Nutrition, Evolution, and Having a Healthy Diet
Nutrition has everything to do with health. This isn't news, exactly, but looking around at the crazy information on the market, one wonders if anyone actually makes the connection: what you eat affects how you feel. It's that simple. Your health depends on the food choices you make in both the short and long term.
Take a pill, and all you've done is treat a symptom. Change your eating habits, and create a lasting change in your well-being. There are so many approaches to eating, however, and so much conflicting information that it's come down to this simple question: does whatever you're eating right now make sense?
Well, sense isn't common, and it does depend on some good information. So here is something to consider: what kind of foods are humans evolved to eat? Cheetos? Don't think so. That's a no-brainer, but what about some others that we counted as healthy staples until recently, like bread and pasta. Go way back in your imagination, to hunter gatherer days - before agriculture and the obesity which followed for the first time among humans - and consider what would be part of our ancestors' normal diet. If you're about to pop something into your mouth that wasn't around before agriculture, (a relatively recent development in human history), then eat it knowing it's not considered a 'normal' food by your body. Foods your body considers 'normal' contribute to your health, other foods are either neutral or harmful. How simple is that?
A well-known exploration of this concept that certain foods help our bodies thrive is Dr. Peter D'Adamo's book, "Eat Right 4 Your Type," in which he bases his lists of what to eat and avoid on blood type. D'Adamo asserts that type O is the oldest type, and the newer A type didn't show up on the scene until agriculture. So, Os should eat lots of meat and veg because that blood type doesn't know how to handle too much grain. Type As can eat grain, but not dairy. Dairy is a category reserved as a 'normal' food only for the yet more recent human blood type, AB. (Maybe we'll evolve a new type that can handle Cheetos and red licorice, my personal favorite abnormal foods).
D'Adamo supports his blood-type theory with all kinds of careful research, and so what? Does it make sense that humans should rely primarily on foods that occur naturally? Absolutely. If you're going to eat a grain like wheat then, eat it whole, or don't eat it at all, and don't eat much of it anyway because humans pretty much made wheat up! I'm not going to take the, "Does it occur naturally?" debate too far, because it's time to look at another researcher's take on the food and evolution connection.
Dr. Phillip Lipetz wrote "The Good Calorie Diet," a book for the weight loss market, but he also has supported his theories with all kinds of careful research. His describes how the human response to starvation that was developed during the ice age carries on today. Ironic, isn't it, that the food available to us today - rich and sweet and abundant - causes our bodies to behave as though starvation is at hand.
The short story for how this works is that up until the ice age, humans ate whatever was readily available, like roots, plants, fruit, and a little tasty carrion now and then. Along came the ice ages, and those foods became scarce. Now humans were forced to hunt, but it was dicey and the weapons were primitive, so spans of time occured between kills. The result: our ancestors evolved ways to make the most of the conversion of excess blood sugar into stored nutrition in the form of body fat. When they starved, they lived off stored fat.
Today's diet mimics the ice age diet: high fat and high protein, and our genetic programming says, "Uh oh, we're facing starvation again. Better store up some fat." Lipetz goes into convincing detail about food combinations in his book. He describes some that cause the creation of excess fat, such as butter on bread. More useful are his combinations that actually inhibit fat formation, like lean meat with most vegetables. In a society where obesity and its attendant health issues are rampant, these food combinations are helpful places to focus our attention. Yet the single most useful bit to remember from his research is that foods which cause our bodies to create excess fat all have one thing in common: they weren't part of our ancestors' normal diet.
Armed with this overview, next time you're about to pop something in your mouth - whether your focus is health or weight - you don't need to have a bunch of rules and whacky information in mind. Just use common sense. Ask whether it's a food that was around before the advent of agriculture. If it was, go for it. If it wasn't, then consider that your body won't consider the food 'normal,' and in both the long and short run, that's got health consequences.
Judith Schwader earned a Master's degree in Education, and has written extensively on health and nutrition. She has a background in social science and addressing chronic health conditions through nutrition. Judith invites you to visit http://QandAHealth.com, an excellent resource for health.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Bradford nutrition site to closeKewanee Star CourierBRADFORD â€“ Officials of the MSW Projects of Henry have announced their decision to cease the Bradford area senior citizen nutrition program to the residents of Bradford. â€śThe last meal served at the Bradford Nutrition Site will be on Wednesday ...
Nutrition Connections for Older AdultsThe Keene SentinelWhen you're living alone, cooking good, nutritious meals on a budget can be a challenge. For the older people among us, that task can be even more daunting, as the processed food products that festoon supermarket shelves offer little in terms of actual ...
