Chapter 9 (Free chapter from my book)
Essential General Information About The Evolution Of Our Food
So far, we’ve learned that if we want to heal our skin we have to make sure that our personal nutrition is healthy. However, it’s incredibly difficult to succeed at changing our nutrition as well as maintaining the change over the years. It’s even more difficult to understand what’s good and bad for our body, or what is true or false in advertising, if we don’t first know some basic truths about our food. In this chapter, I’ll provide you with a number of important facts, but if you want to go deeper into the subject, there is plenty of information available for you in books, videos, blogs and scientific publications. Our body is composed of energy which it receives through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. There are many discussions and studies regarding the most efficient types of food, the required amounts for the body, and the correct ratio of food types. There is a lot of interest in understanding how our body absorbs food, water and air, and how it transforms them into life-providing energy. To understand that, we first need to get an in-depth understanding of the complex biological, micro-biological and bio-chemical systems, to the point of understanding each and every cell in the body, as well as each cell’s external environment in each and every body part. An in-depth understanding of the body’s complex processes is necessary especially when assessing situations in which the body develops diseases. There is already a vast amount of nutritional information, and yet there are still endless amounts of subjects that are worthy of research, as each conclusion of a certain study brings forth further questions. The more advanced our research techniques become, the deeper is our understanding. When it comes to basic nutrition, there is extensive available information that provides minimal and maximal quantities according to weight, height, gender, age and physical activity levels - which are necessary for maintaining a healthy and optimally functioning body. Every so often, due to new research or re-examinations of old studies, new and updated research recommendations are brought to us via the internet or a daytime news broadcast. However, the drastic changing of nutritional guidelines issued by health authorities requires an extensive and major amount of reliable studies, and that’s when it all goes according to proper procedure. It’s true that decision-making processes of health authorities around the world do include errors, but due to our super active online social networks these days, each little step taken by the authorities draws public criticism, and so it’s a lot more difficult to present erroneous decisions - such as the one concerning animal fat. In recent years, the consensus is that excess consumption of sugar and carbs is the biggest enemy of human health in modern times, since the development and commercialization of sugar, which has made it a cheap and common commodity. There are countless high quality studies which indicate that it’s the high level of sugar in our foods-and not the animal fat (which was the negative factor for half of a century) which is the main factor for affluence-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, Alzheimer, atherosclerosis, acne, tooth decay, heartburn, digestive problems hemorrhoids, polycystic ovaries, hormonal imbalance, heart diseases and more. When you look at the list of ingredients on a food product and see the word “carbs”, You need to understand that carbs swiftly transform into sugar in the body. Simple carbs instantly raise the blood insulin levels, and are called high glycemic value carbs . These can obviously be found in high quantities in sweets as well as in natural or flavored juice, but also in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, tapioca and fruit.
In my opinion, as well as the opinion of many balanced-nutrition experts, many people wouldn’t become ill if they simply kept to the recommended amounts of carb intake - which we find difficult to do as the carbs are so delicious and addictive. This would also hold true if people made sure to consume the recommended amounts of natural fats and animal protein as well as vegetable protein - not too little and not too much. So, before cornering yourselves into an extreme diet such as veganism, vegetarianism, Paleo, ketogenic, raw food or 80/10/10 you should first check if perhaps a balanced, varied and low-carb diet may be easier for you to stick to, that is - a diet that will give your body what it needs, and hold back on things that are too heavy or harmful for it. You can achieve this moderately and easily, if you simply stick to the updated health authority recommendations, which in themselves are sufficiently challenging for the average Western person. Most people who change their diet to a new one experience a substantial improvement in their health. This is usually due to the fact that they’ve stopped consuming sweet processed food products, they’ve started eating vegetables packed full of vitamins and minerals and they’re eating regularly, but not necessarily because they’ve stopped eating certain foods. However, after a while they may start to experience a deterioration in their condition. This is because extreme dieting is preventing them from consuming numerous types of food that their body needs, and they may not be aware of that. Take chocolate for example. It may load our body with excess sugar, but on the other hand it’ll contribute magnesium and essential fat. If you decide to stop consuming chocolate, make sure to find an alternative such as a low-sugar cocoa snack which you can make yourselves, or at least make sure to get magnesium from bananas and essential fat from coconut oil. If you stop eating ice cream or cereal, you’ll be doing your body good for the short run, as you’ll reduce a substantial amount of sugar intake, but in the long run - your body will notice the lack of good fats and vitamins found in dairy products. Many people evaluate food according to its color, look or taste, but these are grave mistakes. Animal-derived milk contains food groups which are utterly different from those found in rice milk. One of my clients fed her infant son with a rice milk supplement when she couldn’t breastfeed, thus giving him food mainly consisting of carbs, instead of protein and fat (as well as other vitamins).
