Feeding your Biochemistry
The average adult consumes roughly 2 pounds of food every day.
Not often if at all, right?
It’s truly remarkable the alchemy which occurs as the body steadily takes that bolus of food and extracts nutrients, transforms toxins and eliminates waste.
Your body does not ask for much in return for all its years of dedicated service. Just 8 essential amino acids, 2 essential fats, some fuel from glucose and fat and a mere 1/8th tsp. of micronutrients – that is, vitamins and minerals – in order to function optionally.
Now, there’s the rub. Despite the 2 pounds of food consumed every day the vast majority of people eating the modern diet fail to provide their bodies with sufficient micronutrients to stave off disease as evidenced by nagging symptoms such as aches and pains or succumbing to frequent colds and infections.
On the other side of the equation we tend to over-consume macronutrients – more that we expend and in combinations of ingredients that overwhelm our body’s capacity to handle – leading to the epidemic of over-weight and obesity that affects 2 out of every 3 adult Americans and increasingly children.
When a peer-reviewed study makes the sobering conclusion that today’s children are likely to have shorter lifespans than their parents and 1 in 3 will become obese, it’s a real wake up call for all of us.(1,2)
So, the question that echoes around the globe every day in all our homes takes on greater saliency when we ask:
What’s for dinner?
This question is often packed with emotion, confusion and anxiety in our time-pressured world where convenience and low-cost have driven a food industry eager to serve and benefit from the latest dietary fads and dictates.
The number one question that I get asked in my nutrition practice is ‘so, what should I eat?’ with the subtext ‘should I eat vegetarian, paleo, low-fat, high carb….’
My answer is always the same.
The best diet, bar none is the one that works for you
I go on to qualify that confounding statement underscoring the importance of ‘real’ unadulterated nutrient-dense food and a discussion of the various nutrient groups pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly.
Here’s how that goes.
But, first we must remember ….
Like us humans,
all foods have their flaws
Every food type sits somewhere along the continuum of ‘good ‘to’ bad’ for you. We all know by now that trans-fats are on the bad end of the scale and that broccoli is on the good end but even with these food types there are still nuances important to know.
For instance, there are naturally occurring trans-fats in grass-fed meat which are perfectly healthy and combined with other nutritious fats i.e. conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that feed our good gut bacteria and maintain the integrity of our gut lining along with a host of other disease-modulating properties. Also, while broccoli is ultra-nutritious being a wonderful source of sulfur amino-acids that aid our detoxification processes it is also highly susceptible to accumulating pesticide residues and as such is one of those vegetables that must be eaten organic.(3)
So let’s get started with the other food groups…