When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of different research and advice out there. This article will go over the basics. There are lots of food that taste great but are horrible for our health. Unfortunately, these foods are extremely common, and people think it's normal to eat them. This article will point out which foods to avoid, which foods to be careful about, and then the healthy foods that we can love, and they will also love us back.
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Part 1: Foods to Avoid
While health experts might disagree on what foods to eat for health, pretty much all health experts agree on which foods to avoid, which are junk food and processed foods. Most of eating healthy is actually avoiding unhealthy food. In our current society, unhealthy food is everywhere. Unhealthy food is easier to access than healthy food. Why? Because unhealthy food is addictive, and businesses can make lots of profit on unhealthy food. No one knew how harmful these foods are in the long-term, so no one banned these foods.
Chronic illness and mental illness are both higher than ever before in history, and our unhealthy food system is a major reason.
1: Junk Food
Almost everyone knows junk food (e.g., burgers, fried food, ice cream etc.) is unhealthy. But people still eat them because the taste is addictive and they don’t feel anything bad one day after. But if they keep eating that kind of food, over many years, they will get serious health problems.
2: Processed Food
Pretty much every doctor and health professional agree that packaged and processed foods are the first foods to cut out. These are any foods that are processed in a factory. They usually come in a box or bag, such as cookies, chips, ice cream, chocolate, canned food, frozen dinners, etc.
The reason these foods are unhealthy is because the companies add a ton of artificial sugar or salt or other flavoring to make it taste addictive. They also add a lot of preservatives so that the food can stay “fresh” for years. Think about that…if the food can stay fresh for years because of the preservatives, just think what those preservatives will do to your body!
3: Restaurant Food (especially if the price is low)
Restaurants are businesses, and most of them nowadays care about profit and not the health of their customers. They use cheap, unhealthy oil in their cooking. They add lots of flavoring like salt and MSG to make the meal taste better, but that’s very bad for the customer’s health.
Part 2: Foods to be Careful About
1: Non-Organic Meat
Meat is not the same as 200 years ago. In our modern society, meat comes from factory farmed animals. These animals are injected with growth hormones to make them extra big and grow really fast. They live in extremely crowded spaces with no hygiene. They barely have breathing space. They live extremely stressful and short lives, so their body is full of hormones related to fear, stress, and anger. They are also sprayed with lots of chemical pesticides to kill insects that carry disease. Moreover, the food that they eat is sprayed with up to 20 times more pesticides than what is allowed for human consumption.
When we eat meat from the grocery store or a restaurant, we are also eating all those dangerous chemicals and unhealthy hormones. In the short term, that creates stress and inflammation in the body. Compounded over time, that leads to disease.
2: Non-Organic Produce (Fruits and Vegetables)
Even produce is not the same as before. They have been genetically modified to be bigger, prettier, and resist bugs. Their taste is also much more bland as a result. Fruits and vegetables are grown in sick soil that’s filled with chemical fertilizers. These fertilizers are like the growth hormones injected into animals: they make the plants grow faster and bigger, but it’s not natural. The chemicals in the fertilizers hurt the soil, which then hurts the plants, which then hurts the people who eat them. The farmers also spray the fruits and vegetables with A LOT of pesticides. They use so much that they have to wear full-body suits with masks because breathing in those pesticides is harmful. And farms will have a “Do not enter” sign because it’s dangerous to breath all those pesticides.
When we eat fruits and vegetables, it’s very important to wash them thoroughly because we can’t see or feel the pesticides on the produce, and eating it is very harmful.
3: Common Allergens
There is a diet called the Elimination Diet for people who have conditions like skin rashes, headaches, tiredness, stomach pain, or even mental illness. If you have any such symptoms, you can experiment with removing these foods for a period of time (usually 2-3 weeks), then reintroduce the foods one by one and see if the symptoms come back.
Common allergens include soy, nuts, gluten, corn, dairy, MSG, artificial flavors, food coloring, and preservatives.
The Medical Medium gives a similar list of foods to avoid:
Here is a quick video of Dr. Daniel Amen explaining how he used the elimination diet to heal one of his patients from depression and suicidal thoughts:
Part 3: Healthy Food
Now that we’ve looked at some unhealthy foods, let’s talk about the healthy ones.
1: Organic and Free-Range
When you buy fruits and vegetables, try to get organic if your budget allows it. For animal products, look for free-range, which means it’s not factory farmed. It’s more expensive, but it’s much healthier for you and for the Earth. Organic food also tastes so much better. You will enjoy the taste of the actual food and not want the taste of sugar, salt, or artificial flavors.
For example, I compared the taste of store tomatoes with organic tomatoes from my garden. The store tomatoes look nice and big, but have almost no taste. My garden tomatoes have 100 times more flavor than the store tomatoes. That’s the difference between organic and non-organic.
2: Home Made Food
Instead of eating fast food, packaged food, and restaurant food, try to eat home-cooked food with fresh ingredients. Why? Because you know exactly what went into your meal. You know there’s no artificial flavorings or preservatives.
Cooking can be very easy and simple. Just cut up a bunch of different colored vegetables and stir fry them in pan. Add a bit of salt for flavoring, and you have a great tasting meal. Now, for many people, that meal might taste bland, and that’s because their tongue is so used to the excessive artificial flavors from fast food, packaged foods, and restaurant food. But if you stop eating those unhealthy foods for some time, your tongue will be able to taste vegetables again. And if you use organic ingredients, the taste will be very rich.
3: The Holy Four
In his book, Life Changing Foods, the Medical Medium explains four food groups that have healing powers for the body: fruits, vegetables, herbs, and wild foods. Fruits fight cancer, vegetables clean the body, herbs build the immune system, and wild foods help us adapt to stress.
Here are just a few examples:
Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, oranges, papaya, pears
Vegetables: Asparagus, celery, broccoli, leafy greens (spinach, lettuce), potatoes, onions, cucumbers, sweet potatoes
Herbs: Garlic, ginger, turmeric, cilantro, licorice root
Wild Foods: Aloe vera, seaweed, mushrooms, coconut, raw wildflower honey, wild blueberries
It would take far too long to explain each food in detail, but he has a whole book on the healing benefits of over 50 foods in his book.
What about drinks?
It’s probably not surprising to you that we should avoid processed drinks made in a factory, such as sodas and juices. These drinks have a lot of sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives added to them.
The easiest way to be healthy with our drinks is to drink water. If you want, you can also drink natural fruit juices without added ingredients. You can even drink the juice of certain vegetables such as celery, which has tremendous health benefits.
Most of healthy eating is actually avoiding unhealthy food, which are extremely common in our current profit-driven society. We should avoid especially processed foods and cheap restaurant foods because they are made to taste really good but are very harmful for our health. We also need to be careful with non-organic food. Finally, we should try to add organic and home food foods into our diet, especially fruits, vegetables, herbs, and wild foods.