Our body requires six major food groups: Carbs, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. The Nutrition Department of the American National Academy has an online publication on its website of Dietary Reference Intakes for Individuals (DRI) , where they state the recommended daily allowance of each food group according to gender, age, weight and level of physical activity. Each of these substances is incredibly important for our body’s functionality, and a deficiency in one of them can cause serious trouble. Every now and then, when new studies are published, the DRI values are updated on the website, but only people who religiously follow the updates are aware of the changes. I have discovered that not many people are aware of this area, to say the least. A famous example of the consequences of vitamin A deficiency was first highlighted through a 1923 study by biochemist Frederick Gowland Hopkins, who discovered the existence of vitamins in food. He experimented on mice, feeding one group with foods containing non-dairy carbs, protein and fats, and the other group with the same foods but with added dairy. The mice in the first group died of starvation due to malnutrition, and the mice in the other group lived long and well. Hence, he concluded that milk contains an additional ingredient which is important for our development beyond protein, fats and carbs. This ingredient was later on found to be vitamin A. I’d like to take a moment to focus on the vitamin A example, in order to further demonstrate the assumption that nutritional deficiency will begin by harming less important body parts. Vitamin A has a number of roles in the body. It prevents the oxygenation of certain substances and compounds in the body, improves our night vision, maintains healthy skin and assists in strengthening the immune system. Perhaps you refrain from products such as butter, milk, eggs or liver, or don’t consume enough of them, but you do feed on plants with high levels of beta carotene such as carrots and sweet potatoes - perhaps because you’ve read somewhere that beta carotene splits into two vitamin A molecules once inside the body. And still, you may discover a deficiency in vitamin A when you take the blood tests that I recommended in chapter 5. Why is that so? In 2009, it was discovered that we aren’t all able to transform beta carotene into vitamin A . Studies showed that with at least half of the female participants, their body was unable to perform the action. This is an incredibly important finding - one which has not received enough attention when providing nutrition guidelines to people everywhere. I discovered that my national health service website wrote that vitamin A can’t be absorbed efficiently from plant-based carotenoids. That’s all well and good, but doctors don’t send vegans for regular check ups of vitamin A levels, and even when I manage to convince my clients to be tested for that, they’re usually told by their doctor that there’s no need. Now let’s suppose you are your body’s managers and instead of 700 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin A per day you only get 300mcg. Or you get a massive amount of beta carotene, but due to genetic reasons your body can’t fully transform that into vitamin A. Where would you choose to withhold the supply of vitamin A? I would assume you’d start with neglecting the skin as well as night vision, and allow unimportant substances in your body to be oxygenized (for example skin fat). You’d also start to lightly minimize the immune system - for example you’d skip the fight against colds but remain vigilant against more dangerous infections. And only when the vitamin A deficiency became major and long term would you start detracting it from systems that you know for certain could be harmed, in terms of your body’s immunity and survival abilities. You simply wouldn’t have a choice. If you’ve ever raised an animal, you surely know that you can’t keep it healthy if you don’t supply it with everything it’s ever needed since the dawn of time. When you read that last sentence, you probably thought that’s obvious. But can you honestly say you know for a fact that you get all the necessary raw materials for your health? How many of you have listed and measured everything you eat each day? How many of you have compared your lists to the recommended daily intake? I’m certain very few of you have done this, as I have treated so many clients throughout the last decade, and none of them have done so. I had never done it either, until I started delving deeper into the subject. Many of us have counted our calorie intake throughout our lives over and over again, but have never given any attention to those calories’ compounds. I’m certain that you learned in school about basic food groups, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, these theoretical subjects, which are vital for our survival, aren’t getting enough time and attention in classrooms, especially not at a practical level - which would really help us remember them clearly - and so they are missed out.
Western Nutrition Vs Traditional Nutrition
As I already told you in chapter 5, many people, especially in Western civilization, eat literally whatever they feel like eating. In more traditional cultures, parents teach their children about their culture’s nutrition, which is made of their environment’s plants and animals. Traditional cultures have learned to process raw materials in a way which is the most beneficial for their body, and at the same time they’ve managed to reduce the levels of toxicity - if there were any to begin with. These actions consist of processes such as fermenting dough, or soaking and sprouting pulses in order to neutralize the toxic proteins, whose original job was to protect the sprouts from predators, but ended up damaging the digestion system and food absorption. People have learned to consume a certain combination of foods during each meal, so that the body gets variations of all the carbs, protein and fats needed for its functionality. If there was a shortage in large animals, people would eat fish, seafood, insects and reptiles. Tribes and civilizations that weren’t successful at this facet of survival, which included the preparation of sufficiently nourishing food for their body, would eventually become extinct. Since ancient tribes and civilizations had no research labs, their procedures for producing and processing food, as well as creating a rich and nourishing diet, were never tested. They were based on conclusions drawn from trial and error, and passed on through generations for hundreds of thousands of years. If new food ingredients appeared, for example through traveling nomads or sailors, or if they were suddenly discovered by the locals - they would be accepted into traditional cuisine very slowly and gradually, sometimes taking decades, centuries and even thousands of years, and at the same pace they would gradually become accepted and familiarized by the body. Many people who consumed food that wasn’t right for them, or didn’t consume enough of the right type of food for them, became sick and died. This process happens all of the time, even nowadays. It would seem that we humans are the only living creatures who are still trying to figure out what the healthiest food for us is. Other animals know exactly which bush they should go to and munch on, which worms they should eat and which animals they should devour.
The type of human we belong to (Homo Sapiens) had many developmental stages throughout millions of years. We’ve learnt that from fossils, skeletal debris, archeological findings, and through comparing genome sequences with human behavior and primate behavior. The most ancient fossil in existence is a 2.8 million year old partial lower jaw of Ethiopian origin.
The process of coming down off the trees five to seven million years ago, and the subsequent erecting of our posture onto our hind legs, had actually made the evolution of human beings very different to that of other animals, as it gradually freed our hands to practice various activities. In addition to collecting poultry eggs, bugs, leaves, fruit, nuts and seeds, humans began to learn how to proficiently handle leftovers from animals that had been killed by predators. For example, they used rocks to crack bones in order to gain access to nutritious bone marrow, and removed the leftover meat from the bones (as it was discovered through the analysis of ancient bones).
About 2 million years ago, humans themselves began hunting, and became so proficient at it that they managed to overtake animals much stronger and faster than themselves. Humans caused the total extinction of numerous animal species - such as Mammoths - and undoubtedly became nature’s most controlling and cruel species. I’d like to mention on a personal level that I’m not a “huge fan” of nature’s cruel ways into which we were born. I would prefer a world where humans and animals don’t kill other animals to survive. But I know that we have to learn to accept nature’s ways on this planet, in order to better understand why our body works this way and not another. The human body evolved into its modern form by eating a variety of foods, including animal derived foods. However, unlike other predators, humans learned to make fire, thus softening their food (the most ancient findings of a man-made fire - not one that ignited on its own - are from over a million years ago in South Africa, and over 790 thousand years ago in Israel). We are the only carnivores who cook and soften our food, which is why our teeth aren’t as sharp as predators’ teeth. Upon the discovery of fire, we started eating the more muscular, tough meaty parts, not just the softer, more oily inner parts. We also soften the leaves, bulbs and roots that we eat by cooking them, which is why our teeth aren’t as big and flat as those of herbivores. We neutralize toxic protein from pulses and cereals through soaking and fermentation. Our digestive system isn’t like that of herbivores or of predators. Throughout the last few thousand years, humans stopped gradually hunting, fishing and gathering their food, and rather started raising and growing it themselves. That was the beginning of agriculture. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to find populations that exist nutritionally only as hunter gatherers. The human body has only been familiar with things like wheat, rice, corn, pulses, dairy products and alcohol for a short amount of time -thousands of years, which is nothing compared to the millions of years spent as hunter gatherers. Big juicy fruit, for example - available all year round - wasn’t familiar before human domestication.
