You may think that regular exercise , a positive mental attitude ,while applying the golden rule: ‘everything in moderation’ the key is to good health. However, if you understand the damage caused by processed foods,it will motivate you to change your diet, if you are aiming for a high level of health and freedom of degenerative diseases.
Acid-alkaline balance. We should consume acid- and alkaline-forming foods in the right ratio’s. This is not hard to realize, when we know that, generally speaking,fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming and the rest is mostly acid-forming, with a few exceptions.You can read more about acid- and alkaline-forming foods in my article, by visiting my website.
The Australian diet contains nearly one-and-a-half times more acid-forming food as it does alkaline-forming food. This ratio should be the other way around.
The problem with eating too much acid-forming food is that it builds up toxic waste products,and is the cause of most of our health problems. A diet that contains insufficient fruit and vegetables is missing vital antioxidants ,beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals. They are most important to prevent oxidation, caused by free radicals, which are the main cause of heart disease,stroke, cancer and other diseases.
Excess Protein Australians consume two to three times as much protein as they need,mainly in the form of red and white meat, cheese and eggs. The amount that is sufficient for our body is approximately 85-120 gr per day. The ‘pure’ protein from this and other foods meets the international standard of half a gram of protein daily per kilogram of body weight.
Our body cannot store excess protein and has to be broken down and eliminated, putting much strain on our liver and kidneys. Large quantities of animal protein are highly acid-forming, contains a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol and forms uric acid, which may cause gout.
Excess Fat A typical Australian diet contains 40% of total calories of fat, which is far too much and this amount of fat can be dangerous, as it is the major cause of heart disease, stroke, cancer and obesity.
Fat coats the intestines and blocks the assimilation of vital water-soluble minerals. Saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce large amounts of cholesterol. Together with rancid or oxidized fat they are doing the most damage to our health. Oxidation is caused by high temperature, exposure to air and light.
We only need small quantities of unsaturated fat, together with plenty of vitamin E in our diet to protect the fat against oxidation.
Refined Carbohydrates Refined sugar is highly acid forming, as it has lost alkaline minerals,which are needed to neutralize the carbonic acid formed during metabolism.
Because of the absence of vitamin B, which activate the enzymes to break sugar down to release energy it cannot be metabolised properly. The consumption of regular, large amounts of white, brown or raw sugar can cause high cholesterol,gout, hypoglycaemia, diabetes,obesity and depletion of minerals and vitamins.
The same is true for white flour (and its products: white bread,cakes,biscuits,pastries and pasta) and white rice. They have lost 50 – 75% of their vitamins and minerals and much of their fiber.
Lack of Fiber. According to research, the major cause of bowel cancer is lack of fiber in the diet. Fiber is required to create bulk in the digestive tract in order to stimulate peristalsis, the intestinal muscle action that pushes food matter along. If fiber is lacking, this stagnates partly digested food putrefies to produce ammonium and other nitrogenous compounds, which are highly toxic and may eventually lead to cancer.
Other symptoms of lack of fiber in the diet include appendicitis, diverticular disease of the bowel, varicose veins,piles(haemorrhoids)and hiatus hernia. It can also be the major cause of gallstones.
Fiber is found in vegetables, NOT in animal foods like red and white meat, cheese, yogurt, milk and eggs.
Stimulants A stimulant can be defined as an irritant, a mildly toxic substance,which the body cannot use and must be eliminated.
A stimulant works by producing an eliminative response and causes increased circulation in order to pass more blood through the liver to detoxify the stimulant. The increased circulation also sends more blood to the brain and muscles, which makes us feel more alert and more energetic. We get a temporary ‘lift’ – which is only temporary, because after the stimulation is over, the system slows down in order to recoup the energy that was squandered. This is a form of depression – which follows stimulation like night follows day.
The best known stimulants are: nicotine, caffeine, tannin, alcohol,salt, pepper, spices and pickles.
Smoking is one of the most destructive addictions and the harmful effects are widely known.
Coffee constrict the heart and arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and various cancers and may make skin disease worse. High intake during pregnancy has been linked to deformed births and an increase risk of miscarriage.
The effects on the mind includes anxiety, sleeplessness, irritability, headache and racing of the heart. Drinking seven to eight cups per day has been reported to trigger terrifying panic attacks.
Alcohol. Many studies have been conducted on the health effects of alcohol. The fact is that alcohol is a toxic substance and damage will result,unless the person is extremely healthy or the consumption is very low.
The risk of colon cancer is doubled by just 2 drinks per day. Brain damage can result from just three standard drinks per day. During pregnancy, only four drinks per day can cause the baby to be permanently and severely handicapped. Heavy drinking can cause damage to the liver, called cirhsis, which may eventually be fatal.
If the alcohol is in the form of red wine,it contains a high level of antioxidants, and resveratrol, which reduces the risk of heart disease,stroke and possibly cancer as well. However, the same effects can be obtained by drinking dark grape juice without the possible risks on our health!
To conclude this overview on our modern diet, rest me to suggest that we need a diet that is essentially unprocessed,low in fat, high in fiber, free of salt, caffeine, etc, that contains lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.