As most of my followers know by now, I am quite critical of the Standard American Diet.
I believe that the USDA recommendation of a high-carb, moderate-fat, and low-protein diet, is a main cause of our nations staggering rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, along with hundreds of other autoimmune conditions.
However, it’s not just the level of each of these macronutrients that is problematic. The even bigger issue is the food groups we are recommended to consume to meet these macronutrient ratios.
Instead of eating a high-carb diet full of beneficial plants like vegetables, fruits, roots, and tubers, we are told that carbs should come predominately from grains. Even though grains became a very easy way to feed the masses during the advent of city-states, they result in a massive influx of sugar in the bloodstream with very little fiber and vitamin-content.
We are told that the majority of fats should come from man-made, refined vegetable oils such as margarine, soy, and canola oil. These are unstable chemically, resulting in oxidization and accumulation of plaque within the arteries. The most natural source of fat within the wild is from animals and fish. When plant sources of fat are consumed, coconut, avocado, and nuts are a much more natural source than oils crushed, bleached, and aromatized, from ears of corn and miniscule seeds.
Finally, our protein recommendations are so low that the aging population is expected to lose muscle-mass and bone density. What’s even more interesting is that we are told to consume higher amounts of the two energy sources (fats and carbs) than protein. Protein is used by the body for maintenance, and by the brain for neurological functioning, but carbs and fats are more readily used as fuel. Keeping all sources of fuel high is known to cause weight gain and unfavorable blood cholesterol levels.
Meals I recommend would look like the following:
A full plate of vegetables, enough protein to feel full and alert, and adequate healthy fat and fruit to meet specific fuel-needs.
Although I avoid putting a name or title on a specific way of eating, my approach would fit in with the “Paleo Diet” or the “Ancestral Human Diet”. The reason I avoid using these titles is because it conjures up misconceptions and also includes the word “diet” which elicits thoughts of a short-term or temporary way of eating.
Due to the success I’ve seen by hundreds of clients, and read about from thousands of others, it is clear that anecdotal experience supports a way of eating based on how humans would eat in nature. Scientific mechanisms, such as the aforementioned oxidization of unstable fats in the bloodstream leading to plaque accumulation in the arteries, also support a return to eating that is in accordance with nature. But do any human studies actually support a diet based on vegetables instead of grains, allowing adequate consumption of nutrient-dense animals and fish, devoid of restrictions on cholesterol or fat?
Yes! Here is a list of the 22 most reliable studies comparing this way of eating with many others.
Why only 22 though? This number seems rather small considering that humans have been eating this way for over 2 million years. Well, these are merely the reliable studies – these involve no bias, no manipulation of data or results, and adhere to scientific research standards.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are studies to support any claim or point of view. For example, The China Study and The Seven Countries Study support the low-protein, high-carb diet that has been the standard for the last 50 years. However, if you recall, these used highly unreliable methods such as eliminating data that didn’t support the researchers bias, or extrapolating health problems resulting from an isolated gluten and casein diet to a diet containing animal proteins.
If you would like a simplified review of some of these studies, follow the next two links:
These two posts from Mark’s Daily Apple are what inspired this post of my own.
All my followers know my recommendation by now, but I figured it was time to provide the actual studies to support this way of eating too!