A Few Food Facts
A Few Food Facts
Believe it or not, the amount of carbohydrates required by humans for health is ….. zero. This is the overwhelming consensus of scientific wisdom today. Proteins and fat are essential to life, but carbs are not.
Our body systems are well built. We do not need carbohydrates in any large amounts, if any at all. While it would behoove us to avoid carbs completely, the simple fact is that almost every food has some carb content. This includes vegetables, cheese, nuts, and berries. All-natural foods contain more than enough carbohydrates for our needs. Any carbs we ingest beyond that are detrimental. You do not need to worry about ever developing a carbohydrate deficiency, because it simply is not possible. It is well known that putting sugar in the gas tank will ruin a car engine, and humans are really no different.
Chronic illness and diabetes is nearly nonexistent in cultures that do not consume refined flour or highly sugarized products. Milkshakes, candy bars, white flour products, and soda were not included in the human diet till a few generations ago. For 700,000 years, humans ate only meat, fat, nuts, berries, vegetables, and whole-grain products. The common drink was water, and milk or wine were luxuries, consumed only rarely. That should be all the evidence we need that we can and should survive with far fewer carbs than what most of us are eating nowadays.
The number-one food category consumed by Americans is bread, particularly white bread, rolls, and crackers. These are almost all pure carbs. Right behind these are donuts, cookies, and cake, more carbs accompanied by more fat. Number three is the alcoholic beverage, and most of these also contain carbs. In fact, 90 percent of the American diet is made of fat, the bad kind, and carbohydrates.
The discovery of insulin can be credited to a Romanian scientist, Nicolae Paulescu. A group of Canadians, apparently very inspired by his work, were later crowned as the discoverers, however, and were awarded the Nobel Prize for it.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its chief priority is to make sure sugar does not rise too much within the body. What allows sugar to enter the cells from the bloodstream? Among other things, it is insulin. Glucose (sugar), in any amount above a certain threshold, is stored, mostly as fat. What directs this necessary transformation from sugar to fat? Again, the culprit is insulin. The human body cannot store sugar, carbs, or protein. Thus, any excess of these is stored as fat, a conversion achieved under the direction and guidance of insulin.
Another of the important roles of insulin is to make sure blood sugar does not raise too much. On the other hand, the job of glucagon is to make sure sugar does not fall too low.
It is also insulin that activates the enzymes that power the cholesterol-making mechanism. Thus, overproduction of insulin results in overproduction of cholesterol. In other words, excess insulin stimulates excess cholesterol.
While protein ingestion may stimulate some insulin, fat has no impact on insulin whatsoever; as far as insulin is concerned, fat does not exist. As an indication of this, if a farmer wants to fatten up his pigs or cows, he feeds them grain—not meat, butter, or eggs. Similarly, if you wish to fatten up, feel free to load up on grain, bread, pasta, potatoes, cake, cereal, and cookies. If you really want to speed up the fattening process, then add some extra fat to the mix, just like the fast food companies do.Most fast foods are made of bad (artificial) fats and carbs and are very low in protein.
Cholesterol will increase if you eat fat, but this will only happen if you also eat carbs at the same time. This is because insulin runs the machinery that makes cholesterol. If you do not eat carbs, there is no extra insulin, so your cholesterol will not spike, no matter how much fat you ingest.
You can treat elevated cholesterol with a low-fat diet until the cows come home, but you will only see limited success. Fats don’t make you fat; carbs are responsible for that. Fat intake is usually self-regulated, as no one really sits down to eat a bar of butter, lard by the spoon, or olive oil by the cup. Without carbs to wrap around the fat, the fat we eat is not very appealing. The more carbohydrates we eat in one sitting, the bigger the insulin response we stir up, and the more fat we put in storage.
Our bodies can make fat from carbs and lots of it. That is why you can’t just eat fat-free cookies and ice cream and potato chips and expect to lose weight.
Can you really eat red meat and eggs without elevating your cholesterol? Yes, but these should be eaten in only small amounts. Does that mean you can have steak and eggs for breakfast? Yes! Pork ribs for lunch? Sure! But what you absolutely cannot do is eat all the eggs and red meat you want while, at the same time, loading up with starches and carbs (sugar). This means you can’t have orange juice and biscuits and gravy and hash brown potatoes with your steak and eggs—and be sure to eat only a small amount of steak and eggs.
