There is perhaps nothing more foundational to overall health than proper diet. A healthy diet is more difficult to establish these days, however, because since the mid-1900s, the standard American diet has lost its nutritional power. What’s more is that many people live to eat rather than eat to live—and how’s that working for us? Not so well.
Here are a few reasons why our modern diet is simply not what it used to be. Commercial farming methods have resulted in mineral-deficient soil and an over-reliance on pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs used in raising livestock.
Then there’s the popularity of fast food, processed foods, and junk foods with chemical additives, unhealthy fats and trans-fatty oils, white flour and refined starches. All of those contain no to low nutritional value. Mix that in with environmental pollutants in our air, land, water and food—and you have nutritionally challenged dietary staples, to say the least.
So what do you do? You have to eat in order to live! Never fear; here are two rules to live by when it comes to selecting what foods you eat:
1. Eat what has been created for food and eliminate--or at least minimize--processed, commercially grown food.
2. Eat foods in a form that is healthy for the body.
Eating to live means including healthy portions of macronutrients—nutrients our bodies require in the highest amounts. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates and fats. So, in order to eat what’s been created for food and to eat foods in a form that’s healthy for your body, you’ll want to emphasize a whole-foods diet rich in the highest quality proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Those are found in foods such as lean wild meats, poultry and fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, properly prepared grains, and healthy sweeteners and beverages.
Here’s why: Healthy proteins supply energy and provide the structural components necessary for growth and repair of tissue. In short, proteins are the building blocks of organs, muscles, nerves, enzymes and hormones.
Healthy carbs also supply energy and help drive bodily chemical processes. You don’t need an abundance of carbs, though, in your diet.
Likewise, healthy fats supply energy and are instrumental in cell membranes, hormones, enzymes and neurotranmitters. Healthy fats are also needed to absorb and use vitamins A, D, E & K. Additionally, the brain is 60% fat and requires healthy fats for connecting brain cells and making sure signals get through in our gray matter.
Consuming whole, unprocessed foods is key, and choosing organic and/or grass-fed foods are recommended—foods without the commercial pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics and preservatives found in ordinary foods.
There you have it—the basis for eating to live. It's a principle that we've been sharing for 10 years, and we still believe in it! If you can integrate these dietary steps into your healthy lifestyle, then you may be well on your way to extraordinary health.