Diet and nutritional advice is constantly changing, so what’s the best diet? At times, it can feel like there is no real TRUTH out there, like nothing is certain about health and nutrition.
Well, behind all the fad diets and flavor of the moment ideas, there is an ancient wisdom about food that many people are rediscovering.
In my opinion, there are five immutable or unchanging truths to healthy eating.
What’s the Best Diet? 5 Immutable Truths of Nutrition
1. Whole foods are better than processed
I’m not talking about Whole Foods the store. I’m talking about real, unprocessed foods. Fresh produce, meats and proteins, real dairy, fresh eggs, and the bulk bins for nuts, seeds and grains make up the best diet.
So whole foods instead of prepared meals, frozen entrees, boxed rice and pasta dishes, canned soups, and so on.
The rule of thumb here is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the center aisles.
2. Making it yourself is best
A study cited in Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan found that, the more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity. In fact, the amount of time spent cooking predicts obesity rates more reliably than just about any other measure.
In fact, there’s a great scene in the book where Pollan asks a researcher how to undo the damage of our industrial diets and the researcher says, “I have the diet for you: Cook it yourself. Eat anything you want – just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.”
3. Small farms are better than factory farms
The best diet includes food from small farms rather than industrial farms. If the farms are organic and local, all the better. The food is fresher, the animals are treated better, and typically there are fewer pesticides and hormones are used.
In addition, going small & local is better for the the environment, for the animals, and for the people who work on the farm.
To find small farmers near you, visit EatWild.com and RealMilk.com.
4. You can’t go wrong with vegetables
Name me one diet, ever, that shunned vegetables. Okay, there may have been some cockamamie all-watermelon diet or something. But let’s look at all the great pillars of food schools:
- Westin A Price
- South Beach
- Weight Watchers
ALL of them are pro-veg. And it’s true. The best diet will absolutely include veggies, and lots of them!
5. Everything in moderation
Too much of even good things will hurt you. You can drink yourself to death with mineral water, and I’m sure eating too many organic strawberries would do the same.
The best diet includes plenty of variety. We live in a wonderful era where there are so many choices available to us, so many ways to get … nutrient profile.
And the same goes for quantity. Splurging on a huge meal is fine, whether for the holidays or a special celebration. Go for it! But not every day is a holiday. Be sensible.
Michael Pollan said it best.
Here’s another shoutout to author Michael Pollan, who summed up most of the truth in this article in just seven words.
Not too much
How about you?
What do you think about the best diet? Would you add or subtract anything to the list? Share with us in the comments below.