Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Studies vary greatly, but the statistics show that approximately 8 – 10 million Americans have an eating disorder. This number is based ONLY on people with traditional behaviors associated with disordered eating such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, caloric restriction and laxative abuse. Of those struggling with anorexia, 20% will die within 20 years of becoming anorexic, and this usually comes from heart or other organ failure due to lack of nutrition.
Then there is the nearly 70% of Americans that are overweight or obese. Yes this number is correct and growing annually. These individuals are not classified in with eating disorders per-say, but does food not play a role in this as well?
It is no wonder that the number of eating disorders in kids and adolescents is rising year after year. There is so much confusion about food and weight and what is healthy and what is not. It is enough to drive any young person to stop eating…or feel guilty after eating and thus purge the food out. “Don’t eat ice cream it will make you fat”, “Eat ice cream to make you happy”, “You have to look like a super model for people to like you”, “Just accept yourself overweight and live with the health conditions that go with that”. The messages are so mixed.
Food is an interesting thing. Its not like cigarettes or alcohol drugs where one can just stop completely. We must eat to survive. Most of the food we eat today is not real food. It is over-cooked, over-processed and has no real nutritional value to it. We cook and kill the nutrients and then consume the food, and because we didn’t get the proper nutrients needed to survive, our body says… “Well that tasted really good but I am still hungry” … so it sends a signal to eat more and more high calorie, nutrient absent foods. Then our brain says… “I’m so confused. I just ate but I want more food as I am not satisfied, but if I eat I will get fat, but I am still craving food so what should I eat now?”. So we eat and feel guilty or we feel so bad and bloated that our brain associates eating with feeling badly, so we stop eating, then habits form, and the rest is a life of eating issues. Its a mental cycle going no where fast.
In our culture we are so quick to give people labels. We have labeled people struggling with food issues as being mentally ill, but is this actually an illness or are they just confused and overwhelmed with all of the mixed messages about food and weight and image? None of this is really our fault either as we only know what we learned from previous generations but we are stuck with it and we can choose to continue down the road we are traveling now which is heading in a bad direction, or we can empower ourselves with knowledge. The first place we start is at the beginning.
Real food and nutrition is food that is in nature in its purest form. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fats from coconuts and avocados and fresh meat from a fresh kill. Our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers ate real food in its freshest, purest, most life-giving form….raw. That means raw meat as well. Don’t freak out quite yet. We still eat raw meat today. Its called sushi, Carpaccio, Ceviche’, Kibbe and steak tartar. Raw meat is one of the most important foods we can eat and with the invention of fire, we were able to cook off the over abundance of bacteria on older meat so we could enjoy it without it being quite so fresh. In doing so we altered its chemistry by killing amino acids and creating carcinogenic mutagens called Heterocyclic Amines.
Although all food categories are important to consume for their own reasons, protein is one of the most vital macronutrients. Protein is the building block for every cell in your body including your heart, brain, organs, muscles, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, blood and hormones. It is used in the building and repairing process in your body. But most people do not understand this very important process. When we consume protein, our body breaks it down into the different amino acids. Then when we need to rebuild part of our body, such as our heart in the case of an anorexic for example whose heart muscle is weakening, our DNA determines which proteins are needed to combine together to create new heart cells. So it assembles them together into protein and regenerates the heart. Now if you read nothing else, understand this. When we cook animal protein, not only are we creating carcinogenic properties called Heterocyclic amines, but we destroy valuable amino acids. So when a person needs to put together ABCD amino acids to create new heart cells, and they have cooked and killed the B and D amino acids out of their protein, they no longer have the proper amino acid combination necessary so the new heart cells cannot be regenerated.
So what does this mean for someone with an eating disorder? It means they need to get as much raw meat into their body as they can. When an individual eats cooked meat, they utilize energy from their own body to eliminate the toxins created from the cooking process of the meat. So now an already thin person uses extra energy from his or her own muscles and organs for this elimination process of the cooked meat in addition to what is already needed for daily functioning. This depletes the body even more causing more wasting. When they eat raw meat, every aspect of that meat protein is being utilized. It has all the amino acids so it does the very opposite of what cooked meat does. Cooked meat depletes and raw meat builds up. It makes their muscles and vital organs and tissues stronger! Every bite taken by someone with anorexia is crucial. Because so little food is being ingested, every morsel needs to matter. There are very few people in this country that understand this concept.
A raw diet that includes raw meat benefits people with bulimia as well. Many bulimics purge because they ate so much that they feel guilty and/or bloated and just want the feeling to be gone. A raw diet of raw fat, raw meat and some raw vegetable juices, and fruits, prevents bloating from occurring. These foods are broken down and assimilated very quickly leaving a person feeling amazing without the bloat. An overweight person will also benefit from the diet with weight-loss. The raw proteins add muscle tone to the body thus increasing metabolism and weight loss. If one is going to have an eating disorder, a diet of raw fats, raw meats, raw vegetable juices and some fruits will save their life. It will keep their vital organs alive while either putting the proper weight on them if needed or it will take the weight off if that is what is needed. The bottom line is that it will save their life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder and would like nutritional support, you can contact Kim through her website KimberlyLynnWilliams.com