Ancient or Ketogenic Nutrition
People who follow a Paleo diet or an ancient diet  are actually trying to imitate the kind of nutrition which existed before the rise of agriculture, by eating food consisting of animals, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and very little amounts of fruit. They try to fast between meals, imitating a situation whereby food wasn’t constantly available, and the body had time to deal
Sustainable animals farming
There are a number of companies that are in stages of researching the production and development of meat-alternatives, with many of them focusing on raising insects which are used as an alternative source of full protein. Unfortunately, it seems that these companies are only looking into protein alternatives or similar tastes, and not substitutes such as saturated fat containing cholesterol and other vitamins and minerals found in real meat. Mankind has not yet found a real alternative to animal derived products, though we could, to a point, replace meat with eggs and full-fat cheeses. Still, most vegans (around 70%) eventually have to quit the vegan diet at one point or another due to health issues .
What Connects Average Mortality Ages and Health?
This part will refer to those people who claim that in the past, people died a lot younger, and that ancient humans had a life span of 23 years. Well, this simply isn’t an accurate claim, as we’re talking about mortality on average. That means that this number also contains death rates of babies at childbirth or infancy; death rates due to childhood diseases before the dawn of inoculations and medicine; death rates due to infections, during tribal wars and hunting and by predatory animals. These are causes of death that are almost nonexistent in the modern age and therefore the life of the modern man (on average) is much longer than that of the ancient man. Furthermore, elderly people in tribes or in remote populations, who have managed to overcome physical and natural harms and reach old age, excel at maintaining good health without the presence of Western diseases or “affluence diseases” such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, diabetes, blood pressure, cancer and more. If we could choose, we’d probably go with dying at an old age, disease free and without life-extending treatments - which may keep us alive for longer but will also mean we’ll be dependent and in need of nursing care. My grandparents were like that. They died aged 92 and 100 without ever falling ill or needing medical treatments, they weren’t in need of nursing care, were never hospitalized and never took medication. They simply grew old slowly but surely, and passed away after a very short period of deterioration. In total contrast, five out of their six children - my father included - died as adults but not as old people, and from Western diseases such as cardiac arrest, cancer and blocked arteries. It was only their eldest daughter who passed away at the grand age of 107. During my grandparents’ lifetime, it was very common to meet old people who were healthy, vital and functional, meaning that those who managed to survive all the “strange deaths” of the last century (due to world wars, hunger, disgraceful working conditions and exploits in some parts of the world), got to reach the “golden age” while maintaining their quality of life. At the beginning of the 20th century, prior to the total disappearance of hunter-gatherer tribes after the invasion of colonial Europeans (in the United States, Australia and Papua New Guinea), the tribes were discovered to have kept a fine living balance as well as impeccable health. However, as Western nutritional elements entered those societies, the general morbidity levels rose. This information got to us (among other sources) through an exceptional document from 1948 - an independent study conducted by a wonderful doctor called Weston Price . In my personal opinion, this paper should enter the curriculum in every school worldwide. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened, and very few people have actually heard of this doctor. If he were alive today, there is no doubt that he would have won several Nobel prizes for his discoveries. Nowadays there are very few hunter-gatherer tribes that preserve the lifestyle they had before encountering Western civilization. Millions of them became extinct due to germs passed on to them by colonialists, through horrendous slavery or by their annihilation. These days, especially in the developing world, there are very few traditional societies through which we can try to understand the low percentage of Western diseases that harmed them - bearing in mind that their average mortality age is still low compared to Western society. The average mortality age within traditional societies has been and remains lower than within Western societies. Of course it would be a mistake to treat it solely on that figure, since - as I mentioned earlier - average mortality age takes many factors into account, including high death rates in infants, as well as poverty related diseases such as malaria, aids, infections, tuberculosis and similar diseases, which are rampant within traditional cultures lacking in advanced medical services. Similarly, high average mortality ages in Western societies take into account elements such as low infant death rates as well as the geriatric population and sick people, who have their lives extended through advanced medical services, medicine and innovative treatments. There are still a few choice societies in the world that have managed to develop and enjoy Western population’s promised quality of life, without the negative implications ordinarily entailed in development, namely - malnutrition, stress, and the never ending race for financial prosperity. As of 2018, the world’s five leading societies on life expectancy can be found in Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Loma Linda (California), Nicoya (Costa Rica), and Icaria (Greece) . In the next chapter (which will be the final one concerning nutrition) you’ll learn to analyze your diet, and gain an understanding of what’s important to eat in order to get your skin and body radiating health.
Old shaman by the ritual dance around the bonfire. Namibia. Africa.
Elderly people are capable of being very healthy and active, even without relying on advanced health services