You’re not as young as you once were is one of those stupid sayings that just states a fact. Every moment of your life this is true about where you are now compared to where you once were. As you get a lot more years in the ‘used to be’ category, though, things just have to change. We are in our fifties now, and we just can’t eat like we did when we were in our thirties. Foods that once had no effect now seem to be excessive or troublesome. Now, instead of chasing the kids around I am just chasing the wife around, and she’s not nearly as hard to catch up with as they were. Since my life isn’t consuming as much energy, I also don’t need to consume as much energy.
The National Institute of Health has a nice article about the things to think about as you consider how your foods should be changing as the years pile up. They list eating less, food in-tolerances, quenching thirst, dietary fiber, salt and fat content of foods, safe food handling and living on a fixed income as areas of concern for the over fifty diner to consider. If you are on the no-sugar, low starch detox with us still, then you have a lot of these bases already covered. Cutting back on added salt is really easy to do if you are cooking your own meals, but not as easy if you eat out much.
Women in menopause have even more to think about when it comes to food that they must watch out for. Some items are known to instigate hot flashes. Women whose hormones are changing can find things that have beneficial nutrients that add to their body’s ability to adjust to the changes. Dr Oz has an article dedicated to the special considerations that women in their fifties might check into.
In the article he advises that a person consume more fats that contain Omega 3, which is something that I would like to expand on. Since there are a lot of places you can purchase fish oil, which is a possible source of dietary omega 3, it is worth understanding what omega 3 is and where it comes from. Omega 3 is a dietary fat that must come from your food. Your body does not create it. Also, your dietary balance of fats must contain a ratio of omega 3 fat to omega 6 fats, which also come from your foods. A healthy diet has a balanced ratio of these two fats. An imbalance can cause problems, this from the NIH:
Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.
Just about every list you see of sources for this omega 3 fat is loaded up with fish. The reason that these fish contain that oil and not omega 6 is that they eat plants like algae and other water plants. There are chicken eggs that contain omega 3, and those chickens are free to eat grass and plants and are not fed grains. Corporate eggs have omega 6 oils because they are fed grains (and ground up dead chickens). Beef raised on grass contains omega 3 oils. Grain fed beef contains omega 6. See the pattern developing? We, here atop the food chain, must eat foods that contain an oil that comes from a source that we cannot eat–grass (or plants). If all of our meats and eggs were eating their natural diets then we would have a plethora of choices of foods to eat that contain this essential oil. Since our food are confined and force-fed foods that do not come natural to them, then we must look to the oceans for food sources that do contain it, because we have not figured out yet how to get salmon to live off of corn.
If you have a source of farm raised eggs, use it. If you have a source of grass fed beef, or foraging hogs, this is where you should get those things. They contain something that the feed lot beef and hog-prison pork just can’t. Omega 3 fats.
I wish I could get everyone who reads my words to quit buying your beef and pork at the grocery store. If we all did then the people who are raising cattle and pork the way they are, with the only consideration being how to cut one more nickle out of the cost of raising a hog for slaughter, would quit doing it. Perhaps they would go back to the old time tested ways that our bodies evolved to take advantage of. In the tens of thousands of years that men have been husbanding animals we have evolved to contribute to one another cheaply and easily. Cows eat grasses provided for free by nature, in such quantities that we must mow it and store it, and it will feed the herd all winter long. Instead, we feed them grains that would kill them unless we medicate them against the symptoms, robbing their meats of the essential nutrients that our bodies need from them, all to make them grow quicker so we can eat them sooner. It seems like a colossal waste of energy to degrade the product just to sell it quicker. Someday it won’t be like this.
WOW…what a great article Dan…and so in line with the nutrition class we are just completing at Gardens of Delight…GREAT WORK!
Good post. It’s so important to get balances of everything and this is another important one. I eat a lot of fish and try to limit meat and eggs but you are so right there are so many foods that are not doing what they used to for us nutritionally. I don’t think things will go back to the way they were we will just have to keep on paying a premium for things done the natural way. There is too much consumer demand and too much ignorance and so many people feel immortal and don’t worry about health just cost and that is their prerogative and no governments are going to try to change their minds and ruin the grocery business, it puts too much money in the coffers.
Another thing we can do is eat the things which animals should be eating to give us Omega 3 like the list here http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84 i have flax every day and include most of the other foods on the list in my diet at least at some point during a week.
I checked into the list you showed me, and unsurprisingly, there is no mention of the high-omega 3 viarieties of beef, pork or eggs on it. It is as if there is no other way to get an essential dietary oil unless you purchase special foods. I am going to go see Fed Up this weekend. Have you seen that documentary already?
I don’t think so I’ll have to have a look for it and you’re right there is no mention of the foods you are talking about. There are a lot of good quality online farmers who sell traditionally raised livestock but then how reliable their claims are I don’t know, it’s all a mine field really.
I read dietary recommendations from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook of 1896 that a person should eat about four ounces of meat per day. I saw in the PBS documentary ‘1900 House’ where people in London at the turn of the century got the bulk of their animal protein from eating chicken eggs. I think if a person found a good supply of eggs from a local farmer that keeps them in a pasture instead of in a confinement, and got their protein from that, like we used to, then you would have the appropriate balance of omega 3 and 6, and could avoid the diseases that having too much omega 6 is known to cause.
I always buy free range eggs but am not convinced as to how free range they are and what free range actually means. I think the only way you can be sure is to have your own chickens and even then you would have to keep an eye on what they were eating and making sure that was well sourced. It’s so sad that we can’t just have things naturally as intended.
Reblogged this on Oil-Change Diet and commented:
Here is someone else that has seen the light!
A tip on writing. I wouldn’t say things like “In the tens of thousands of years that men have been husbanding animals…” It may have just been a slip, but in reality, many studies have shown that in many other cultures the women were responsible for raising and caring for the livestock. I think in the editorial world “humankind” would have been a better choice. Just a tip though.
It wasn’t a slip. I didn’t think of the sentence as being gender-specific, and probably would have used the word mankind, meaning people of both genders. I just meant people in general. Thanks for the tip. Keep em coming!
Hey it’s not my world, I’m just living in it! May seem harmless to you, but could turn off certain readers.