Sunday, March 04, 2012

Regina the Food Grinch

This is what I'm studying this weekend: The Dark Side of Wheat. It details evidence that people with celiac's disease, which causes the inability to digest wheat, are not the only ones who are harmed by eating wheat. According to the author, wheat harms everyone because cereal grains were never among the plant foods the human body evolved to digest.

I've also been reading articles like "The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful Effects," which dispels the myth that soy products like tofu and soy milk are good for you, at least in the daily quantities that American vegetarians and vegans tend to eat them.

And I've ordered my copy of a new film called In Search of the Perfect Human Diet, which documents the history of human nutrition, including the millions of years our ancestors spent living on what they could hunt and gather. I believe the film shows that our digestive systems developed to eat animal protein and plants, not the wheat and other grains we began cultivating in the last 20,000 years (and certainly not the cow's milk that Americans consume all day long). I'll confirm this after I've watched the film.

All this means that I'm about to become the most obnoxious dining companion ever. Before long I'll have memorized the addictive qualities of dairy, sugar, wheat, corn and other grains. I'll irritate vegans and vegetarians alike, criticizing soy products and cow's milk and arguing that all grains are destructive to the human body. I'll antagonize anyone who avoids animal protein by insisting that humans were born to eat animals and their eggs, backing it up with the evidence of the experts I'm reading.

Up until now, I've open-mindedly maintained that maybe cow's milk and wheat work well for others, but just not for me. I figured dairy products and grains caused me stomach aches, but were good foods for others. But now I'm learning that milk, wheat, corn, soy, etc. aren't actually doing anyone much good. This puts me at risk for hovering over other people's lunches and saying things like, "We're the only species on the planet that consumes the milk of another species," and "You know, that pasta is slowly destroying your liver," and maybe even, "Recommending a balanced diet with a healthy amount of grains is like recommending a balanced diet with a healthy amount of cigarettes."

What appeals to me about all these awful truths is that they confirm my experience with digestive troubles. I had to cut out dairy a while ago and have been gradually reducing my wheat and grain consumption as they cause me more and more pain. I feel much better without these things in my diet, and also without coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks and processed food in general. I'm becoming the dullest consumer ever, preparing most of my own food which is mostly grilled, steamed or boiled animal protein, vegetables and nuts. What's disturbing is that finding the science to back up my nutritional choices arms me with an arsenal of holier-than-thou, know-it-all food knowledge. Soon I'll be intolerable.

Someone recently asked me, "So what the heck are we supposed to eat? Nothing but boring food?" My answer was, "Yes. The human body is meant to eat only the simplest, unprocessed foods and to drink nothing but water."

Sorry everyone, but we're eventually going to have to realize that there's no pill to make us healthy and the only way to turn around the declining state of American health is to stop eating crap. And by "crap," I mean everything you currently enjoy eating and swilling.

Just call me the Food Grinch.


Cat said...

Regina, just so we can get this out of the way before our next regularly scheduled lunch: you will pry my yogurt, creme anglaise, whole wheat pasta, chocolate, and corn on the cob out of my cold dead hands. Might my diet lead to that eventual scenario? Sure. But no one lives forever, and I aim to enjoy what little time I've got.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Game on!

Just kidding. That's fair enough. I don't really want to add another layer of unpleasantness to my personality, so if I get obnoxious about food and nutrition, please tell me you'd rather not talk about it right now. (Although there's living forever and then there's just living without pain for however long you're here. I don't want to live forever, but I like avoiding pain.)

Mick said...

Surely fruit juices are natural if squeezed directly from the fruit.

You make some interesting points but i don't believe that all fods are bad for everyone.
Thats why I believe DNA development is so important, eventually people will know what conditions they will be prone to, what foods to eat or avoid to prolong their healthy life.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Mick, your comment is very reasonable. This post is me expressing concern that I'm being completely unreasonable. I guess I'll find out.