Food And Health

Dr. Purushothaman
September 3, 2013

What is healthy if you talk about food?

This question goes a lot deeper than one would suspect on first sight. Let's break it down in a logical way.

Why do we need food in the first place?

We need to nourish our bodies to sustain basic functioning of all our bodily functions.Research shows us that we need different kinds of elements to keep our body-factory working.

Furthermore we need energy to be able to do something with our bodies.

Most people will take the statements above as 2 facts.

Where the disagreement is, is on how we should acquire these elements and this energy.

Ok, so what should we eat?

A broad discussion, of which many are not really aware, is going on about what mankind is supposed to eat in the first place.What type of food are we designed for.

From a scientific standing point, one would research what people digest best, or most effectively, and what type of food would have the least side-effects.

A big and growing current in this respect is people who believe in the "paleo"-diet.

What is the paleo-diet?

The paleo-diet is a diet based on the fact that research shows that our early ancestors would eat a small variety of food. As a way of natural selection the people with bad eating habits would not survive.

The research for the diet isn't primarily for finding answers on how to lose weight or eat healthier,but on which type of food our species survived best.

As for the why and how, let's leave that in the middle for now and let's take a look at the diet.

First and foremost, the diet would consist of unprocessed food, and natural ingredients.This is where most experts agree upon.

Furthermore most experts say that the diet would consist of mainly some fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fresh fish and some meat.

The main differences with today's average diet would be:

-no dairy products

-less carbohydrates (no bread, pasta, rice or potatoes and such)

-less sugar (processed carbohydrates)

-more protein

-more fat

-no artificial additives

This is where the discussion starts.

Many of today's authorities on food claim this diet to be questionable due to the lack of for instance dairy and the favor of (even saturated) fat and protein above carbohydrates.

Also there is a growing group of vegetarian-minded people that will not accept the need for eating meat or even fish.

And last but certainly not least, health isn't only achieved by good diet, but also is influenced by demographics,environmental state, medicine and society issues.

If you live in a peaceful country, surrounded by nature,loaded with money and excellent medical care or you live in a country, constantly at war, in an industrial area,no financial means ,smoking all day because of your stressful life, no medicine and so on... That all will influence your health.

So which side to take?

Because it's very hard to declare food healthy scientifically, there is really not much else to do then take research by the hand, follow your common sense, and try it for yourself.

I like the logical approach:

-We need food for energy an resources, so we might start to quit eating and drinking food with no value in that respect.

-Nowadays there are many food related health-issues(like diabetes,obesity), so we might want to take a look at our diet, see what it consists of, and look for alternatives.

Basically that is the mindset to a healthier diet.

In the end one might say that healthy food is not so much a matter of science, but more of awareness and common sense. Do we know what we eat in the first place? If you would check your diet and ask yourself why you are eating something, and what does it do for you,i am sure you will find that many times you are taking something with no value for your body(like "empty calories"),or with too much value in only one particular resource (too much sugar, salt, etc.).

So if you want to know about healthy food a good start would be to just take a look at your diet for, say, a week , and you will be able to tell yourself where the possible improvements are.

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