If you want to lose weight, build muscle, or even just maintain an “ideal weight” more easily, then it’s important to eat organic and natural foods as much as possible.
I’m talking about foods that:
- Are as little processed as possible
- Are in as close to their natural state as possible and…
- Are similar to what cavemen ate!
Health Benefits of Better Eating Come Fast!
“Conclusions:Even short-term consumption of a paleolithic type diet improves BP [blood pressure] and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles without weight loss in healthy sedentary humans.”
The important implications of this study? These results were seen after only 10 days! That’s pretty amazing, and worth taking note of if you want to improve your health, lose weight, etc. So read the rest of this article and get to gettin better in just 10 days or less!
What Are Natural Foods?
Basically, we’re talking here about foods that weren’t created by man and come straight from nature. The “Paleo Diet” is a simple way of eating “like hunters and gatherers” as it says on their website (with a ton of information). If you want a quick break down of what natural foods are, here’s the simple “eat this, don’t eat that” page from the Paleo website:
“Eat none of the following:
· Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles
· Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas
· Dairy products
Eat the following:
· Meat, chicken and fish
· Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)
· Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)
· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
Try to increase your intake of:
· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes
· Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I accept that many people find these unpalatable and won’t eat them)
Expect some minor tuning problems- don’t worry, you can deal with them:
· It will take some time for your body to adjust to the changes after all these years. There is a huge surge in your vitamin intake. There is a huge decrease in your toxin intake.
· Start with breakfast for few days, as this is the easiest place to start as most people eat it at home, and it tends to be the least Paleolithic meal of the standard 3. For weight loss you will eventually need to reduce your carbohydrate intake, but ignore this initially as most people have high carb intakes and this can continue for the first few days that you are on this diet. If you reduce too quickly then you may fell unwell. Then move on to lunch or dinner for a few days and then to all 3 meals. If you work, you will often find it easier to take your lunch to work.
· Keep reading more about the diet- and read it again. Remember, there are many dietary myths that will need to be unlearned. Particularly, please read the section on fats several times. Knowledge on fats has exploded over the last decade and there is a realization in mainstream nutrition that omega 3 fats are critical to good health. It is very important to ensure that you have an adequate intake of these. The low fat diet craze of the 90’s was well intentioned but many people “threw out the baby with the bath-water”- most people reduced omega 3 fat intake as well as other fats, and sometimes even increased omega 6 fats. There is now a realization that the low fat diet theory of the 90’s doesn’t often work (it has about a 6% success rate like most other diets) and that the vast majority of the Western population need to increase their omega 3 intake and decrease their omega 6 intake. Even if you don’t end up on a Paleolithic Diet, you will benefit from a better appreciation of fats.”
Pretty simple, wouldn’t you agree? Basically, “If it didn’t grow out of the ground, off a tree, or you couldn’t kill it before hand… then don’t eat it!” another way to keep it simple is, “eat like a caveman“. And another simple way to think of it is: “if it comes out of a box — or it had to be created some how — don’t eat it!“
It’s amazing how far “common sense” eating like this can go. It makes sense because we’ve been eating this way for thousands (maybe even millions) of YEARS (farming, grains and all that is a very modern invention)
Why Natural and Organic Is Even Better
Even better is to add to your new “caveman” eating style by trying to only consume minimally processed foods in those categories above.
What do I mean by minimally processed? Well, most foods we eat are pumped full of chemicals to make them last longer on store shelves, more attractive to buyers, and ultimately to make more profit for the people who sell the foods. The problem is, many of these “additives” are NOT good for you — in fact, they’re like toxins to your body.
For instance, the more meat a manufacturer can get out of a cow, the more money they’ll make. So they’ll pump them full of growth hormones, and feed them a fattening diet of grains (when their natural diet is grass). The growth hormones will still be in the cow and its milk when it’s slaughtered and you’ll end up eating a lot of this extra junk… and the unnatural diet the cow was put on changes its fatty acid profiles. Where before the grass fed cow had a high omega 3 fat content–it now has high omega 6 content.
After isolating these fats scientists determined that if the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats exceeds 4:1, people have more health problems. This is especially meaningful since grain-fed beef can have ratios that exceed 20:1… compared to grass-fed beef which is down around 3:1 (I’ve read somewhere that real, grass fed beef actually has more omega 3′s than Salmon!)
This is just one example of why it’s better to go organic, natural and try to do your research to get food as close to the natural source as possible.
Don’t Forget Your Fiber!
The SAD (standard American diet) doesn’t include very much fiber at all… and we have a lot of health problems because of it.
It’s important to get fiber in your diet because of many health benefits:
- Helps you feel fuller…
- Helps you digest food better…
- Keeps you “regular”…
- Helps you eliminate toxins and other bad stuff from your gut and intestines…
And there’s a lot more benefits I won’t get into now. Striving to eat more vegetables and high fiber foods like avocados (also really high in healthy fats too!) will help in this department.
You Need 10 Servings of Vegetables to Equal Just One Serving from 50 Years Ago!
These days, the produce you buy at your local grocery store just doesn’t have the nutritional power that fruits and vegetables had just a few decades ago. Over farming, soil depletion, commercial fertilizer, hybrid crops and genetic modifications are slashing the nutrients found in your fruits and vegetables.
You’d have to eat 10 servings of spinach to get the same level of minerals from just one serving about 50 years ago.
Producers create “hybrid” forms of your fruits and vegetables – not for their ability to store nutrients – but for their color, weight and shelf life. Why? So they’ll look nice and pretty when they sit under the fluorescent lights of your supermarket.
You may think they look nutritious, but “under the hood,” they contain little more than indigestible cellulose, sugar and water. For instance, just look at the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) nutritional values for fruits and vegetables today compared to 1975… and see the loss of vitamins and minerals since then:
- Apples, Vitamin A is down 41%
- Sweet Peppers, Vitamin C is down 31%
- Watercress, Iron is down 88%
- Broccoli, Calcium and Vitamin A are down 50%
- Cauliflower, Vitamin C is down 45%; Vitamin B1 is down 48%; and Vitmain B2 is down 47%
- Collards Greens, Vitamin A is down 45%; Potassium is down 60%; and Magnesium is down 85%
According to USDA’s own numbers, the vitamin and mineral content has dramatically plummeted – in just 30 years! That’s another huge concern. And really the only thing I know to do about it right now is to make sure you’re supplementing with mult-vitamins, minerals and a green drink (good green drinks, like the one made by Dr. Sears, will have most of the minerals and vitamins you need anyways!)
I have to admit, I used to be really strict about doing this, but I forget a lot of times to even take my multi. But it IS important, especially since all those vitamins and minerals are the “building blocks” and catalysts that your body relies on to help you digest and use your food.
Want Some Bottom Line Guidelines?
- Eat foods as close to their original form as possible…
- Avoid most grains, processed foods, low-quality carbs, and basically anything in a box or packaging…
- Eat organic when possible (probably more important for meats)… and…
- Try to keep up with taking your multi and enjoy some “green” drinks one a regular basis to make sure you’re fueled up on all the vitamins, minerals and healthy “green stuff” you need.
- Oh and don’t forget your fiber!
Some of these ideas are really simple and you’ll be able to implement them immediately and see results fast. Others, like learning how to choose organic foods will be harder because there’s tons of things to learn, the regulations on these labels are not very strict, etc — so it pays to do your research. But I’m telling you — becoming more aware of what you’re putting in your body is going to pay off in the long run for you.
So don’t wait, put these organic and natural food tips to use in your life right now, and start seeing your health (and your bodyweight) improve in just 10 days or less!