Of the three principles that I try to promote with a Primal Nature lifestyle the EAT element is probably the most important. Whenever I work with people I try and have them address their food choices before anything else, the movement and lifestyle changes can come later down the road.
The stuff you put in your mouth has a huge effect on on the body and not always in a good way. The negative effects can go beyond just weight problems, intolerance to food leads to many underlying problems and we are seeing more evidence all the time how food can affect us, diabetes, IBS, leaky gut, and blood pressure issues plus many more can be traced back to dietary intake.
So what is going wrong?
There are many roads to talk about with this one but a big one in my mind is we are not eating natural real food any more. I have heard the phrase "Food like substance" used before and I think it is good term for describing what people are eating these days. Just because it can go in your mouth doesn't make it food, or a least food that gives you any real nutritional value. Even the things that we are told are healthy is not real food, bread, pasta and low fat anything don't have much nutritional value, particularly when you put it against foods like liver, eggs and fresh vegetables.
Cereals are said to be healthy, good old healthy whole grains fortified with vitamins and minerals for a healthy breakfast. Ever asked why they are fortified? Its because they have no nutritional value if they don't fortify them. Then consider the added sugar and other rubbish that goes into making them and they are not as healthy as we are lead to believe.
We are seeing a steady rate of decline in the health of humans, this decline has been more rapid in recent times but it began in the middle of the last century when processed foods began to be more available. Go back to before this relatively recent time and people were still eating real food, they may have been having and potatoes and bread as a staple but they had no access to the other things that are available today. They would also cook with good fats from butter and lard as there was not the fat phobia that has been instilled into population now.
Back in 1992 the food guide pyramid was introduced by the Food and Agriculture Organization then in 2011 the myplate. Both promote that the majority of your food should come from grain based foods at the base of the pyramid with fats and sweets at the top. (Is this a coincidence that an Agricultural organization recommended this?) It reinforces the low fat diet mantra and totally overlooks the fact that dietary carbohydrate from any source is going to be metabolised the same way whether it's sugary sweets or whole grain bread it going through the same process. (Overlooked or pushed to the side? Probably another blog post)
Food pyramid- From safefood.eu
The other option?
Flip the pyramid on its head, forget the grain based food there is no essential level of dietary carbohydrate. The body can produce all it needs from protein and even fat at a ketogenic level. However we do have essential fats and proteins that we need to get from our diets.
Primal food pyamid - from marksdailyapple.com
Following a Primal diet means cutting out all the processed foods, and eating a wide variety of foods that would closely resemble what our primal ancestors would have been able to find. There is not a definitive ancestral diet, it would vary depending on the location and season but they would only have been eating foods that were available in their surroundings.
So to bring this rant to an end, whatever dietary approach you take i'm sure we can all agree that the foundation really should be too EAT REAL FOOD it just makes sense.
If you have any questions then please ask in the comments section.
Keep it primal