrient deficiencies in the past.
Who said supplementing vitamins and minerals doesn’t work? Oh God, make your minds up!
So much choice!
We live in a developed world of abundance. So much choice! We’re positively drowning in dietary decisions.
So, why go for a highly refined grain like white bread, pasta, when you can go for a different more nutrient dense type? It’s because you don’t like them isn’t it?
Einkorn, rye, spelt, buckwheat, kamut, and other old fashioned grains made with a sourdough starter rather than modern bakers yeast -more easily digested because the fermentation breaks down those harder to digest properties within grains- and the list goes on, get discovering! Why don’t you try different ones for a change? Go on, get out of that rut!
Or you can remove them completely, there’s no such thing as a gluten deficiency.
Here’s why I don’t like them
I don’t particularly like grains fullstop. I think they emerged from a time of famine in brittle environments after we successfully wiped out most of the really large and tasty mammals symbiotic with the lush grasslands. Sahara! But that’s another story.
A little processing goes a long way
Sprouting grains, i.e. soaking and then allowing to sprout for a day or so -buy in health food stores- is a way of reducing the protective chemicals plants have within them, collectively called anti-nutrients. Gluten is an example.
If you’re unwell I would highly recommend you do this or skip cereals all together. Those robustly healthy may well be getting away with it. For now.
Sprouted bread is the only type I eat by the way -v rarely- and unlike the other types, is the only one that doesn’t make me feel unwell.
Sugar is added to almost everything. You can’t even buy peanut butter without the manufacturers altering the recipe so that you just can’t stop eating it!
Eating added sugars -often hidden within foods under one of over 68 different names- is an excellent way of becoming overweight and ill.
Not only are you adding lots of energy to your diet which you don’t burn off -bed, train, office, train, sofa, bed, repeat- you’re also prodding your hormonal system multiple times per day.
Nothing likes being prodded.
Cutting a long story short this combination of things will create extra adiposity (fat) and cause disease. Lots and lots of them.
Avoid added sugars and you swerve junk foods. Can you see a pattern emerging?
Vegetable oils were brought into our lives in about 1910 when the processing of them became cheap. Make no mistake, these oils are a food technology that should never have been. Read this for more info.
On the face of it they’re good value but they have brought with them misery and death on an unimaginable scale.
At the turn of the 20th century people were still using animal fats daily and heart disease was rare. By 1950 it had become the biggest killer.
They are not cheap after all.
What are vegetable oils?
I have a rule of thumb; if the oil comes from something that is not obviously oily then don’t eat it, ever.
Canola, soybean, corn oil, cottonseed, safflower, margarines, often hydrogenated, sunflower, see a comprehensive list.
That large plastic container next to your stove right now, use it on your bike chain!
Olives, avocados and coconuts are all fruits and obviously oily. So that’s two reasons why they escape my rule and are therefore not something you need to avoid.
Vegetables oils are used heavily in frying foods, like in the chippy, or most restaurants sadly. That’s the real reason why chips (french fries) are pure junk and not just potatoes!
What’s the major problem?
The major problem with these oils is -aside from never having eaten them in our evolution- that they are easily damaged in the extensive processing.
Remember my rule of thumb, about things that are not obviously oily? Well, the processing of those plants drags oil from them and in the process damages it.
Predominantly polyunsaturated fats are easily damaged, like snowflakes minus the wonder of nature thing.
They are damaged (oxidised) by heating. But we cook with them all the time, oh shit!
They are also damaged by the chemicals and other processes which allows them to exist. Check out the chart below.
Just have a look at some of those words! Caustic refining, pre-bleach, post-bleach, dewaxing, plasticization just one step before margarine!
This isn’t food, plain and simple. Do not eat this crap.
If you take one thing from this article it’s this; stop eating vegetable oils.
They are the true wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sold to us like they were doing us a favour and stabbing us in the heart.
If you want to know more about how vegetable oils (not fruit) can cause inflammation via oxidation have a read of this (R) or the actual paper if you’re more of a geek (R). Also a rat study (you’re not permitted to poison people in trials! (R).
It’s about junk really
If you combine these three things; highly refined grains, added sugars and vegetable oils you get something like a donut.
It’s all smiles, taste explosions and pretty boxes but I kid you not.
These foods will shorten your life and the quality of it.
There are many other foods that I classify as junk but if you minus those three ingredients you’re well on your way to being healthier and happier!
Stop waiting until Monday, or next month, or lent or whatever. Do it today. Stop snacking because that’s where these foods live for the most part.
If they’ve taken over main meals you’re in real trouble.
Ask yourself, what role do these foods play in your life?
Make sure you are eating nutrient dense foods, reconnect with your kitchen, make time for it because if you don’t disease will make time for you.
Picture yourself in a few months. You’ve successfully removed this junk from your diet and you’re feeling amazing. Back into the old jeans you wore at uni -shame they’re boot cut-, your skin is glowing, your energy is up and your boss thinks you’re the best. Cha ching.
Don’t let this shitty food screw with your life.