I think I have figured out one reason people are so confused about what to eat and what not to eat in order to obtain maximum health and ideal weight…We have become so mixed up about what is a carb, what is a protein, and what is a fat…and of course we have all been led to believe that carbs are bad and will make us fat and that protein is the end all be all…and that you can’t possibly get enough protein on a plant-based diet and that the more protein you eat, the better and so on and so on. But much of what we are led to believe is just not the real deal. In fact, most foods are some sort of combination of nutrients but we don’t look at them that way. We look at a piece of chicken and think protein but we forget about the fat. We look at the produce aisle and think “no protein here,” when in fact most every vegetable has some protein (and many are great sources of calcium, as well)…we think because beans have a good amount of calories, they will make us fat, but beans are so loaded with protein and fiber that they are one of the healthiest foods available to us. We all have been told that we need more fiber. Fiber works to fill us up but also works as a great “vacuum” for our digestive system. In fact, with the Eat to Live program, it is suggested we eat beans at every meal. And what about dairy? Most dairy products are high in fat with the exception of just a few. Dairy contains ingredients that no human being should consume. One ingredient, casein, is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered. It happens to be used in glue as a binding agent. Seriously. (Please, don’t take my word, look it up).
We have been done a terrible disservice by learning about nutrition in public school, where all the information is funded by the meat and dairy industries. Yes, it is definitely true that calcium does a body good, but milk, I am not so sure. In studies, people who eat the most “traditional” high calcium foods, actually have more bone fractures than those that don’t. Too much calcium from sources like dairy signal our bodies to release calcium from the bones, often causing more to leak, than what we take in. Calcium from sources like green leafy vegetables don’t have that effect, so though they may not contain as much calcium, what they do contain is much more efficiently processed and absorbed.
And yes, we all need protein, but probably not as much as you have been led to believe. We can get more than enough from beans, nuts, seeds, veggies and grains. Animal protein causes the body to be more acidic which leads to many negative outcomes including the promotion of cancer growth, cardiovascular disease and increased blood cholesterol.
Let’s all make 2013 the year we get our health in order so that everything else falls into place. It’s time to stop expecting doctors to be able to fix what’s broken. Through proper “diet” and exercise we can do just that.
So the big question everyone asks me is what I eat. For starters, I am off to make a bowl of oatmeal, to which I add a spoonful of peanut butter and some berries and diced banana. I take that whole bowl and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes and then sprinkle with some seeds (flax or chia or both). It’s got some protein, some carbs, some fat, some fiber and gives me all the energy I need to get through a morning of workouts.
No, it’s not meatless Monday or Vegan Thursday but health matters 7 days a week. I hope you will consider looking into this further. I am currently reading The Veganist by Kathy Freston and it’s chock full of solid nutritional and health information from some of the leading physicians in the areas of cardiovascular health and cancer research. I highly recommend! And trust me, I totally understand that a plant-based diet might not be for everyone, but the information contained in a book like this can help everyone lean into a healthier lifestyle. I know that not a one of us really wants to get cancer or heart disease and most of us would like to lose a few pounds, too. T