A Massage therapists view on nutrition
Because I am in america, please let me get this out of the way. I AM NOT A TRAINED/LICENSED NUTRITIONIST. Please use some common sense and realize that my recomendations are my own educated guesses and no substitution for consultation with a specialist.
Now, that being said, there are a few guesses I am willing to make.
Nutrition is confusing if you are using western based science. Part of this is confusion over what the ultimate goal is. Do you eat to:
- Keep from getting sick?
- Maintain "optimal" health?
(And by the way what the heck DOES "optimal" health mean?)
- Simply Fuel your body?
- Propagate culture?
- Enjoy food?
- Because it's expected?
- Because it's something to do?
- Because it makes you feel better?
This list should let you know that there are many and varied reasons for eating. This is not an exhaustive list. Eating is one of the most important physical and emotional processes that we go through on a daily basis. After some research, my best guess is this: read these two books and then make up your own mind:
These two book are a good start on examining the relationship we have with food, not just from a perspective on what you want to eat, but what relation that is to how the food is harvested.
These are complex books, so read them. Here are my cliff notes on what I eat myself. First off, we all need to eat more veggies and fruit. Everyone says that and no one is doing it. I'm not kidding. EAT MORE VEGGIES AND FRUIT. My own considered opinon is that you buy local organic when you can, big organic when that's not available, and normal commercial produce when neither of those is available or feasible. And in addition to that, you take a multivitamin, some extra c, and some flax seed oil, or fish oil.
Drink water, or milk. A glass of fruit juice twice a week won't hurt too much, but be darn sure it's actually fruit juice and not high fructose corn syrup look alike. And yes, THAT'S ALL. No powerade, no coolade, NO sunny delight, no arizona green tea. CUT OUT THE SWEET DRINKS. They rot your teeth and add extra empty calories and are BAD news. WORST IS SODA POP. There are many reasons for this, so let's start enumerating.
- Carbonated drinks of any type change the pH of your blood. This is not good. Our pH is a particular one for some good reasons. The chemical reactions in our body are supposed to work in particular ways at particular rates. If you change this, you throw those out of wack.
- This leads me to the knowledge that the carbonation in the drinks, by changing the ph in your blood and putting more carbonic acid in there actually RIPS calcium out of your bones. No, I'm not kidding.
- Soda pop is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. These are empty calories that interfere with the normal insulin flow in our bodies. Don't believe me? Look at the explosion of soda pop in our western society and the closely following epidemic of type 2 diabetes. The soda pop industry has gone out of their way to tell you there is nothing wrong with high fructose corn syrup and that it won't give you type 2 diabetes. They have spent much money on it. But let's examine some other articles. Diabetes Health. Science Daily and this doesn't even take into account that they recently reported that high fructose corn syrup contains mercury.
- Soda dehydrates you. It sounds counter intuitive, but drinking soda pop is like drinking negative water.
- It interferes with your appetite for real food. Those are five solid reasons to stop drinking that stuff right NOW.
Learn to read ingredients, and know what they mean! Anything that says "low fat" is fibbing. Here's why. Fat is classified by the FDA as a tri-glyceride. So what these food manufacturers have done is make di-glycerides and put them in there instead. Your body treats tri-glycerides and di-glycerides EXACTLY the same. Even if the FDA doesn't calssifiy di-glycerides as fat, your body sure does. And anything labled "low fat" will put in TWICE as much di-glycerides as the normal stuff has tri-glycerides. So frankly, if a food is making health claims, PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE THAT LOOKS LIKE REAL FOOD. And if you like sour cream, EAT IT. Just eat a little less.
And that's the whole message. Eat REAL food, not processed crud. The more processed, the worse it is for you. Eat more plants, fruits and veggies. And don't eat too much!