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Low-fat/high-carb diets have been killing natives for centuries

Many of the deleterious health statistics of native Hawaiians can be blamed directly on the switch from high-fat/low-carb diets, to low-fat/high-carb diets introduced by western travelers who brought sugar and flour and other refined carbohydrates to our islands.

Ku'e! Kalo is not the answer to our health problems! The true diet we need to get back to is coconuts and fish.

Learn about the latest research regarding this evil from Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories:

http://webcast.berkeley.edu/event_details.php?webcastid=21216

If we just ate kalua pig, and left the rice and poi alone, the entire native Hawaiian population would be healthier, and immune to western diseases such as obesity, cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

-Pono Maliu

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Aloha Wes,

I fully agree with your statement. If all Hawaiians (who had garden space-even a small one) would start by growing a small garden in their yards. Then once again the yard would become our icebox insuring the freshness in the food. Organic gardening is the way to go. I always tell my kids that the yard is our grocery store, and medicine cabinet. It is important for people in general but especially Hawaiians to get back to the `aina. Green onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. Any herbs are a good way to start. Eventually moving into the cultivated plants such as kalo. Planting trees of food value like `ulu, citrus, avocado etc....insures food for the family in the future.

By the way Wes, my koali vine is doing really well.

Aloha, Momi
At one of our events Uncle Freddie talked about the importance of proper diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and getting rid of the chemicals and parasites in our body. He mentioned some products that can be used to help us rid the parasites from the bodies. He said at 72 years old he can still do his lomi lomi and does not need medication for health problems. One of the Kupuna said, "We don't need technology we will rely on mother earth and the ancestors for our life and health". He replied, " Didn't you go to the hospital when you had your heart attack"? Why wait till the surgeon has to operate or the doctor has you on major medication for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, or cancer, do what Momi does by feeding her family from her own garden with organic fresh food. What we give the kamalii today will affect them as adults. Raise them with a good diet, proper exercise, and with a strong trust in Ke Akua, and above all with all the ALOHA we can give them. O Ke Aloha ka i oi ae, pomakai na mea a pau.
Aloha mai kakou,

It is a wonderful thing that such a lively discussion has come about regarding health and wellness. The 'Ahahui La'au Lapa'au would like to insert an 'Oiwi medicinal perspective on the issue.

Most people are aware that La'au Lapa'au uses the mea kanu o ka 'aina to heal and cure disease. What is less known is that La'au Lapa'au provides basic guidelines for healthy living to keep sickness at bay. Uncle Wes has already named a few things, like cleansing the internal organs regularly (really important) and the power of pule. La'au Lapa'au's (in Kahuna La'au Lapa'au Levon Ohai's tradition) general rules regarding dietary habits are as follows:

1. Eat a natural diet - processed, packaged, refined, and fast foods are all "no-nos"; the foods you consume should be fresh, recognizable, and all ingredients known.

2. Eat a plant-based diet - almost all (75%) of what you see on your plate should come from the earth rather than from animals. This is huge: American diets are heavily focused on animal products, and we have accepted and embraced that, making meat the focus of most of our meals. Subsequently, plant-foods (weather providing carbs, proteins, or fats) have become afterthoughts, and are often ignored entirely. Did you know that the kupuna's diet was over 98% vegetarian - and that's including all the i'a, 'ilio, moa, and pua'a eaten?

3. Avoid harmful substances - both those found hidden in foods (pesticides, herbicides, etc) as well as consumption of damaging items like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. These items have no place in health, in any amount.

Regarding exercise, La'au Lapa'au definitely advocates people being active. In the philosophy of LL, our bodies were created for movement and activity, and it is only in this modern world that our survival depends on sitting down at a desk rather than being out in the gardens, oceans, or mountains. Kahuna Ohai tells stories of his grandfather (who was born in a thatched hale, wore a malo, and lived during the turn of the 20th century) telling his patients that they needed to be more active because all they do is "sit at home and listen to the radio" which was one factor in their various health problems.

La'au Lapa'au recognizes a few basic principles of healthy living (in eating, sleeping, cleansing, exercising, meditation, pondering, and pule), but is also conscious that no group of people, no matter how closely related through DNA or otherwise, will always be prescribed the exact same thing to achieve optimum health. So, as to the original post regarding a high-fat, high-protien / low-carb diet - 'Oiwi health practitioners advocate reducing/eliminating refined foods (including refined carbs; i.e. white rice, table sugar, etc) but recognize the physical and spiritual importance of healthy complex carbs, like 'uala, poi, and ulu. However, making sure that fruits and vegetables are the largest source of energy in the diet is optimal for most. Starches come in second, and animal products third.

Again, to re-emphasize, La'au Lapa'au never has and never will treat individuals exactly the same, and for some, the above guidelines may not fit. However, for a vast majority, it we got back to a plant-based lifestyle focused on vegetables and fruits, lived more active lives, cleansed, and built the strength of the spirit through devotion and pule, it would make a world of difference in the kinds and amounts of disease that practitioners see all too often. Education regarding the forms of energy the body uses, how food is digested, used, or stored, sustainable agricultural practices (for home and farm), 'aipono cooking, as well as the joy of physical activity (aren't you grateful for your physical abilities?) are also important steps in making sure the future generations live better and longer than we are. We, here, could also benefit from this information, as well as by showing defernce to 'Oiwi perspectives on 'Oiwi health by seeking out practitioners when we have health questions or concerns. Hawaiian medicine is on par with western medicine - preventative and curative - and we have the ability to assert that through our personal health choices.

If you're interested in more 'Oiwi health practices, be-friend the 'Ahahui La'au Lapa'au, join our group, and inquire about membership in our organization. We're always glad to have more folks working toward improving health and healthcare.

E malama pono i ko kakou kino a me na 'uhane.
E kala mai, but a meat-based diet is more healthful. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans were hunter gatherers, who ate every edible bit of any animal they hunted, and only had occasional access to seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Think of the Maasai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai) or the Inuit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit), native peoples with distinctively ancient traditions and meat based diets. Certainly, on the open ocean, voyaging from island to island over the course of months, 'oiwi sustained themselves on primarily meat diets with preserved meats and fresh fish from the ocian. Our kupuna's diets were most definitely rich in meat, both from fish, shellfish, insects, grubs as well as raised animals. Much of the confusion regarding ancient diet composition was the incorrect assumption that ancient peoples only ate lean meat from the animals they killed, and the categorization of insects, grubs and snails as "non-meat."

If you get a chance, read the Protein Power Life Plan by Dr. Eades -> it goes into great detail about the long history of meat-based diets in human existence, and the problems we face now because of the creation of agriculture.

Years later I find this thread & read Taubes' other book.  Also, the taro is good, the tubers.

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