When I was growing up, I had always been taught about the Food Pyramid. It looked something along the lines of the picture below:
The thing is, it?s just flat out wrong. Not wrong. I lied. It?s just a terribly unhealthy way to eat. With more and more research coming out about the benefits of a lower carbohydrate/higher fat diet, using this as a guide for your nutrition is analogous to driving a Ford Pinto in 2016: You aren?t going to reach your destination very quickly (if you even make it), and there is a possibility that you will blow up and die every time you get in the car. Okay, maybe it?s not that drastic, but over time habitually following this way of eating can be detrimental to your health.
Let?s start with grains. Pasta, Rice, Bread. These foods are super high in carbohydrate content leading to a hormonal cycle that virtually guarentees health complications. I will keep this as concise as possible. You consume too many carbohydrates leading to elevated levels of blood sugar. Insulin pulls that excess blood sugar out and stores it in the cells. When there is too much blood sugar and nowhere to put it, that excess blood sugar is stored as fat. If this continues over time not only are you storing body fat, but the pancreas has to secrete more insulin to further regulate this elevated blood sugar level.
At the same time, these grains contain harmful proteins called phytates that bind to minerals, making them difficult to digest, as well as proteins called lectins that accumulate over time and destroy the lining of your gut leading to Increased Gut Permeability. If your gut becomes permeable, you become systemically inflamed as bad bacteria enters your blood stream that is supposed to be kept in the digestive tract. This added stress to biological systems raises your stress hormone levels (cortisol) which leads to cravings for the same types of carb-dense foods, perpetuating this cycle.
Elevated blood sugar levels over time will lead to insulin resistance, which eventually will lead to type 2 diabetes. The gut permeability caused by these grains will produce systemic inflammation in the body adding stress to what should be normal biological function. This combination, over time can lead to heart disease, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and more than likely metabolic syndrome.
Dairy is the other issue. Everyone responds differently, but simply put humans are not meant to drink the milk of a different species. Cow?s milk is the perfect food for a calf. Breast milk is the perfect food for human babies, as a dense source of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. Calfs stop drinking cows milk when they grow up, and for some reason we as humans decide to continue drinking the milk of another species even as adults. Some people don?t have digestive issues with consuming milk, however a massive amount of the population is intolerant to the sugar in milk called Lactose while the proteins in milk (whey and casein) effect the gut in a similar way that grains do, increasing gut permeability.
So, What do you do now that everything you thought was right turned out to be wrong (assuming I?m correct)? Eat like this:
Lots of meat and veggies, some fruit, healthy fat, little starch, nuts and seeds. This way of eating has been proven to mitigate and even reverse chronic conditions that I listed above. It has also been proven to repair the lining of the gut as well as recalibrate healthy hormonal function. Simply put, your body will function the way it was meant to function. I?m not saying you can never have bread or sugar or dairy ever again, just be conscious of the effect it has and do your best to make healthy food choices because at the end of the day health is something that we cannot take for granted.