What is healthy food?

What is healthy food?

Written and compiled by Robert Gourlay RFD, B.App.Sc, M.App.Sc.

A number of recent reports on the values of fats versus carbohydrates in diets has divided the dietary advisors on what is healthy food. I have already mentioned in previous papers that doctors are in no position to give dietary or nutritional advice as they receive little or no training in this area. Also, nutritionists and dietitians are giving unhealthy advice based on old dogma about fats and salt.

In this paper, I will summarise my views based on decades of literature research and measurement of people’s dietary practices. Firstly, there are basic rules or principles to a healthy diet and lifestyle:

  • We are healthy by design and unhealthy by default. That is, the choices we make every day about diet and lifestyle will affect the body’s capacity to regulate and heal. People who understand how their body works and take full responsibility for sound food decisions are more likely to live healthy lifestyles.
  • The range of food that is eaten every day and over a year (seasonal food) needs to be kept in balance. That is, there should not be too much of one food group, eg. fats and carbohydrates. Diets that are either high saturated fat or high carbohydrate will produce adverse health issues. A balanced daily diet would have a balance of vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats.
  • Food quality is critical to nutrient uptake in digestion. Nutrients will be high or more-dense in food that is raw, fresh, organic (grown without chemicals) and grown in soil that is biologically active. Most food sold by large food producers and retailers will be contaminated with chemicals, including insecticides, herbicides, preservatives, etc. It does take some effort to access healthy and nutrient dense food, and it is worth paying the extra price for food integrity.
  • The style or form of food preparation is also critical to body regulation. There has been a trend in the past 50 years for people to eat too much food that is cooked with high heat, eg. BBQ, fried, baked, boiled, etc. This high heat will chemically change the food to a toxic form and the meat will lose most of its collagen forming amino acids. Collagen is essential in the diet for fat metabolism. A condition called glycation is a consequence of eating meat cooked in high heat, and glycation leads to inflammation, aging, DNA mutations, cancer, etc. Most plant based cooking oils (eg. canola) will also release toxic compounds called aldehydes that are linked to glycation and consequently heart disease, cancer and dementia. Also, a high carbohydrate or sugar based diet can cause glycation that leads to diabetes.
  • The human body by design requires adequate sunlight, exercise, hydration (preferably with negatively charged or structured water), sleep, rest, low stress, recreation and leisure (social cohesion) and adequate time in nature (time away from the concrete jungle). Clearly, any addiction to food types or specific lifestyle activities will unbalance or stress the body’s capacity for regulation and healing.
  • Finally, I have often advised people that the key food strategies to avoid any degenerative disease are to sustain high levels of blood oxygen and nitric oxide, Vitamin C, collagen and a balance of fats in the diet (ie. saturated and the polyunsaturated/monounsaturated fats from meats, dairy, plants, fish and other sea based sources that are generally high in Omega 3’s can reduce inflammation).

The key issue that seems to confusion most people about food choices is the debate around fats and carbohydrates. Since the 1950’s people have been advised to reduce fats and increase starchy carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this advice has contributed to the upward trend in obesity and diabetes.

As a general strategy to balancing fats and carbohydrates in a diet, I suggest:

  • Keep the starchy carbohydrates and other refined carbohydrates (eg. bread, rice, pasta, all processed breakfast cereal gains, potato chips, cakes, biscuits, etc.) to a very small proportion of the daily diet. It is these foods that form the small LDL cholesterol that is implicated in the build-up of plaque in blood vessels. By contrast, it is the saturated fats from dairy and meats that form the large LDL particles that are NOT implicated in plaque build-up.
  • Cook all meat in a slow cooker. This approach avoids the meat turning toxic and releases the collagen forming compounds that are essential to a wide range of body regulation and healing. The best meats for collagen have large bone, bone marrow and bone muscle. Most red meat requires 12-15 hours cooking (overnight), whole chicken takes about 5-6 hours, and whole fish about 2-3 hours. Most of the collagen in white meat is in the area comprising the skin and the bone. The saturated fats released from this form of cooking are healthy. It is advisable to select grass fed or organic meats to avoid toxic chemicals and antibiotics used in confined animal production (eg. feedlots and caged animals)
  • Incorporate raw, leafy green vegetables in the diet daily. This can be in a salad or a green drink (blend to a liquid form) that can include the plant based oils (eg. flaxseed and hemp seed). Green leafy vegetables contain essential fibre, specific plant sugars that feed the microbes in the gut, and the nitrates that make nitric oxide for the blood.
  • Achieve a daily balance of the saturated fats (mainly dairy, eggs and meats) with the polyunsaturated/monounsaturated fats from plants and sea based sources. A good source of the sea based fats are fish, and include cod liver oil (try the Melrose oil) and krill oil. However, avoid the artificial trans fats that are in processed foods, and specifically oils based on corn, canola, soybean and sunflower as they are often grown as GMO or in chemically sprayed soils (eg. glyphosate). Nut oils (eg. Macadamia) contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats. Consider using nut oils in homemade salad dressing as a source of Omega 3 and protein. Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to reduce depression through supporting serotonin and melatonin.
  • Avoid the white sugars, along with white bread, sweets, etc. to avoid overloading the insulin (hormone) that metabolises blood sugars. The pancreas produces insulin to reduce blood sugar levels and allow your body to store food energy for future use. Eating the right foods as outlined above can heal and nourish your pancreas. A correct diet with natural plant based sugars can reverse Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  • Maintain an adequate salt level using the complex sea salts like Himalayan and Celtic salt, and avoid simple table (white) salt. Most sea salts will contain over 70 minerals and particularly the alkalising minerals (eg. Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, etc.) that keep the blood alkaline and therefore its capacity to be fully saturated with oxygen. Sea salt can help to reduce the need for insulin by helping to maintain proper sugar levels in the body. Therefore, sea salt is an essential part of the diet if you are diabetic, or at risk for the disease.
  • Maintain a daily ingestion of a liquid probiotic to sustain the diversity and abundance of the gut microbes (biology) that are essential to digestion, absorption, assimilation (of nutrients) and elimination. All food values (nutrients) that are ingested require biological digestion before the body’s regulation and healing capacity can be activated and sustained.

Phión provides to its customers a wide range of information about healthy eating. If you need further information about any of the issues raised in this paper then contact our office at orders@phion.com.au or 02- 4842 8182.

The Phión office holds a range of papers, including the topics of collagen, nitric oxide, negatively charged or structured water and recipes for slow cooking. Also, Phión can provide measurements of a person’s nutritional status, toxicity and overall health function through a cellular scanning technology and hair analysis. If you would like to access these services contact bookings@phion.com.au to book the Sydney scan (during one week every month) and the Braidwood, NSW scan (2 weeks every month).   Further information on nutrition is at www.phion.com.au. Also, search www.mercola.com for specific advice on nutrition and disease management through nutrition.

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