Finding healthy food, eating it, and living a long life because of doing so isn’t science fiction. It is, however, science. Everyone tries to give you advice on how to eat right, but the simple fact is that almost no-one understands what happens inside your body when you buy healthy food and eat it. Detail on the subject is available for the people who have to know. Those of you who want the simple rules with no fluff or details, read on.
1) Eat whole foods. People say “whole foods” all the time, but no one stops to think what that means about healthy food. Eating foods that weren’t grown in a lab and haven’t been taken apart and put back together, that’s what it means. So no dehydrated-rehydrated potatoes, no homogenized milk, no flour, no sugar, and absolutely no corn syrup, high-fructose or otherwise.
2) Eat foods in as close to their natural state as possible. This sounds a lot like “eat whole foods”, but it’s a supplemental rule. Not only should your foods be whole, but they should be fresh, and cooked as little as possible. For millions of years, humans ate what they hunted and gathered without the benefit of stoves and ovens, much less food processors and blenders. Evolution hasn’t had a chance to ‘catch up’ to modern appliances: we still digest food in the same way our ancestors did. This is not to say “don’t chop your red peppers” or “don’t eat cheese because it’s not raw milk”. These are still healthy foods; eating them is just fine. Just eat your veggies barely-steamed or your meat almost-too-raw. Your body will get so much more out of them, you’ll feel the difference.
3) Don’t eat anything you can’t buy. That is to say, if you can’t buy a bag of pure sodium erythorbate or a dollop of hydroxypropylmethelcellulose, you shouldn’t eat anything that has those ingredients in them. It’s not healthy. Food eating should fill you with ingredients that are created by nature, not by a lab.
4) There are only 2 food groups: things that move, and things that grow. In other words, if it’s not obviously a plant or obviously an animal, don’t eat it. You should try to eat about equal amounts of each of the two food groups, and each has one additional rule to pay attention to:
5) Of the “things that move” food group, you should strive to get about equal amounts of fat and protein. This goes directly against the ‘fat-is-bad’ propaganda of the day, but it’s demonstrably true.
6) Of the “things that grow” group, you should deliberately eat as many different colors of plant as possible every day. Veggie colors form because of different substances in the plant; each substance represents a group of nutrients. Your body gets nutrients from meat, but not as much as you get from fresh fruits and veggies, so it’s important to get a variety – you don’t want to overload on some nutrients and leave others off, that’s not healthy food eating.
These rules read easy, but they’re tough to follow. It helps so much to understand food in a way that makes your body love you. Many factors, from societal to chemical, conspire to keep you eating a high-carbohydrate, highly-processed American diet – but that leads to the American midlife plagued with diabetes, heart troubles, infertility and impotence, and even cancer. Healthy food eating can keep you alive and feeling great.