One subject which is most fascinating and most complicated is that of Dietetics. It is also fascinating because it is personal and individual as the whole of life depends on it. Just as no two cases are alike or respond similarly to treatment, it is very true in diet that one man’s food is another man’s poison.
The subject is complicated because we are living in an age of commercialism, and millions have been invested in the manufacturing of demineralized, processed, dead products for which a large demand has been created by misleading advertisement. Besides adulteration is very much on the increase.
The general public devoid of exact knowledge concerning food values buys these improvised poisonous products, unaware of the fact that they undermine health, vitality and bring about disease conditions which are at times irreparable.
Faulty nutrition is one of the most insidious and unrecognized enemies of mankind. Human diet needs reorientation from a scientific point of view. Without doubt, the ability to feed rationally has lost and unfortunately, the medical profession has not been very helpful along dietetic lines.
We all along talk in terms of disease. Medical journals and medical libraries abound in material or diseases and how to combat them. It is rare to find in their pages any extensive literature on diet in relation to health.
Are we giving any thought and consideration to the food that we eat daily? Our food and eating habits determine in no small manner our general outlook on life. Food and not drugs is the basis of health. Nutrition lays the foundation for the development and maintenance of physical, mental, and moral fitness. The influence of food and diet on public health and morals has been and will always be an important factor in the progress and welfare of the human race.
Pure air to breathe, wholesome water to drink, and right quality of food to eat should be secured by the State for all its citizens, the poorest as well as the richest. The man who deals in impure, diseased and adulterated food is a malefactor and should be treated as such.
A government which permits the sale of injurious foods or allows tampering with manipulation of foods, by any man or combination of men, for financial gain is not serving its citizen in a just, wise or human manner.
There are three important factors which are at present undermining the health and vitality of nations:
- Our enervating system of commercial competition.
- The increasing consumption of stimulants, narcotics, drugs, tobacco, alcoholic beverages.
- And last, and probably the most important factor: faulty inadequate, indiscriminate feeding during all periods of life.
It is not claimed that complete knowledge has yet been attained on this subject. There is still much to be learnt about nutrition, but that should not deter us from this subject which is very vital to physical, mental and spiritual health.
In presenting my work to the public and practitioners in the healing art (as the result of study and experience in the healing profession from the standpoint of a physician on preventive lines and a believer in Nature as the wisest of all teachers) and I consider not only diet of all cures to be placed above all methods in the healing art, but also food which is the first of all the weapons of preventive medicine.
However novel the facts presented may seem to some readers, they are by no means new as they have been handed down to us by the early pioneers of Nature Cure based upon biological principles which are as old as the human race. Besides, with the advancement of the science of dietetics there is no longer the jumbled mass of empirical notions which it included in the past.
Thanks to the painstaking researchers of Pavlov, Rubner, Atwater, Benelict, Chittendon, Mandel, Osborne, McCollum, Otto Carque, John Harvey Kellogg, Sir Robert McCarrison and other scientists in the field, perhaps equally worthy of mention, we now possess knowledge instead of assumptions, facts instead of fancies, scientific standards in place of empirical though time-honoured notions and sanctions.
The main problem of food in relation to health and disease cannot be reduced to any cut and dried theory or system, otherwise it may create various diet fads and dietary methods which may be confusing and often contradictory.
Eating for health should not involve any highly complicated knowledge if we could sensibly get rid of the artificial foods and artificial eating customs built up by the conditions of our artificial civilization.
It is difficult, for economical and other reasons, to get rid of these elements of artificially in diet completely, so a knowledge of the science of food is essential to enable one to judge which commercial foods and acquired tastes are helpful and which are harmful. The best single principle, around which one can construct a workable system of health-building dietetics, is a faith in the value of natural foods.