Eating used to be purchase what you like, and eat it. For years, experts have been telling us what is good for us, and what is bad, what will make us gain weight, lose weight, be healthy, or cause disease. This has led to fad eating, fad diets, and general misunderstanding by most people. What is clear, is that taking advice from all of these experts is fueling progressive obesity, and the explosion of chronic disease.
Understand, that food is fuel, and as such must provide us with energy to function, to grow (up, not out), and to sustain us. What most of us don’t realize is that our food supply has been modified by two main factors.
The first, is time and “domestication”: plants, and animals, have been domesticated to interact with humans over thousands of years, and therefore, are only distantly related to what they used to be. Sort of like two cousins having a family resemblance, but clearly not the same. So when someone tells me for instance, that they are following a Paleo diet, this is an idea to return to the eating habits that our bodies were originally designed for. First, this is mostly a guess, and second, given domestication of our food supply, eating the way early man ate is not possible.
The second modifying factor in our current food supply is intentional. Genetic alteration of foods (GMO), use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, and toxins primarily in our groundwater and soil (for example arsenic), all change what we are actually eating and exposed to. These secondary modifications have occurred progressively in just the past one hundred years. The good news, is that these man-made changes can be avoided to a large extent, by eating certified organic foods, and whole foods, rather than processed foods. And carefully read labels.
An integral part of our wellness curriculum, is to educate our clients about the food they are eating. Choosing poor quality foods will first affects the GI tract, the initial contact with the outside world, where we process our foods. Once the gut is damaged, an avalanche of changes in the lining tissue occurs, which as they progress, cause conditions known as intestinal permeability, leaky gut, dysbiosis, and SIBO. What these all have in common, is that the gut can no longer protect us against the environment, leading to progressive inflammation and damage to function, of most tissues in the body. This leads to chronic illness and disability due to rapid aging of our organs. It is well understood by those of us who practice functional medicine, that damage to the GI tract may in fact be the trigger to up to 80% of all diseases and conditions that will affect us. Therefore, correct what you expose yourself to, and see a physician who can identify the root conditions, and reverse the damage to the gut.