The Best Food
by Dr. Randy Wysong
Everyone eats so everyone has an
opinion about food. But if health is the objective, mere opinion doesn't
count nor does fad or majority rule.
Most people think the average
cooked diet based upon official food pyramids is just fine. Some eat
predominantly fast food. Others advocate veganism (eating only plant
foods), or lacto-ova vegetarianism (plants plus milk and eggs). There
are also proponents of special foods such as fresh juices, soybean
products and macrobiotic cooked grains and rice.
Everyone can make arguments on
behalf of their beliefs. They can cite examples of people who have
escaped disease and lived long. Some argue morality and ethics, such as
those who say sentient animal life should not be sacrificed for food.
Others set their eating practices by the standards of holy writ that
eschew certain forms of foods and sanctify others. Others just eat what
tastes good and that's logic enough for them.
Eating beliefs seem to take on an
almost religious character. People feel guarded and pretty zealous about
food and don't like others meddling. But since health is intimately
linked to what we take into our mouths, thinking, honest reflection and
willingness to change are in order.
It is easy to be deceived because
wrong food choices may not manifest their full impact until late in
life. Nutrition can even pass through genetically to affect later
generations. In this regard, food ideas are also like religion in that
hundreds of different sects can each claim to have the truth. But none
of them needs to fear disproof since adjudication will not occur until
everyone is dead and gone to the afterlife.
The body is extremely adaptable
and will attempt to survive on whatever it is given. If the food is
incorrect there is usually no immediate harm. But the body will
eventually be stressed beyond its ability to adapt, resulting in
disease, degeneration and loss of vitality. Unfortunately, such
consequences are so far removed in time from the eating regimen that
caused them that few understand the relationship.
So be careful before subscribing
to bold claims about what is or is not good to eat. The true test of any
health idea lies too far out into the future. Our best hope then is to
be well grounded philosophically before we slide our legs under the
How do we develop a healthy eating
philosophy and sort through all of the competing eating ideas? I am
going to explain here a very simple principle that is so reasonable you
need not even look for proofs. Follow along with me and see if you don't
Consider the following three
1. Just like a tree is genetically adapted to absorb certain nutrients
from soil, and a lion is genetically adapted to thrive on prey, and a
deer is genetically adapted to browse on vegetation, so too, are humans
genetically adapted to certain kinds of food.
2. The majority of foods we are presently exposed to are a product of
the Agricultural/Industrial Revolution and occupy a small part of the
genetic history of humans. (Refer back to the 276-mile time-line in
which only a few inches represent industrial-type eating practices.)
3. The natural, genetically adapted to food for humans must predate
them. In other words, how could humans exist before the food they needed
to survive existed? We were completely developed biologically prior to
agriculture and any method of food processing. That means whatever diet
archetypal humans ate was the perfect diet because that was the diet
responsible for the existence and development of the incredibly complex
human organism. That diet was the milieu, the environmental nutritional
womb, if you will, from which we sprung.
If you consider these three
premises, the logical conclusion derived from them is that the best food
for humans is that food which they would be able to eat as is, as it is
found in nature.
Our tissues were designed to be
bathed in food nutrients derived from natural living foods, not with
dyes, preservatives, synthetics, nutritiously barren starches and
refined sugars and oils. Make no mistake; if we are not eating according
to this principle, our bodies are in constant deficiency, imbalance and
toxin exposure. The result of generations ignoring this principle is an
epidemic of obesity, chronic degenerative diseases and the exhaustion of
our digestive processes.
A feature of all natural food is
that it is raw - alive if you will. This is consistent with the Law of
Biogenesis that says life can only come from preexisting life. Life
begets life. In spite of scientists' dreams to the contrary, we have
never observed life springing from non-life, nor have we ever even been
able to create life from non-life in a laboratory. If we eat living
foods, we enhance our own life. If we eat dead, devitalized foods we
become devitalized and dead. Granted, this will not happen all at once,
but as the adaptive reserves are exhausted we become just like the dead
food we eat.
So a fundamental feature of our
natural diet was that it was raw. Yes, even the meats, organs, eggs and
insects - raw. Remember, we're far back in time, even before the use of
fire (much less the microwave, stove, oven, grill, deep fryer or
extruder). Studies of the diets of past cultures and today's
still-primitive societies reveals that they ate exactly as their genes
and the environment dictated.
We were not suddenly dropped from
outer space onto Earth with fry pans, matches and rotisseries. We began
on the forest floor, not in a line to a fast food counter. We had only
our natural bodies in a natural world, exactly like every other
creature. Every other organism on Earth eats raw foods exactly like they
are found in nature. Do you think nature doesn't notice our decision to
change all that?
Would tofu qualify? No, because
tofu is found nowhere in nature. Would oatmeal porridge qualify? No,
because oatmeal porridge is found nowhere in nature. Would hamburgers,
French fries, pop, breakfast cereals, granola, canned foods, candy,
sports drinks, muscle building powders, vitamins and minerals, mashed
potatoes, carrot cake, croissants, bagels, Jolly Ranchers, Ding Dongs,
Cocoa Krispies, Good 'n Plentys or Fig Newtons qualify? No. None of
these are found as such in nature.
