Before we go any further, we need to dispel some of the myths and outright lies(!) you’ve likely been fed to influence your beliefs.
We’ve been told not to eat saturated fats and that we should substitute “low cholesterol” processed foods instead
We’ve been told not to eat salt
We’ve been told its all about the calories and finally
We’ve been told to avoid the sun!.
These are all myths propagated by big corporations like “big food” and “big pharma” who can profit from a decline in our health! Not convinced? Remember not so long ago we were all told that cigarettes were healthy and “smoke the brand your doctor smokes as we discussed in this blog!
As Upton Sinclair famously said:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”
Hence the outright lies and distortions propagated by countless industry-sponsored “experts.” Of course vested interests will always refuse to acknowledge the truth when it destroys their business model.
The subject of today’s “myth” is that avoiding the sun is necessarily good for your health.
We’ve all been looking through the wrong end of the telescope, obsessing about cholesterol and how many calories we are eating (rather than the nutritional quality of our food) while the truth has been hiding in plain sight: a diet high in sugar, carbs and processed foods is driving the health decline of millions worldwide.
“Primitive” hunter-gather tribes did not (and still do not) experience skin cancer or diabetes and there certainly wasn’t any medication around! The reason they could spend so much time in the sun was because they ate a species-appropriate diet. They would hunt and eat the whole animal from nose to tail, this provided them with all the essential micronutrients the body needed to maintain a healthy microbiome, healthy skin, and retain lots of energy.
But the Standard American Diet (SAD for short!) is not a healthy or sustainable way to live and will set you up for type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and even dementia. The SAD is high in sugar, carbs and processed foods with little nutritional value and extremely high content of seed oils.
Did you know…eating foods that are laced with seed oils can drastically increase your risk of skin cancer? Over time seed oils accumulate in your fat cells below the surface of the skin and that’s what causes your skin to burn so easily when you are in the sun. Why? Well its because those oils oxidise (like a kind of “rust”) very easily.
If you eat a real food diet that has no seed oils, no processed foods, an doesn’t have a high sugar content, or excessive carbs, you will dramatically lower your risk of skin cancer and you will be metabolically healthy, simple enough right?
People of colour have darker skin as an evolutionary adaptation to cope with the sun they were exposed to Over millennia homo sapiens did not develop skin cancer despite spending many hours in the sun.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and much else besides. These nutrients are needed to support your muscles, nerves, and immune system. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. But in the United Kingdom, between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities, skin problems, weakened hair and most importantly allows viruses to survive outside the body. This is why Low Vitamin D is clearly associated with poor Covid outcomes.
Its true that spending absurd amounts of time in tanning salons and/or in the mid-day sun will increase your risk for skin cancer, especially if you follow the Standard American Diet. So Its important that you enjoy the sun and soak up the vitamin D in moderation! By all means allow the skin to “redden” slightly but we certainly DON’T suggest “burning”
Another reason you may feel faint and overpowered by the sun is that there isn’t enough fluid in your system, so during the hot weather, please be mindful of your water intake. Make sure you are drinking the recommended daily intake throughout the day. The easy way to check? Your urine should be clear or light yellow but never darker.
Top 3 takeaways:
Eat a real food diet (steer 100% clear of seed oils)
Soak up some vitamin D from the sun
To learn more about real food diets please looks at these other resources:
You can also claim your free 15-minute consultation and we can help you make those lifestyle and diet changes to help you live healthier for longer!