The Bay Area housing crisis depicted as nutrition labelsSFGateA Berkeley artist's project makes Bay Area housing statistics digestible. Erik Schmitt, a fellow with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, transformed displacement figures into nutrition labels. In lieu of carbs, fats and sugars, Schmitt's "Housing ...
Nutrition, Evolution, and Having a Healthy Diet
Nutrition has everything to do with health. This isn't news, exactly, but looking around at the crazy information on the market, one wonders if anyone actually makes the connection: what you eat affects how you feel.
Ever Hear of This Fruit?
I want to tell you about the most healthful and most delicious tropical fruit that you'd ever want to taste. It's called the mangosteen, and the reason you've probably never heard of it is because you can't buy it in the United States.
The Secrets of the Centenarians: How to Live to 100!
When Helen Boardman was still a girlish 99, she fell in love again--with a younger man."I robbed the cradle," laughs the trim centenarian, who married a man twenty years her junior for "companionship," she says slyly.
Startling New Evidence: You Can Slow the Aging Process, Scientists Say
What if you could actually slow your rate of aging, and live healthier longer, simply by eating certain foods? U.S.
Substitutes for Butter
Instead of Butter: Use top quality, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, from the first pressing, or flaxseed oil. The taste of virgin olive oil is appealing to millions of people around the world, so why not adopt it to your taste?Flaxseed oil is prized for health reasons and not for its taste.
Fruit for Breakfast - The Secret to a Healthy Life
Do you want more energy? How about more of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that your body craves? Try eating fruit for breakfast! Fresh fruit - apples, grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, oranges, kiwi, melon, and grapes all count. In fact, any fruit works - and there are so many to choose from.
Healing Power of 8 Sugars: An Amazing Breakthrough in Nutrition
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
Minimum Health or Maximum Health? That is the Question!
Picture yourself in one of the following scenarios.You're cruising along in your new car by the ocean or in the mountains near the ski lodge, or just a leisurely drive through a beautiful forest or in the country.
Whey Protein Importance
Studies on whey demonstrate it's an even better protein supplement than previously thought. Although whey protein's health benefits have only recently been elucidated, the use of whey protein for medicinal purposes has been prescribed since the time of Hippocrates.
Foods Can Lower Cholesterol and C-reactive Protein
If you have high cholesterol, the American Heart Association's low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat diet will fail you. Even when applied conscientiously, it achieves a disappointingly modest reduction in LDL cholesterol of approximately 7%.
A Home Water Filter - Do We Need To Filter Our Drinking Water?
Do we really need a home water filter? Can't we just assume the water that flows from our kitchen and bathroom tap is sufficiently treated for contaminants by our municipal water facility? In order to answer these questions, we need to obtain a little more background information.Next to air, water is the most important element for our survival.
What on Earth is an Enzyme?
Enzymes are the workers in our body that make everything function, by enabling chemical reactions. All living cells contain enzymes.
Nutrition as Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD Alternative Treatment: Help is as Close as the Kitchen
The quality of food we eat (or lack thereof) has a profound affect on Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. For many people, nutrition alone can effectively work as an ADHD alternative treatment.
Ocular Nutrition and Eye Health Food
Understanding ocular nutrition and eye health can be one of the ways to support your vision. As early as in our 30's, our eyes and vision can begin to deteriorate.
Death, Aging, Rejuvenation (Part 4)
Biological clockObviously you need biological clock to time and alarm the point when you need to die and when you need to age. Aging is the same death as in those one-day butterflies, but a little bit prolonged one.
Oat Bran Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol
The natural antioxidants in Oat Bran can significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels by suppressing the adhesive molecules which make blood cells stick to artery walls, researchers reported.When blood cells stick to artery walls and cause inflammation, plaque deposits build up and narrow the passageways through which blood flows.
Toxic Metal Removal Through Restored Protein Anabolism. Focus: Mercury Toxicity
Toxic metals exist in our environment as pollutants in our air, soil, water and consequently our food supply. We face the added challenge of the toxic metals in our fillings (silver/mercury amalgams) and the thimerosol mercury compound that has been used as preservative for over half a century in our vaccinations.
What is a Healthy Eating Plan?
Healthy eating is important for everyone, from babies to the elderly. Learning to eat well is more than just eating a variety of foods so that your body gets the proper nutrients.
Helping Your Immune System Win The War Against Disease
Just as our country is currently engaged in a war against covert terrorism, your immune system is similarly waging a constant war against the hidden enemies within your body.This war started before you were born and it will continue until you die.
Introduction to Detox Diets
Detoxifying the body has become an apparent key preventative measure to all kinds of health problems. Since most of us are busy, and unable or unwilling to maintain a strict diet in order to completely eliminate all the toxins from our body.