Sunday, January 27, 2013

What to believe out there

What to believe……..
There is so much information out there about health, weight loss, nutrition etc.  It is frankly very overwhelming, conflicting, and confusing.  So how do you know who or what is right?  Well I will attempt to express my views of the information I hear and how I make my own decisions.  At the end of the day, you have to make your own decisions.  If you continue to listen to all the information out there then you may end up back where you started and will not make any positive changes in your life.  Do not make dramatic changes based on an article or a book, or some theories, listen to reason and be careful.
There are 3 points I want to make before I begin:

First: Anything the government supports or tells you should be questioned.  I am a very political person and a very suspicious one.  Most of what the government tells you related to health and nutrition is determined by greed and special interest groups.  The food pyramid that most of us where taught has now been replaced.  In addition, just look at what they feed kids in school and call it nutritious.  If that does not scare you then you may want to stop reading this because nothing else I have to say will have an impact.  When special interest, big food and the Meat and Dairy Industry are deciding what is best you had better be careful.

Second: Our medical community is awesome at emergency care; however, they have failed society in proving proper information about staying healthy and preventing disease.  I am not stereotyping all those in the profession, many are overwhelmed, and their patients simply do not listen to them.  Look at it this way, there is very little difference between the health of those in the profession and the rest of society.  I am not saying they are intentionally misleading us, I am just saying that they are not providing all the right information to make us healthier.  Most healthcare professionals get little training on nutrition and there are few in the profession that make the connection between diet and chronic disease.  We have become the society of the pill to fix us.  Medication hardly ever cures anything, it only mask the symptoms.  How many people take heart medication and are cured?  The only cure is to change your lifestyle. 
Third: Studies, Studies, Studies!  You know there are tons of studies out there; however most of them focus on a particular food, nutrient or chemical!  The problem is we take an idea, demonstrate the value of that one idea and then we think this is the way to good health.  No matter what you hear, you cannot take a single food item and let it be the cure for all the other bad habits we have.

Ok, now on to interpreting all the information!  Here is my reasoning process.  First, I believe that God has given us the capability of living long, healthy lives and we can sustain ourselves on the food he gave us to live on.  If you accept this premise then the rest of this will make sense.  There is a bit of a conflict here, I have decided not to eat meat and limit animal base products (dairy, eggs, etc).  Others believe that God gave us animals and we should eat them and their products.  I will not argue that point here so you have to make your own decisions on that reasoning.
If we go back to nature and eating natural products then we would consume lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts in their natural state.  Today we take these foods and process them and make them into foods devoid of almost all of its natural nutrition.  Now we put nutrients back into the food in the form of chemicals and then say it is healthy.  Our bodies will only thrive when food is eaten in it natural state or lightly cooked!  Because of all the processing and additives, our food has changed.  In addition, the food industry has taken things like Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup and they are adding it to everything!  We must go back to basics and not rely on the industry to provide the information about our food.

When you hear about diets, fads or trends you have to ask yourself if the information supports a natural whole foods position.  If not, then for me it is a false claim! 

Going back to nature will always be the best option.  We cannot read labels that make health claims and assume it is true, you must look at the ingredients.  When you start to read the back of packages then you will be better educated.  When you see labels with more than 5-7 ingredients then be careful.  If you see ingredients that you do not understand, be careful.  When you see sugar, high fructose corn syrup then it has been highly refined or modified.  Many products that we have become a staple are simply horrible for us, examples include margarine, low fat milk, cereal, soy (because it is genetically modified, aka GMO), white flour, white rice, and many more.
Keep your meals simple, reduce the meat and dairy, limit sweets, and do not cook from boxes/packages.  I heard once that if your grandparents would not recognize the food or ingredients then you should not eat it.

I know this is very hard to do, we are inundated with processed and modified foods but with a little effort, it can be done.  One thing that helps me is taking my own food wherever we go.  Fruits, nuts, salads, healthy natural snacks, etc.  Plan ahead and enjoy the journey.

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