Why Is Healthy Nutrition One Of BEYOND’s Four Pillars?

by Ross Zimmerman

Why is healthy nutrition one of the four pillars of BEYOND’s work?  That’s the area of biggest need relative promotion of good science and rational analysis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks mortality.  In 2016, over 2.6 million people died in the U.S.  A huge proportion of those deaths were due to metabolic diseases traceable to diet.  We’re eating food and drink evolution never prepared us for, which causes chronic systemic inflammation and a cascade of sickness.

We’re descended from primates that stood up on two legs and started chasing large prey animals until they could no longer run.  We can trot along for hours, which is very unusual in the animal kingdom.  We can out-sweat all other animals, staying cool as we move.  Even though we’re weaker than our cousins, the chimpanzees and gorillas, we can throw harder than any other primate.  We have enormous brains relative our bodies, allowing unparalleled mental modeling of the world we and our prey inhabit. We can make the weapons to throw, and other tools.  We can work together to catch giants like the now-extinct mammoths.  For 2.6 million years or more, we lived as predators, although we could still consume plant foods when needed, as in fruit and berry season.

When the big prey went extinct about 15,000 years ago, we started to learn agriculture.  We became smaller and less healthy, but more numerous.  We’re still wired to gorge on sweet foods and drinks until they’re gone, storing the sugars as fat, as our ancestors did with fruits and berries.  In the mid-20th Century, we started down a wrong path of low fat, high sugar food and drink.  Obesity and associated diseases have become an epidemic.

We can’t return to the times before agriculture.  The big animals are gone and there are far too many of us.  But we can think about how to approximate the diet we evolved eating and go there.  Many of us have, and have seen real changes in our lives, very much for the better.  Beyond will actively share good science and practical information to use food as medicine, preventing and even reversing chronic diseases that afflict so many of us.

December 15, 2016

Posted in: Nourish