A while back me and my friend started this blog. Our purpose was to have a place to write about things we enjoyed and to allow others a chance to do that as well. I have posted dozens of articles about food and cooking. It is one of my passions and since I have also done it professionally for a number of years I wanted to make some of the helpful tips and tricks I have learned readily available to those who don’t have the experience. Food is something we all partake in every, single day and learning about it and also cooking these foods is really quite enjoyable. All the articles I put have been based on what I thought would be most helpful to people. Whether it was the best way to season a steak, boil an egg or make a caramel sauce, I was always trying to be helpful and write based on what I knew to be best. I would say that is who I am. I love sharing information with people but, every now and then you learn something that contradicts everything that you currently hold as fact. When you learn something new you must adapt and change with it, otherwise you are deliberately doing something incorrectly and, depending on the situation, it can be harmful to yourself and others-drunk driving for example. Over the past year (more like seven months) I have researched a lot about food; more than I ever did in previous years. I made it a mission to understand why we eat the way we eat. I read a lot of material, off and on, with the intent of proving to myself the best way to eat. What I have learned and the results I have had personally have made it clear to me what foods are healthy for us. It is this new information that I wish to share with all of you reading this. It is only fair that we all have adequate information to make good choices for ourselves. And that is what I want to do. I want to provide people with information about the foods we eat As you will see, we have been mislead on what a “healthy diet” is. That is unfair to us all and we deserve to know our real choices when it comes to food. Choosing to eat this way, however, remains up to us.
It started with a video. I won’t tell you the details (although maybe I should). Most of us have seen them, or at least heard of them. Factory farming gone bad. The worst animal cruelty. This was one of those videos. I had seen this type of video before. But something about this one just struck me in a way that I felt very deeply. I was mortified that people, like me and you, could be a part of something so cruel and inhumane. And not only to take part in it, but to do so with such a lack of compassion. It really bothered me. The first thing I did was swear off meat. That lasted about 10 seconds. I needed meat, we all did. Where would I get my protein? How would I make a meal? In all my years of cooking everything was based off of oil in a pan and some type of meat. It seemed illogical to think I could cook any other way. So, here I was. I couldn’t give up meat but I was totally against big farming, factory farming. I had never felt so much inner conflict.
But a thought occurred to me. “Maybe I am not that good of a cook..” It annoyed me that I couldn’t make a great tasting dish without meat in it. Moral reasons aside, my ego stepped in and that thought stuck with me. Was meat that vital to flavor? That question dug into me and I started reading off and on about various eating methods. Vegans use no meat, ovo-vegetarians use eggs, asian cultures use very little meat. On and on. I read a lot. I was still really conflicted about eating meat at all. But I couldn’t stop eating it. There wasn’t a culture at any point in time that didn’t eat meat. So, it was clearly normal. But I realized that there are people today not eating meat. So either they are malnourished or maybe we didn’t need meat. I had no idea and began to research into strict vegan diets. And if anyone has ever looked into diets there are THOUSANDS. It seems there are as many fad-diets as there are people. It was daunting. Reading about these various eating methods. There were high fat diets, low fat diets, juice diets, etc. All of it was nonsense. But then I came across a medical doctor from California. John McDougall, MD has been a proponent of high starch, low fat diets since the 70’s and I began looking into his work. And his work led me to the work of nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. And this work led me to Caldwell Esselstyn, MD at the Cleveland Clinic. The work in this field led me to others and others and then back to Dr. John McDougall and then to Walter Kempner, MD and then back to Dr. McDougall. What I have learned is breathtaking, but not new. It is the basis of all nutrition throughout civilization but also the food revolution that the Western World needs.
