Digesting Garbage: Forcing Slop That Passes as “Food” into Your Poor Body
Again, my workout and nutrition posts here on American Partisan are about the simplification of all things health and fitness, so right off the bat, let’s simplify all of nutrition by stating the following: “junk in, junk out; quality in, quality out”. That is, if you put low-quality, impurity-filled fuel into any machine, you get poor performance and a short life from the machine; if you put superior-grade fuel into a machine, you get top-level performance and more longevity from the machine. Seems pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, right?
Think about a complex machine composed of multiple working parts like a car, which needs engine oil and gasoline as two of its primary fluid inputs. If you owned a high-performance car like a Lamborghini, would you use the cheapo brand engine oil and low-grade gasoline? No way! You’d want your awesome automobile to perform well and last for a long time, and so you’d probably spend whatever extra money on oil and fuel that it took to assure that your high-powered speed machine could perform to specifications and be around for many years of fun riding and display.
Well, your body is a far more advanced, precious, and high performance machine than any man-made machine could ever be – your body is truly a gift from God that can even maintain itself just fine (given the right inputs and activities). This gift from God clearly needs to be treated with the proper care, and yet so few people do that. In order to realize the high performance your body is actually capable of and that is your birthright, you must provide it with the proper, high-quality substances it needs to thrive, while staying clear of substances that harm it. This is where good, proper nutrition comes in.
Misconceptions and myths about “good nutrition” are shockingly common and numerous in the U.S. Here are my Top 5 Myths of Good Nutrition that have been so repeated in popular culture as to be considered gospel by now:
- “Breakfast it the most important meal of the day.” (Pure propaganda for the breakfast food industry; covered at length in my previous post)
- “Supplementing isn’t necessary, since food has all the nutrients the body needs.” (Modern food production leaves even raw foods with less nutrition, a reality that necessitates supplementation; we’ll get into more depth about supplements in an upcoming, dedicated post in this series)
- “A low-fat, low-sodium diet is good for the heart and for health.” (Salt is a crucial nutrient, and blood pressure gets elevated for other reasons, not for excess of salt; fat is a vital nutrient that the body needs for countless applications, so a low-fat diet is a terrible idea)
- “Small meals 5 – 6 times a day works best for people interested in eating right.” (Bad for blood sugar stability and excessively energy-intensive, digestively, to eat multiple times a day)
- “Whole grains are good for you.” (grains are sugar, and sugar… is bad, m’kay?)
So many stupid ideas on what makes for “good nutrition” swirl around these days that the term itself is meaningless by now, and “We the People” are paying for it with our health and lives; U.S. rates of disease and obesity are going through the roof. Obviously, a lack of exercise has some connection to this trend, but Americans seem to be totally overlooking the so-called 800 lb. elephant in the room – the food connection to metabolic disease and obesity, a connection that has everything to do with the Top 5 Myths above.
For the current purposes of empowering American Partisans, though, let’s focus not on long-term metabolic disease formation just yet, but rather, on the less severe connection between food and not looking and/or feeling very good in the immediate sense. This is the situation in which many people may find themselves at some point during their adulthood, and it is usually this group of adults who aren’t looking or feeling their best and wants to “lose weight and get in shape”. That being said, it should also be understood that what starts out as “not looking and/or feeling good” will, much of the time, evolve into “obese and/or chronically ill”. As such, the American Partisan should sincerely consider a genuine change of lifestyle where applicable or needed, with a special focus on good nutrition. In this particular way, the Partisan can avoid the associated problems of both the early (being overweight and low-energy) and later stages (obesity; chronic metabolic disease) of looking/feeling poorly.
Now, Seriously. How’s YOUR Nutrition?
Ask yourself, “how do I feel?”. This simple question is the most important thing to ask yourself as far as your health is concerned, and the answer is directly linked to how you eat – the old cliché, “you are what you eat” is spot on.
Here are some other questions worth considering, all of which are reflections of “how you feel”:
- Do you feel run down and/or mentally cloudy?
- Are you hungry often? Experiencing cravings?
- Is your bodyweight trending upwards?
- Is your digestion smooth and symptom-free?
- Do you suffer from any ongoing inflammation or degenerative conditions/diseases?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then it’s really time to get serious about cleaning up your nutrition. True overall health and longevity depend almost totally on proper digestive activity and a stable metabolism which, in turn, both require good nutrition.
The Digestive Process – Not to Be Taken Lightly
Digestion, in ultra-simplified terms, is the process in which the body orally takes in pieces of food (called “macronutrients”; “macro” = large) and breaks them up into smaller, more manageable elements from which any nutrients present in the food can be more easily extracted and used by the body. The digestive process requires a series of dedicated organs to break down foods into component parts and remove resultant waste products. Digestion also requires the production of specialized juices (like hydrochloric acid in the stomach and bile from the liver) together with chemical agents (called “enzymes”) to assist in the breakdown and extraction of nutrients from your food.
For example, let’s look at what happens when you eat a typical sandwich made of meat (protein + fats), bread (carbohydrates), and cheese (protein, fat, carbohydrates). You start by grinding food down into easy-to-swallow size via the action of chewing, and the chewed up, swallowed sandwich elements then land in the stomach organ and get processed (broken down) further. Stomach acid works on breaking down the meat, bile from the liver by way of the gall bladder works to break down the fats present, and digestive enzymes for each of the food types (protein; fat; carbohydrates) are produced by different organs to then be mixed with the food being digested to create a “soup” of semi-processed nutrients that then heads to the intestines to eventually be absorbed into the blood and lymph system. Finally, wastes produced by this process are removed by other organs at the end of the digestive process to be urinated or defecated out.
Clearly, the example above has been very simplified for our purposes, but from this description, you may imagine that the body’s task of breaking down foods is a complex one. Digestion is indeed a very sophisticated process created by God that, by itself, requires quite a bit of metabolic energy. In other words, our body burns a lot of energy just to turn food into energy and building materials for its various life processes (this is what “metabolism” basically means, for our purposes), and this fact must not be taken for granted! Also, our body’s supply of digestive juices, enzymes, and the “good” digestive system bacteria (known as “probiotics”) that are vital for assisting digestion… is not infinite, and can (and indeed, does) become depleted; the depletion of these biological digestive elements, which itself occurs due to poor nutrition and lifestyle, greatly raises the risk of poor digestion and the follow-on negative effects. Poorly or incompletely digested food, in turn, can and will lead to health problems down the line if it is ongoing (which for most people, it definitely is).
So, it is crucial to realize that digestion is very energy-intensive and places a demand on multiple body systems, even when eating high-quality food – to say nothing about the energy demands of eating crap. And since energy in the body is both finite and vital for the growth, repair, and anti-aging functions of the body, it is clearly within our interests to reduce the overall digestive load placed on the body, and this means eating less food, as I stated in my previous post in this series. Eating less food and requiring less digestive activity (especially for low-quality junk) spares metabolic energy and activity for other important, non-digestive, and highly desirable bodily functions. This notion of eating less for health is supported by numerous studies on longevity – people who eat less, live longer.
Therefore, once again, eating less and fewer times a day is one of the keys to overall health. This notion, of course, flies in the face of one of our Top 5 Myths of Good Nutrition, the one about eating 5 – 6 small meals throughout the day (#4). If for nothing else, eating that many meals throughout the day – even small ones, regardless of nutritional value – guarantees that biochemical energy that could otherwise be used on the body’s natural rejuvenation and rebuilding processes, is diminished due to the imposed need to digest a steady influx (6 meals’ worth) of food to be broken down. Strategies on how to eat less without feeling hungry (a very important concept!) will be discussed in upcoming posts.
The Quick Lowdown on Digestive Health and The Immune System – Your Body’s Loyal Defender
The digestive system, in addition to being the body’s vital food processor, acts as an internal security guard, standing post and monitoring all inputs you consume. Then, the immune system acts as the body’s defense against foreign invaders. Because of the roles played by each, both the digestive and immune systems share an intimate biological connection. Eating is the main way in which stuff from outside the body gets inside the body, so it makes sense that if foreign elements are coming in through eating – and this includes all foods, ranging from healthy to junk food – the immune system should be close by the digestive system, and ready to act. Regardless of quality level, any incoming food automatically activates the immune system (also an energy-intensive biological process), which goes into action to scan for toxins or offending elements, and then eliminate them by various means.
Now, when we eat healthy, nutritious foods that our digestive systems can handle relatively easily and straightforwardly, then the immune system eventually stands down sooner rather than later, and food continues along its path, either ending up in our cells as proper nourishment or getting dumped out as waste products after processing. But, when we eat low-quality foods – sugars, processed foods of all kinds, and toxins – that actually cost us metabolic energy and precious biochemical agents, then the digestive process gets disrupted and the immune system gets activated on a larger scale than normal in order to deal with the influx of elements that are poisonous or offensive to the body.
