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We live in a world that’s designed to make us fat and sick.  Why? There is great profit in it, and it takes advantage of human nature. We have become accustomed to easy to prepare cheap processed food that purports to be good for us or heart-healthy. It has been ‘enriched’ with synthetic nutrients to make up for those removed in processing, or fortified with nutrients that were never there in the first place. Since the hectic work and family schedules of modern times leave little time for exercise or meal preparation, most of us have put on excess weight and suffer from one or more chronic conditions, especially as we get older.

Much of what the nutrition/medical community considers correct is flat out wrong. We are told by these ‘experts’ via a media bent on sensationalizing everything, that it is important to eat lots of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, which is good advice but woefully inadequate.  Nutrient dense animals foods are vital to health, as are cholesterol and saturated fat, but we are told to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol like the plague, eat only lean meat and chicken breasts with no skin, limit eggs, use margarine and highly processed vegetable oils in place of butter, lard, beef fat and coconut oil, use low or non fat dairy products, and to limit added sugar to no more than 25% of calories.  This is a recipe for overweight and type II diabetes!

In the first place this recommended diet is very high in carbohydrates. All carbohydrates break down into sugar; starches from grains and legumes into glucose and sucrose from fruit into glucose and fructose.  This load of sugar needs insulin in order to remove it from the bloodstream where it is dangerous and import it into cells where some is converted to energy, a small amount is stored as glycogen (for quickly available energy during exercise), and the rest is converted to fat.  Insulin is an anabolic hormone, meaning that it builds tissue, but the only tissue made out of sugar is fat tissue.

Secondly, the recommended diet is low in fat, and especially low in animal fats.  Humans have eaten animal fats for hundreds of thousands of years and the lifestyle diseases of today were unheard of.  Animal fats are generally minimally processed, are shelf stable because of a high proportion of saturated fat, taste good, and provide vitamins and minerals. Cholesterol and saturated fat are not enemies and are critically important to our health. Refined vegetable seed oils are a new addition to our food supply, are mostly omega 6 fatty acids which are already oxidized when we buy them because of the lengthy process needed to make them edible.  And if they have been hydrogenated as well they are full of artificial trans fats and really bad news.  Animal fats make food palatable and are crucial for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.  They are more calorie dense than carbohydrates or proteins but are so satisfying that we naturally moderate our intake of them.  One can’t physically overindulge in fat like one can easily do with carbohydrates.

Third, all the protein sources in the recommended diet are low fat, meaning that they are not well absorbed. Protein intake should be moderate because it is used only for growth and repair and not stored in the body.  If we over-consume protein it will be stripped of its nitrogen and turned into fat, so it is an expensive source of energy.

So what is an ideal diet for maintaining a healthy weight and with is retaining our health free from chronic disease into old age?  For answers to this question we have to look back—way back—into our history.  What did our ancestors eat before the advent of modern food processing? Our bodies are built from an ancient mold, designed to live on unprocessed, whole foods, and spend most of their waking hours actively in pursuit of them.  These foods have stood the test of time; our modern diet has not.  See Components  of an Ideal Diet for recommended foods.