It’s a bold statement, but one that has research to back up the claims that eating certain foods such as processed oils, meat, dairy and other foods over your lifetime can contribute to the progression of macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.
Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Chris Knobbe, MD, presented a revolutionary hypothesis for the cause and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), through an ancestral dietary strategy.
The rates of AMD in modern civilizations have increased sharply just after the industrial revolution in the early part of the 1900’s when new foods were created by factory farming — this includes a laundry list of food items as you’ll discover below.
Research over the course of decades was undertaken on many different continents around the world to see the difference between what the Standard American Diet (SAD — a very accurate acronym) and ancestral diets that are among people who don’t have access to processed foods — no grocery stores are located in their community.
Watch Chris Knobbe, MD, as he explains how eating certain foods may cause AMD and blindness.
The dietary approach to avoid AMD
We here at Natural Revolution support a plant-based diet, but if your diet includes meat, dairy and cheese, we recommend eating these in moderation as they too can contribute to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke.
Ancestral eating is eating unrefined, unprocessed, whole foods that have been around for thousands of years. They include:
- Grass-fed chicken, turkey, beef, lamb
- Wild-caught seafood
- Free-range eggs
- Organic vegetables and fruits
- Healthful fats from unprocessed foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and other pickled foods
Ancestral eating means eliminating foods like:
- Soybean oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil. (all of which are genetically modified (GM), excluding vegetable oil).
- Refined white sugar or sugar derived from beets
- Processed soy
- Packaged products like processed deli meats as well as salami and bacon, all of which the World Health Organization has classified as probable carcinogens
- Frozen entrees have ingredients that can be very unhealthy
- Anything that contains wheat
See the chart below for more food items to avoid.
Think of ancestral eating by picturing in your mind how your ancestors ate. Before industrial farming, people had to grow their own food, and before that, they had to hunt for food, and if they were lucky, they’d find nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables — basically eating real unprocessed food.
Eating real whole food is eating the kinds of foods that are as close to its natural state as possible.
Buying from local farmers supports your community
Eating food from your local farmers and farmers’ markets is great for the environment and supports your local community and economy.
Every time you buy food, you vote with every dollar that you spend. You can vote for farmers or you can vote for giant corporations that are looking to keep foods on the grocery shelves as long as they can, keeping the profits and not supporting local communities.
Not only do big food companies not support your local communities, but you also have no idea what pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals were added to produce the food you’re buying, simply because big food companies keep that kind of information from you.
If you knew actually what was in most of the food that is sold in the U.S., like pesticides, GMOs and other contaminants and how the food was produced that you buy at most large scale grocery stores, you most likely wouldn’t buy their products.
However, ancestral eating is knowing how your food was grown and knowing where your food comes from — it shouldn’t be a secret.
Ancestral eating tips
Ancestral eating is about consuming food that’s grown as it’s intended to be. Cows are meant to be grass-fed. Chickens are meant to be free-range. Vegetables are not meant to be grown with dangerous chemicals like Roundup (glyphosate), produced by Monsanto and other chemical giants which are found in nearly all packaged foods.
It does take a dedicated approach to change your diet if you want to ward off, not only AMD but other diseases that are linked to a SAD diet.
Here are some tips that you can use to start your journey on a healthy path:
- Find your local farmers market by clicking here. If you can’t find yours on the list, do a quick google search
- Search out a buying club in your area. You can find organic farms where you can order food from that is also sustainable and help your local community
- Eat organic as much as possible. Yes, it may be more expensive, but do you know how much cancer or AMD costs to treat?
- Refrain from getting your meals in a box. Prepackaged food contains so many preservatives and other additives that are incredibly bad for your health.
- Begin a backyard garden or on your patio if you have a small space where you live.
- Find local gardens in your area where you can plant your own seeds and grow your own food; it’s fun, you’re out in the sun and it’s an experience you’ll never forget
- If you have outdoor space, get yourself some chickens — they will produce eggs!
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