Another major trigger of poor digestion and immune activity is food allergens, which are foods that activate the immune system due to content that doesn’t agree with our bodies. Food allergies can make even supposedly “healthy” foods toxic for some people and create the same overall effect inside the body as obviously unhealthy foods. For example, if for whatever reason, a super-nutritious food like spinach simply doesn’t agree with your stomach after eating it, then even spinach is a food you should avoid, despite its “healthy” reputation. Or, some people can’t eat tomatoes and peppers due to adverse reactions to this family of food (called “nightshade” foods). Any food can trigger an immune/allergic response, and that food should then be avoided.
The appearance of digestive symptoms (such as: gas, heartburn, bloating, burping, constipation, cramps, or diarrhea) after eating an offending food(s) likely means that the body has not properly absorbed important nutrients, whether these nutrients were contained in your food or taken supplementally. Digestive symptoms are the sign of a body in distress, and a body in distress doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, unlike a body operating under healthy conditions. In this way, vital nutrients may get passed out of the system unabsorbed altogether, or may even be rendered toxic due to the improper biochemical processing of nutrients that, under otherwise normal circumstances, would be healthy for the body. As such, not only are digestive symptoms a sign of toxicity to the body, but they may also create a nutrient deficiency (even from those foods that didn’t offend the digestive system) due to poor absorption which, over time, can also lead to a diseased state. It’s important to remember: when it comes to nutrients and nutrition, it’s what you absorb that counts, not just what you eat. Bad digestion of food leading to loss of nutrients is truly “pissing in the wind”; nutrition is only effective when the nutrients can be absorbed properly!
So in the end, ongoing problems dealing with low-quality foods and food allergens can show up as an array of digestive symptoms. What does this really mean? It means that digestive symptoms are a clear sign that the body has rejected or been offended by some element(s) of the food we consume, and has absorbed a certain level of toxicity from it. It is critical to pay attention to the body’s signs of poor intake, and digestive symptoms should not be ignored or accepted as “the way things are”. The body does its best to eliminate toxins and deal with the stress of poor digestion, but some toxicity can and very well does still get inside the blood and then into cells, especially over time. This residual toxicity also piles up over time as the body becomes metabolically exhausted, leading in great part first to looking/feeling poorly, and later, to the lifestyle diseases that we all dread: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many others.
Under conditions of continuous assault with junk and immune-triggering foods, together with the resulting nutrient deficiency, the digestive system itself can even start to break down and lose its operating and absorptive efficiency, leading to yet further nutrient deficiency, autoimmunity, and inflammation in a really vicious cycle. The end result is always the same: inflammation and dysfunction inside various organs of the body stemming from the immune system trying to protect the body from a perceived attack. So the immune system gets tied up attacking its own body regularly (also metabolically exhausting), and the inflammation accumulates in different organs over time, eventually leading to a state of disease – the diagnosis is irrelevant! And the gateway to autoimmunity and inflammation nearly 100% of the time is… the digestive system.
Final Thoughts: Understanding the Power of Good Digestion for Health, Fitness, Longevity, and Looking Good
My compliments to any readers who are still following along! As I’ve been saying all the while, I am using the “teach a man to fish” vs. “give a man a fish” approach – I seek to empower American Partisans with information, techniques, and theory from the ground up, not from the top down. It’s good to know the ‘why” of things, in my opinion, so that you’ll take the proper actions more efficiently and effectively. I’m striving my best to keep posts to a reasonable length on the particular subject of nutrition, because even when it is simplified, it can be a lot to take in all at once.
Having read this post, the American Partisan Operator should now have a broader understanding of why good nutrition is important beyond vague generalities like, “nutrition is important for health” and the more superficial (but not unimportant) notion of “look good, feel good”. Indeed, the smart Partisan will look past the immediate needs of vanity and feeling energetic in the moment to then see the immense long-term value of keeping their digestive system in order – for longevity and FREEDOM! It is through good digestion of nutritious foods that we as a community can fight back against the relentless dirty pool of Big Food, Big Pharma, and modern medicine’s nefarious efforts to turn us into dumb, sick, fat slaves to their machinations. This is all the more true and meaningful during the ongoing bullshit “plandemic” that got shoved up our asses. But we can fight back through knowledge and action!
Health starts with good digestion, period! A healthy digestive system backed by good eating translates into better EVERYTHING, health-wise: more energy, better mood, better performance, better looks, and avoidance of illness for a longer, happier life. All this being said, we’ll learn how to support digestion and health better by getting into some detail about the metabolism of different food types in the next post, and then actual nutrition programs in the subsequent posts. Stay tuned – good things are on the way!
“How to Get Lean n’ Mean” Series