HOW DO WE DECIDE ON A HEALTHY DIET -- THE WHAT
If we try to use the 'first principles' principle, to look at what constitutes a healthy diet, we can say that we need to give our body all that it needs: calories, protein, energy, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids, whilst taking in as little harmful stuff as possible.
Whenever we look at if something is a 'superfood' or a decent food, or healthy thing for us to add, we can at least try to assess how well it fits the above criteria.
Every mouthful needs to give us as much of what we need as possibly, with as little harmful effects as possible.
Of course that's difficult to do, but it's a nice start.
When asking if a food is healthy, ask yourself:
does it have a lot of what i need
is it easy to digest
does it have potentially inflammatory of harmful substances in it
does cause potentially negative effects in the body
is the 'dose' right?
We need to take in the right amount. Too many calories after all is the primary cause of cancer, obestiy etc. Too many fats and carbs together with too little protein is thought to be the main cause of insulin resistance, which scientists are realising is the main driver behind many of our modern diseases.
To make this decision, we can look at nutrient density, what we evolved eating, and modern science.
The other way, of course is to look at evolution. While their are a few key problems with the Paleo Diet, the principle itself is extremely difficult to dismiss.
Evolution AND PALEO FANTASY LAND
The central theory: we evolved over millions of years. It takes thousands of years for changes to occur, yet in the last 30/50/100 years our environment and diet has changed dramatically from the world we evolved in. Our bodies can't adapt that fast. As a result, we are less healthy. At best, it's an experiment.
Apart from being less active, and living under artificial light, and our frequent use of vaccines, medicines and chemicals, our food environment has changed dramatically:
We didn't evolve eating processed foods. We didn't evolve eating grains _______________________, we didn't evolve eating modern fruits and veg.
Of course, as ever, not everybody agrees with the principle.
the neighsayers will say:
we live lnger now
there's no proof
it's easy to take the piss too.
who you listen to is up to you. But this is the framework i use.
My opinion is that the paleo principle is impossible to refute, but obviously impossible to implement closely. Any modern foods must be viewed with suspicion at least.
How extreme you want to be is entirely up to you, but i think it's still useful principle to work with, even if it's the relatively tame version of that: If your grandparents didn't eat it, if your parents didn't know it as a food, the less healthy for you it's likely to be.
Or simply, if it's not local and seasonal: the less healthy for you it's likely to be.
WHAT DID WE EVOLVE EATING?
Fatty meat. That's what Miki Ben Dor thinks.
Probably plants too.
We don't really know.
It makes very little sense that we would have been 'plant based'. Especially when it was cold a lot. We didn't live off fruit.
We can be
USING THE PALEO PRINCIPLE
We can probably say that this is how we should view certain foods.
WHAT'S A SUPERFOOD, REALLY?
HOW DO WE GET THE STUFF WE NEED WITHOUT HARMFUL STUFF
When you build your diet, here are a few things to consider....
Lack of ability to cause inflammation
Ease of digestion
Did we evolve eating it / Did our ancestors eat it?
Do we feel good on it?
Does it fill you up for long enough?
We should be able to eat our meal and comfortably go for hours afterwards without crashes in energy or dizzy spells. If you find yourself trawling through the cupboards or hurriedly hunting the nearest corner shop because you need a snack, you probably didn't eat the right sort of food at your last meal.
If foods don't fit this criteria, then they probably shouldn't be part of your *ideal* diet.
SOOOOOOO, IT'S ENTIRELY UP TO YOU, BUT USING THE CRITERIA ABOVE...
Whenever you build your diet from scratch, you in my opinion you should build your *ideal* *base diet* out of the following foods:
low sugar in season fruit
vegetables according to how well you tolerate
grains according to needs beliefs and toleration levels,
Everything else, everything man made should be viewed with suspicion at the very least.
They may not harm you, they may be slow poisons.