How To Eat and Drink
I advise people to eat small amounts because we seem to have lost all sense of moderation when it comes to food. We must exercise wisdom in eating. If you overindulge with too much food and too many drinks, you will cause yourself ill health. Do not overeat until you are full; always eat just short of satiation. Then, take a short walk if you can. Do not eat at all after six p.m., close to retiring for the night.
Eat small amounts of good-quality food, mostly plants. If you avoid manmade or man altered foods and carbs, your blood sugar will remain stable throughout the day, ensuring that you will suffer fewer food cravings or false hunger pangs.
All the major diseases of Western civilization—diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer—have a common denominator. In fact, these degenerative diseases that afflict, disable, and kill so many people are not diseases at all; rather, they are symptoms of a more basic, single disorder: excess carbs, insulin, and insulin resistance.
Drink room temperature water twenty minutes before meals or between meals, but avoid it during meals. If you follow this regimen, it will reduce hunger, and you will naturally and more easily eat less. If you have to drink during meals, limit your mealtime beverage to no more than one cup, being careful to sip and not gulp. Studies show that without a beverage to accompany our meals, we eat more slowly, chew our food better, enjoy our meals more, and eat a lot less.
We all seem to be 5-year-olds when it comes to eating. People who seem significantly successful in other aspects of life, capable of overcoming life problems and handling their careers, educations, marriages, and so on, easily succumb to the only thing they really have total control of: feeding themselves. Please realize that unless you are in a coma and on feeding tubes, you and only you are in complete control over what you put in your mouth. We like to say we cannot resist certain foods, but really, it is that we just choose not to. We must choose to eat, as well as not to.
A dietary regimen works relatively quickly, within a few weeks, but it will only be successful as you faithfully follow it. You cannot return to your childhood immunity against carb attacks, so you must continue the dietary guidelines in order to reap the benefits. A return to your former eating habits will quickly return you to your former health problems, if not worse ones.
So how should we eat? What is the plan? We need a strategy, a game plan we can easily understand and implement. The good news is that there is a plan, and it really does work. The main principle of this game plan is very simple: All nature-made food is good, while all manmade or man-modified food is not. The more we mess with our food and with nature, the worse the adulterated food is for our health.
How badly do you want your health and vitality back? Your health depends on how committed and motivated you are to get back to nature and unadulterated food and drinks. Our primary problem is not ignorance of what we should do. This book explains this clearly. Our problem is actually doing what we know we should do. It may seem difficult, like a high mountain to climb, and many of us try to make excuses. “On second thought,” we say, “I’m feeling pretty good. No sense in bothering with that now.” If we continue to blow off what we know is right, we will continue to experience ever-waning health.
Why do we eat when we are not hungry? Why are we addicted to it? Well, this is a subject for another book chapter.
Start eating more raw foods, for the link between these and good health is too obvious to ignore. Raw foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that are uncooked and unprocessed. The best thing about these is that the food industry has not tampered with them, so they are not full of preservatives, chemicals, and additives. Strive for a target of at least 60 percent of your food to be raw and organic.
If you eat raw, you will know exactly what is in your food, exactly what you are putting into your body. You won’t end up eating garbage that just resembles food, concoctions cooked up in a factory a year ago, then engineered, colored, and preserved to taste like a food you know.
Eat more veggies and less meat and cut down on dairy. If you do have dairy, try to find European, as that part of the world insists on strict rules against tampering with dairy products. Eat entirely raw for one day a week and be nearly vegetarian for a day.
Fruits in general are good for us, but always in moderation. We can’t eat fruits every day, all day, because too much fructose, even if natural, is too dangerous. We should rarely eat fruits, only, as an occasional treat and even then, we need to choose only sour or non-sweet fruits. Fruits need to be a rare dessert. If you juice fruits then you concentrate the sugar from multiple fruit portions. This is not recommendable. It all goes to the belly fat.
By far, the most important element in healthy eating is portion control. Everything good or bad comes from the size and quantity of our meals. As we age we need less and less daily food for living. Most people want to eat like they were decades ago. They then wander why they gain weight. It is wise to a adjust food portions based on your age and level of activity.
On a scale from 1 to 10 we generally eat when we are hungry at a 2 or 3 level. We should avoid doing so. Hunger has been vilified by the media. In fact they are confusing hunger with prolonged starvation and wasting out. These are not the same thing. Hunger is a feeling we can train. If you are a little hungry, well, enjoy this feeling, don’t worry, you won’t die. The hunger sensation is not that bad; it is not a villain to be avoided by any means. In no case hunger should be something scaring you, making you eat just to prevent it from appearing.
