What Is a Healthy Diet?
This is a question that has been asked for decades, with an ever-changing answer.
Over the past few years the “experts” have told us that numerous different diets were the best! We have heard about the “low-fat” diet, the “low-carbohydrate” diet, the “high-protein” diet, and of course, the vegetarian diet with no animal products at all. And, those are only a few of the diets that have been touted as the healthy way to eat.
Recently however, when a healthy diet is discussed, we are hearing more and more about a diet that makes sense to me – a traditional foods diet.
Let’s take a look at what that means.
Traditional foods diets are based on natural foods – foods that are closer to nature and similar to what was served fifty to one-hundred years ago. We are looking back to a time when people had their own gardens or bartered for/purchased foods from local farmers.
Traditional foods diets are NOT based on processed/packaged foods that are mass-produced in huge factories and marketed by the food industry giants – or picked up at the nearest fast-food drive-through. They are as close to nature as possible.
How Did Things Get So Out-of-control?
Unfortunately, at some point in our history a few, very smart capitalists realized that there was a great deal of money to be made in the food industry.
They knew that providing natural, healthy, fresh foods was not going to make them rich, but there was an alternative that could make them rich.
They started processing and packaging foods to “make life easier” especially for working men and women with families. This would allow them to control production, distribution, and marketing, and make a huge profit in the process.
They began processing and packaging traditional favorites that were marketed to make the general population believe that the new foods and products were healthier than the natural products. Plus, they were quick and easy to prepare.
For example, they made us believe that real butter would make us fat and that fake butter in the form of chemical laden margarine was actually the better option (and less expensive).
The industry began processing healthy foods, removing the healthiest parts and adding chemical preservatives and flavorings to create tasty but nutritionally devoid products with very distant expiration dates (long shelf life) that made millions of dollars for the manufacturers.
Another example is the marketing campaign promoting vegetable shortening that convinced women that animal fats made you gain weight and using lard or grease was not a good idea.
They were selling highly-processed vegetable shortening that is actually more likely to make you fat and is not particularly good for the body; but, those facts did not seem to matter to the power players behind the campaign.
Using the same deceptive marketing tactics, they also converted a huge segment of the population to low fat and skim milk rather than whole milk.
The truth is that the human body actually needs healthy and naturally occurring fats for brain function. The natural, full-fat foods that nature provides are almost always better and healthier than anything made in a lab, or processed to the point that critical fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K2 are lost or removed.
Another casualty of the modern food industry are naturally healthy foods such as grains, beans, and legumes that are so highly processed that most, if not all, of the essential vitamins are lost.
Then, the make matters worse, they are packaged in plastic bags or tin cans with BPA (Bisphenol A) liners that can leach toxic substances into the food.
A New Healthier Trend
We should all be excited about the healthy trend that is happening right now.
People are making the choice to change their diets and move back to traditional, natural foods. With this change they are eliminating the artificial, processed, colorful, pre-packaged, convenience foods found in the grocery store.
This effort includes shopping locally and buying fresh produce, dairy, and meat products from farmers in their areas. The shorter the distance between the farm and plate, the healthier the food will be. This also eliminates the heavy processing that removes most of the nutrients from food products.
Powerful, clever marketing techniques may have fooled us temporarily into believing that scientists could engineer better foods that Mother Nature. But, the impact those beliefs have had on the health of the population is turning the tide.
The incredible degenerative diseases afflicting our nation over the past few decades has made many people start to think more carefully about what they are putting into their bodies.
Food is the source of energy and health for the human body (or lack thereof). The choices we make about what we put into our bodies are choices that we can control.
It is time to think carefully about what we eat.
It is time to return to natural, traditional food and take back our health.
Related Article: Stay Close to Nature for Healthier Eating