What is the Healthiest Diet?

There are lots of different approaches to diet. Paleo, Vegan, Raw, Mediterranean, Weston Price, Standard American, Macrobiotic, high fat, low fat, high protein, low protein and dozens of others. In fact in out 17 years of serving the natural health community with quality products, we have witnessed the crazes come and go. Somehow it seems that many of our customers benefit from very different dietary practices. How can this be? Is it possible that there truly isn't a best diet?The answer to that is likely no. There likely is a best diet, but that diet may very well not be the best diet for the entire population. We often ask our customers to explain to us exactly what they are trying to do. In other words, what is their goal or objective? Metabolic rates, current level of fitness, age, access to food, family dynamics (whether the family can get on board), and various other factors can play into whether a diet is going to be ideal for someone long term or if it simply becomes a diet for a phase of life.

Although these diets vary a lot, there are some universal truths that bring similar benefits in spite of differences. The most significant is the exclusion of harmful items.food1 I don't care if you are a diehard Weston Price protocol follower or the most militant raw food vegan that has walked God's great earth, once you quit eating bags of cheese puffs and boxed cream filled cookies and replace it with real food you are going to benefit. In other words the "cleaning up" of the diet by removing food like substances benefits all types. I am convinced that most in the western world have absolutely no idea how much crap they are eating. The fact is most people eat very little real food. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the food you picked up from some fast casual breakfast restaurant that contains 42 ingredients in their bagel or the 30 ingredient ranch dressing on your salad for lunch is real food.  Unfortunately it isn't. It gets even crazier when you look at the caloric value of these food substances compared to real food.mediterranean-diet How much pure organic vegetable matter, grass fed meat, REAL oils, sea vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, sea salt, wild caught fish, grass fed raw dairy are you really eating? We hope a number of you have had that moment of realization and have made the shift but we need to realize that the broader population is still largely lost.

I used to be very adamant that my dietary choices were the golden standards that everyone should follow, but I have come to realize that health can be gained/optimized through some very different approaches. My shift has been to help people that think they are making healthy choices through eating "health foods" make better choices that they can sustain over the long haul. Some need help to switch menu items at the same lousy restaurant, as that may be the extent that they really care about their own health. Others may be trying to eliminate all processed sugar, oils, and flour from their diet. In other words the will power, the belief in self, the desire to change has to be there. The individual has to believe deep down inside that the status quo is not where they want or are willing to stay in order for change to truly take place.

One of the other universals of different diets is the replacing of food like substances with nutrient dense food. I don't necessarily mean calorie dense but nutrients as in vitamins, minerals, co factors, micronutrients. The body often screams for nutrients when eating a diet devoid of value.  This can trigger artificial cravings.  In fact, they really aren't artificial at all as the body truly needs the raw materials that junk food can never deliver. Herein lies a problem. You can't run an F16 fighter jet on 87 octane gas from your local gas station any more than you can run a body on deli meat and french fries long-term. The body will exhaust its stores either through chronic ailments that plague a person for years or through an acute shortening of the persons lifespan.

Over the years I have become very frustrated with what many call greenwashing. This is the front that many companies put on to market their wares as healthy. Nothing is more disgusting than duping a consumer that is trying to switch from eating their artificially flavored cold cereal into eating your multigrain blueberry cereal when in fact your "blueberries" aren't even real but are made with artificial blueberry flavor, hydrogenated oil, and food dye. As a community of health conscious people we should and do hold companies responsible for this type of marketing, but it is not realistic to think that it will stop. We need to better educate ourselves to understand that, with few exceptions, packaged products will always fall short of real food. This should be enough for the ardent paleo adherent to align with the local macrobiotic in helping each other, our families, communities, and society build better health. Best of health!

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease