People were often much healthier in the days before the science of nutrition existed, before we had the information available regarding the components of food, theories of food combining, calorie counting and all the other great discoveries in the field of nutrition that our society is so proud of today.
Billions are spent every year to cure or correct illnesses and ailments that are, in many cases, avoidable and linked to our diet. Almost all chronic diseases are dietary-based – either as causation or exacerbation. In our era of progress, knowledge and enlightenment, we should reasonably expect the human race to be healthier than ever, shouldn’t we?
So the question to consider is: what were our ancestors doing correctly that we, in our current time, are so fundamentally and consistently doing wrong?
In today’s society, the pressure of our modern day lives drive us towards overeating, a nutrient-poor diet, starvation or to other physical stresses that lead to other physical and psychological problems that impact our health and eating habits. In addition to the availability of junk/convenience food, the rise in use of sugar and sugar substitutes as well as a general decrease in exercise levels (amongst other things), one of the biggest factors that have influenced humans over the past few decades has been the availability of information; this information serving to send us down the right path, or head us towards well and truly in to the buffers.
A lot of the information fed (excuse the pun!) to us over the last 40 years regarding food and nutrition has been either proven to be incorrect, has been contradicted time and time again or has been promoted by the companies who would have us consume their products – leading to general confusion about what is healthy and what is not, what we should eat and what we should avoid.
Previous generations did not suffer obesity to the levels we see today, they did not fight a daily battle with chronic diseases, they were not regular consumers of the pharmaceutical industry, and – and this is the most interesting – causes of death were, in the main, attributed to communicable diseases (those you caught) whereas today, non-communicable disease (heart disease, diabetes etc…) are by far the biggest contributor, not just of death, but of premature death.
Maybe to progress, as a society we need to stop looking forwards and take a serious look at the basics of what our ancestors were doing when it comes to diet and nutrtion ; because to all intents and purposes, they got it right.