It seems like every time you turn your head, you hear confusing and misleading information from every corner of the natural health movement.
First, you have mainstream "experts" who rely on outdated and inaccurate data to advise us on the subject. And then there's the raw food or natural health movement itself, within which most people seem to disagree on what constitutes the healthiest diet.
In this article, I will review 5 wrong assumptions about natural living, spread by conventional "experts." In the second part of this article, I will expose 5 false assumptions being spread by various raw-food advocates and naturopaths.
From the mainstream, we hear the following...
"You have to make sure you eat enough protein"
Without a doubt, the issue of "getting enough protein" is the number one concern of anyone switching to any kind of diet for any reason. Even though decades of vegetarian and vegan traditions and extensive research have proven that our actual protein requirements are fairly low and easy to meet - as long as we eat enough food - most people who will advise you about diet will likely make a much bigger deal about protein than it actually is.
Bodybuilders go beyond all extremes known to humankind by consuming upwards to 350 grams of protein per day, an amount that is completely off the charts and only possible through the consumption of refined protein powders.
At the same time, most people on the planet get by on less than 60 grams of protein a day, and many people in these cultures possess wiry and explosive strength that would put most gym goers to shame.
In the end, the evidence is still conclusive: as long as you eat enough calories to meet your needs, you will at the same time consume enough protein, even if all you eat are fruits and vegetables.
There is no reason to make protein more important than it actually is.
"You need to eat a balanced diet"
According to our nutritionists, a "balanced" meal is composed of carbohydrates, protein and fat in the right proportions.
A meal of bread (carbohydrate), with cheese (protein), and a salad containing a dressing of olive oil (fat) and a desert (carbohydrate) would be, in their opinion, a balanced meal.
That meal might be a digestive disaster for most people, but that aside, we don't find any evidence that our bodies need to receive nutrition in such a manner.
If we look all around the world, we see different cultures that have enjoyed excellent health eating far from "balanced" meals. In China, rice with vegetables is a meal. In the Great North, the Eskimos have lived on almost nothing but meat. The Hunzas regularly ate meals composed of vegetables and some chapati bread.
If we look at wild animals, we also see that they do not eat "balanced" meals. A meal for an orangutan might consist of nothing more than rambutan (a tropical fruit) or durian (another tropical fruit).
There is absolutely no need to worry about eating a very simple diet where most of our meals are composed of a few foods only. As long as we eat a large variety of food from week to week, it doesn't matter if our meals are not composed of "carbohydrates, protein and fat".
"You can't sustain yourself on just raw foods"
Most nutritionists look at the raw food diet and claim that it's "impossible" to sustain ourselves from only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Letting alone the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are doing just that and are still alive to tell about it, there is no scientific reason to believe that we can't live on raw foods.
Nutritionists will claim that it would be "very difficult" to eat enough fruits and vegetables to consume enough calories.
The problem is that they are still stuck with the view of cooked nutrition and its "balanced view" and can't think outside the box and realize that it is actually possible to consume enough fruits and vegetables and get the calories you need. It just is a lot of food!
The truth is, eating a raw food diet will mean that you'll be consuming more fruits and vegetables in a day than some people may consume in a week or even in a month. But as you learn to eat this way, you'll find that this "huge" amount of fruits and vegetables is actually the "right" amount.
"You should never expose your skin to the sun"
Although we know that too much sun isn't good for us, the advice we get from dermatologists these days defy all reason. Apparently, we should never expose our skin to the sun unless we are fully protected by chemical lotions.
Did you forget the important fact that sunlight is essential to our well-being, and that regular sun exposure at safe periods of the day are actually beneficial to your health, even in 2006?
You need the sun. The question is just how much!
"If it's natural it's good for you"
The word "natural" has been abused more than any other term in the food industry. We now have "natural potato chips", "natural coffee" and "natural beer."
The fact that these foods come from a factory should make it obvious that they are definitely not natural, nor healthy.
The truth is, even if a food were natural, it wouldn't automatically make it healthy. There are plenty of plants and mushrooms that grow in the wild that are not only "perfectly natural," but also deadly!
Let's be clear: for a food to be healthy, it has to be a lot more than "natural."