Can you think of a time when you couldn’t find any food to buy or eat? Believe it or not, a little over 100 years ago, there were a lot of people in Australia who didn’t have enough to eat. Food was not widely available. There weren’t multiple grocery stores in every town, and they certainly didn’t have 24-hour convenience stores.
Today we live in a day and age where people need to eat LESS. Food is much more widely available, and with greater variety. Additionally, unhealthy junk foods are available that didn’t even exist 100 years ago. Diseases that affect the majority of the population like heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity have causational roots in eating too much, especially too much of the wrong foods. We no longer live in a world where food is scarce, and all calories are created equal. The amount of food that the Australian Government advises that we eat is not the only concern.
There are also problems with the kinds of food that we are encouraged to eat. Studies show that sugar, certain kinds of fats (especially low-fat processed dairy, refined vegetable oils and seed oils) and simple carbohydrates (like bread and pasta) are unhealthy and promote chronic diseases that are rooted in inflammation, like heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes.
The recommendations of our government do not equate to health. I recommend you watch the Academy award nominated film, Food Inc. which exposes the fact that oftentimes, the food policy leaders at the USDA (In the U.S.A.) are former food and agriculture executives, and therefore have ulterior motives behind their policies.
The Food Pyramid was created in order to educate the public about what kind and how much food should be eaten every day. The first food pyramid was set to be released in 1991. It was blocked by the USDA Secretary because he felt it was “confusing to children.” This reason seemed so absurd that many people wondered if he was actually under pressure from the meat industry. The Food Pyramid was certainly not thrown together, last minute. The original Food Pyramid had been in development for 11 years. During that time, consumer research was done on different age groups and different income levels to determine if the pyramid display was able to clearly communicate to different audiences. It was successful in focus groups.
I find it interesting that there was so much research to determine if it was easy to understand, and seemingly less study to find out if the recommendations it made where healthy and nutritious. Should our diet be so heavy in wheat and grains and low in meat and fat? Or, was it all based on the faulty science of the cholesterol debate? If you want to know more about the cholesterol debate, please read “The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz”
Right before it was set to be printed and released to the public, a few news stories emerged that implied that the Pyramid suggested eating less meat. That same weekend, the National Cattlemen’s Association had their annual meeting. They were outraged. They, along with the National Milk Producers’ Federation, demanded that the Pyramid be withdrawn. The head of the American Meat Institute wrote a letter to the Secretary of the USDA. And surprisingly, the Pyramid was withdrawn, citing a concern about school children’s ability to understand it. Many news stories were released, insisting that the pressure from the food industries was the real reason. And the researchers in charge of developing the food pyramid agreed. Isn’t it amazing how much power industry has on health recommendations? Shouldn’t our government health regulations be about our health? Not about the farming or economy?
With all we know today about farming, animal husbandry, toxic poisons and long-term health effects of these poisons I advise you choose to eat foods that are nutrient dense and real. My asuggestions are based simply on how to become as healthy as possible and avoid chronic illness. I have no affiliations with farming groups, economic groups, or politics. My reccomendations are simple and easy to follow and based on up-to-date science:
- Eat vegetables!! Eat a lot of them, eat them often, and eat many different kinds and colours of them.
- Eat seeds and nuts, fruits and berries.
- Eat healthy fats with every meal. Quality is important!
- Eat healthy meats and seafood.
Supplement your diet with high quality vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, when required, to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Anthea Holder
(Chiropractor and Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)