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Why Skipping a Meal is Good For You

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food pyramid

Why Skipping Meal is Good For You 

 

When you look at the obesity problem in this country it’s not hard to believe that many people are eating too much. Portion-size is out of control and many fast-food chains and restaurants only add to this issue. 

Human beings have, for a great length of their history, had to hunt and gather food. It took effort and skill and sometimes food just wasn’t available. These days we’re ridiculously spoiled. We rarely have to lift a finger to obtain food (as long as we have money) and we don’t even have to make fire ourselves. 

food pyramid

Our ancestors’ bodies (as well as many other animals) adapted to be able to process and store energy depending on whether there was food or not. Even a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that our modern idea of three meals a day plus snacks is “not normal from an evolutionary perspective.” 

But further to this, the idea of mini-fasting is also a step on the new food pyramid designed by 

Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiac surgeon, former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma Linda University, and an expert in treating chronically ill and overweight patients.  

Why shouldn’t we use the old pyramid? 

There are several reasons the old pyramid doesn’t work, but you only need to review it once to see why. The foundation of the pyramid is supposedly the food group that you should eat the most of—grains! It’s pretty evident that many people are still basing their diets around it. The old food pyramid suggests 6 – 11 daily servings of grain-based foods, like bread, cereal, pasta, and rice! That’s one way to convince yourself that your bagel, donut, meatball sub, carbonara and croissant were a healthy day’s meal! It’s enough to make you feel fatigued even thinking about it. 

All fats and oils were seen as bad on the old pyramid (not true!) and the high levels of sugar in fruit (natural sugars but sugar nonetheless) were never acknowledged.  

What does the new food pyramid look like? 

Dr. Gundry’s new food pyramid embraces how far we’ve come in the science of food and health awareness over more recent years. It’s also based on the great success that he’s had treating his own patients who’ve been overweight, underweight, fatigued, or suffering from stiff joints, unhealthy skin or digestive issues .  

Dr. Gundry’s new food pyramid looks a little like this: 

  1. Leafy Greens and Approved Fats 

We now know that healthy fats are more than just okay, we actually need them for optimal health and wellness. We also know that too much bread is bad! Your new foundation level is all leafy, cruciferous vegetables, and good fats and oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. As well as avocados. You can eat anything on this level in unlimited supplies. 

  1. Fasting 

As mentioned this is an actual level on the new food pyramid. Try skipping a meal here and there or a regular basis.  As long as you’re healthy (and not suffering from an illness like diabetes) you don’t need to be eating all the time. 

  1. Nuts, Lectin-Free Grains and Resistant Starches 

A great variety of nuts are recommended except peanuts and cashews. Resistant starches are those that feed the friendly bacteria in our guts such as green bananas and plantains. This is also where you can get your grains and bread but no processed flours! Stick to lectin-free types like coconut flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, or millet. Read more about lectin below. 

  1. Seafood, Poultryand  In-Season Fruits

Seafood is one of the healthiest foods you can select. It’s full of protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids but choose your fish wisely. Farm-raised fish are often injected with antibiotics or treated with pesticides. The same goes for poultry – buy pastured poultry and don’t confuse it with free-range as they are fed corn and soy. Eggs are in, especially the omega-3 variety and in-season fruit should be treated like candy, ie. enjoy it but in moderation 

  1. Southern European Milk, Wine and Dark Spirits

Southern European milks (cow, goat and buffalo) are the only milks that contain casein A-2 protein. You should avoid casein-A1. Treat these milks like any rare import and consume in moderation. Red wine and dark spirits can help to keep us healthy. In moderation. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in red wine might even help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  But you should consume these only 1 or 2 times per week. 

  1. Grass-fed, Pasture-Raised Meat

An interesting placement for red meat on the new food pyramid (at the very top) but even our spear-hunting ancestors never ate as much red meat as we do today. It just wasn’t that easy to get hold of. The new recommendation is just 4 ounces of red meat daily. Look for grass-fed or pasture-raised meats as these have the most omega-3’s. One of the big arguments for eating less red meat is that we now know that it contains a compound called Neu5Gc and human bodies just can’t process it properly. 

*A word on lectin 

You’ll notice that Dr. Gundry talks often about lectin-free vegetables and grains quite often. Lectins are plant proteins that are found in some vegetables and they’re very clever. They are one of Mother Nature’s natural defense mechanisms to protect plants from invaders. The problem is that they’re a kind of toxin that can really play up with some people, appearing in the form of digestive issues. Gluten is a prime example of a lectin, but there are other types found in foods like legumes, squash, tomato, peppers, and lentils. 

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