This is the third and last day of this train of thought. Today I want to relate what I have learned as it relates to food and diet. I have read about gluten free, grain free, dairy free, meatless, vegan, vegetarian, Atkins, South Beach and Paleo diets. Some call the way they eat, real food diets. Some swear by lacto fermented foods, soaked and/or sprouted grains, beans and nuts and breads made with sourdough starter instead of commercial yeasts. Others swear that butter, coconut oil, even lard and tallow are better for us than all those highly processed, gmo and trans fat laden oils and shortenings most of us use.
I am going to start off with what I believe is best for us based on the information I have now. If we had to pick just one diet and stick to it for the rest of our lives I believe a whole food plant based diet would lead to us being healthier and living longer. You may have noticed I said a whole food plant based diet. If we pick a plant based diet based on nothing but what we can get out of a box, can or jar we are screwed. Would I want to live on an 100% plant foods? No, I grew up eating meat, lots of meat, I love eggs, probably my favorite food. I could give up a lot of dairy but would miss cheese. I think we could get at least 90% of the benefit of a totally plant based diet by holding our dairy, meat and fish consumption to 10% of our diet. By doing that we also cover the nutrients that we need that is not available in an all plant based diet such as vitamin B-12. Would that be hard for most of us to do? Probably, at first but it is something we could all work toward and over time we would get closer to our goal of 90%. As I see it; any improvement in our diets will be good and we didn’t get fat or get unhealthy overnight, so why expect to correct it overnight.
As far as the diets I listed above and all diets really; forget about them, you don’t need a diet, you need a lifestyle change. You may have to eliminate something from your diet that your body is reacting to such as gluten or anything you are allergic to. A diet will not work unless it is something that you can do for the rest of your life. Fundamentally change what you eat and you will lose weight and keep it off. You won’t even have to torture yourself and be hungry all the time either. Eat good wholesome foods that are high in nutrients and low in added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats and you will naturally limit how much you eat.
There are ways you can tweak your foods to get more nutrients and to make them more digestible. I mentioned lacto fermentation, which is foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and pickles. These foods contain beneficial bacteria that our guts need to have a strong immune system. They are also filled with enzymes that make the foods easier for us to digest. There is another way we can make foods that are derived from seeds, legumes and nuts more digestible and the nutrients more accessible to us. That is by sprouting or by soaking them to mimic sprouting. Seeds are designed to resist sprouting so they will not sprout until they are in an environment where they can grow. This also makes them harder for us to digest and to get the nutrients from them. Soaking or sprouting breaks down the phytic acid in the seed that prevents premature sprouting and also prevents our bodies from getting all the minerals and other nutrients in the seed. This soaking process may reduce the sensitivity to gluten in some people.
The last thing that is reported to make grains more digestible and better for us is using a sourdough starter instead of commercially developed yeasts. Sourdough is a natural yeast. I have personally started making sourdough breads and breads with commercial yeasts as well, still developing my technique, what I like. When you make your own bread you can design it with the ingredients you want and the taste and texture you prefer. I don’t know if I will go strictly with sourdough, like I said, I am in a learning phase now. Some I liked, some not so much.
I am also doing lacto fermented foods now, seems to work for me. You will hear more about all this later.
Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day. David Johnson