A golden rule that I lived by for years served me in many ways. That rule was that if a food was natural and produced without newfangled chemicals, additives, and modern food processing techniques, then it was unquestionably nourishing and could be part of a wholesome, healthy lifestyle. To me this was a panacea of sorts. If I followed this rule, then I could be confident of the best health that I was capable of achieving, or so I thought.
The reason I’m addressing this notion is because I frequently encounter people with the same exact mindset. When I tell them that for the most part I avoid fruit, natural sweeteners like organic raw honey, etc. it’s obvious that this doesn’t fit into their own personal philosophy. These real foods, as many insist, are better alternatives to processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup, Splenda, and artificial sweeteners. This is obvious. And I of all people certainly understand how one concludes that natural sugars are an optimal source of nutrients. I was fully there myself not too terribly long ago. In fact, organic honey, dried organic fruits like dates, figs, goji berries, and raisins comprised a huge percentage of my diet less than a year ago – and I enjoyed better health than the majority of the American public eating abundant amounts of these foods.
These seem like incredibly nourishing foods with many well-documented benefits ranging from antioxidants and enzymes to good ole’ vitamins and minerals, but that doesn’t automatically qualify them as the ideal foods for improving health, restoring proper hormone balances within the body, rebuilding the immune system, overcoming chronic health conditions, etc.
The bottom line is this…
Many of us have accumulated and inherited poorly functioning endocrine systems. The endocrine system can basically be summarized as the system that regulates every single chemical substance in the body and the subsequent functions of those chemicals. In short, the endocrine system is everything. People like Weston A. Price and Francis Pottenger, Jr. were able to show very conclusively how perfect specimens of human beings and animals, when nourished improperly, could begin to deteriorate. This deterioration, much to the contrary of what geneticists today falsely believe, is cumulative and passed generation to generation, getting progressively worse the further down the line it gets.
As I’ve mentioned to many people, a year ago I came across an article in a Tennessee newspaper which stated that type II Diabetes in TN had doubled in young children in a period of only 10 years. Absurdly, it blamed this solely on lifestyle changes? Has the life of a young kid really changed so dramatically in the last 10 years? Has the diet really changed much? Let’s see, 10 years ago kids drank a lot of sodas, ate a bunch of candy, and lived off of fast food fries, chicken nuggets, commercial ice cream, and macaroni and cheese. For health kids enjoyed pasteurized juice, pasteurized milk, and fortified cereals. And free time was spent playing video games. Wow, what a difference a decade makes! Now kids are eating the exact same things and playing video games or surfing the internet. This article, God rest its soul, made the statement that “the problem is that we don’t live like farmers anymore, but we’re still eating like them.” Yikes! Farmers used to live off of hydrogenated fat, highly refined grains and sugars, artificially flavored and colored foods, and MSG? Huh, I never knew that.
Our dietary and lifestyle habits as a nation are changing slowly, but degenerative diseases, especially those directly related to endocrine function like diabetes, hypoglycemia, and obesity, are accelerating. Weight problems have doubled in something like 25 years in the U.S. A century ago your chances of acquiring type II Diabetes was around 1 in 400. Now it’s something like 1 in 5.
My point is not to cast a shadow of doom over our health, but rather to assure you that honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, lots of fruit, pasteurized juices, dark chocolate, red wine, caffeinated tea, and other sugary stimulant “superfoods” that are being promoted at your local “health food store” are not the foods that will reverse this cumulative degenerative process that is well underway. Vegetarian and low fat diets are also more of a problem than they are a solution for creating proper biochemical function, healthy metabolism, and proper blood sugar regulation.
There’s a reason why the average American eats 17 times the amount of processed sugar than he or she did 100 years ago. Our bodies crave it more and are exponentially more addicted to and debilitated by it because our collective ability to metabolize it properly is declining.
Avoiding nourishing foods that have been wrongly chastised is another important factor in the acceleration of sugar’s damage upon the body. Egg yolks, butter and other full-fat dairy products, meats, unadulterated oils, organ meats, etc. are key defenders against the damage done by excess sugar, and their removal from what’s considered to be a healthy diet is yet another gear that helps speed us ever faster toward poorer health.
Most importantly, removal of sugar in nearly all forms from the diet of a sugar addict is seldom done successfully without the proper tools – nourishment from abundant amounts of proteins and fats, preferably from pasture raised animal products and seafood, some raw and some cooked. There have been countless times in my life where I’ve tried to eliminate sugar unprepared. And every time I crashed terribly because my body was so dependent on receiving sugar to function instead of producing its own. Of course I felt it was some lack of discipline, but every chemical reaction in my body was communicating one thing loud and clear to me…eat sugar, frickin’ eat it! Do it, do it now!
Avoiding sugar without nourishing yourself is a great way to start a caffeine addiction as well. When I tried completely eradicating sugar from my diet for the first few times, I gravitated towards caffeine with a sudden obsession. It was the only thing I could find to satisfy that constant physical feeling of deprivation. Why? Because caffeine stimulates the release of glucose into the bloodstream from the liver’s glycogen stores, increasing the glucose levels of the blood, curbing hunger, and causing the release of excess quantities of insulin. In other words, it serves the same physical purpose. It took me years to solve the puzzle of why I, out of nowhere, couldn’t go more than a few hours without dark chocolate and a cup of Earl Grey. Ha! And this immediately after 45 consecutive days without sugar.
And of course I tried to eat abundant amounts of “natural” sweet foods. The result was frequent breakouts, poor digestion, less lean muscle mass, constant hunger, and very little progress toward the chronic ailments that I’ve recently overcome with the avoidance of both sugar and unbalanced high carbohydrate meals. High-sugar natural foods aren’t the cause of the problem, but nor are they the solution, and I encourage anyone who is compelled to discover better health and vitality, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to nearly eradicate these foods for an extended period of time and watch what happens. You might be amazed as I have been.