Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

The Stone Age Diet….

The Paleo Diet

Since I began this in earnest 10 factors have become apparent.

*1. Reducing salt in the diet is not difficult *2. Reducing bad fats is not difficult

*3. Reducing sugar is not difficult *4. Reducing wheat and carbohydrate is not difficult

*5. Protein and vitamin intake is natural *6. Sourcing fresh food is not difficult

*7. Reducing milk and dairy is not difficult *8. It is not expensive

*9. It reduces weight *10. It does not result in hunger pangs.

I decided to embark on this diet because I know that too much salt in our bodies is the biggest health problem today. Yet almost everything we buy if freshly sourced  meat, fish, vegetables or fruit, is laced with too much salt. I also know that if something is sold as low fat, it will generally have more salt. Anything sold as low salt will have more fat, and anything which says it is low in fat and salt, will have more sugar. The combination of all three, which is merely a merry-go-round, are just clever tools for the food manufacturers to play with.

They think we are naive, and fool us into buying their healthy products, but secretly, they know that few of us will analyse their ingredients to the degree that only a food biologist would be able to dissect and ascertain.

First of all the most important approach is to forget that fast food joints exist. It may be tempting to call in to a MacDonald’s or KFC or Subway or any other similar place, so discipline and self-control is a key factor.

The old adage of we are what we eat is very true. Our lifestyles dictate how we eat.

Let's take some scenarios. I am an office worker. I get up in the morning and have some cereal. I am told that this will provide energy and fibre to start my morning off. I may have toast and butter to follow along with my coffee. I may have an apple or some yogurt. I leave the house knowing that I have had a healthy start to the day.

By 11.00 I am hungry. I will have a snack. It may be a biscuit, or cereal bar, and I know that this will fill a gap until lunch. Lunch arrives, and I will have a sandwich or a burger and fries. I'll finish work, and plan my dinner, but I can't be bothered to cook, so I'll just pop into the takeaway on the way home. I might have a Chinese takeaway, or an Indian meal, or a Kebab, but I know that I won’t have any fresh meat or fish, and if I bought some in the supermarket on the way back, I really can't be bothered to mess about in the kitchen. After all, I've had a long day, and I'm tired. I can't be arsed to fart around cooking.

By the time I go to bed after maybe a few drinks in front of the TV, I'm knackered, and sleep beckons. Unfortunately whilst the brain is sleeping, my body is working overtime trying to process all this stuff.

Next morning I'm tired and lethargic but I must drag myself out of bed, and the first thing I do is grab my cereal and coffee and…Well, it starts all over again. I'm looking forward to Friday evening, because I can chill out, relax, have a night out and treat myself. And Monday comes around all too soon.

Now I am a driver. I leave the house early to ensure I get a good start for my deliveries. I may grab a slice of toast, but by 8.00am I'm at the cafe, looking forward to my English breakfast. Tea, fried bacon, eggs, sausages, black pudding, baked beans. I'm a hard working bloke, I eat hard and play hard, and my mates are eating the same thing. Later on I'll go to the pub, have a few beers, and get some fish and chips on the way home.

Now I am a mother with small children. I need to go to the supermarket and feed the little sprogs after they finish school. I'll buy some pizzas, or some bread crumbed chicken escallops, I'll fry some potatoes, and give them some cake or crisps or ice cream for pudding. They deserve my microwaved meals. I'm a good mother, and did I not set them off this morning with some coco pops? Did I not fill their packed lunch-box with a chocolate bar, a cheese sandwich, a sugary fruit drink and a packet of crisps? I look after my kids. How dare you suggest I am not responsible!

Now I am a banker. I eat in the finest restaurants. I choose the best food on the menu. I have a fillet steak, creamed potatoes, a side salad with dressing. I wash it down with a few glasses of burgundy. I have a dessert, perhaps some cheese and biscuits, and I'm thoroughly pleased.

