“Make your diet work for you, don’t work for your diet.” Denise Minger.
Instead of trying to decide on the best diet for you why not see what similarities well known diets share.
Denise Minger, author of “Death by Food Pyramid” found some commonalities between “Paleo”, “Mediterranean” and “Whole foods, plant based” diets.
The Paleo diet
Paleo is also known as “the caveman diet”. It advocates eating as the Paleolithic man would have eaten.
The Mediterranean diet
Based on the eating habits of the people of Crete, Greece.
Fruits and vegetables
Whole grains (rice, bread, pasta)
Nuts and seeds
Herbs and spices
Fish and Seafood
Poultry and eggs
Cheese and yogurt
Meat and sweets (moderately).
Whole foods, plant based
Fruit and vegetables
Whole grains (rice, bread, pasta)
High fat whole foods (avocado, nuts, olives).
What each diet has in common
- No refined flours
- No refined sugar
- No industrially processed oils
- No chemical preservatives
- No processed food (more than 1 ingredient)
- Nutrient dense food sources
- All non starchy carbohydrates
- Low glycemic fruit
The common theme with all of the excluded products is they are all highly processed and have only recently been introduced to our food chain.
All diets recommend eating natural unprocessed nutrient dense foods.
Minger also shares some of Weston A Price’s findings when studying the eating patterns of indigenous populations around the world.
All indigenous populations contained a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins. There was an absence of grains from a lot of populations.
Dairy and meat from land animals were not essential as long as fat-soluble vitamins were acquired from another source.
Another interesting point from the study is the impact your grandparents and parents lifestyle habits may have on your health.
“You’re not just what you eat, you’re what your mom ate, your grandmother ate. And what your food eats, given how soil and pasturage quality influenced the nutritional status of native diets.” – Weston A. Price.
This may mean that good diet and lifestyle habits are more important than just your wellbeing. It is possible that it will impact the health of your kids and grandkids.
Guidelines to adhere to with your diet.
- Eliminate or drastically reduce intake of high omega 6 oils, refined grains and refined sugars. – No healthy population has thrived on this foods.
- Ensure rich sources of fat soluble vitamins – high quality dairy, shell fish, fish eggs, organ meats, cod liver oil.
- Use nutrient dense food sources – greens, berries, quality animal sources (meat, dairy), seaweeds, fermented vegetables.
- When eating meat limit muscle meat – don’t be afraid to eat all parts of the animals, liver heart etc. It is only very recently that we have stopped eating the internal parts of the animal.
- Respect your genetics – Asian populations tend to have difficulty digesting dairy products. Why? Dairy was never in their diets so they never adapted to this. Be conscious of what agrees with you and what you should avoid.
- Diet is one part of the puzzle – exercise, sleep, breathing, meditation, healthy relationships, a life goal. These are all equally important in optimizing your health.
- Find what works for YOU – just because your neighbor lost weight on a new diet doesn’t guarantee you the same success. If there is one thing you can be certain is we are all individuals who react differently. Trial and test what works for you.