Let me give you something to think about, and this is very important… if we took away modern society and plopped you on a deserted island, what is the #1 most important thing in your life at that point? That’s right – FOOD! What will I eat to survive and thrive? At that point, you can forget about careers, technology, video games, television, nightlife, mobile phones, and just about every other aspect of modern life. The single most important thing you need to focus on at that point is what to eat.
However, in our modern day, most of us don’t have to think about what to eat at all. Food is quite literally one of the most important things in our daily lives, yet barely anybody thinks about the ramifications of what they eat and how it will affect their health and the quality of their life (until, of course, they lose their health).
Since food is one of the most important things in our lives for our quality of life, don’t you think that it should be a priority as one of the fundamental topics that children learn about throughout school? It should be a priority, but it isn’t. Kids get a thorough education on topics such as Math, History, Science, Languages, etc, but never get more than a couple hours in their entire 12 years in school about the most important thing in our lives – what to eat. And parents don’t generally pick up the slack and teach kids nutrition because they were never taught about it either.
This is a modern day phenomenon because the abundance of food all around us in modern day life means that we don’t have to think about what’s appropriate to eat. If you want to be lean and truly healthy, you need to think differently than the average person who eats the “SEE-food diet” – where they eat without thinking. There needs to be some simple rules to follow if you want to successfully navigate the current food landscape in Nigeria, where so many foods are making you fat and sick.
Food Rule #1.
Carbohydrates don’t need to be eliminated, they are not inherently “bad” in reasonable quantities. But grains and processed sugars in particular should be minimized. So to make things simple, you will be leaner and healthier if you get most of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables instead of grains and processed sugar. The biggest problem with grains, aside from the abuse to your blood sugar regulation system (pancreas and insulin sensitivity), is that grains contain a lot of anti-nutrients which prevent your body from absorbing some minerals, as well as gluten and other substances that cause chronic gut inflammation. Potatoes, Yam, and other tubers have less problems in terms of digestive system inflammation than grains do.
Food Rule #2.
Focus on quality protein sources such as wild chicken, wild fish and seafood, grass-fed meats, and free-roaming organically fed eggs, while trying to avoid most farmed meats and farmed fish that were fed mostly grains and kept in unhealthy “factory farm” environments.
Food Rule #3.
Aside from processed sugar, if I had to pick 3 of the WORST foods in the average diet that would be most important to start avoiding, it would be corn, soy, and wheat, and their derivatives such as corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, soy protein, etc. Do you want to hear an appalling statistic about what the average person eats? Currently, the average adult eating a typical modern western diet in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, etc consumes approximately 67% of their total caloric intake from only 3 foods – Corn, Soy and Wheat (and their derivatives). Keep in mind that ancestral humans have historically eaten over 80,000 species of plants, animals, and fungi throughout human history, yet modern humans are getting 67% of their calories from only three foods. That’s a problem!
Food Rule #4.
Speaking of sugar, most people don’t realize that they are addicted to sugar, and just how bad sugar is for your body internally. I hear people say things all the time when eating sweets or drinking a sweetened drink that “oh, it’s just sugar, I can burn it off easy”. Oh, if it were only that simple. That’s right… not only does sugar make you fat, it’s one of the direct causes of diabetes, heart disease, as well as feeding cancer cells. Avoid sugar as much as possible with the exception of a small amount of natural sugars in a piece of daily fruit.
Good luck out there!