Okay, so food sensitivities aside, what is the healthiest diet to have for the general populace? Omnivorous? Carnivorous? High carb? Paleo? Vegetarian? Mediterranean? Vegan? Raw? Raw vegan? Fruitarian? Macrobiotic? Standard American?
Well, if you look at indigenous cultures around the world, it’s undeniable that their people are much stronger and much healthier than the average westerner. I’m willing to bet most of them don’t have acne either.
But the thing is, is that they’ve thrived on extremely different diets from one another.
Ancient Peruvians ate seafood, river plants, potatoes, corn, beans, seeds, and guinea pig. American Indians ate yams, potatoes, manioc, squashes, and small amounts of meat. In Europe, it was traditionally cabbages, turnips, onions, radishes, willow and birch shoots, nettles, ferns, mushrooms, and small game. A certain tribe in Africa lives on meat, milk, and blood, but the cave men in the Philippines are feasting on wild yams, grubs, frogs, bananas, and fruit!
The most shocking is that Inuit people of the Arctic ate a diet consisting entirely of seal blubber. And no, they weren’t dying of heart attacks at the age of 20. It’s been shown through various studies that all of these traditional groups produce healthy, robust adults free of modern disease.
So what do they have in common?
Well, the biggest common denominator is that absolutely none of them contain even a hint of processed foods. The food is also mostly fresh or preserved with natural means, local, seasonal, naturally grown, traditionally cooked, and pretty tasty.
Okay, so get to the point. What should I eat and what shouldn’t I eat?
Good stuff to eat most of the time:
- Endless vegetables, fruits, sea vegetables
- Fish, eggs, turkey, chicken, beef, pork, wild game meat or fowl, raw milk, butter or ghee – animal products are very healthy if raised naturally and cleanly
- Nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes – preferably soaked overnight or sprouted before consuming
- Coconut products
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, natural yogurt, tempeh
- Extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil (for frying), flaxseed oil, tahini, the occasional nut butter
- Herbs, spices, sea salt, natural soy sauce, miso, and other natural condiments. Go easy though.
- For sweeteners, fruit juices, maple syrup, or honey in small amounts
- Filtered water
- Herb teas
- Meals with friends on occasion, without feeling guilty!
Bad stuff to eat most of the time:
- Things at the supermarket that have long lists of ingredients, most of which you can’t pronounce.
- White flour, bread, rice, and potatoes
- Sugar, (white, brown, raw, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, maltose, sucrose… it’s got many hidden names)
- Pasteurized supermarket dairy products
- Canned foods and foods from jars
- Steak, cured fish and meats (like lunch meats). They’re full of gross preservatives.
- Table salt, soy sauce with MSG, highly seasoned foods
- Shortening, commercial and heated oils, fried and deep fried foods
- Tap water
- Coffee and other caffeinated drinks – especially soda!
- Healthy meals that are boring and bland
So there you have a quick run down of what will keep the average bear healthy and strong!
This is the type of diet that we should be aiming to eat to maintain health throughout our lives. If this is really different to how you eat, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you can never have anything on the second list ever again. It just means that in your day to day life, you want much, much more of the stuff on list one, than on list two.
Now go eat your vegetables! Get!
Hey, have you tried any of these different health food diets? What was your experience?