Having conducted significant research to find the perfect diet for myself, I thought I would share some of my findings.
There is so much conflicting research on which diet is healthy. Most “experts” villainize a few food groups. Top suggested “bad” foods are often meats, dairy, fats, lectins, gluten, sugar, carbohydrates, processed food, caffeine, alcohol and even some vegetables!
Before you give up and throw in the towel, I thought it might be nice to have a peaceful and inclusive discussion on the benefits and consequences of each food. I tend to research extensively and keep up with ancient to modern food consumption and major medical as well as traditional healing practices.
I have experimented personally with an array of “lifestyles” from Paleo to Raw Vegan and there is a way to achieve reasonably good health on Your terms, with some best practices of course, which I’ll describe below. [ It’s important to note that if you have a specific condition such as cancer, an autoimmune disorder, genetic inability to digest certain foods, or allergy… please consider that these are not recommendations. Instead, this is an attempt to discuss nutrition and your options. Yes, you have options. You do not have to subscribe to ANY particular dogma to be healthy.
Let’s kick off the conversation with Meat.
Pros: Meat offers B12 and even in historic cultures where it was not consumed primarily, some viewed it as having healing and “building” properties. It contributes to satiety and is readily available for most people. It fits into modern life. Can decrease cravings for sweets.
Cons: It’s possible that we overemphasize our need for protein and consume too much, leading to inflammation. Some who have eliminated meat often cite improved digestion and health… particular those with certain condition. Unfortunately, our appetite for meat is not great for the planet.
Pros: Offers calcium and contributes to satiety. Raw forms offer more benefits because active cultures and enzymes are present.
Cons: Some evidence has suggested that the need for calcium has been overemphasized and Vit D deserves equal or greater attention. Some studies even point to the fact that cultures who consume the most dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis; whereas in some Asian and African cultures where little to no dairy is consumed, osteoporosis rates are very low or absent altogether.
Pros: Good for your brain; especially Omega 3s. Contributes to Satiety. Pairs well with vegetables. Can stabilize mood and decrease cravings for sweets.
Cons: Often, people reach for the wrong kinds of fats from processed foods such as potato chips and pastries.
LECTINS (found in beans, grains, legumes, and some fruit and vegetables):
Pros: When prepared properly, many foods containing lectins are plant-based and make up a very balanced diet.
Cons: This trendy villain is gain new attention after Dr. Steve Gundry, MD published The Plant Paradox, where he outlined many consequences, with an emphasis on inflammation and overall poor health.
Pros: Kourtney Kardashian doesn’t eat gluten either. Kidding. Gluten is often found in wheat products that can be a part of a healthy diet.
Cons: Gluten can also be found in products contribute to poor health such as pastries and empty carbohydrates. It has also been implicated as a trigger for autoimmune conditions.
Pros: They can produce energy short term and provide a mood booster. It can also make certain foods more palatable.
Cons: It’s highly addictive. Some argue that it’s the most addictive substance on the planet. Think about the last time you binged… even a little… sugar, carbohydrates, or processed food may have played a role.
Pros: It can be a mood stimulant
Cons: It can be highly toxic to your body, worsen depression, and lead to weight gain
There are many considerations to ponder over when choosing the staples of your diet. Be mindful of what you’re eating. Don’t overload your digestive system. Attend to your regularity or lack thereof as poor health and digestion are often rooted in gut (i.e. digestive and nutrient absorption) problems. Take care of yourself and honor your body with the highest quality version of foods that you can afford and access. Take the time now before a chronic illness, fatigue, and cognitive and mood problems force you into action.