The American Diet: Where did we go wrong?

Diabetes SuperfoodsI have been slowly transitioning my practice from disease-based into a Wellness model, geared toward keeping people healthy, rather than treating them after they are sick. I will be writing articles on nutrition, identifying nutrient dense foods vs. toxic foods that our body’s are not yet adapted to eat, food industry myths, fasting to extend life (autophagy), HIIT-a new more efficient way to exercise, and much more. Five days after changing MY diet and taking safe, appropriate supplements, I lost 7 pounds and felt as good as I have felt in years. It has made me a believer in how easy we can begin to look and feel better.

It’s easy to be deceived into thinking that we are getting all the nutrients we need. Never mind all the labels that say “fortified” with this and that, or the synthetic vitamins that make you think that 1000% of an isolated vitamin is healthy(e.g.absorbic acid being sold if it was the full vitamin c complex as found in nature). Although we are trying to make good food choices, we are all struggling with malnutrition. Traditional cultures ate meat, and didn’t just eat the muscle and throw out the organs, which are the most nutrient-dense food of all (much more so than vegetables). Their vegetables were grown without pesticides and in rich soil, much un-like today’s poisoned, mineral depleted soil. Carbohydrates were eaten at a minimum, and they didn’t do something as crazy as eat low-fat meat or milk, or take their cows off of grass and feed them corn.  Fat contains essential nutrients and hormone precursors that we absolutely need in our diet. Drinking low fat milk has even been implicated in a Harvard study as a cause of infertility by depriving the ovaries of the hormone precursors it needs to function correctly.

The USDA food pyramid advocates a diet high in grains, breads, rice, and pasta. These carbohydrates(even whole grains), are the root cause of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. That’s right, it’s not the fats that are causing these problems(the good saturated fats that is). The low fat diet that was advocated in the early 80′s has led to more heart disease than ever before, cancer rates are soaring, diabetes statistics have gone through the roof, and the food industry is making billions pumping demineralized, toxic food that is making us sick-all in the name of profit. I hate to sound so cynical, but this is the sad truth.

When we take a good look at just how far away our food is from its original source, and how many unwanted ingredients are in it, you can’t help but be concerned. This modern way of eating, and the effect it has on our endocrine system, is at the root of many of the illnesses today.

How about vitamin D?  We used to get vitamin D from our foods (butter, eggs, lard, liver) as well as from the sun, but then the U.S. started this low-fat craze and people started being deficient in the fat-soluble vitamins, of which D is one.  Vitamin D is vital for immune function, prevention of cancers, prevention of cataracts, bone health, prevention of kidney stones, and prevention of calcification of the arteries.  Official estimates say that 85% of Americans are clinically deficient, and from what I have seen in my clinic, it’s even higher. Then there’s K2, which may be even more important than D to prevent osteoporosis, and removing calcium from places it shouldn’t be (arteries or in joints where it causes bone spurs). It used to be found in butter from cows eating grass but, oh right-cows are often fed corn now.

Not Iodine too?  Milk and bread used to be fortified with iodine, but that was discontinued in the 1980′s. Approximately, 50% of the people I see in clinic are hypothyroid, for the very reason they are not getting it through their diet.

In a few weeks I am going to introduce the Perfect Health Roadmap programThe Roadmap will include the major elements necessary to live a life with the energy and vitality you didn’t realize was possible, and avoid the pitfalls and mis-information prevalent in today’s world. The Roadmap contains a 23 page binder that includes a guide to eating in harmony with our evolutionary biology, what mini-fasts do for you, new discoveries on exercise, the science of sleep, and how to use supplements and what you really need. In addition, you will get a recipe guide, conversation about sweeteners, an herb to control sugar cravings, and the most scientifically supported health program you can find.  Yours in Health,

Rick J. Bernard, L.Ac.

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