Nutritional Health Information
Diet and Nutrition Articles
Ask A Healer Nutrition Series
Learn About High Quality Food and Eating Nutritiously:
Articles on Nutrition by N J Howell and guest authors.
Suggested Reading on Nutrition:
My Favorite Goat Whey
What are raw foods?
What are whole foods?
Gluten-Free Diet Deficiencies
I remember when I couldn't find a food label with the word "organic" on it,anywhere in rural Alabama. It's still harder to find in small towns but not impossible today. More and more people are choosing to eat foods that have not been sprayed with dangerous pesticides and herbicides. In fact, even the local Walmart now carries organic brands though most are USDA organic (not the best certification to look for; I look for Oregon Tilth).
Wise consumers are recognizing that happy animals, raised and handled humanely, result in healthier meats. Businesses may not have the health of the animal in mind but due to the glaring light turned on animal cruelty, they are slowly beginning to realize that people don't want to eat meat that comes from neglected and cruelly treated animals. Many consumers are buying local meats from animals that are treated well and allowed to live in nature, choosing grassfed local beef over beef from cows raised on grains and given steroids and antibiotics.. Unfortunately, the laws governing what can be called "grassfed" include room for bringing the cattle in and feeding an entirely GMO corn-based diet for the last four months of their lives. Look for grass fed AND grass finished.
The latest nutritional shift has to do with GMO's or genetically modified foods. The research is still out on longterm effects of GM foods but the evidence already existing points to health challenges, allergies and other issues with those who consume these altered organisms. Again, due to public outcry and the banning of GM foods by many other countries, the US is not finding it so easy to shove this crap down the consumer's throats these days.
It's ironic that we have all this technology today and we've somehow ended up hi-tech-ing ourselves out of good nutrition. Monsanto is on the forefront of what I call mutated food; they came up with Round Up, a weed killer containing glyphosate, which accumulates in the soil, in the plant, and in the body of those who consume plants sprayed with it. Then, when Round Up stopped working, they somehow got an even more toxic chemical brew approved, DuoEnlist.
Round up is so toxic that the same company had to then come up with a geneticaly modified seed to withstand glyphosate. You are eating that ingredient, along with glyphosate, every time you eat anything that is "roundup ready". Monsanto may well be the devil, or as close to that vibrational bandwidth as we've had on earth since I've been living. I would like to see them banned from ever producing or selling another product, ever.
About Nutritional Choices:
As you may discern by what I've said about GMO's, I try to avoid them as much as possible. I feel the same way about processed foods and non-organic foods. For me, organic foods are definitely worth the extra money. Is the organic food industry perfect? No. They use questionable substances too, in my opinion. However, they I feel there is nothing used in organic farming that comes close to the harmful impact of Round Up, bt corn, GM meats (pigs and salmon so far) and GM foods. If you can afford to eat organic, I highly recommend it. I had a chance to eat almost entirely organic while I was volunteering at a recovery center and let me tell you, I could tell a difference in my health in just a month and a half.
All organic foods are not created equal so if you are just getting into eating organic, don't let a few bad experiences deter you. I've got organic favorites that I love and if you just explore what's out there, I bet you find some favorites too!
For a healthy fat, I just love organic coconut and feel that the nature of the fats in this nutritious food are very special. Your doctor may not approve coconut oil if you have a heart condition. It is a high fat item but please read about what makes it different before deciding if it's right for you or not.
One of the best ways to be sure you and your family are getting optimal nutrition is to grow your own foods. It's getting harder and harder to find soil that is "organic" due to fracking of our farms, air and water pollution, gmo proliferation,etc. If you grow your own foods, at least you know what's put on them by way of fertilizer, water, etc. Organic Gardening is gaining popularity as more and more people choose to take food production into their own hands.
Series on Nutrition and Diet:
This is an interesting and entertaining read. It explains how the paleolitic or "caveman diet" was, in many ways, superior to the way most of us prepare and eat food today. Part one talks about how the quality of one's life may be compromised or enriched by dietary choices. Read more about Food and Your Health by Loren Howe.
The more processed foods are, the less natural nutritive value remains. For example, fast foods are usually void of nutrition while raw foods and whole foods are bursting with good fuel for keeping the body healthy and the energy high. I've wanted to "go raw" for many years but just can't quite get the hang of not cooking at all. I realize it's quite an adjustment for most of us. We are so used to baking, frying or steaming everything that raw just doesn't sound appealing yet I've tasted raw food concoctions that were absolutely delicious.
Speaking of fried foods, you have probably noticed all the labels these days that proudly boast "no trans fats". That wasn't the case at all until the past decade or so. Before that, trans fats were in all fast foods and most processed foods. Now, it's more well known that these are bad fats and not desirable to consume.
Basically, as much as you can, I'd recommend eating organic, raw and whole foods and meats while avoiding fast foods, fried foods, processed foods, white flour, refined sugar, sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol, and other -tols), artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, soybeans (unless organic and fermented) and GM foods. Tall order, I know.