We all eat. Generally, we eat several times a day – meals and snacks. In our society of abundance, food is ever present. Food does more than sustain life – it greases the wheels of social harmony. From morning business breakfasts to evening barbecues with friends, when two or more are gathered together, food is featured.
For the most part, our food choices are based on habits, culture, what we like, what we are accustomed to eating, and what we expect the food to do, or not do, for us or to us. In theU.S., there is a lot of talk about the health hazards associated with eating copious quantities of fatty foods. The current popular trend in diet is toward eating more fruits and vegetables. The rationale for this trend is vegetables and fruits provide needed vitamins and minerals without undesirable fat. Those whose diets are fruit- and vegetable-centered seem to have fewer incidents of cardiovascular disease and other physical maladies than those whose diets are meat-centered or high in fat.
Research has shown the real reason vegetable consumers fare better in the health department than the heavy meat eaters goes far beyond the plugged-artery rationale. Dietary fat and cholesterol in moderation pose little threat to health. Our body needs both, is designed to handle both, and produces both. Our body produces its own cholesterol and, to the chagrin of many, converts excess energy-source glucose into fat. The health threat lies not so much in the fat and cholesterol in the food we eat but in the fat and cholesterol carriers – high protein foods such as meat.
This is quite a departure from traditional thinking. We have been conditioned to “Get plenty of protein; it builds muscles – you can’t get too much protein!” Now, we’ll not argue the “protein builds muscle” point here. When the realization of how our body must respond to the by-products of protein, it becomes obvious why excess dietary protein is the health-inhibiting culprit rather than the cholesterol and fat. Keep in mind we’re referring to excess protein – excess according to your body’s needs, not according to the USRDA.
The amount of protein recommended for adults 19 to 51+ years old ranges from 25 grams to 40 grams per day. The wide range in the recommended amounts reflects the lower protein needs of older females and the higher needs of younger males. In the government’s current effort to make nutrition requirements more user-friendly, the 25 to 40 grams of protein translate to 12 to 15 percent of daily calories. We believe no matter how you phrase it, that’s too much protein. Half that amount would be more appropriate from your body’s point of view.
There are two internal conditions behind disease: excess acid and inappropriate timing. In future articles, we will delve into inappropriate timing, however, for our purposes here we’re into the “meat” of the toxicity story. Our body becomes toxic when it is too acidic. Too much dietary protein is the foundation of acidosis toxicity. Our body MUST keep its internal environment slightly alkaline in order to survive.
The problem with high-protein food is it leaves an acid residue – acid ash. These leavings must be eliminated. Unlike the acid produced from exercise, the acid from acid ash-producing foods, such as meat, can’t be eliminated through the lungs. It must be neutralized, processed through the kidneys, and eliminated. The process of neutralizing uses essential alkaline minerals from your store of neutralizing minerals. These are the alkaline reserve. However, as anyone who has dipped into a savings account knows, even a reserve has a limit. When you take out all that’s been put in without replacing the withdrawals, the reserve is gone. High protein foods are long on protein and short on alkalizing minerals. If you eat mostly high-protein foods, you use more neutralizing minerals than you replace. If this pattern continues for long periods, eventually your alkaline reserve will dwindle. If more minerals aren’t replaced, ultimately your reserve will be depleted. A slightly alkaline internal environment is essential to life and health.
The good news is that these minerals can be replaced. Vegetables and fruits replenish the supply of minerals our body needs to process moderate amounts of dietary acid. When we eat mostly vegetables and fruits, we get enough neutralizing minerals in our diet to replenish your alkaline reserve. A well-stocked alkaline reserve means a favorable climate inside the body – a favorable internal environment.
How can we help maintain a well-stocked reserve? A gradual change to a diet consisting of 75% vegetables & fruits, and 25% of other foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and grains) is what is recommended at Morter Health System (the developers of the B.E.S.T). What we eat is an essential choice we make each day. Learning to make the correct choices is paramount in creating the good health we want for ourselves and for our patients