Tag Archives: Paleolithic diet

Food is Medicine

3 Jan

I wanted to share are article I recently read on the Huffington Post Blog. Here is just an excerpt but you can read the article in entirety at Huffington Post Science.

“We are in the midst of the most significant public health crisis of all time — our national epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which threaten to bankrupt Medicare by 2024. Roughly 75 percent of health care costs are due to chronic disease, and roughly 75 percent of these costs are potentially recoupable. Although we can argue the myriad proximate causes of our health decline, the one reason we can all agree on is the plethora of processed food that started after World War II, but really ramped up starting in the 1970s. Processed food took off due to expense, time savings for two-parent working or single-parent families, and the women’s rights movement. Back then, only 4 percent of all food consumed was outside the home; currently, it is 34 percent. Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, usually consisting of a throw-in-the oven pizza or microwave TV dinner.

These alterations in our food supply and methods of food preparation (or lack thereof) have evinced several detrimental effects. First, Americans are getting sick. Processed food means the addition of sugar; of the 600,000 items in the food supply, 80 percent are laced with added sugar (added by the food industry for its own purposes). Sugar drives the development of all these chronic metabolic diseases. Second, processed food means fiberless food because you can’t freeze fiber (try freezing an orange, see what you get). Fiber is the stealth nutrient. Lack of fiber is associated with these same diseases. Our ancestors used to consume 100 grams of fiber per day, the USDA suggests we consume 25 grams, and our median fiber consumption is 15 grams. And third, we’ve lost an entire generation of cooks. Many parents today don’t even know how to boil water, let alone prepare a meal from scratch. And this is the “gift that keeps on giving.” Kitchen-illiterate parents mean kitchen-illiterate kids, and so on. The human and economic carnage of chronic disease escalates. And so on.

Hippocrates said it first and best: “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Numerous studies demonstrate when you switch to a low-sugar, high-fiber diet — and it doesn’t matter which diet you prefer (see the high-fat Atkins Diet or the low-fat Ornish Diet or the Paleolithic Diet) — they all work to treat, and in some instances even reverse these chronic diseases. All three have been shown to reduce reliance on anti-diabetic medications. You know what you call a low-sugar, high-fiber diet? Real food. You can’t buy these diets in a box. You have to prepare them.”

Have you tried any of the diets mentioned above? I’d love to hear how it impacted your life.