Fundamental human design requires several things currently very lacking in the American diet. Our modern diet is high in damaging carbohydrates and low in much-needed quality fats and fiber.
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At some point in time a few decades ago my sister-in-law phoned me and the conversation lead me to some study as to fiber, nutrition and human health.
In that I gained a little info including the fact that humans have a gastro-intestinal (G.I.) tract that is some 25% longer as compared to dogs, cats and other true carnivores. We are considered to be omnivores which means that we are programmed physiologically to eat both meat from animals and vegetable and fruit substances. The truth is that people have managed to live for long periods on boiled saddles, tree bark and some stuff that would be far removed from appetizing.
It is never a bad idea for us to study the Okinawans of Japan since they have the highest number of centenarians per capita in the world. The island off the mainland coast of Japan has something over 10 times as many 100-plus-year-old residents per 1,000 population as the US. Many of these people go to work every day. They have the highest level of dietary L-Serine of any peoples in the world. Since L-Serine is an amino acid that can be synthesized from glycine, it is considered non-essential from a dietary standpoint. However, it has been researched as to the limiting of dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. In our country these diseases have become rampant. Sure enough, grass-fed beef consumption and the right eating habits are preventive. By the way, Okinawa has very highly mineralized soil from its volcanic origin. This soil mineralization is also very important.
The consumption of fibrous foods is vitally important to our health when viewed on a long-term basis. Fiber is generally either digestible or indigestible. Truth is that this might be less than a completely accurate delineation since digestible fiber is less than 100% digestible and indigestible fiber can often yield some calories as it goes through our GI tract. Digestible fiber yields positive energy while indigestible fiber burns energy.
Cell-wall cellulose and the amount of lignin are important. Fiber that is indigestible is important to move the foodstuffs through the GI tract, and scratch and cleanse the lining of the intestinal epithelium. The daily cleansing of the gut wall is important. The same is true of daily and regular bowel elimination. Note that healthy animals, including carnivores, have a highly predictable gastro-colic reflex when they eat they manure. The same is true of healthy humans.
It is pretty simple to just stay away from the middle aisles of the store and the processed breads, juices, biscuits, rolls, flour and anything that has been bleached and reduced to a fine powder. Replace the Irish potatoes with sweet potatoes. Eat the peelings if they have not been chemically treated. Eat a couple of prunes every morning with coffee. Eat raw broccoli with extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Stay away from most other salad dressings, especially if they say "low fat." Low fat also typically means high sugar, because humans want to eat either fat or sweet. Remove one and we crave the other. In turn, high sugar is a major killer of health and longevity.
Learn to read labels with an emphasis on words you can't pronounce, as well as high-fructose corn syrup, various other forms of sugar and abbreviations.
Twenty-five to 30 grams of fiber daily, 50% of which is not digestible, is a good goal.
By the way, there is no law against missing a meal or two on a regular basis.
Remember that quality fat does not make you fat.
Sugar and food that is sweet in your mouth will fatten.
Stay away from processed fats, especially man-made (hydrogenated) fat.
Grass-fed beef fat (tallow) and extra-virgin olive oil and raw milk butterfat from grazing cattle are the best fats and oils that I am aware of in North America.
Low-fat milk is fattening and not healthy. The same is true of homogenized milk as the fat has been denatured. Milk, especially high-fat milk from grazing cows that are grazing fresh, recovered grass should be very healthy if everything is clean.
The truth is that low-fat eating is fattening and unhealthy. We require lots of quality fat for good health, probably 30-40% and possibly 75% on a calorie basis. This fact is important, really important.
Quality fiber, fat and grass-fed beef are the first three biggies for quality health. I have a few more add-ons and plan to be back.