What do we know about food?
Column #11, 3rd February 2007
In our holistic approach to optimum health, nutrition is key. Most of us now appreciate that as well as exercising regularly, we need to eat the right foods. Over the next few fortnightly issues, we will investigate what we need to know about the food we eat. Why organic? What is Metabolic Typing? What resources are out there?
Nutrition is a truly vast topic and it can be controversial. Getting to the bottom of it can be the answer to your ailments, aches and pains and performance problems. Here are just some interesting points that, for me, highlight the value of finding out about the food that we should eat:
Why has saturated fat got such a bad name? Although it has received a lot of bad press recently, saturated fat is an important nutrient that we all need to function. Saturated fat has been the primary dietary source for many of our ancestors and the research shows that related problems today such as heart disease and obesity are more likely to be linked to consumption of processed fats and sugar.
The exceptionally nutritious coconut. The Coconut helps prevent and fight against disease and is a great source of protein and saturated fat. When digested, it is quickly absorbed so there is less strain on our systems and it is used as energy quickly, as opposed to being stored as body fat. In addition, it is valuable to those who are gluten intolerant as coconut flour can be used in recipes, without the presence of wheat or grains.
Evolution and the grain. Our awareness of the impact that grains can have on our health is growing. Those with conditions like gluten intolerance and Coeliac disease will not do well on grains like wheat. In fact, most of us may benefit from vastly reducing our grain (and sugars) intake and we would be likely to see weight loss. The problem has arisen because as humans, our digestive system is still catching up, in evolutionary terms, with the increasing presence that grains and especially processed flour have in our diet.
Nutritional individuality. It’s time that we considered ourselves as individuals in our nutritional requirements, in the same way we do in nearly all other areas. We are all different shapes and sizes and have different energy levels and it seems only natural that our bodies will require different nutrients to be successful. A given amount and combination of nutrients could be exactly what one person needs, whilst it could actually be detrimental to the next. Quite an important concept when we consider that we’ve been advised that one size does fit all for most of our life.