Read an Excerpt
The Ultimate pH Solution
Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight
The Fatal Flaws in Our Standard American Diet (SAD)
"Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are."
—Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
For thousands of years, our human ancestors lived completely off the land. Their lives depended on their understanding of and connection to nature. Archeological evidence shows that they foraged for wild berries, seeds, nuts, and herbs; researchers estimate that approximately 95 percent of their diet consisted of these foods. To a much lesser extent, they also ate the meat of wild animals. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors subsisted in this way until the agricultural revolution, which started around 10,000 years ago. Over the following centuries, some hunter-gatherer and fishing societies moved to a life of farming and animal domestication. Even after 10,000 years of agriculture, some experts suggest that our bodies are still struggling to adapt to our change in diet from wild berries, greens, and animals to more domesticated animals and cultivated grains.
There is now a far more dangerous revolution taking place even as you read this book. It has the power to wreak havoc on us, damaging our bodies so they are vulnerable to countless diseases and obesity. This revolution was created by industrialization and the commercialization of our food supply.
Over the past 100 years or so, we have denatured our food supply more than ever before during human history and throughout our evolution. We've sprayed produce with chemicals originally derived fromleftover toxic nerve agents when there was no longer a military use for them. We unleash mutant "ghost bugs"—bacteria shells filled with pesticides and injected with viruses—onto our food to kill insects that might dare take a few bites of our produce. Instead of depending on the natural mineralization of soil that occurs over time as Mother Nature composts decaying matter, we add artificially created chemical fertilizers. We even alter the genetic material of seeds before planting them, with the arrogant belief that we can improve upon what nature has created. We subject our food to radiation that destroys its life force in favor of an extended shelf life. To further prolong food's shelf life, its so-called attractiveness, and ultimately the business cycle during which companies can profit from selling it, we add synthetic chemicals in the form of colors; preservatives; stabilizers; flavors and flavor enhancers; ripening gases; waxes; conditioners; firming agents; heavy metals; nutrient "enrichers"; bleach; texturizers; and chemically altered fats, sugars, and amino acids that bear no resemblance to the food molecules they originated from. Mother Nature is marginalized from our food supply in favor of big business, food technologists, and corporate profit margins.
What we call "food" has few of the building blocks of life left in it. Based on our current understanding of nutrition, we know that food should contain several dozen vitamins and minerals, plentiful amounts of enzymes to aid in digestion, hundreds of phytochemicals (natural plant nutrients and pigments) that slow aging and prevent disease processes, fiber, amino acids, natural sugars, and essential fatty acids—all of which our bodies require to create healthy cells. Our bodies need healthful sugars from complex carbohydrates for the energy production required by every cell. We need amino acids from healthy and digestible proteins to build new tissues and organs. We require essential fatty acids from the fats found in vegetables, seeds, and nuts to protect our brains and nervous systems and ensure healthy immune systems that can fight off illness. We need enzymes to ensure healthy digestion of all these foods so our bodies will have the building blocks they require for healthy cell formation. These healthy cells create healthy tissues. Healthy tissues create healthy organs. Healthy organs create healthy organ systems. And healthy organ systems create healthy human bodies.
So it should come as no surprise that denatured food creates disease-prone, disease-laden, and overweight bodies. Even cooking food at temperatures higher than 118ºF destroys its enzyme content. Yet millions continue to eat denatured food as part of the Standard American Diet (SAD).
The Standard American Diet truly is SAD when it comes to preventing disease and maintaining great health. Our excessive consumption of fast food, sugar, trans fats, meat, and food additives is the fast track to disease. We need to make simple changes to break free of the Standard American Diet or risk suffering one or more of the many diseases linked to it, including obesity, heart disease, brain disease, and many forms of cancer.
Don't worry: I'm not suggesting that you give up all of your favorite foods or pursue a vegetarian diet. You can still enjoy your favorites on occasion; you just need to know simple tricks to restore the balance, tricks you'll learn later in this book.
But first, let's take a look at the components (and deficiencies) of the typical North American diet.
The average person consumes 150 pounds of refined sugar per year, which is astronomical in contrast to the 5 pounds per year our grandparents or great-grandparents ate at the turn of the 20th century. That's 30 times more sugar every year! While there are some inherent and well-known problems associated with refined sugar consumption (which you will learn more about in chapter 5), sugar is also extremely acid-forming in our bodies. Our sugar addiction has severe ramifications, none of which is particularly sweet.
Refined sugar is one of the worst poisons we put into our bodies. It can block our immune response for between four and six hours, lowering our natural defenses and making us less capable of fighting viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Sugar makes our bodies' pH very acidic, and with the average North American consuming 150 pounds of sugar annually, that's a great deal of acidity to overcome. It's not surprising that research has linked sugar to cancer, hormonal disruptions, arthritis, osteoporosis, cataracts, and many other degenerative diseases.
The manner in which sugar is processed exacerbates the problem. More than 60 chemicals are used in the processing of natural sugarcane . . .The Ultimate pH Solution
Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight. Copyright © by Michelle Cook. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. <%END%>