We are genetically built to be able to sustain prolonged hunger periods. We can and we should fast often to mimic these evolutionary conditions. We are not built to process an overabundance of food. On a grand evolutionary scale, only recently we had the luxury of food abundance that we now have. We don’t need too many meals a day. We can eat three meals a day or we can eat none. We will still be ok. We won’t die from one day of not eating. On the contrary we will feel lighter and better. I challenge you to try.
Our stomach is made to be empty most of the time. When we eat something and we just start to fill the stomach, even with a small snack, what we do is we wake up a chain of events that will ultimately result in a higher demand for food.
We all have satiety hormones. They are released when the stomach is full, whatever fullness it is trained to usually achieve. However, this satiety hormone is mainly released when food reaches the small intestines, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes. What do we do in those 15-20 minutes? From the time we begin eating to the time we feel no hunger? We have a choice. We can wolf down half the refrigerator or we can take small bites, mindfully chew food slowly and thoroughly. Or we can do anything in between. The choice is totally ours.
How To Reduce Cellular Glucose and Blood Insulin Levels
For better health, and particularly for diabetics, we must reduce cellular glucose and blood insulin. The correct approach to this is as follows:
-Fast frequently, for twenty-four hours or longer. Drink only water.
-Eliminate refined, manmade carbohydrates and reduce sweet natural ones.
-Eat natural, healthy fat, not manmade fat, and do not eat too much fat of any kind.
-Eat mostly fiber, vegetables, and plant-based food.
-Eat lots of raw food, spices, nuts, and herbs.
-Cut your portion in half, chew well, and don’t eat yourself full.
-Eat three meals, with no second helpings and no snacks between.
-Eat limited meat two to three times a week; opt for chicken, turkey, fish, or eggs.
-Eat unlimited raw salads and vegetables.
-Eat unsweet fruits but limit yourself to two servings a day.
-Eat no starches, no sweets, and no flour of any kind.
-Keep nuts and cheese to portion sizes.
-Mix half a lemon in two liters of water and drink it all day.
How safe is our food? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to protect us from adulterated food, but this is not always the case.
Did you know there is an FDA law that allows companies to claim their chemicals and additives are safe, without even notifying the FDA? The FDA allows food manufacturers to do their own testing to determine whether an additive is safe. The testing is usually performed on animals, with questionable doses and for very short periods of time. They are allowed to conduct as many studies as they want on the same subject matter, then they can only report the favorable ones.
The whole process screams corruption and conflict of interest, but the government agency tasked with protecting us does not seem to care. Clearly, the food industry is in cahoots with the FDA. In fact, the FDA has never reviewed the safety of more than 3,000 food chemicals, and they are so negligent and nonchalant about it that most companies don’t even bother to notify them. The question is: If the FDA does not know what’s in our food, how can we?
If we want to be healthy, we have to take control. We can’t trust the government or the food manufacturers. We can’t trust anyone but ourselves. We need to be picky about our food choices. We need to be educated, read the labels, and ask questions. The less a food is processed, the more benefit it will be to our health. We need to eat real food, not substitutes. We need to eat organic most of the time, as nature is always the best way to keep our bodies naturally healthy.
There are over 10,000 ingredients added daily to our food, and most are not tested appropriately, if at all. Besides, an entire industry exists with the sole interest of concealing the potential health hazards in the food we eat daily.
When you eat meat and drink milk, you are ingesting a soup of antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and chemicals. This is precisely why you should look for organic products, grass-fed, sustainable, home-raised meat and milk.
Avoid common genetically modified (GMO) plants like corn, soy, sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, and squash. Only buy these if you know they are organic or, better yet, raise them yourself. Make sure to wash any purchased produce very well before use.
You should also throw away all the sugars, artificial fats, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, dyes and additives, and anything that is prepackaged. This may seem radical and wasteful to some, but your commitment to your health must be a radical one. To put it bluntly, all of those things are trash, and they belong in the trashcan.
Eat real food and food made from scratch, like grass-fed organic meats, wild fish, avocados, organic veggies, and some fruits, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Eat clean, toxin-free food. The last thing you need is for your body to become a toxic waste dump. Even just a few of these things is too many. How little is little enough toxins? None!
Fortunately, there is a great deal of organic food available on the market today: meat, dairy, eggs, berries, peppers, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, potatoes, grapes, apples, peaches, corn, soybeans, sugar from beets, papaya, zucchini, leafy vegetables, chocolate, herbs and spices, and tea and coffee.