For those of you who are by now
panicking (if not gagging) at the thought of eating raw foods, yes,
there is danger of food-borne pathogens. But if you are careful and
clean, the danger is far less than the danger of a lifetime eating
devitalized processed foods. Raw natural foods must be safe or our
ancestors would have not survived and we would not exist!
It is a choice. When faced with a
choice, why not opt for the wisdom of nature? Is it not strange we are
the only creatures on the planet to cook our foods? Is it a wonder,
given this, that we succumb with every imaginable chronic degenerative
disease virtually unknown in creatures eating the raw natural diet?
Simply think of yourself placed in
nature in the total absence of modern technology. Ask yourself the
question, what would I eat... and what could I eat? You could eat and
digest fruits, nuts, insects, a few plants, honey, worms, grubs, eggs,
milk and animal flesh. These are about the only food substances in
nature humans are capable of digesting without technological (including
fire) intervention. These are, in fact, the very foods that are the
mainstay of nomadic primitive societies. Only when these foods become
scarce do unpalatable, inedible foods such as most grains and vegetables
become cooked and processed to change their palatability, neutralize
toxins and increase digestibility.
So that is where we have been. But
does this have anything to do with us here today in the 21st century
microwave age? It has everything to do with us because it is this
expansive historical context that served as the womb that shaped and
defined us. It is this natural wild setting that occupies the vast
majority of our history and predominates our genetics. It is the
incubator within which life on planet Earth has developed.
What would have been the
predominant food in the wild? Likely prey. Envision yourself placed back
in time in that setting with a family to feed. You would be looking for
the most calorie- and nutrient-dense foods you could find. That would
not be a few wheat seeds, some grass or a root. You would let the
herbivores do all the grazing and digestion with their specialized
stomachs that are capable of converting essentially any plant material
into edible protein and fat. Then you would eat them. I don't like that
either, but that is the way it is.
Pretty simple isn't it? We should
eat what nature provides that we can digest. Yet this is not explained
in nutrition textbooks, and PhD nutritionists graduate without even
grasping it. It cuts through all the theory, belief, and guesswork. It
matches our natural bodies with our natural food.
Our immersion in modern cookery
and food processing has misled us. Foods such as granola, tofu,
cauliflower and lettuce, which are marketed as the ultimate health
foods, are in fact not natural human foods at all. These products either
do not exist in nature, are so scarce as to never possibly be a
sustaining food, or in their raw precooked form are unpalatable and even
For example, raw soybeans contain
a variety of chemicals that can stunt growth and interfere with the
body's digestive enzymes. Eat enough of them and you'll die. Modern
grain products are a result of agriculture and in their raw form are
unpalatable, indigestible and also toxic. In nature one would never find
enough kernels of rice, wheat or barley to even make up a meal, even if
they were edible in their raw form. (Sprouted seeds and grains are an
exception to this since they are digestible, raw and nutritious.)
Who, if they were really, really
hungry - and options were available - would eat raw broccoli,
cauliflower or lettuce? These foods are only now made palatable by
cooking or doctoring with manufactured dressings.
Now this creates somewhat of a
dilemma. Knowing what our natural diet is and consuming it are two
different things. We are so acclimated to the modern diet that the
notion of eating raw meat, for example, is nauseating to most.
Nevertheless, as evidenced by primitive (but nutritionally advanced)
peoples, raw meat and organs can be eaten with great nutritional benefit
to humans, and they are totally digestible and nontoxic. Some cultures
even bury raw meats and let them rot (ferment) and then consume them
with gusto. These societies are robustly healthy until modern foods
encroach. Then, like a dirty bathtub ring, modern degenerative diseases
decimate those people at the periphery in contact with modern foods.
It would be very difficult today
to achieve the ideal raw, natural diet. But if the basic principle is
kept in mind it helps remind us of our origins and points us to the
appropriate, genetically adapted-to foods.
This does not mean no processed or
cooked foods should be eaten. It simply means that consistently doing so
will stress the body's genetic capabilities and will ultimately result
in less than optimal health.
Look around the grocery store
(usually the outside aisles) and consider what it is that could be eaten
in its natural state. Increase the proportion of those foods. Processed
foods should be chosen that compromise natural principles the least and
are as close to nature as possible. They should be whole foods, packaged
carefully to protect nutrient value and be free of synthetics, refined
oils and sugars.
For example, whole milk yogurt
that has not been homogenized or pasteurized is ideal. The same thing
pasteurized would be next best. The same thing pasteurized and
homogenized next. Worst would be non-fat, pasteurized, homogenized,
artificially flavored and sugared yogurt (which is, of course, what the
majority eat because it tastes most like what they are used to - candy).
Eat the best foods you can find in
variety and moderation and you will be doing the best that can be done.
There, you have in a nutshell what
has taken me decades of research, study and thinking to discover. It is
simple and obvious, but that is the way of all great truths.
About the Author
Dr. Wysong: A former veterinary
clinician and surgeon, college instructor, inventor, research director
for the company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong
Also check out http://www.cerealwysong.com