The worn-out cliche, “the balanced diet,” has been so misused and abused that it no longer has much meaning. The term optimum diet would better signify a diet so well planned and chosen as to assure optimum health.
What is a balanced diet? Is it a diet made up of “four basic foods” as you were taught in grade school? Or is it the “seven basics” as it is sometimes advised? Whichever it is, meat has always been considered the most basic food. We have all been brainwashed for years with the pseudoscientific slogan “high protein—low carbohydrate.” We believe that we should eat as much protein as possible. We are living in an era of the high-protein cult!
When I recently met Dr.
Karl-Otto Aly, M.D., the prominent Swedish doctor, upon his return from an extensive lecture tour in the United States and asked him, ‘What is singularly the most memorable impression of your trip?” he had an immediate answer:
“The American high-protein craze! Not only the general public, but even so-called health enthusiasts are so thoroughly brainwashed on the question of protein in their diet, that, to my mind, this point alone may be held responsible to a great degree for the deplorable state of health of the American people.”
The fourth rule of vital nutrition is that your food should be as poison-free as possible. This is easier said than done, however, in this poisoned world of ours. And if you feel that “poisoned world” sounds rather alarmist, I will add that it is almost impossible these days in the United States and West-European countries to obtain foodstuffs that are free from poisonous residues or additives. Fruits and vegetables contain residues of various poisonous insecticides, waxes, bleaches, and artificial colorings. Fresh meats contain residues of hormones used to speed up animal growth and antibiotics to prolong meat s shelf life. Processed meats, bread, cereals, canned and processed foods are loaded with some of the nearly 1,000 different chemicals now used by the food processing industry in this country—and many of them have never been tested for their possible toxicity! Much recent research shows that the toxic effect of chemicals is multiplied by the effect of other chemical agents consumed simultaneously.
There is a growing movement in the United States to produce poison-free, organically grown foods.
They are often available in health food stores. Every effort should be made to obtain such foods. Poisons in foods are, perhaps, the greatest menace to American health today.
The second rule of vital nutrition is that your foods should be whole, complete, unrefined, and unadulterated. Whole wheat, brown rice, orange, sugar cane, and potatoes are whole foods. White bread, polished rice, orange juice, white sugar, and instant potatoes are not whole foods. They are refined, concentrated, or are fragments of the foods from which important vital nutritive factors have been removed.
Whole foods are simply foods which still contain all the nutrients which nature has put in them—all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, etc. But 80 per cent of the foods consumed by the average American today have been tampered with in one way or another, and most of the nutrients have either been taken out of them or destroyed. White bread, white sugar, breakfast cereals, and processed oils are typical examples of such devitalized nutritionless foods.
Whole foods contain not only complete nutrition but also all the enzymes and other factors necessary for proper digestion and good assimilation of these particular foods. When certain parts are removed, the digestion and assimilation can be incomplete and nutritional deficiences may result.
Only whole foods can supply optimum nutrition for optimum health.