Have you heard of The Great Health Debate? It’s a free limited time online event being hosted by Kevin Gianni from The Renegade Health Show. If you’re at all interested in diet and still scratching your head about which diet is the best in the world, it’s worth checking out.

The address is http://www.renegadehealth.com/ghd.

He’s gathered 14 different leaders in the natural health movement to battle it out. It’s a free event, and there’s two hours of debate every night this week. The event is already half over, but you can still catch the last few calls if you’re interested. I’ve listened to the last two nights, and I’m fascinated.

You see, in this day and age, eating healthy isn’t very straight forward.

Let’s start with the Standard American Diet as our baseline. Obviously we know this isn’t working so well for society, or you wouldn’t be here reading this.

The next level up from that in the journey toward ‘healthful eating’ gets into the Canada (or America or Australia) Food Guide and your standard government recommended meat, dairy, grains, and vegetable servings. They don’t give you much detail and ask you to make use of conventional foods. I don’t think the government food guides are enough to keep you truly healthy.

Then you start getting into natural health which is where my philosophies lie. Natural health is generally more into large amounts of fruits and vegetables, organic foods, less dairy, and fewer chemicals and processed foods. It pays attention to things such as digestion and gut health and also makes use of other unconventional health foods and practices that aren’t usually found in the mainstream. If you’re a newbie to healthy eating, this is probably what you want to concentrate on learning so you can at least elevate your diet to this level before you go down the rabbit hole.

I call it the rabbit hole because the natural health side of things then splits down battle lines into cult like sects. This is usually about things like meat vs no meat, raw vs cooked foods, acid vs alkaline diets, and it goes on and on and on.

People are different – there is no one correct answer!

Everyone has a different body composition. Different people feel better on different ratios of fat to carbs to protein. But some people strongly believe there is one right diet out there for all people, whether it’s based on science and anthropology or pure ethics.

As a result, people get so caught up with their diets, that they end up building a whole life around the food they eat. Their egos and personalities and friends and sometimes businesses all grow around this idea of being a raw vegan or a primal eater or a such and such.

So what happens then when their diet isn’t working for them anymore and they’re forced to change? It’s devastating. It’s not just the food that they have to let go of, it’s all that other stuff as well.

That’s why I think it’s so important to be open minded about things like diet. If what you’re truly interested in is health and not dogma, then you’ll be eager to hear all sides of the argument. That’s why this event it so awesome!

If you’re new to natural health, I’m just going to give you a quick little run down here of some of the common health factions and what they believe. This way you’ll be informed if I mention them in the future, or if you decide to tune into The Great Health Debate!

Common Health Diets

  • Vegetarian – Doesn’t eat animal meat, but usually eats eggs and dairy.
  • Vegan – Doesn’t consume any animal products whatsoever
  • Raw Foodist – Only consumes raw foods because they believe that cooked food is dead food and doesn’t contain the living enzymes necessary for life. That their food should be consumed raw is about all these folks agree on… some eat raw meat and dairy, others only eat fruit, some consume superfoods, some don’t. The most common raw foodist is a raw vegan and only consumes raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
  • Primal aka Paleo Diet – Believes that the natural diet of humans was that of a hunter gatherer, therefore, only eats organic grass fed or wild animal meat, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and some fruits like berries. Primal eaters don’t eat grains or legumes.
  • Macrobiotics – Mainly consumes complex grains, fermented soy products, cooked vegetables, and maybe a bit of fish. This diet and lifestyle is based on balance energies and the Chinese principles of yin and yang.
  • Alkaline Diet – Believes that all diseases in the body are based around the blood being too acidic, therefore they only consume alkaline foods. This means they are usually vegans who eat a lot of greens and not much sugar, not even natural sugars.

Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? Raw vegan? Primal eater? etc etc? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

photos by Bisayan Lady and Tambako the Jaguar