A New Solution to an Old Problem

There's a program on CBC tonight that sounds interesting, it's called My Big Fat Diet ... and details an experiment by a First Nations community off Vancouver Island to give up sugar and junk food and return to a traditional style of eating for a year in a quest to fight obesity and diabetes. Together they've lost over 1200 lbs and are now calling on other First Nations to take the weight loss challenge.

I do think that their success has something to teach us, but what?

For those of us born on this continent in the last 40 years or so who are not native, what kind of diet do we have to go back to? Maybe the solution is parallel to this community's RX, not in what kind of food they are eating and thriving on but by the fact that their success is based on two things; incorporating the old with the new. In other words, each one of us has a "diet" we were raised on, which to a certain extent has worked for us (we are still alive). For the natives of Vancouver Island their traditional diet helped them to thrive for centuries, however on the reserves, the North American "capitalist" diet (this refers to the processed foods we eat that are meant to deliver the most calories at the lowest cost...I'll talk about that tomorrow) reigned supreme.

For any of us who have European ancestry, we actually can deal with complex carbohydrates (whole grains; barley, rye, rice, spelt etc.) better than natives due to the amount of time we've had to adapt (since 1870 with the introduction in Europe of rollers for grinding grain). Also, thanks to industrialization, we've been living in urban environments longer and hunting and gathering less.

It's quite a big topic but if you have ever admitted to yourself that the way you're eating is not actually feeding you, looking at where you come from is an interesting point to ponder.

No comments: