When you put too many processed carbs, sweeteners, sugars, etc. into your body, blood glucose goes crazy and insulin production goes on hyperdrive, causing glycation and all kinds of crazy hormone activity that the body can't handle. Damage is done to the brain, organs, joints, muscle tissue, etc, the body is depleted of minerals and cells mutate into not so friendly cells.
Our ancestors consumed a diet of grass fed meat and fat, wild game, seafood, fibrous/non starchy vegetables, fruits and berries in season, nuts and seeds, raw milk and dairy products (sometimes) and water. These are the things that our bodies are made to absorb, not fake food with an essay of ingredients that it contains. The saddest thing of all is that the USDA food pyramid is completely backwards and is largely responsible for the crazy and ever increasing obesity rate today. Grains, breads and pastas should not be a large source of food for anybody. Overconsumption of carby, starchy, sugary grains and the like is what makes people fat, not fat. The glucose and insulin spikes along with the inhibition of the master fat storage hormone Leptin will cause excess fat storage, and cause chaos throughout many levels and structures of your body. When you don't eat fat, your body will make fat because it needs it for so many bodily processes and functions. The whole low fat, low cholesterol myth is so wrong on so many levels that it is not even funny. The fact of the matter is when you eat "low fat" foods, the added sweeteners that they put in them are absolutely horrible for you and you end up much worse off even though your intentions might have been good. Your body needs fat; quality fat. Even a decent amount of saturated fat is good for you. It is the trans fats (man made fats) that you want to avoid like the plague. Getting enough quality protein, quality fatty acids, vitamins and minerals from grass fed animal sources, veggies, some fruits, nuts and free range dairy products is what needs to be done to develop a strong and healthy body. (Note: Most people need to supplement with fish oil or krill oil to get enough EPA and DHA, which are essential fatty acids that the brain needs to function optimally and also help with many other things in the body such as fat loss, heart disease, inflammation and more)
Aside from all of this (and this is one thing that goes against this book to a certain degree), people still do need SOME carbs and SOME grains in their diets, but from the right sources, not too much and for many people (depending on the situation and person) not much at all. Before and after a workout is one time carbs are important. You need some before the workout to give you fuel and you need some right after to start recovery and restore glycogen in your muscle cells. I'm a big fan of natural oats as a healthy source of carbs. For post workout, I recommend a banana or apple and a protein shake (for the protein, duh.) Make sure that any grains that are eaten are all natural and whole.
A lot of meats and dairy that you get in your average store were basically fed garbage such as prohormones, antibiotics and slop plates, which means that they are not ideal for the human body. Free range, grass fed animal sources are what the body needs to function optimally. Whole foods, Outpost, Sendix and some select stores carry some of this great stuff. Getting as close to raw milk as possible is the way to go when it comes to dairy. (Note to self, I need to get a cow) In many states, you'll have to go straight to the farm to get raw milk. Its the same thing with milk; a lot of the processing that goes on kills off many of the healthy bacteria, fats, and proteins that we need.
Getting things on track can be hard to do in this day and age with drug after drug being handed out to treat every symptom people have, government wrongly regulating diet recommendations and false information constantly being given out in the media. The money is not in the cure or in making people healthy; it is in feeding people false crap and making more money off of them since they have to keep coming back. Oh you have this problem, then take this drug. More often than not, the drugs and meds people are put on end up making the original problem worse. I understand that sometimes, medications are a necessity with certain conditions; but often times I really feel that it gets ridiculous. If people would clean up their diets and rely on naturally occurring, whole foods combined with appropriate exercise, health and disease would be so much better.
Ok, so I guess I've gone into more of a rant beyond a book review but it is a great book that could be paradigm shifting and eye opening for many people. One thing I do want to mention from the book that a lot of people are mislead with is the truth about soy. Soy has been marketed as some kind of great health food. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Soy is absolutely toxic to the body. (I've done some research beyond this book and trust me, its not good). Here is a short list of some of the terrible side effects of soy that are mentioned in this book.
-Phytic acid in soy reduced assimilation of many important minerals
-Causes growth problems in children
-Soy phytoestrogens mess with endocrine function and can cause infertility and breast cancer in adult females
-Can cause hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer
-Increase the body's requirement for vitamins B12 and D
-Contains high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys
-Can alter the menstrual cycle
-Has been linked to alzheimers
-Not a complete protein and can deplete other proteins
-Messes with testosterone levels
And theres about two more pages of stuff that it has been linked with. I don't know about you, but I'm not touching it.
Here is a great site that goes into some great detail about the toxicity of soy. http://soyonlineservice.co.nz/
As one of my mentors once said to a client: "If it used to have a face or comes from the ground, eat it. Everything else, be cautious." Having a great healthy body is as simple as eating natural foods and exercising effectively (notice I said effectively, not just exercising:)) Its just hard today because so many people don't have the right knowledge or mindset to do this and are not surrounded by positive and motivating people to help do this. If you try buying quality foods but live with people who put garbage in the house, it becomes even harder. Surround yourself with other positive and healthy people if you truly want to be successful.
Back to the book. It covers tons on top of what I've already mentioned including chapters devoted to digestion (very important to have digestion rolling efficiently), water, protein, insulin, leptin, vitamins, minerals, food allergies, add, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and the list goes on. Just a great all around read.
Here are a few great links to some awesome sites that cover lots of great dietary information. Though I think I'm alright with strength and conditioning and fitness and know enough about nutrition to help get clients on the right track to supplement their training, I do not consider myself an expert in nutrition by any means. However, I have been digging into this stuff pretty deep lately so if you really want to dig deeper, learn some mind blowing information and possibly change your life, check out a few of these sites. If you are feeling really ambitious, get the book. I would really recommend it to anybody who wants to get their diet on track and cares about their body.
First, be sure to read this
I am also rereading Stuart McGill's Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance, which is a must read for anybody who deals with other people's bodies and will now be beginning The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I think will be a great read. I have also been studying Trail Guide to the Body, which is required for massage therapy school, and I must
On another note, I have recently began networking with Dr. Therese Miller, a great chiropractor and ART practitioner in the Milwaukee area. She is the absolute best around and shares a lot of the same views on the body, movement and training as me so if you have any issues, be sure to check her out. Yes, even if you've been to chiros who didn't help you, you need to check her out. www.millerswc.com. Do it!!!
Last and most importantly, my Packers are in the Super Bowl tomorrow and I'm amped up and ready to watch them bring the Lombardi Trophy back home where it belongs. GO PACK!!!!!! I got the Woodson jersey ready baby!!!!