Natural Nutrition

Fat Children

 

A few years back I thought vegetarians were a strange folk. I didn’t even really know what vegans were. I thought that all vegetarians did so because they could not bring themselves to eat dead flesh. It did not even occur to me that there might be health benefits – surely you cannot really be healthy without the meat from protein? Oh how wrong I was. I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who pointed me towards various articles about Carl Lewis being a vegan and the health benefits of being vegetarian. I was intrigued and after a bit of research decided to embark on one month of being vegan. This turned into nearly 4 months. It significantly changed my views on the ‘strange folk’ and was a major factor in my switch to a more natural lifestyle.

Now I think I should make it clear that I am no longer a full-time vegan. I am too cheap to warrant parting with my hard earned cash for a dish at a restaurant that I could have made at home i.e. pasta arrabiata. Nor am I fond of someone having to cook an extra vegetarian meal just for me. I also love meat so treat myself to the occasional bacon sandwich or chicken kiev. These are examples of when I will eat meat/dairy but for the rest of the time I am a ‘good practising’ vegetarian.

Now one of the main arguments for the health benefits of being vegetarian is that throughout evolution we have been foragers. I believe this is true, but to an extent. We know that cavemen ate meat and throughout known history we have eaten meat. The issue is that it would have been a fairly rare occurrence. Meat has only become a daily commodity in the last century. As such, being a ‘good practising’ vegetarian that eats meat on occasion is probably the most natural way to eat. You drastically cut down on your saturated fats and cholesterol, and will automatically get more fruit and veg in your diet. The vast majority of people that I talk to about vegetarianism are incredibly adverse to cutting meat out, you could aptly describe them as being scared. I actually watched River Cottage where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall wanted to challenge the idea that meat should be the centre of most meals. Give it a watch and give it a go. You can still eat meat every so often but the main message I am trying to get across is that a modern diet where we eat meat in almost every meal is not good. Would a caveman have been able to catch enough meat to have bacon for breakfast, chicken for lunch and beef for dinner? Exactly.

I have to mention, but not dwell on, the subject of processed sugary foods. They spike your insulin levels, increase fat storage and make your energy levels unstable, but everyone knows they are bad for you. Much like meat, I am not saying cut them out forever. You have to have some joy in life and the odd chocolate bar is not going to kill you. But as with meat, we consume excessive amounts of processed and sugary foods which have led to record numbers of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The easiest way to avoid processed and sugary foods? Eat fresh, natural produce. Go natural, go caveman.

 


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