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Efficient Food For Survival

September 19, 2011 by  

Efficient Food For Survival

Just like with a car, if you run your body on the fuel that it’s designed to burn, it will have more power, run more efficiently and have less waste.

Even more importantly from a preparedness perspective, if you eat foods that your body can burn and use efficiently, you don’t need to eat as much. In the case of storing food for emergency situations, it also means you don’t need to buy or store as much.

What makes food efficient? How do you absorb as much benefit as possible from the food you eat? There are a few factors, and they are different from person to person. This topic gets really complex in a hurry, but the following factors will address the majority of the issue:

  • Complexity of the food.
  • Glycemic index.
  • Enzymes.
  • Allergies.
  • Bacteria.
  • Bioavailability.

Complexity Of The Food

Foods that have more complex structures require more digestive energy to break down into usable components. From a pure calorie/energy perspective, some foods take more calories to digest than they provide. In general, protein requires more calories to digest than fats, which require more calories to digest than sugars. Protein has other benefits besides calories, so the fact that it is more complex doesn’t mean that you should avoid it.

Glycemic Index And Insulin Response

The glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly carbohydrates break down into glucose. Foods with a high glycemic index break down rapidly, and foods with a low glycemic index break down more slowly.

This is important because if your blood glucose levels get too high or rise too quickly, your pancreas will release insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels. The problem with this is that the pancreas usually overreacts, releases too much insulin and causes blood sugar levels to drop lower than they were to start with.

Most people understand this intuitively and know that when they eat high fructose corn sweetener or refined sugarcane they get quick energy that quickly drops off. But if they have fruits and whole wheat bread, their energy levels go up nice and slow and stay level for hours.

Enzymes

Enzymes are very complex and amazing structures that can cause chemical reactions to happen more or less quickly. In relation to food, enzymes break complex food particles down so that the intestines can extract as many nutrients as possible from them.

If you can figure out which foods your body is efficient at digesting, your eating becomes much more efficient. Also, many raw foods contain some of the natural enzymes required to digest them. When you cook them, you kill some or all of the enzymes and put more of the stress of digestion on your gut, causing you to get fewer net calories.

Enzymes are temperature sensitive and are killed off by cooking. Many people, to avoid this, have switched to a “raw” food diet. Personally, we cook a lot of our food, but we supplement with enzymes to take some of the strain of digestion off our bodies. This, in turn, causes the food to “burn” more efficiently, taking some of the load off of our livers.

I talk more about this in a presentation I recently recorded on how to get three to 10 TIMES more nutrients from your food. You can see it by clicking here.

Allergies

If your body identifies a particular food as a threat, you won’t be able to digest it as efficiently as someone whose body doesn’t identify it as a threat. In fact, the reaction could cause your body to rapidly expel the contents of your gut, cause general inflammation or even kill you.

Bacteria In The Gut

With the help of enzymes, bacteria in your gut break down the food that you eat into forms that your body can use for building, repair, energy and other chemical reactions. Your gut has both good bacteria and bad bacteria in it. It’s good to minimize bad bacteria and maximize good bacteria to get the most benefit from your food. A couple of things that will kill the bacteria in your gut are antibiotics and Sucralose (Splenda.) This lack of good bacteria will cause you to extract less from your food and have more waste.

In addition to avoiding things that kill good bacteria in our guts, we also take probiotics to keep our good bacteria levels high.

Bioavailability

This has more to do with supplements than it does with food, but it’s still important. One of the best explanations of this is in Dr. Michael Colgan’s book, Optimum Sports Nutrition. Colgan became relatively famous in the late 80s and early 90s by showing Olympic athletes how to achieve steroid-like performance gains without destroying their bodies. My copy is 16 years old and well worn. In the book, Colgan talks about the various forms of calcium, how much calcium is in each form and how well the body absorbs the calcium.

As an example, calcium carbonate is 40 percent calcium (60 percent carbon and oxygen) and only 39 percent of that calcium gets absorbed. Calcium citrate is 21 percent calcium and 30 percent is absorbed. Calcium lactate is 14 percent calcium and 27 percent gets absorbed. This issue of bioavailability is present with every vitamin and mineral you take.

What happens to the rest of the pill? Your body has to process it which puts stress on your liver, kidney and other organs — all of which takes energy.

