Convenience Foods Can Be Deadly
Widespread overweight is a relatively new phenomenon. So is adult-onset diabetes, kidney stones, hypertension, coronary heart diseases and cancer of the bowel. Together with many other chronic degenerative ailments, these belong to a group of illnesses now known as Diseases of Western Civilization. These conditions are hard to treat—so hard that, despite all the sophisticated drugs and leading-edge techniques of modern medicine, we have been unable to halt their spread. For, unlike the microbe-generated infectious diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis, Western Diseases are lifestyle-caused. Thanks to pioneering works from scientists such as Sir Robert McCarrison—who did the first epidemiological studies on the relationship between diet and health—and Drs Weston Price, Dennis Burkitt and Hugh Trowell, it is now widely accepted that degenerative conditions including obesity have developed as a direct result of the massive changes that have taken place over the last 150 years in how we live—especially in the way we eat convenience foods.
Convenience Foods - NO WONDER WE’RE IN TROUBLE
A lot has happened to our foods in the last century to produce this state of affairs. First, they are grown differently than the way our ancestors, for thousands of years, grew theirs. We grow food on chemically fertilized soils in which the organic matter has been degraded or destroyed. Eating foods this way leads to a depletion and imbalance in the minerals and trace elements available to our bodies—both of which we need in good quantities, to support complex metabolic processes on which health and leanness depend. Second, our foods are now highly processed. Raw foodstuffs, instead of being made into meals in home kitchens as they were in our grandparents' time, are sent to food manufacturers where they are fragmented—literally broken apart physically and chemically—then put through complex manufacturing processes to alter them out of all recognition. Third, our foods are shipped over long distances and stored for long periods of time, both of which lower their nutritional value. These modern practices destroy food's wholesomeness—a property very hard to measure, except in terms of the degenerative effects that eating such foods has on our bodies. Destroy a food's wholesomeness and you destroy a food's ability to support the highest levels of health. And once the health-giving integrity of any food has gone, it has gone for good. It can never be compensated for by vitamin and mineral supplements, or by eating cereals to which extra fiber and vitamins have been added.
FOOD’S NATURAL STATE
Our great-grandparents—whether they were Africans, Indians, Orientals or Europeans—had two important things in common. Their meals were mostly prepared from foods of animal and vegetable origin, and the foods they ate were little processed. They were eaten whole, as closely as possible to their natural state.
Such foods form the basis of a way of eating that rejuvenates the body and restores healthy functioning. This kind of eating helps prevent the development of obesity and other degenerative conditions—even if you happen to have inherited a tendency towards them. This way of eating can free people of all ages from much suffering caused by degenerative conditions such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, diverticulitis and other Western diseases.
FORGIVE YOURSELF NOW
There is one more major change that has taken place: today we also swallow a kaleidoscope of chemical colorants, flavorings additives and `enhancers', not to mention pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which our ancestors never imagined in their wildest dreams. We slurp down chemical pollutants with each sip of our diet cola and every bite of our pre-cooked meals. Such is the Western diet. So next time you upbraid yourself for what you perceive to be your lack of willpower as you reach for yet another biscuit and feel guilty about it, let the guilt go. It does not belong to you. The denatured, degraded, food we eat bears the lion's share of blame for the fat state we find ourselves in, as well as for how hard it is in our culture to stay lean and to remain healthy.