You are what you eat …
And its not a good thing
We have received tremendous response from our previous blog: Prevention is better than cure, and we have been flooded with questions and comments.
Many of you told us that they eat “healthy”, according to either the USDA Food Pyramid, or to the more Current USDA My Plate recommendations.
Since the Food Pyramid is seen as the “authoritative” source for nutritional information it has been propagated by the media, by teachers, physicians and nutritionists all over the country.
But do you know where the food pyramid came from?
The USDA Food pyramid began in the late 1800’s by Wilbur Olin Atwater, a PHD in agricultural chemistry. Atwater was tasked and funded by the government to build a respiration Calorimeter for studying Human metabolism.
He determined that the calorie was a means of measuring the efficiency of a diet and that different foods produced different amounts of energy. His research led to the first Published USDA Farmer’s Bulletin which is essentially, the father to the Food Pyramid. He recommended that, for best human metabolism, we should eat more protein, legumes and whole vegetables and limit the intake of Fat, sugar and starchy carbohydrates.
However, over the years, the USDA Nutrition guide evolved and ignored the findings of Dr Atwater and eventually became the food pyramid in the 1990’s. As you can see, both the pyramid and the latest Myplate suggested that a large portion of the diet should consist mainly of High carbohydrate grains and engineered vegetable products such as Bread, cereal, rice and pasta. These are highly processed foods that have little or no nutrition value.
My opinion on the the Food pyramid and “MyPlate” is that it is more catered to the food manufacturing industry and is essentially a marketing tool for the food processing industry.
The pyramid is supposed to promote better health but since it’s introduction in the 1990’s, degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer ,Diabetes, Obesity, Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases are continuing to grow at an alarming rate. Is it really a coincidence? That’s up to you to decide.
Why do we say: “you are what you eat” and its not a good thing?
We look at all aspects of your lives to help you achieve whole life success. However whole life success is meaningless if you are not healthy.
Leading long lives filled with pain and suffering is miserable and certain not ‘Successful’ by our definition.
As a certified Nutrition Coach, I have analyzed the diets of clients and friends over the last 4 years and it doesn’t matter the age, the ethnicities or the sex, almost all of them fall short of what your bodies and cells need for optimal nutrition to fight oxidative stress and to ward off degenerative diseases. Most of them eat enough to meet RDA requirements but only a select few eat close to what they need for optimal nutrition.
What about RDA’s? According to the American Medical Association (AMA), Recommended Daily allowances(RDAs) do little to prevent against chronic degenerative diseases. They were introduced in the 1930’s with minor changes over the years for the the purpose of reducing scurvy, rickets and pellagra. They do an awesome job taking care of these ailments, after all, when is the last time you heard of anyone having scurvy? In 2002, JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association reversed a long standing Anti-vitamin stance by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults.
So whats the difference between RDA and Optimal nutrition.
Here is a list comparing some of the more common Vitamins and Minerals with the Current RDA vs Optimal Nutrition Levels
So lets go over a few diets that most of the clients we studied eat.
First we are in the Bay Area,
SAD Standard American Diet
As you can see all four diets varies in what they provide with the Standard American diet SAD diet being the worst.I guess that is why we call it the SAD diet right? Surprising the typical Chinese diet doesn’t fair that much better. The It Professional is not bad, because they do research and try to eat the right things. But even with Coached ideal diet, you can see you easily reach or exceed RDA levels for proper nutrition but in most cases it still falls short of Optimal levels. That is why we recommend Nutritional supplementation to complement the foods you eat to reach optimal Levels.
Now after you ate all this food, your body needs to break it down so you can absorb the nutrients. Did you know that your body has digestive enzymes that help breakdown your foods before they get to your intestines for digestion. It starts in your mouth when you chew your food releasing Salivary amylase, then on to the stomach where the food is further broken down to a semifluid mass(Chyme) with acids, pepsin, and other enzymes including Gastric Amylase. After about an hour it passes down to the small intestine where the Pancreas releases pancreatic enzymes to further break down the chyme to amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars that your body can use.
But did you know the number of digestive enzymes in your body declines with age; that is why when you were younger, you can eat whatever you wanted and seem to not gain any weight. That is why as we age it would be beneficial to have some added digestive enzymes to breakdown the foods we eat.
Now that the food has broken down in your gut, it comes down to the bacteria in your gut to determine how it would be absorbed into your body. Your gut has what is labeled as good and bad bacteria If you have a lot of good bacteria, your body will absorb what you eat, however if your body has more bad bacteria, it will make you store food as abdominal fat and in some cases crave more of the bad foods such as sugar and processed foods with flour. You can help get more good bacteria by eating probiotics. They come in many forms, mostly fermented, some popular sources of probiotics are Kim Chee, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, miso soup, tempeh, Kombucha, raw cheeses(not pasteurized) and apple cider vinegar.
So if you are not getting your probiotics from any of the foods above, you most likely have more bad bacteria than good bacteria in your body which can affect your body in many ways.
By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could see all of the following health benefits
- Stronger immune system
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
- Destroy candida(bad Bacteria) which causes bad breath
- Healthier skin,probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
- Reduced cold and flu
- Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
- Weight loss
So let me ask you this , are you eating healthy enough to supply your body with optimal nutrition? And more importantly, are you supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics so your body can break down the foods you eat so you can absorb the nutrients.
I will see you next time, until then Love what you live and Live what you love.
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