Eat at any restaurant chain at your own health risk. Most ingredients on the plate come portioned, in plastic bags, frozen or shelved. Many are microwaved and then assembled on your plate to look pretty and fresh, when they are anything but that. As for fast food, it is cheap by comparison because it is not real food. You are what you eat, so do not settle for cheap, fast, or easy. Fast food is never prepared onsite, and nothing is really fresh. Fast food is devoid of nutritional value and is manufactured to be addictive. It is fattening and dangerous for our health. For the sake of your health, give up fast food.
Stop eating processed or semi-processed foods. More than 70 percent of processed foods contain either GMO corn or soy or other GMO ingredients, and you should avoid any and all modified foods.
Why Diets Don’t Work
Diets generally don’t work because most people have no plans to make them a lifetime habit. Most are just looking for a vehicle to patch things up so they can later return to the way things used to be. Rather than replacing the tires, they simply patch up the leak. The trouble is, that leak is destined to return unless a complete change is made.
Food is also very addictive. It is our drug of choice when we need to cover feelings, emotions, moods or mental states. Often, we do not even realize this fact. For this reason, relapses are very common and people otherwise disciplined in every other fields of life become powerless when it comes to food. This is a common problem and will be addressed in a separate chapter and a solution will be provided in the ten week program.
If you are seeking good health, not only will you need to make some radical changes in your lifestyle, but for sustained benefits, you need to find a way to make these changes permanently. You need to be able to live with these changes for the next thirty or forty years, because you can’t go back again. You mustn’t take your body for granted. Diabetes, heart disease and any chronic illness calls for self-control and discipline.
Most Americans simply eat whatever they like, but we must take back control of our bodies. We cannot give ourselves a free pass to enjoy whatever we want, whatever tastes good, in exorbitant quantities. Does it take too much effort, too much willpower? Not if you consider the stakes involved.
You must also determine that partial victory is unacceptable. If you enter the battle with the idea of cheating a little here and there, you might as well stop right now. Those who don’t involve themselves totally in this fight will not succeed.
This is exactly why I will not fall into the mistake many authors fall into when they say, “Well, I don’t mean you have to completely stop carbs, chocolate, soda, or… whatever. Sure, you can cheat a little here and a little there, just enough to keep your addiction going. We don’t want you to be, God forbid, inconvenienced much.”
What? On the contrary, I can tell you that you absolutely, unabashedly, unapologetically must take total control of your eating habits. No cheating and no substitutes can be tolerated if you want to really change your life and give yourself a chance at a longer one. Do not think of it as going on a diet. You are not going to lose weight fast. Your improvement must be gradual, purposeful, and permanent. It is a lifetime commitment! Your life depends on it.
Most people’s idea of a low-carb diet is stuffing themselves with steak and eggs and eating little else, but this couldn’t be more misguided. Instead, enjoy a fresh salad, full of good-for-you things like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, and green beans—as many raw, uncooked vegetables as you can get. Chronic illness, heart disease, diabetes, cancer are all formidable enemies. They all want to take away your limbs, your ability to walk, your eyesight, your joy, your peace, and, eventually, your life. You can’t approach this battle lightly. Your biggest friend and the most serious fighting arsenal in your battle with illness is a healthy diet.
Respect the Food
We have to learn to respect food. The countless hours of handling and care of each and every ingredient in food is overwhelming and deserves respect. We should not just place the food in the microwave, then mindlessly throw a blob of food on the plate and wolf it down all while we are doing something else.
Our food is what nourishes us. It needs to be prepared with much love and care, ideally from scratch. Food should come from natural sources and never from pre-packaged meals that were on the shelves for months or years. Food needs to be nicely arranged on the plate. We need to mindfully eat all food while chewing each bite thoroughly while savoring the flavors and the texture food has.
We need to eat enjoyable small meals not the opposite. Always refuel yourself with the best food quality possible, don’t feed yourself junk. Your body is supposed to be a temple not a garbage collector. Enjoy food and respect the meal time. Don’t do anything else when eating.
- The amount of carbs we require is zero.
- Insulin builds fat and raises cholesterol.
- Eat little, mostly plants and mostly organic and as close to raw as possible.
- Don’t drink anything during meals but be sure to drink water between them.
- Eat out only once or twice a week, if at all.
- Eat bread, meat, and dairy only a few times per week, if at all.
- Fast once in a while.
- You are what you eat, so do not settle for cheap, fast, or easy.
- Respect the food. Eat mindfully.