Food

There s No Such Thing as a Standardized Diet

The biggest problem with diet experts nutritionists who dictate government policy on nutrition; diet gurus who write bestselling books; and nutritionists who plan menus for schools, hospitals, prisons, and other institutions is their assumption that the same dietary rules apply to everyone. The mistake in recommending a standardized diet is that it doesn’t take into consideration the multiethnic society in the United States. Each ethnic group that immigrates to this country brings with it its own culinary tradition and a digestive apparatus attuned to it. So when immigrants switch to the foods most commonly eaten in this country red meat, deep-fried foods, and soft drinks they are apt to develop digestive problems, a sign of more serious health problems to come.

This scenario has been substantiated by innumerable studies (see Abandoning the Ancestral Diet Causes Health Problems” later in this chapter) showing the immigrant popular copyright © 2006 by Felicia Drury Kliment. Click here for terms of use. 4 Shedding New Light on Your Metabolism tions suffer from more degenerative diseases in the United States than they did in their countries of origin.

The Myth of the Standardized Diet

Even if your ancestors have lived in the United States for hundreds of years, the typical American diet may not be suitable for you. You know you’re not eating foods your digestive system can break down if a half hour to two hours after a snack or a meal you begin to feel unwell or suffer indigestion although occasionally symptoms of indigestion don’t occur until twenty-four hours after eating.

People typically associate only digestive tract symptoms such as nausea, acid reflux, ulcers, diarrhea, and colitis with the wrong diet. But in fact, all pain, discomfort, and unnatural changes in appearance red cheeks, chipping and peeling fingernails, hair fall-out, coughing after swallowing food, headaches, restlessness, dizziness, irritability, bursitis and joint pain, insomnia, depression, dry eyes or mouth, cracked lips, chronic colds and/or infections, even floaters in the eyes are caused by eating the wrong foods.

Heredity and Protein Choice

Most diet plans, with the exception of the Atkins diet and other high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, treat red meat and butter as though they were poison because of their saturated fat content. Yet red meat and butter contain more minerals and vitamins than any other food. The unfounded advice of so many diets, namely, that red meat and butter should be eaten sparingly, or not at all, doesn’t take into consideration either their high nutrient value or the fact that the meat of four-legged animals, particularly beef, is the traditional fare of the many people in this country who are descended from the early colonists many of whom were from the British Isles.

Making Sense of Ancestral Dietary Traditions

What accounts for a culture’s choice of its dietary protein staple? Soil and climate are the principal influences, but religion is also a factor. For example, the ancient Chinese clans chose millet as their protein staple because they believed this grain was the offspring of the Earth God. This is just one example of a culture that cultivated grains despite tremendous obstacles such as unpredictable floods and droughts when they have close at hand equally nutritious and more easily obtainable sources of protein in the form of meat and/or seafood.

After a protein staple has been eaten by a cultural group for a long time, the need for it becomes biologically ingrained.⁵ Genetically imposed nutritional requirements have evolved from the long-term eating habits of people who live within the same geographical area. This evolution is confirmed by a research study in which scientists examined short segments of DNA of people around the world

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