How Our Modern Diet Is Making Us Fat and Sick
Our diet has changed radically over the past century and has become a significant cause of disease and illness as animal based foods account for a quarter of our calories. Processed foods which didn’t exist 100 years ago make up more than 60% of our present diet while naturally healthy vegetables and fruits provide less than 5% of our daily energy.
The food we eat influences our genes and is the leading cause of the rampant rise in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and obesity seen today. It’s possible to prevent and even reverse the damage from a poor dietary lifestyle by eating naturally high nutrient density foods.
A Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Illness
We need both calories and nutrients to survive. Modern food manufacturing techniques have removed most of the nutrition from the processed foods which represent such a significant portion of our calories. Vitamins, minerals and a host of essential nutrients provide the fuel we need to neutralize free radicals, facilitate DNA repair, counteract carcinogens and provide an effective immune response. After decades of nutrient deficiency our natural reserves are depleted and the stage is set for the onset of chronic disease often leading to a shortened lifespan.
Antioxidants From Food Predict Risk of Disease and Death
The results of a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals the protective effect of a number of antioxidant nutrients against all causes of mortality. The study authors specifically concluded "Evidence that subsequent all-cause mortality may be predicted by vitamin C intakes and/or status has been obtained in several previous studies, and similarly for carotene and selenium."
The results of this study and other similar research demonstrate that the concentration of a specific nutrient can be used to accurately predict risk for disease and death. This information underscores the critical importance of eating a natural diet which supplies a wide array of nutrients to lower the risk of chronic illness.
Children Develop a Taste for Junk Food Early in Life
Many children are fed a diet of processed junk food from an early age and they quickly develop a taste for salty, sugared and fried foods. The instinct to eat vegetables, fruits and meats in their natural form is erased as their taste buds become satiated with a refined diet impregnated with artificially manufactured chemicals which are more pleasing to the taste.
An analysis reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that 800 of 2200 calories consumed by a typical child each day are attributable to solid fats and added sugar. These macronutrients are commonly known as `empty calories` as they provide scant nutrients and contribute to the growing childhood obesity problem. Children who acquire the taste for junk food early are much more likely to develop weight problems in later life and suffer from early onset chronic illness.
A Natural Food Diet Reverses Disease Progression
The vast majority of children and adults eat less than a quarter of the fruits and vegetables they need to provide minimal protection against disease. Include a minimum of five and optimally ten or more servings each day of fresh vegetables and leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, lean protein sources and protective monounsaturated fats. Prepare foods raw or minimally cooked and avoid overheating as this quickly removes nutrients. The human body has an amazing capacity to repair and reverse the effects of a poor diet. Health conscious people view natural foods as medicine which leads to a long and healthy life.
“Antioxidants Extend Longevity, Protect Your Health,” Natural Health News, planetraw.org, Sep 30, 2010
“Antioxidant effects of natural bioactive compounds,” Curr Pharm Des., 2009;15(26):3063-73.
“Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats,” Nature Neuroscience, Volume: 13, Pages: 635–64, Year published: (2010) DOI: doi:10.1038/nn.2519
“Dietary Sources of Energy, Solid Fats, and Added Sugars among Children and Adolescents in the United States,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 110, Issue 10 , Pages 1477-1484, October 2010