Now I am unemployed. I have little money. There's a shop or market down the road and I can buy some fresh fruit and veg. But that won't feed my family. I can go to the supermarket and buy some cheap frozen food. It looks good, they'll love it and all I have to do is defrost it and cook it in the microwave. It looks great on the packet – and besides, I need to ensure there is a good supply of snacks, because my family eats them all the time and they would think they were starved or neglected if I didn't provide them.

Now I am a gardener – no – I am a train driver, then again I may even be an airline pilot. Somehow, I eat all of the above and more. And who are you to tell me what I should or should not eat? And if I want to get a quarter pounder with cheese or a Big Mac so what? Besides, I walk, I run, I go to the gym. I work off the calories. It really is none of your business.

Quite so. It's none of my business. But every meal, every eating pattern, every lifestyle as highlighted above is laced with salt, sugar, carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, wheat, grains and dairy. None of which constituted the diet of stone-age man. For 2.5 million years, man in one form or another ate the same staples but very different from his modern counterpart, and for the last 10,000 years since farming and agriculture was developed, he has been plagued by ill-health.

Yet, even today, we do not have to be slaves to the food giants, or the propaganda which is espoused by our governments who in their misguided but well intentioned belief ram their principles down our throats. We do not have to follow their mantra. The food lobbyists are rich and powerful, and can easily influence policy, yet even in our mass-produced processed-food world, we still have a choice, if only we are prepared to look and learn from the past.

Salt is a preservative. It's only in the last two hundred years that salt mines gained prominence and why we have been conditioned that salt is a necessary food additive. Sugar for Stone-Age man was only available through honey. Grain and wheat was unheard of. The only fats came from natural sources. Eggs were a luxury, and milk and cheese were not possible from cows. There were no cows. Cows are a man made ruminant. As indeed are the grazing pastures they eat.

The reason why wheat and cereals are regarded as healthy is because they are fortified with the minerals and vitamins that they lack. Otherwise bread for example would be a tasteless, bland powdery substance and doughnuts would be meaningless without sugar.

Yet, we have been conditioned to accept that this is what our bodies need if not crave!

I have virtually eliminated salt, sugar and bad fats from my diet. Yet I am not missing out. It is possible to take a different approach to food. It is possible to enjoy food without them. All it needs is a change of mind-set.

The good food is out there, all that's required is the will to eat it.

If we don't change now, and take control of what we eat, and continue to pass on our bad habits to our children who in turn will pass them on to theirs, then the ticking time bomb of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, muscular diseases, hypertension, angina, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, bowel troubles and all the other ailments associated with modern man, will explode (if indeed they already haven’t).

We may be living longer, and mainly do so due to the advances of medical science but to the detriment of ourselves. Do we really want to burden our children to spend their lives caring for us? Do we want or expect the state to provide for us? Do we want to spend our days old but ill? Do we want to have a quality of life not dependant on medication? Do we not have a duty to help ourselves while we are still able?

By helping ourselves, we help our children and grandchildren. They are the future, so let's leave them with a sound legacy.

Let them grow up with the knowledge that their parents tried to make a difference, tried to make a change, and one day, when all the fast food joints and exploitive food manufacturers are but a distant memory, they can say thanks – and celebrate the day when their parents awoke from somnambulism, and truly knew that they cared.

In this brave new world it is not too late; indeed it could be just the beginning – if we really wanted it to be!

Why not buy the Paleo Diet (top left). It’s only six quid, and it could change your life.

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July 1, 2012 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Diet, Education, Europe, General, History, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Enjoyable and lively read as always. Personally I use a lot of salt on everything I eat. Perchance that is why I’m so thin?

    Like

    Comment by Spook Moor | July 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. Nice concise article, keep flying the flag for common sense nutrition.

    Like

    Comment by Mike | July 1, 2012 | Reply

  3. Thanks – but you should throw away the salt methinks!

    Like

    Comment by Bar De Ness | July 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. Thanks Mike for your input. I see you run the Paleo Works website. My knowledge isn’t as great as yours – I’m a novice in this field – but I appreciate the support. I’ll be checking out your site often. Cheers.

    Like

    Comment by Bar De Ness | July 6, 2012 | Reply


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