It’s written by San Francisco doctor Daphne Miller, who traveled the world in search of disease “cold spots” to discover why certain areas of the world have lower disease rates (cold spots). We find out that a remote area of Mexico is a cold spot for diabetes; Africa for colon cancer; Iceland for depression; the Mediterranean (Greece) for heart disease; Okinawa for breast cancer.
What is fascinating about this book (aside from the fact that it’s a great read) is that she explores what I was taught in school years ago: eating according to one’s ethnicity lowers one’s risk of disease. This is one reason why folks who move to industrialized parts of the US from their native lands experience a sharp rise in disease rates: they begin eating the Standard American Diet of processed, refined foods and damaged fats. The sugar that prevails as the top ingredient in our junk foods gives them diabetes, and the trans fats in our processed foods–added to prolong shelf life–give them heart disease.
This book is really all about eating outside of the box. Eating whole foods that come from nature. Good fats. Lots of fiber to scrub the colon clean, stabilize blood sugar, and keep you fuller longer. Plenty of fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds and organic proteins. Dining out should be reserved for special occasions, not an every day event. You don’t have control over what is added to your food in restaurants, and they’re often using poor quality or even rancid oils, too much salt, etc.
A point she makes is that good health requires some effort. You need to cook your own food, not pop a frozen dinner in the microwave.
Think about what your ancestors ate, and follow that indigenous diet. For Mexicans, that means plenty of beans, corn tortillas, fish and chicken. For Japanese, that means seaweed, rice, miso, and fish. For Americans (mostly descended from Europeans), that means vegetables, potatoes, some whole grains, and meats.
Living modern society has its health drawbacks. For one, most of us sit crouched in front of a computer all day and fight traffic to and from work. We inhale pollution, we’re stressed out, and on top of all that, our diets are crap. We’re designed to be hunter-gatherers, active people, who rise and fall with the sun and spend our time hunting then cooking and caring for our tribe. So, mimic this as best you can. Get plenty of exercise, sunshine, fresh air, REAL food, and reduce your exposure to chemicals. Live naturally.
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