By Healthy Epicurean on January 23, 2014
For the first time in history, human life expectancy is declining, not increasing. This is due entirely to the obesity epidemic caused by excess sugar and consumption of unnatural foods.
When I talk about ‘real’ food, I mean food in a state as near to natural as possible. I also mean local and seasonal food. Food (particulary fruit and vegetables) that is in local and in season is far richer in nutrients than out-of-season food with jet lag. Added to this, we need more of certain nutrients at different times of the year. For example, in summer, melons and figs are in season, both of which are excellent souces of potassium needed to replace electrolytes lost through perspiration. Citrus fruits — which ripen in winter — are full of vitamin C and immune-boosting powers. Asparagus, ready to eat in the Spring, is an excellent detoxifier and diuretic to get the body ready for Summer.
Plastic food on the other hand, is food that has been tampered with – processed, injected with chemicals, subjected to procedures of one kind or another. I also consider unripe fruit and vegetables that have been picked before they are ripe and then travelled half way around the world to be ‘plastic’ to some extent. Even the humble egg can come into this category. (Don’t even get me started on egg-whites in cartons. If eggs were meant to have no yolk, chickens would be born anaemic.) And egg-white omelettes – what on earth is that all about? Go on! Live life on the edge and eat the yolk as well. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s got a list of ingredients printed on the side, don’t eat it!
Although, strictly speaking, this doesn’t fall into the ‘healthy eating’ category, I would like to mention a very important and much maligned ‘nutrient’ here: the sun. Unless you absolutely cannot avoid being in the sun when it’s at its strongest and run the risk of getting burnt, lose the sunblock. The sun’s rays are necessary for production of vitamin D which is absolutely vital; a lack of vitamin D is in fact the most common nutritional deficiency and has more health implications than I can begin to list here. Of course, I’m absolutely not advocating getting burnt, but sensible exposure to the sun could literally save your life. For more information see here.
Back to nutrients by eating, Nigella Lawson is a good example of the real food versus ‘plastic’ food phenomenon. She always uses ‘real’ ingredients : butter, double cream, full-fat milk etc. and is horrified by the likes of margarine, artificial sweetners and low-fat yoghurt. Even at her heaviest, she had a beautiful, healthy hourglass figure with little abdominal fat. Admittedly at one time there was definitely too much of her, but she was always a healthier shape than a ‘plastic’ food eater, who carries fat around the middle (due to the insulin spiking and endocrine tampering). I was absolutely horrified recently to see someone create a supposedly ‘calorie-light’ version of Nigella recipes; all this will do is ensure that people end up eating more (nutrient-poor) food and feeling less satisfied. My only criticism would be that Nigella could use more unrefined products such as whole flour and cane sugar in her recipes.
People don’t expect their cars to run on fuel that has been bleached, bloated with water and then mixed with salt, sugar and citric acid. Yet some expect this of their bodies when they eat food virtually devoid of nutrition. While a car thus treated would end up on the tip, the miracle of nature is that our bodies try their very best to compensate for a lack of nourishment. If we’re too ‘acidic’ for example, we leach alkalising calcium from our bones to try to rectify the situation. But you can imagine the alarming scenario if this goes on too long. (Cars, being man-made, are less forgiving.)
One of the more bizarre examples of plastic food is a spray-on margarine called ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’. Frankly, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Illegal! Its claim to fame is that it contains zero calories per spray. That alone should set off alarm bells. To add insult to injury, I saw an advertisement suggesting that pancakes made in this way would be a healthy choice for children. Err no, a healthy choice for children would be a couple of pancakes (as opposed to a great stack) made with whole milk, free-range eggs and cooked in butter. If children are becoming obese it’s because they’re consuming too many ‘empty’ calories and products such as this. Their bodies are sent into panic-mode, wondering when they will next see proper nourishment.
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