Food

A healthy diet is the basis of good health and a clean body. What you choose to eat may affect the way you feel today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. Your choice of food can be constructive or destructive. It can stock your resources with healing nutritional substances or contribute to a surplus of substances that the body has to get rid of as fast as possible. If you consciously choose to eat generous amounts of healing, energy producing food you support an active environmental protection.

All bodily functions, including those that carry out cleansing or detoxification, are carried out with the help of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes and other nutritional substances found in our food. But when you eat a lot of cakes, cookies, sweets, fast foods, processed foods, overdone or deep-fried foods, or foods that contain high levels of transfats like margarine, the content of the vital nutrients is very low. In addition to this our digestive and detox systems get overloaded, increasing our need of nutrients. The detox system is easily forgotten.

Healing carbohydrates – phytochemicals

The most effective healing substances aren’t found at the pharmacy. They can be found in your vegetable and fruit isles or better so in your vegetable patch. It is now common knowledge that phytochemicals have healing properties, but just how important these healing qualities are has only recently been proven.
Whether you are vegetarian or not, your phytochemical intake is a vital part of your diet. A large part of your diet should be phytochemical rich vegetables and fruit like apples, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, berries, broccoli, garlic, grapes, leafy green vegetables, onions, pomegranates, raspberries, soy, strawberries, tomatoes and water melon.

Fat sense

The “experts” and advertising warn us about eating fat. Particularly animal fat. They have for years claimed that fat in the diet raises cholesterol. Many people are afraid to eat a drop of fat. Children are drilled to avoid fat from the day they start school. Despite all this obesity is skyrocketing and 2/3 of all those living in industrialized countries die of fat related diseases. But only 20-40% of our body’s cholesterol comes from the diet! 60-80% is actually produced in the liver when we eat too much of anything. Food is of course converted to energy in the body, but when we eat more than we can use it is converted and stored as fat. It actually takes fat to loose fat. If you want to loose weight you need to increase your fat intake. We don’t get rid of the old fat stores hanging around our bodies without supplying ”new” fat. A healthy fat intake can even lead to healthy levels of glucose in the blood and affect the relationship between healthy HDL-cholesterol and the harmful LDL-cholesterol, according to research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
But it is only ”healthy” fat that can activate your metabolism, and a healthy diet should include healthy fat or oils. Animal research shows that a fat free diet leads to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, and fatty degeneration of the liver. Both conditions were improved when healthy fat was added to the diet.

Fats

Margarine contains either hardened or esterized fats. Margarine and oils with high levels of transfats, are harmful and should be avoided. Transfats have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, immune system, reproduction, energy production, liver function and cell membranes. Swedish table margarine has lower levels of transfats (1–3%), but is esterized instead and can often contain harmful chemicals. Ecologically produced Bregott is made with cream/butter and canola oil and is a better choice as canola oil is an omega 3. Butter and coconut oil are saturated fats but do not contain transfats and have many good qualities. Margarine used for frying, or that used industrially or in bakeries, does contain transfats.

A new food pyramid

Food is our fuel. The amount of food you need is of course affected by your work, state of health, weight, length and level of exercise. Food is needed to provide energy in order to work, exercise, study and live. But our food is so much more.
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare’s food pyramid recommends that the major portion of our diet should be starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta and porridge. This is framework for the Swedish diet. We have lived with this food pyramid for many years and all it does is to supply us with fuel – carbohydrates, protein and fat. Problems with overweight and diabetes are on the increase. The physiological explanation to obesity is connected to the hormone insulin. Insulin is released when we eat carbohydrates and to some extent protein, and is needed absorb glucose from the blood. What is seldom discussed is that insulin also controls our fat storage.

Attempting to avoid pesticides in our diet is a challenge. In Sweden the diet is 83% free from pesticides so you would think there was less of a problem. But because of the winter months we need to import produce from Italy and Spain that have high levels of pesticides in their produce. It is in fact via our food that we run the greatest risk of taking in PCB. But with the guidelines in Kanariefåglarna ryter you can change your possibilities.