A Natural and Non-Toxic Diet
The core of the dietary suggestions that you will find in this blog revolve around avoiding toxicity. It is clear that people perform well on all sorts of diets. There are inherent and scientifically supported benefits to following a fat-based diet, and that is a key focus at the meditating man blog (For a detailed look into this topic see our post The Primal Origin of the Human Diet.) However, that does not mean that people who have a carbohydrate-based diet cannot perform at the top of their class and live happy and healthy lives. The key to using diet to avoid detrimental health outcomes, and to promote mental clarity, is not to avoid specific macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and protein. The key is to make sure that those nutrient sources don’t harm you along the way. This is not as complicated as it seems. There is a place for all natural nutrient/energy sources in the human diet.
We are constantly hit with a barrage of information regarding what makes a “healthy diet”, so much so that the majority of people have just tuned out the conversation.
Fat is bad. Carbs are good.
Carbs are bad. Fat is good.
Protein is good because it helps you build muscle, but wait doesn’t it cause cancer?
At this point, I don’t blame anyone for just deciding to take the path of least resistance and eat whatever pops up on the next T.V. commercial. This is where the problem starts. The media has totally manipulated supposedly “science-based” information to support their sponsors. There is so much data shoved in everyone’s face that people just don’t know what choices to make, so they rely on “health authorities” to make those decisions for them. That is why you see “doctor formulated” prepackaged foods to help you lose weight, despite the fact that the advice of these same “authorities” is what made so many people overweight in the first place.
It’s time for a change in perspective. It’s time to eat real amounts of real food. It’s time to eat natural foods, packaged by nature and not machines, the way our traditions and environment have taught us to eat them.
Ingesting anything has the potential to be toxic. 7 quarts of water can be toxic if it is consumed quickly enough. When people think of toxins and food, most people associate this concern with pesticide residue left on them before eating them. Did it ever occur to you that many plants have their own natural pesticides to protect them against insects and mold? Did you know that many plants do not want to be eaten by humans or other animals?
The following is a brief overview of Food Toxicology that I have summarized from the book “The Perfect Health Diet” by Paul and Shou Ching Jaminet.
1st Rule: Animal foods are generally nontoxic. I know, I know, this flies in the face of a lot of the stuff we’ve been told by health “authorities”. However, if you think about it for a moment it makes complete sense. What benefit would a living breathing animal have from harbouring toxins in their own body? These animals are so similar to us humans that it would be detrimental to their own health to contain toxins in their flesh. If a meat becomes toxic, it is generally caused by external bacteria that gets involved after the animal dies and is improperly slaughtered.
2nd Rule: All plants make toxins. I know, I know, this another slap in the face if you rely on food manufacturers for dietary advice. Plants have a much, much different biology than us animals. They can make toxins that are safe to them, but poisonous to us. A plant can’t run away, but that does not mean it is happy to be eaten! Due to their lack of mobility, being poisonous is a great way to get ahead in the race to world domination. How dangerous these toxins are can vary, in particular during different stages of their life cycle. This is why uncooked beans can be very toxic while their sprouts are not an issue.
3rd Rule: The dose makes the poison. Since everything is toxic depending on how much of it is consumed, the key is to make the dosage low enough that it not a concern. This is good news since variety is the spice of life. If you eat too much of a single food you are much more likely to have problems with the toxins that it makes. The Jaminets site a report from the New England Journal of Medicine as follows:
“Recently, an 88-year-old woman was taken to the emergency department at New York University’s Tisch Hospital by her family. She had been unable to walk or swallow for three days and soon entered a coma Her life was saved by an I.V. of thyroid hormone, but she needed four weeks in the hospital before she could be moved to a nursing home. The cause of her trouble? She had been eating 2 to 3 pounds of raw bok choy daily for several months in the hope that it would help control her diabetes (link to NEJM article).”
4th Rule: Beware of Legumes. Grains, beans, nuts and seeds are all seeds. Seeds are the root of a plant’s survival as a species. It should be no surprise then that they are the most heavily defended by toxins. From the perspective of evolution, it’s OK if the plant dies as long as it can pass its seeds to the next generation. While the flesh of a fruit or vegetable may be nourishing, without processing their seeds will be toxic.
Keeping those four rules in mind, what are the kinds of things we should avoid when we start looking at a way of eating? Please take a look at the following four categories of food to avoid:
Cereal grains (Click HERE for more detail)
Vegetable seed oils (Click HERE for more detail)
Sugar (Click HERE for more detail)
Legumes (Click HERE for more detail)
Click the above links to take a look into these food sources in a bit more detail. (Note: 3 out of 4 of these categories above involve key processes in keeping the plant species in question from extinction.)
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