After years of studying nutrition, I understand why so many people are confused about what to eat. There are hundreds of books on nutrition and diet. One diet book says to eat all protein, another one says to eat all vegetables, and some books are just about losing weight.
Which diet will work for me? The simple reason for the confusion is that what works for one person does not work for another. Each one of us is unique and has different needs. Our metabolisms are all different. No one diet plan works for all people. If this were true, we would all be reading the same book or wearing tube socks – one size fits all!
There are a few concepts in nutrition that apply to all of us.
- We all need proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
2. Food is what we introduce in our bodies every day, and it can be used as a medicine.
3. Food in its natural state will contribute to better health.
Metabolic Typing (MT) is a means of assessing how a person’s metabolism functions, allowing us to address each person’s dietary needs. It is not a specific diet but a way to understand what your nutritional requirements are. It is a way of eating that supports natural health.
• Decreased cravings
• Freedom from hunger between meals
• Improved energy and concentration
• An improved sense of well-being
• Maintenance of ideal weight
• Increased digestion – better assimilation – better health
We all need proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These are the macronutrients that are essential for all of our body’s functions. This point is also one of the most confusing to people. What kinds of protein? How much protein? Isn’t a low-fat diet suitable for my heart? What about vegetarianism? I have been told meat is not ideal for me. How about red meat and cholesterol?
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Do these questions sound familiar? To add to this confusion, many times we hear: “Meat causes cancer, so you should have less protein,” or “Fat causes you to gain weight, so stick to a low-fat diet,” or “Too many carbohydrates are not good for you and may cause you to gain weight.” So what do we eat now?
The first thing to remember is that we all have different requirements. Each person’s “Fuel Mix” (percentage of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) is different. Consider for a moment: cars. Some cars need to run on diesel fuel, while others need unleaded fuel. If you put diesel fuel into a vehicle that runs on unleaded fuel, the engine will break down. Similarly, if we do not get the right fuel mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, our cells will not be adequately nourished. This lack of proper nourishment can cause our bodies to break down, which will make us more vulnerable to disease.
Another aspect to consider is which kinds of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates we need. With this kind of information, we can make much better decisions about feeding our bodies and keeping them healthy.
The second concept is that we put food in our bodies every day. If we take a few moments to think about this statement, we can understand why this is so important. What we do every day over time deeply affects our physiology. If we are consuming food that is not right for our metabolism, it acts as a poison. If we are not eating enough of the good foods for us, then our cells and bodies will tend to degenerate rapidly. Once in a while, we can eat something that is not so good for us without causing lasting damage to ourselves.
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However, if we eat something that is not beneficial not only once but every day for a year or ten or twenty years, our bodies will break down much more quickly. That one cup of coffee each day for the last 20 years has perhaps made the blood acidic and caused osteoporosis due to all the minerals that had to be leached from the bones so the body could process and metabolize the coffee.
Every day, we have the power to choose nourishing food that will act as medicine for our bodies or depleting foods that will become a poison in our systems.
The third concept is that if we eat food in its natural state, we have a much better chance of maintaining excellent health. In today’s fast-paced world, many people are looking for fast food, food to go, or easy things that do not have to be prepared.
Food that is processed, human-made that comes from a bag (not a tree) or a can (not the sea) has few or no healthy nutrients. These kinds of processed foods are devoid of many essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function healthfully.
They are filled with preservatives, conservatives, and chemicals to give them flavor, color, and shelf life. Eating this kind of food is one contributing factor to disease.
When we eat fresh, alive, and raw food, we increase our body’s own ability to heal and regenerate. It is important to note that not everyone should follow a raw diet. For many people, it is not practical or even appealing.
However, in my practice, I have found that those who incorporate more food in its natural state make the best progress and often eliminate the health issues they had been dealing with. For more information on raw foods and their ability to restore health, please read “We Want to Live” by Aajonus Vonderplanitz.
One way to go about figuring out your MT can be found in the book “Metabolic Typing Diet” by William Wilcott, which has a rudimentary test consisting of 65 questions. From this, you can get a general idea of what foods are most appropriate for you.
However, if you are health compromised, the book also offers an intermediate test consisting of 130 questions, giving more specific information for the individual based on various metabolic markers.
The test results give you your metabolic type, the percentages of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you need, and specific foods from the most ideal to the ones you want to avoid. It is essential to seek out a health professional to assist you.
For anyone looking for expanded knowledge about eating vegetarian, Happy Cow’s Vegetarian Guide to Restaurants and Health Food Stores is a great resource. This online database provides a treasure trove of information about vegetarian-friendly restaurants and health food stores, recipes, cookbooks, nutritional information, an online community, and much, much more.
If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian or want to find out more about where you can enjoy excellent vegetarian cuisine in your area, visit happycow.net
James Hopson, L.Ac. – inspiringhealth.net