This is Part 2 of the down-home, Wayne County, West Virginia, plan and simple, completely unprofessional guide on how to eat. If you missed Part 1 be sure to check it out on the blog.
First we will have a quick review of the points discussed in the last edition. The main idea is to eat real food. By real food I mean whole foods. It is very important that you can look down at what you’re eating and identify what it is made of. All foods are made from either plant sources or animal sources. The closer it is to its original source, the better it is going to be for you.
The second point was to limit sugar and artificial sweetener intake. Both of these should be taken very seriously as they can be detrimental to your health. Stick to natural sources of sugar: whole fruits, honey, and maple syrup. And avoid refined, manufactured sugars like corn syrup and laboratory-engineered artificial sweeteners like splenda, aspartame and sucralose, as these are toxic substances.
The last episode ended with a rant about things to avoid. This is where we will continue.
1. Avoid Hydrogenated Oils and Fats.
This is a seriously dangerous element in a lot of grocery store “food” that is killing us! Hydrogenation is a process of modifying natural oils and fats into a form that is more shelf-stable, thus lengthening the expiration date on a lot of common “foods” found in stores today.
In hydrogenation, the chemical structure of the oil is changed. It is made by forcing hydrogen gas into oil at a high pressure, using metals like nickel and aluminum as catalysts. This creates a more solid oil with a higher melting point. Sound like something you want to put into your body?
Hydrogenated oils are found in many processed foods; including cakes and pastries, peanut butter, low fat versions of crackers and chips, and of course fast food.
Have you ever eaten a meal and felt like you swallowed a giant rubber ball? That’s because hydrogenated oils are one molecule away from being plastic. The more hydrogenated oils you consume the more dense and viscous your blood becomes, making the heart work harder to pump blood and increasing the risk of arterial plaque buildup, also known as blood clots. And imagine the work the stomach and pancreas must do to even attempt to digest these oils. It is best just to stay away from them!
2. Avoid MSG and other chemicals
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is found in a lot of foods and can hide under a variety of names on ingredient labels. So its best to avoid foods with multiple ingredients that sound like names of villains in superhero movies.
MSG is used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in many processed foods. The key component in MSG is glutamic acid. It is considered to be a “flavor enhancer” not because of its taste, but because of the mouth feel it creates when combined with certain foods, making them appear more hearty and savory.
MSG is often found in canned soups, microwave meals, meat tenderizers, seasonings, canned meats, hot dogs, sausages and types of jerky. Some of its immediate side effects are numbness and heart palpitations.
MSG is an excitotoxin, meaning it excites your cells to the point of damage or death (of the cell). This can cause brain and organ damage to varying degrees, which obviously causes illness and disease of many sorts.
The reason this happens is because glutamic acid is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body. Abnormal function of glutamate receptors is clearly a hindrance to a healthy functioning body, so again it is best to just stay away from MSG and all of the other 6,000 chemicals the FDA allows manufacturers to put into our “foods”
3. So what can I eat?
I know you’re probably thinking, I can’t eat this, this is bad for me, this is causing harm, which foods out there are OK?
The answer: whole foods! Whole meats, whole fruits, whole legumes, whole eggs, whole vegetables. We want food as close to its natural source as possible. The fewer ingredients in your food the better! You have a living body. Fill it with living food. The faster a food rots at room temperature, the better it is for you! That’s because foods that decompose quickly are full of enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.
If a food can naturally decompose, that means your body can easily digest and use all its healthy, natural goodness; just the way the Earth intended you to.
All foods, even chemical laden processed food products with long shelf lives originally came from plants or animals. All plants and animals are made of cells (think 6th grade science class). When YOU are the one who breaks these cells (by crushing them with your teeth) all their wholesome nutrients have been preserved up to that point, after which your stomach can absorb them and your body can use them. If a scientist, machine, lab laser or chemical breaks open these cell walls before you do, you probably should not eat that food.
In conclusion, I must confess that when my cousins are in town, we eat hotdogs. Sometimes, late at night, I’ll sneak downstairs for a bowl of lucky charms. And when one of the many, lovely Wayne County ladies I know offers me a brownie or piece of cake, I graciously accept. I put a lot of value on feeling good and having fun. I am not asking you to give up all the foods you love. I am only asking you to choose whole foods and nutrients first. The boost in energy levels, mental clarity, weight loss and other health benefits will speak for themselves!