For most of my life, right up until I started reading “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, I believed like most people that a person had to eat fruit and vegetables in order to stay healthy. Now that I have read that book, and the previous book that Mr Taubes wrote, “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, I no longer hold that notion sacred.
If you had a pig and you fed that pig all of the fruit and vegetables that you think you should be eating, when you slaughtered and then ate that pig, all of the vital nutrients in that meat would be passed up the food chain to you. If, instead, you ate the fruits and vegetables yourself, you would get things in your diet that you do not need. One thing that you would get would be carbohydrates. Carbohydrates–sugar, starch, flour, rice–are something that humans have been eating in any quantity for only a few thousand years.
Agriculture has been estimated to only be about ten thousand years old. Farming was developed at different times in the different geographic areas where people could find enough to eat that they could stay in one place long enough to realize how plants can be planted where you want them to grow. Prior to farming all of the nutrition would have been obtained by taking advantage of the food chain. Animals forage, we hunt. We gather foods that are convenient, fruit that falls from the tree, grains that are growing around us, roots in their season. This is how we ate, and what we ate, since the first man stood erect–for millions of years.
Then we discovered that we could save foods, and the foods that were easiest to save were starchy foods. Dried grains and their pulverized forms of meals and flours were easy to keep for later. Eating these things is something that our bodies are still not used to doing. When you eat a carbohydrate it forces your body to secrete insulin to bring those carbs to your muscles in the instant and to fat cells when your muscles are full. Fructose (fruit sugar) forces your liver to secrete triglyceride and fatty acids, and it restricts the ability of your liver to deal with blood sugar, which results in your body having to secrete even more insulin than normal to deal with elevated blood sugar. It is a spiral of insulin. A person that eats carbohydrate and fructose as often as we do in these modern times will become resistant to the beneficial effects of their own insulin, eventually having to supplement it to maintain their ability to lower their blood sugar from dangerous levels.
Eating carbohydrate will necessarily lead to putting on fat. There are only two ways to reduce this body fat load. One way to do it is to eat far less food than you need to live, starving. This is the diet we all know and hate. Any starvation period will lead to lower weight, if it can be maintained in earnest, if it can be maintained long enough. It is a long miserable road. The other way is to stop eating carbohydrates. A person who is living off of the fats in their foods will not be putting on fat, because body chemistry does not work that way. Excess fats and proteins in your diet do not end up in your fat stores. Fats are put away from carbohydrates, and that through the action of insulin. If you don’t eat carbohydrate you do not secrete insulin, you do not put anything into fat. When you are not eating, say when you are sleeping, you will live off of your own stored fats.
Eating meat–natural meat–will lead to a lot less eating. A person that eats meats instead of carbs does not get hunger pangs as frequently between meals. The fats we eat are slowly absorbed into the body. This time-release energy is sufficient to take a person all the way from breakfast to lunch without any food anxiety.
Discovering nutrients did mankind a great disservice, too. Figuring out that some elements are vital has led to concentrating on those little things that we can identify, even though there are a billion things in our foods, and in the interaction between our foods and our bodies that we don’t understand. You instinctively know that you cannot eat a vitamin every meal instead of food. You know without me telling you that everything you need to live cannot be included in a daily man made pill. If I told you though, that eating white bread that contains next to zero natural ingredients is only a little bit different that eating that vitamin pill, would you argue the point? Man cannot live by bread alone, right? What about all of the other man-made processed foods that you are trying to live on? None of those foods contain their original natural ingredients. They all are reconstituted, containing supplemental vitamins so that they are ‘healthy’. How are these ‘foods’ any different than the phony vitamins that you know would kill you if you tried to live on them?
So to recap, eating fruits and vegetables is an optional menu item, if you can get your meats from a natural source. I mean meats raised and fed their natural diets, so that they can pass on their good diet to you higher up on the food chain. Eating vegetables is a good idea for us to do directly if they contain few or no carbohydrates, because carbohydrate in any quantity has unhealthy effects on our body chemistry and causes us to put away excess energy as fat. Eating processed food is never a good idea, because these foods don’t contain any of the exotic things that nature has put in there, things that we are evolved to expect from our foods. They only contain those things that man has discovered how to take apart and put back together in a factory environment.