WHY DO WE EAT?
In this chapter we will review the meaning of “Optimal Nutrition.”
Optimal nutrition is absolutely essential for any animal to achieve the longest life expectancy of that animal.
NUTRITION AS A SCIENCE
Nutrition has been studied intensely by scientists for the last two hundred years, and humans have studied nutrition, unscientifically from the beginning of time.
Every society on the planet has its lore of eating practices and its special culture of food.
Food consumption is the second most important activity for all living species. Reproduction, or sexual activity, if the primary function of all living species, since if a species does not reproduce it will disappear from the planet.
It is not surprising, therefore, to see that food consumption and sexual activity are closely related in the nervous systems of all animals.
In the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, the tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, is located in one area.
The sensory endings of nerves from the Gastro Intestinal Tract (GI Tract) end in the brain and provide information to the brain whilst the animal (including humans) engages in either eating or sex.
This is extremely important to understand, because so much behavior in eating provides a replacement or fulfillment for sexual activity.
Many people use food as a replacement for unfulfilled sexual activity. Many obese people are simply starved for sex and they use eating as substitute, because in their brain, eating has almost the same sensation as sexual activity. The “fullness” or satiety, after eating, also gives a sensation as sexual satiety. This, in turn, conditions the individual to eat more and more often.
I am offering these remarks as a precursor to Optimal Nutrition, because it is necessary to understand why we have such a strong desire to eat so frequently.
Often, we eat to satisfy unconscious sexual desires, or because we have anxiety or depression. Food is such a powerful satisfying mechanism that eating becomes more a means of providing psychological pleasure and contentment rather than simply nutrition.
The reader must understand all the motivations for eating in order to follow the 100 Year Diet. If you realize that the desire for food may be a substitute for some other need, your ability to control the quantity of food that you feel you need, will be much more readily at hand.
Medical scientists discovered in the last two centuries, that humans require “Essential” nutrients in order to survive.
Please note that I said “Survive.”
Essential nutrients, when lacking, cause a diseased body, and may, ultimately cause death!
Here is a list of the groups of “Essential Nutrients”:
B. Essential Amino Acids (molecules found in proteins.)
C. Essential Fatty Acids (molecules found in fats or oils)
D. Essential Minerals
E. Water (Water is required as a solvent for many of the other nutrients, but is also necessary for metabolism.)
F. Oxygen (Oxygen is rarely thought of as a nutrient, but, when without oxygen we cannot survive. If, because of air pollution, the level of oxygen is low, our health is negatively affected.)
These are the groups of essential nutrients.
We will discuss each member of every group. When you have the total list memorized, you are on your way to the 100 year Diet.