The Foundation of Good Health is Good Nutrition. Did you know that, despite the fact that Hippocrates recommended, a LONG time ago, for us to “Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and Medicine Thy Food”, most medical doctors do not give this simple truth any weight in their own approaches to helping us protect and promote our health? I can say this openly, because “I was there”, trained into a medical care system that was, and still is, primarily concerned with understanding and managing disease.
Did you notice, I did not say, understanding health? In my medical school in the ’70’s, the total number of hours that were devoted to the subject of nutrition was: about three! Out of four full years of intense “medical education”! I have heard that this may be up to half a day by now, and talking to newly graduated physicians, I am not noticing any increased interest in, nor knowledge of, the power of something as simple and basic as food, to nourish our cells, organs and bodies; to prevent diseases of all kinds from developing and from taking hold; and to heal illnesses if and when they do occur.In the past 3 decades, the amount of research that has been done on the subject of nutrition and nutrients has flourished, from only dozens of scientific articles on these subjects then, to many thousands now.
The conclusions are all the same: Human beings thrive when they eat as many fruits and vegetables, and “real food” (v.s. fake/processed/”food-like substances”) as they can; they become sick and die when they do not.For starters, I highly recommend getting a copy of Michael Pollan’s latest book, “In Defense of Food”,and reading it, cover to cover. Don’t even speed read it, you might miss something! That being said, he sums the entire book up on the cover: “Eat food; not too much; mostly plants.” It’s actually that simple!One disturbing fact of the evolution of the food industry over the past 50 years is that, for the first time in human history, up to 70% of our “modern” diets consist of “foods” that our ancestors would not even recognize as food, and that our genes do not recognize nor know how to utilize as food either. I’m talking about “staples”, like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and processed flours and grains. Another outcome of mass producing cheap, “unreal” foods that supply tons of calories, salt and fat but scarce nutritional value is that we’ve become a world of undernourished overeaters: we keep eating because (a) our bodies want nutrition, and we’re not giving it to them, and (b) the makers of junk food choose ingredients that taste and feel good in our mouths, making us think we want more.Another “must-read” if you want to learn more about the State of Our Nutritional Unhealth, and how and why it has happened, is a book called “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser (2002) that explains how the birth of fast food chains is coinciding with the demise of our previous, better health.
I’ll be posting a series of other informative links on the subject of FOOD and why it’s critical for us to take stock of how exactly we are nourishing these amazing machines of ours called our bodies, as we aspire to create our own ultimate health.