This is why I tell people to buy food that they already eat for their food storage. And, if you want to buy packaged food for long-term storage, be darn sure the food is compatible with your digestive system before you buy hundreds of meals.

This would be a great time for any nutritionists, biologists or even chemists to chime in with either more technical explanations, expanded explanations of the factors mentioned or other factors that I didn’t address by commenting below.

–David Morris

 

Dr. David Eifrig Jr.

is the editor of two of Stansberry's best advisory services. One of his advisories, Retirement Millionaire, is a monthly letter showing readers how to live a millionaire lifestyle on less than you'd imagine possible. He travels around the U.S. looking for bargains, deals and great investment ideas. Already his average reader has saved $2,793 since 2008 (documented in each Retirement Millionaire issue). He also writes Retirement Trader, a bi-monthly advisory that explains simple techniques to make large, but very safe, gains in the stock and bond markets. This is a pure finance play and the reason Porter Stansberry loves having "Doc" on the team. Doc holds an MBA from Kellogg and has worked in arbitrage and trading groups with major Wall Street investment banks (Goldman Sachs). In 1995, he retired from the "Street," went to UNC-Chapel Hill for medical school and became an ophthalmologist. Now, in his latest "retirement," he joined Stansberry & Associates full-time to share with readers his experiences and ideas.

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  • JimO

    So where is the listing of the “good” foods? Without that this article isn’t worth the time to read it!!!

  • FreedomFighter

    “This is why I tell people to buy food that they already eat for their food storage. And, if you want to buy packaged food for long-term storage, be darn sure the food is compatible with your digestive system before you buy hundreds of meals.”

    I have never had any problem eating properly prepared long term 20-30 year freeze dried, neither dehydrated foods, nor MRE rations. The key in my opinion is to integrate the meals into your regular diet say once a week, and then replace used portions to keep stocks up. Not only will you spot foods you really don’t care for, any incompatible food will show itself and can be returned or sold. Sampler cases with a spectrum of foods are a keen way to weed out the unwanted also.

    The unprepared die first.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • David Jackson

    Regarding: “Most people understand this intuitively and know that when they eat high fructose corn sweetener or refined sugarcane they get quick energy that quickly drops off. But if they have fruits and whole wheat bread, their energy levels go up nice and slow and stay level for hours.”

    You are terribly misinformed and really should do some fact-checking before printing anything like this. High fructose corn syrup (HCFS) contains 55% fructose, which must be converted into fat in the liver and later converted to glucose, just like fructose from any other source, and eating more than 25g of fructose per day causes fatty liver and raises the risk of cancer growth because many cancers, especially pancreatic cancer, thrive on fructose.

    Equally incorrect and dangerous is your assertion that eating whole grain bread allows for a slow release of glucose. Whole grain bread does not contain enough fiber to significantly slow glucose absorption, as any glycemic load table will confirm, and since grain starches break down into multiple glucose molecules upon contact with amylase while table sugar breaks down into one fructose and one glucose molecule, bread will cause more of an insulin spike than eating pure table sugar.

    I’m not listing sources for this information because I don’t want it misconstrued as blog spam by someone who represents some other web site, but if the author will contact me by e-mail, I will provide valid sourcing for everything I said so that the author may publish corrections and sourcing after reviewing the source information.

    • FreedomFighter

      In an situation with no food, you will get so hungry; to eat cockroaches or each other to survive.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

  • Joe America

    Sadly, the great majority of people are not prepared for anykind of disaster, even a short one that would last for only several days. I think the author’s heart is in the right place, but I think most folks aren’t going to listen, because they believe Uncle Sammy will provide for them if HSHTF. How disappointed they will all be.

  • Traci

    david…Id love to thump you in the nose for wasting 10 minutes of my life on your stupid 40days 40night infowhatever???? you are a creep !

  • AJ

    Round up the Global Elite (NWO) and force feed them food by Monsanto!

  • Bill C

    Learn to garden. Your own, a community or shared space, something. A relatively small garden can easily provide enough food for a family of 4. Your food will be more natural, fresher and healthier. And, when there’s a run on food at the market or, a food scare, it won’t bother you.

    Learn to avoid the grocery stores as most of their food isn’t fit for human consumption anyway. Almost everything has corn syrup or corn starch in it today — Monsanto corn! Break the habit of processed foods. Learn to pick and can your own. You’ll also enjoy them more.

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