A couple of nights ago I was making a paper mache peach for my son – he is going as James (aka James and the giant peach) as his ‘bookweek’ character. Whilst I was making the ‘glue’ from white flour and water, I thought of consuming that white starchy goop like many of us do daily in the form of cereals, breads, and pasta. It got me thinking about our current food pyramid model.
The Food Pyramid
The healthy food pyramid has been a basic food principle for generations, suggesting we consume mostly grains, cereals, bread and pasta, whilst limiting fats and protein. The dairy board has also drummed into us the importance of daily ingestion of milk and cheese. We are told time and again grains and dairy are a great source of nutrition and without these food groups our diet will be deficient in fibre, calcium and other essential nutrients. However, growing research suggests the food pyramid needs to be tipped on its head!
In 1984 Time Magazine’s leading article was about ‘bad cholesterol, suggesting we eliminate all fat from our diet! Paradoxically in June 2014 Time magazine ran a front cover with the main article ‘Eat Butter”. It’s taken 30 years and an obesity epidemic to realise the current health model has many failings. Enter the Paleolithic diet.
Paleo eating places high importance on fresh, whole foods, lean protein, and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Avoiding processed foods, sugar, grains and legumes, dairy products and alcohol is also key.
Recently I watched a TV news piece about many ordinary Australians’ self diagnosing gluten intolerance and avoiding wheat based products to achieve better health. Rebuttal comments were launched by the multinationals suggesting the statistics were preposterous, with only a small percentage of the population with an actual diagnosed gluten intolerance (Coeliac).
Fresh is Best
Interestingly, many people are making their own educated choices with regards to the foods they consume. Connections between clean eating and feeling better is resonating with many. Processed, refined starchy, grain based foods make many of us feel less than vital. This may explain why a Paleo lifestyle is so popular. Eating good, whole, unprocessed foods make us feel great. It’s simple and it makes sense.
My son doesn’t like dairy products (maybe they make his tummy hurt?) so he self regulates and avoids the stuff. I don’t like milk either so don’t drink it, but am quite partial to cheese and yoghurt (must be that kaas hoofd dutch heritage). However I don’t advocate eliminating whole food groups from our diet. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding breakfast cereals, sugar and all processed and refined foods is simple and easy to achieve.
Carbs are a necessary source of energy and great low GI options include brown rice and quinoa. Avoid the white, starchy, processed grains like most breakfast cereals, white bread, white rice, and biscuits. Eggs and yoghurt are great sources of protein and in my opinion should be part of a healthy diet.
I’m thrilled good fats are back in fashion again. Avocados and almonds reign supreme, and are the best ‘fast food’ snack on the run.
My motto is fresh is best and moderation is key. Please comment or like my post if some of the things I suggest ring true for you too. Suzie Taylor has been involved in the health and wellness industry for over 20 years. She is passionate about creating healthier, less stressed beings. Small daily changes can bring about great results when you look at the big picture.