Dr. Devon Christie MD, CCFP, ABIHMDiet, Nutrition

There is a lot of talk about “Paleo” or “Caveman” diets in the media. Dr. Christie has distilled the most important take-home points that make sense for your health. Much of the benefit from Paleo-style diets are due to the elimination of modern, industrial food products.

Healthy Eating by Devon Christie, MD

1. Eat whole foods

Preferably 100% organic and locally grown in healthy, mineral-rich soil.

2. Pay attention to digestion and assimilation

If gastric juices are weak, and there is weak production of bile and pancreatic enzymes – due to many factors such as aging, stress (physical and psychological) and genetics – no matter how healthy your food is, you may not benefit because it is not being assimilated optimally.

3. Avoid processed foods

Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and many autoimmune conditions, are diseases of modern times. The largest factor being the industrialization of what is on our dinner table.

Mass-produced foods with ingredients that come from a chemist, rather than the earth (like preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, “natural flavouring”, etc.), or ingredients like grains that are pulverized to such fine particles by a machine that could not be accomplished by manual means, are simply not what our bodies are adapted to consuming.

4. Stop excessive consumption of sugars

By sugars I mean refined, “natural” sugars such as honey or maple syrup, and carbohydrates such as breads and pastas, and even fruits.

Collectively, we consume a massive proportion of these items in our diet compared with our ancestors. They put our bodies on a stressful roller coaster of blood sugar and insulin surges, contributing to adrenal burnout and endocrine imbalance, and over-glycation of our tissues leading to tissue damage through oxidative stress and inflammation. The proportion of these foods must be drastically reduced if we are going to reverse the trend of chronic disease.

5. Pay attention to the type of oils you use – it matters

Recent literature shows that the proportionally high use of refined vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, etc. – which are rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids – is actually contributing to higher risk of death from any cause, as well as heart disease and heart-related death. These refined, extracted oils were never in our ancestors’ diets in such a high proportion as they are now.

As an integrative/functional medicine clinic, we view nutrition as a key component to vitality and health. We realize it’s sometimes a challenge to separate sound nutritional advice from the ‘noise’ that is out there. We are always available as a resource should you need help navigating this important area.

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