"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
Back in school, we learned that our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. They moved around based on food availability. As they transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers, very early on they discovered that fermentation and the use of salt and smoke were great ways to preserve food. Slowly but surely, they developed the basic methods of modern-day agriculture and thus the evolution of food began. Nowadays, because of the high-paced world we live in, the food industry has evolved into the processed “food” industry.
Thanks to this evolution, processed foods have become widely available and since this form of “food” fits into the “ready in 5-minutes or less” category, for many, it’s become a very convenient way of getting their next meal.
But what happens to your body when you put convenience above health?
With so much contradicting information out there, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed about what to eat and what not to eat. In the next couple of paragraphs, you’ll discover 3-Hacks to Eating Better that will help you feel confident about your next meal.
HACK #1 – Use your brain!
Even though food has evolved so quickly over the last century, the human body has not caught up. Meaning, our bodies have not adapted to consuming processed foods. Our ancestors ate mainly fresh, locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat when available, for over a million years. Modern-day agriculture is only a little over a century old. When taking all of this into consideration, it’s not surprising to see a rise in chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer.
The human body makes sense, but you have to use your brain! Now, I’m not saying to go out there and collect fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds for dinner. But, the next time you’re getting ready to reach for that frozen pizza (even if the box says it’s made with organic ingredients, paleo-friendly, etc.), ask yourself, “did my hunter-gatherer ancestors eat the ingredients listed on this package?”.
HACK #2 - Would Great Grandma eat it?
If Great Grandma were around, you could bet a hundred bucks she would stay away from aisles like the frozen food section, cereal, chips, soda, and even run away from products labeled “low-fat” or “sugar-free”. Why? Well, because she would not recognize ANY of those items as “real” food.
The idea behind creating processed foods back in the 50’s was to extend shelf-life and make food widely available. The only way to achieve this was by using chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. Sadly, during that time because of the increased sales in the processed foods industry, there was hardly any emphasis made on the long-term effects these foods had on health. It isn’t until recently that studies have shown just how detrimental the consumption of artificial ingredients, GMO’s, and chemicals really is to the human body.
HACK #3 - It’s ALL about your brain.
Your brain is command central and your nervous system acts as a pathway to get messages out to every organ, cell, and tissue in your body. Food is the only way to nourish your body, and just like exercise, eating the right foods can improve your brain function and your overall health. But, when you’re feeding your body artificial ingredients, food that contains dyes or GMO’s you’re high-jacking the communication between your body and your brain.
What does this translate to? It means that feeding your body unnatural ingredients will cause your body to slowly stop functioning correctly. This is where chronic illnesses come into play. Despite efforts of Western medicine, not only are chronic illnesses in the adult population on the rise, but it is also on the rise in young children.
Your body was created to thrive. Just like a computer, your body has the power to reboot and heal itself given the chance.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a world that’s always giving us mixed messages about how and what we should be eating. There’s always a “new miraculous” diet being put on the front cover of magazines giving people false hope. Because of this, so many have opted to not trust their own body’s capacity for healing.
All it really takes is looking at the hard and simple facts about how our bodies were designed and how they were truly meant to function. It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that the more whole foods you include in your diet, the better your chances are of living a healthy and happy life.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the 2nd part of this article. We’ll dive a little deeper into the most common fad diets and clear up any confusion around them by using the 3-Hacks to Eating Better.