Avoid Extreme Diets

Extreme diet and balanced diet


  

 "Everything in excess is opposed to nature" 

  - Hippocrates circa 431 B.C.

One man’s food can be another man's poison. Every person is born with his or her own physique, genetic disposition and body constitution. Together with other differences such as sex, age, work, lifestyle, geographic location, climate and culture; there can never be just one ideal diet that can fit all the different needs. 

Many of the popular diets are just hypes and cannot last with the test of time. They are extreme diets which can lead to extreme conditions and imbalance. That is how all sickness began. Health is only possible when the body is in good balance or equilibrium. When choosing a diet to follow, it is important to understand its pros and cons, know how it is deviating from a balanced diet and see how it can meet all your needs, short-term and long-term.

High protein diet

We need protein in our diet as the basic building block for muscle development and maintenance. Too much protein can create a lot of stress to the liver and kidney which can increase the risk of liver disorder, gout, coronary heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer. It is because meats are extremely acidic in nature and are hard to digest. Animal proteins require more time to breakdown, digest and pass out of our body, therefore, can breed bacteria and cancer. Excessive protein can cause calcium to be excreted from our body. When one is on high protein diet, one must be low on fruits and vegetables consumption therefore becomes deficient in fiber and active digestive enzymes from plant.

Low carbohydrate diet

This diet is aimed at losing weight quickly but can result in starving the brain and losing energy level. Low carbohydrate diet is also known for causing serious constipation. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are good and bad carbohydrates. It is important to know how to differentiate between them. Good carbohydrates are whole foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables. They are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are filling and can satisfy hunger longer without having to eat a lot. Bad carbohydrates are refined carbohydrates. After the long refining process, there will be significant loss of nutrients making the final products, such as bread and pasta; nothing more than just lumps of sugar. We need a lot of good carbohydrates in our diet for their fiber and essential nutrients. We don’t need bad carbohydrates which can cause obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. When people are on low carbohydrate diet, they are most likely be on high protein diet which means that they are getting all the adverse effects from both extreme diets.  

High carbohydrate diet

Over eating carbohydrates will lead to obesity because all the excessive calories will be stored away as fat in our body. With the frequent supply of glucose from the diet, the body will lose its natural mechanism of drawing energy from stored fat which can lead to a decrease in endurance and an increase in fat stored. When there is excessive glucose in the body, it will also trigger the pancreas to produce more insulin to process the glucose. Over time, this can lead to insulin resistance and can result in type II diabetes. Highly refined carbohydrates such as sugar and bread, pastries, noodles and pasta made from flour should be avoided as much as possible. Taking a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables and fruits is necessary to provide fuel for the body and the brain.

Low fat diet

There are good fats and bad fats. Saturated fats and hydrogenated fats are bad fats. They can clot arteries and cause heart disease. Low-fat diet can cause quicker digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. It can also cause cellular malfunction and premature aging. By adding some good fats to our diet, it can slow down digestion and absorption. It can also moderate insulin reaction. We need some good fats to maintain healthy cellular functions because fat is the neurotransmitter in cells. Our fat intake has to be in balance with more of the omega-3 essential fatty acid, some omega-6 and a small amount of saturated fat. Fat intake should not exceed more than 20% of our total calories intake. It can go up to 30% for people living in very cold climate.  

Vegetarian diet

Vegetarian diet is basically extreme carbohydrate diet. Eating only vegetarian food is extremely difficult to achieve balanced nutrition. It can cause deficiency in some key nutrients such as vitamin B12 which can be found only in meat and animal fat. Too much plant protein especially from GMO soy has been found to interfere with natural hormonal functions. It is quite common for people on vegetarian diet to become over weight due to too much sugar and starch found in most fruits and root vegetables.  

Raw food diet 

Raw foods are cold and yin in nature. For people who are born with yin constitution, raw food diet is not suitable for them. Especially in winter time, raw food diet can drive the body to extreme yin conditions with symptoms such as cold hands and feet, anemic, irregular body functions and bloating. Raw foods are more suitable for people with yang constitution and for summer months when the weather is very hot. The cold nature of raw foods can help the body to cool down. But raw food diet is very limiting because many root vegetables, grains, seeds and herbs, which are rich in minerals and phytonutrients, cannot be eaten raw. They need to be cooked and broken down first before becoming eatable, digestible and highly nutritional. For example, tomato has been found to only release its cancer fighting properties after it has been cooked. Therefore, raw foods should only be a small part of a balanced diet and should not be the whole diet.   

 

A Balanced Diet 

Diet has been the most controversial subject there is and many so-called experts have been changing their stands from time to time. Fat was once regarded as the villain for decades, is now being recommended to be as high as 50% to 60% of our daily calorie intake. Whole grain, was once a healthy food choice, is now being recommended to be completely removed from our diet. Meat is expensive and has been consumed less by people especially those living in poorer countries. Since the price of meat has come down with the proliferation of large scale commercial meat farming, the demand for meat is rising significantly. The increased consumption of meat has brought along huge increase in health problems and other problems such as environmental pollution and starvation in poorer countries with the increased demand for corn as animal feed. 

In order to choose a balanced diet for ourselves, we need to know what we need first and then pick the one that can best fit our lifestyles and physical needs. There is no one diet that can fit all. For examples, people in Asia eat a diet of mainly natural foods such as rice, beans, vegetables and less red meat, have little obesity and fewer modern health problems. The Eskimos eat a very high fat and animal protein diet, have been living well in the extreme cold climate. Americans who eat the standard American diet (SAD) of mostly meat and highly preprocessed foods, are obese and having the most health problems ever in history. These are all good clinical evidences which can help us to make the best dieting choice for ourselves. 


In Defense of Grain

In recent years, many nutritional experts are advocating the elimination of whole grains in a healthy diet. They treat whole grains as simple carbohydrates, the same as sugar, therefore should be avoided to prevent diabetes and overweight. Unfortunately, when one cuts out whole grains which are filling, low in fat and calorie, one has to fill hunger with other foods such as proteins and fat which can put a lot of burden on the body to digest and eliminate them, therefore causing food stagnation and related health problems.

There is significant difference to our body between eating whole grain and eating refined grain products made with flour. In China, people in the southern provinces can afford to eat whole grains as staple throughout the year because the weather is warmer and they can grow two crops per year. Whereas for people living in the North, they can only grow one crop per year so rice is relatively more expensive. They are substituting rice by eating a lot more bread and noodle instead. As a result, the northerners are much bigger, heavier and more people are being overweight than the southerners. The southerners as well as people living in South East Asia eating rice every meal can be the living proofs that eating whole grain cannot make people fat and overweight.

Grains, like beans and seeds, have the ability to germinate and spring into lives when given the right growing conditions. They contain all the necessary nutrients and DNA to create lives. They are nutritional food for other living beings on earth. In all of our food sources, only eggs have similar life bearing property. Grains, beans and seeds are excellent nutritional foods for human.

Chinese medicine regards grains as vital for sustaining life because they promote spleen and stomach health. Grains, beans and seeds are making up to over 50% of Chinese diet. For people who are very sick and week, rice water is commonly used to bring them back to health. For people who have food poisoning, diarrhea and vomiting, rice water is the natural cure for them. Rice water is praised by the Yellow Emperor, who lived in the third millennium B.C. (2698-2598 B.C.) for 100-118 years, as the most nutritious food on earth.

Don't miss out on this best whole food from nature!