Have you ever wondered about the ‘healthy’ foods you are eating and the effects they are having on your health? It seems to me the more you start learning about healthy foods, the more there is to learn. Just when you think you are eating or not eating the right things research seems to pop up and contradict it all. I often feel overwhelmed with all of the articles, blogs, recipes etc that appear in my inbox or on my Facebook page. How do you know what to believe? How do you know what is fact and what has been made up to suit somebody or somebody’s product? How do you know that what you are being told is healthy today is still going to be healthy tomorrow?
So where am I going with all of this?….. I guess I am thinking about the best way to approach healthy eating for my family and me. I can’t help continually thinking about the way our grandparents used to eat – off the land, in season and home cooked. This seems to sit well with me. I like to know what is in my food and how it was prepared. I used to get excited to go to the local farmers market each week and purchase farm fresh produce in Australia (a little tricky in Jakarta!). I almost never went to the supermarket to buy my fresh foods. So, as life is a little different here in the way I source my foods I am privileged to have the time to get back in the kitchen and cook many things from scratch. I feel like I am adhering to the first of my healthy eating aspirations – ‘Eat like your grandparents ate.’ The second is the Okinawans approach to eating.
So lets see what google thinks …
Here is what I discovered ….
Our grandparents also used to make their own butter, cook with lard, drink full cream milk and put away plenty of potatoes.
Meanwhile we – who cut carbs, remove fat, cook less, eat more and spend most of our time sitting – are fatter than ever.
So how do our grandparents remain so healthy while living so heartily?
For starters, they ate less.
“Once one of the longest-lived people on earth, the Okinawans practised a principle they called ‘Hara Hachi Bu’: eat until you are 80 per cent full.”
The article goes on to give Pollan’s nine principles of healthy eating which you can read here – http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/what-we-can-learn-from-our-grandparents-diet/story-fneuz9ev-1226746006056
Did your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation.
So why didn’t your grandparents have food allergies? It’s really quite simple…
You can go on to read her 7 reasons why with the headings –
- They ate seasonal real food
- They didn’t diet and play restrictive games with their body and metabolism. They ate food when food was available.
- They cooked food at home using traditional preparation methods from scratch.
- They didn’t eat GMO’S, food additives, stabilisers and thickners
- They ate the whole animal, which included mineral-rich bone broths and organ meats
- They didn’t go to the doctor when they felt sick or take prescription medications.
- They spent lots of time outdoors
She makes some thought provoking points about then and now. She also has another good blog page about 6 reasons why your great grandparents never needed to diet which looks more at the foods we now have that were never a concern for them. It is found here -http://butternutrition.com/6-weight-loss-demons-great-grandparents-never-faced/
This blog asks the questions – Did your grandparents have better eating habits than you do now? What can you learn from your grandmother’s food choices and lifestyle?
The blog goes on to look at our grandparents having a strict routine for what they ate and when, food rationing, the change of eating habits, snacking, cooking skills, exercise and the links between nutrition, ill health and allergies.
Did You Know?
Since 1990, UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500%. There are also now around 30 allergy specialists in the UK (or one for every 700, 000 sufferers).
The blog ends with posing a question –
It seems that everyone can learn something by looking at the past, whether it be sticking to 3-meals-a-day or eating vegetables at every evening meal. Whilst we’re certainly more educated in the benefits of good nutrition these days, the glaring contrast in our overall lifestyles is perhaps what needs to change. Why not give the 1940s diet a try and see what you think?
The Darling Bakers
In 1930, only 1% men aged 75 and over died of cancer. Now the rate is closer to 10%. [source] Our grandparents didn’t suffer from rampant food allergies, widespread infertility, obesity and autoimmune diseases. While diet isn’t necessarily the only cause of all these health issues becoming more prevalent in the last two or three generations, there certainly seems to be a correlation.
This blog then goes on to look at 5 foods our grandparents never ate, these being
- Nonfat and Lowfat Milk Products
- Vegetable oils
- Fizzy drinks
- Processed meat
- Preservative laden baked goods
If you would like to read her post you can find it here – http://www.thedarlingbakers.com/5-foods-grandparents-didnt-eat/
On another post she goes into – how we eat and why. You can find it here – http://www.thedarlingbakers.com/how-we-eat-and-why/
So in conclusion…
It sits well with me to follow this line of thinking and I will add in my ‘no fructose’ and ‘healthy oils’ to this. I can’t help but be inspired by my Grandma – Grandma Rose. I have fond memories of her in the kitchen when she was on the farm churning butter to show me how they used to do it and later in her kitchen in Adelaide baking up goodies for us. I often think of her when I am cooking from scratch for my family just as she did for her husband and 7 children.
She is my inspiration and memory as I cook.
A memory from my Grandma and life back then…
Everybody used to have their own pigs and in wintertime everybody killed a pig and made sausages. We had big vats where we would salt the meat down and make ham and bacon. I often think now that even if it was not very much, it was all wholesome food
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