Food for Thought

‘Just tell me what to eat’

Dr Joanna McMillan Price
Dr Joanna McMillan Price

‘The most common request I receive from women, ‘writes Dr Joanna, ‘is just tell me what to eat. If we want to look and feel our best, we have to consider what we put in our mouths. The right combination of food and drink can give you radiant skin, glossy, healthy hair, strong nails, clear eyes (not to mention good vision) and great teeth and gums.

Despite the intense scientific and public arguments over which diet is best – high protein, low fat, low GI, low carb, low kilojoule or whatever – it seems to me one message resounds above all. We can only do our best when we go back to basics and eat real food that has been minimally processed. This is the food our bodies have evolved to eat and not the kind manufacturers have devised.

Nonetheless, we lead busy lives. We don’t have time most days to spend long hours preparing and cooking food. Certain modern preservation, storing and food distribution techniques are convenient, safe and often necessary, and can help us achieve a healthier diet. Growing your own veggies organically in the backyard is commendable if you can do it, but the fact is most of us can’t. What we can do instead is use selected frozen, canned, marinated and dried produce, as well as local seasonal fresh produce, in order to eat as well as possible.

We also now have to bear in mind more recent problems that affect agriculture and contribute to the rising cost of food such as climate change, oil price hikes and other factors. While a diet high in animal food and low in grains may be the one on which we evolved (and therefore may physiologically be best for us), we can no longer eat that way when compelling practical, ethical and environmental considerations are taken into account. The simple truth is we cannot feed the world without grains.’

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