If you are reading this odds are that you live in America and eat the average American diet. Lots of protein, lots of fat, a little of everything else (fruits, veg, etc.). When I say lots of protein, I mean it. The food pyramid is the basis of a “good” diet in the western world and the root of what organizations like the Food and Nutrition Board base their recommendations on but even that, in its inadequacy, is hardly taken seriously. Doctors aren’t taught about food and those in charge of food barely understand health. But there are recommendations they teach. In America, the recommended amount of protein is 30% of all calories consumed. However, the average protein intake for the average person is double that. 60 percent! But as you read this you might not be that surprised. I mean, we are taught that protein, especially animal protein, is great! So is milk. Gotta have calcium right? So when we see people eating an 18 oz ribeye we think nothing of it. But it’s not a coincidence that we also think nothing two-thirds of our population having heart disease, or high rates of breast, prostate and other cancers. We are essentially sold the idea that foods are foods and health is health and not related in any major ways. But the two are intimately connected.
The work of T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. was to study the environmental connections to disease(mainly cancers) and the study was done in China in association with Chinese scientists. The findings show, with 99.999% certainty that a diet higher than 5% animal protein allows cancer to exist and thrive. They gave rats the most potent carcinogen in the world, aflatoxin, and gave them a normal diet(30% protein) -every rat got cancer. They lowered the protein intake to less than 5% and no matter how much aflatoxin was given not 1 rat developed cancer. 100 percent certainty in studies and repeatable is, virtually, unheard of in science. But they did it. The also gave the rats 30% plant protein and not 1 developed cancer. The findings are clear.
Dr. John McDougall has a medical center in California and treats people with the high starch, low fat diet. In other words, lots of potatoes, rice, whole grains,beans, legumes, etc. Some non-starchy vegetables, a few fruits daily and very little natural fats and no animal foods and no added fats (olive oils, vegetable oil, etc.) His patients come to him having heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, various cancers, Type-II Diabetes and others. In almost all cases these people are off the medications in weeks. The same work and findings are done by Dr. Esselstyn in Cleveland. The reasons these people get better and the reason America is sick is because of our high animal protein intake. Which also means high amounts of fats and cholesterol. Our bodies cannot thrive in these conditions. We are told that this is the way we are supposed to eat but that is nonsense.
Every major civilization was based around starch. Asia had rice, the Middle East was known for its various grains and is even referred to as “The Bread Basket of The World”. The Maya were known as “The People of The Corn” and also used quinoa. The Inca cultivated potatoes. Gladiators in Rome, some of the most fiercest fighters, were known as “The Barley Men” and ate tons of barley. In Papua New Guinea they have sweet potatoes, etc. All around the world these people main source of food were starches. They had meat yes but very, very little. The same with any dairy products. These people thrived on starches. Kings and rulers had access to easy food and often ate much more animal protein than the average person. And in any painting of middle ages the rulers are FAT! The more advances in technology allowed more and more people to eat like these kings and queens and now we are all eating pretty much in luxury. Not in wealth but in calories. Sugar is everywhere, fats are everywhere, meat is everywhere and almost all carbs consumed are refined. For God’s sake at one time the top 3 vegetables consumed in the U.S. were tomatoes-in the form of pizza sauce, potatoes- in the form of french fries and chips, and iceburg lettuce.
The more I learn I know I will never go back to eating the way I used to. I started this way of eating October 30th, 2016 I was 167 lbs. It is now November 26th, 2016 and I am 155 lbs, and my cholesterol is 119. That low of cholesterol makes it nearly impossible to have a heart attack or stroke. Oh and fun fact- A total cholesterol of 170 is considered “good” however, almost every heart attack and stroke victim had cholesterol over 150. It’s time America make a change on how it approaches food and health. And I know more people would if the information was widespread but unfortunately it’s not. I feel great since making this change. Not only is it better for me but it is better for the environment and that is something that needs all the help it can get.
I will be writing more in detail about these findings. And B.A. Food will also be changing to incorporate a healthier approach to eating. But feel free to look more into this if you have any doubts. I suggest “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, “The Healthiest Diet on The Planet” by Dr. John McDougall, “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix. These three are great resources and a great start to learning more about this.