Friday, January 15, 2010

We are what we eat, so eat the right stuff!

This is a topic I've been pondering for a while now, but after reading this article yesterday I decided to write about it. There has been a lot of talk lately about the difference between corn-fed beef and grass-fed beef. Many people have started making the switch to grass-fed, organic beef because of the ethical aspect. I don't know the facts, and I haven't watched Food, Inc. yet, but I hear that in many instances, corn-fed cows are packed into tight quarters, fed unnatural diets to fatten them up, pumped full of antibiotics and hormones and just all around treated poorly. Grass-fed cows on the other hand are raised naturally and healthfully and therefore give us healthier beef. At least, that's the theory anyway.

So if corn-fed cows tend to be less healthy in life, does that mean their beef is less healthy for us to eat? Would eating grass-fed beef be healthier for us in more ways than we think? Well that's one topic to ponder, but this blog post isn't actually about that. I came here today to make a different point entirely.

Read that article again. Read this paragraph again:

Studies have shown that corn fed beef (this includes meat and dairy) has lower nutritional value. It often contains more total fat, saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol. At the same time, it has a decreased amount of essential nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin c, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Grass fed beef, on the other hand, is lower in fat and calories. It has been shown that grass fed beef can have as much as 1/3rd less fat than corn fed beef. Additionally, it also contains more omega-3 fatty acids, which are the "good" fats. Omega-3 accounts for 60% of the fat found in grass fed beef.


Now make a parallel comparison between cows and humans. Cows that eat an unnatural diet are fatter and unhealthier. Cows that eat the foods that they were intended to eat are healthier. Humans that eat unnatural diets are fatter and unhealthier. Humans that eat foods that they were intended to eat are healthier. Take it one step further and say that humans are supposed to eat meat. (I know there is some debate, but guess what, we wouldn't have been born with incisors if we weren't supposed to eat meat!) Therefore, healthy humans should eat healthy cows! That's actually a side note.

The point I'm trying to make here is that we should be eating what our bodies were intended to eat. All the crap that sits on grocery store shelves is NOT healthy, no matter what the "made with whole-grains" or "healthy choice" labels say. And I'm not just preaching to you all, I'm talking to myself too. You can argue until the cows come home that you can't afford or don't have time to eat healthy but guess what, you can and do. Do your homework, plan your meals, you will not break the bank by eating the right way. And the benefits you'll see and feel in your body will make it all worthwhile.

If you're new to this blog, you'll quickly realize that I truly believe that the reason this country is so sick is directly related to what we eat. Autoimmune disease is a combination of genetic predisposition plus environmental factors. Sure there are a ton of environmental factors that COULD be the trigger, but there are thousands, maybe even millions, of people out there healing themselves through diet. I am one of them. I'm living proof. Doctors and scientists are starting to catch up but sometimes I feel that they can't see past the end of their noses. I feel like the answer is staring at them in the face but for whatever reason they reject it. It's up to us to take control of our health. "Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food" - Hippocrates - see, this isn't a new concept!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT post jen.
i couldn't agree more :)
-erin

sallybranwyn said...

I may just be ultra-cynical, but I feel like the doctors in "regular" medicine attempt to prescribe drugs because they, essentially, get a certain cut of the patient's payment to said drug. I would like to believe I'm wrong and hope that someone can prove me wrong! Please do!

Lisa M. said...

I totally agree with Sally. The job of a medical doctor is to diagnose and prescribe medicine - aka drugs that will alleviate (read, mask) your symptoms. If you could be healed by diet alone they would essentially be out of a job. Good for you on cleaning up your diet. I'm glad you're feeling great these days!!

Jen said...

Sally and Lisa - I agree with you as well, I just didn't want to even open that can of worms! I do wonder how much of doctors' decisions are based on money.

Thanks Erin!

My Year Without said...

I just watched the McD's french fry video.....TOTALLY DISTURBING, but important!

Cindy said...

I agree and have happily made the move to organic dairy plus organic & local eggs and bison meat. It's worth the extra money to know I'm feeding my family the best that I can.