For a century we have been bombarded with diets and ideas focusing on these three macronutrients and putting the blame on one of them for our unhealthiness. Also, we - average people - have become confused, because every diet or advice saying: “people should eat low-fat and high-carb because of this and that” or “people should eat low-carb and high-protein because of this and that” has scientific research to back it up. So, who the fork is right and who is wrong?
The truth is, the approach is bad. This scientific approach to dissect and decompose everything into small atomic parts is so unnatural. No wonder the atom (“indivisible”) is also divisible into small parts which are also divisible even further, which are also divisible and so on - infinity.
Here’s the deal: all the studies confirming that switching from a meat based diet to a plant-based diet makes people lose weight, get healthier, low risk of cancer, of cardiovascular disease, yadda yadda yadda, and, also, switching from a high-carb diet to a low-carb and high fat does the same thing, don’t mention the ethnicity of the participants in the study and don’t mention the food source.
To understand my point, imagine this: if you have been eating your entire life processed meat or meat bought from the supermarket and then switch to a fresh and seasonal plant-based diet, do you become healthier? Of course, you do! Also, if you have been eating your entire life refined sugars, cookies, sweets, refined grain products (pasta, pizza, etc.) and then you switch to a grass-fed, free-range, pasture-raised animal products, do you become healthier? Of course, you do!
If you have been living your entire life on crap, any sort of diet will improve your health as long as you push away the processed and refined products.
Also, if you live in the tropical climate and eat a plant-based diet or if you live in the arctic climate and eat an animal-based diet your health will also improve.
We must rethink the way we look at food. We must look at the big picture. Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, Amino acids, etc. don’t matter if they are isolated. The body doesn’t understand what to do with them. Nutrients matter only when they are together. The relationship and ratios - synergy - between nutrients are what matters and the source.
There are 50 essential nutrients for the human body and we need them all together in the exact proportions required by our unique body.
Food is poetry and the nutrients are the words. Food and nutrition is art. When you eat an organic cauliflower it sings to our body. It tells it what to do with it. When, on the other hand, take some isolated synthetic vitamins and minerals you will have expensive urine and feces - the body will eliminate it.
The context is all that matters. Also, your microbiota determines the ratios specific to you. As I described in a previous article you are your microbiota and your microbiota tells more about you than your genome. your microbiota is also in a continuous change, hence, your requirements change.
My opinion (advice) is listen to your gut. Animals and our ancient ancestors never did what we have been taught to do in the last century. Imagine Pythagoras counting calories and grams of protein: “Hey, yo! Socrates! Check this high protein breakfast I am serving. It has only 300 calories and it is low carb and low fat!”. It’s just silly, isn’t it?
Stop and think for a second. Look at your environment. Look at your traditions. What is your ethnicity? What are you climate? What is your season? What time of the day is it? What is your lifestyle - active/inactive? Be flexible and adapt. Experiment!
The only thing you need to do is focus on real food and prepare it yourself correctly, that’s it! Eliminate refined, processed, semi-prepared, genetically modified, artificial ingredients, added sugars, vegetable oils, supplements, extracts, nearly everything that isn’t found naturally in nature in your country.
Chinese, Japanse, Indians have been eating for thousands of years white rice. When they adopted the low-carb high-fat diet they started becoming obese, diabetic and developing cardiovascular disease. It is not who they are!
Yes, you can change your microbiota according to your lifestyle, but you cannot revert what has been developed for thousands of years, ok?
A tropical climate, where is hot most part of the year offers lots of exotic fresh fruits and vegetables.
A cold climate offers more meat.
A temperate climate (like mine) offers both, according to seasons.
When life give you lemons, you make lemonade.
For this reason, during spring and summer, I eat more fresh fruits and vegetables (salads), whereas during autumn and winter I eat more cooked and fermented foods and more animal products. I also eat more fruits when I do more intense physical activities (strength training) and less when I don’t. Furthermore, I eat fruits and grains earlier in the day, whereas animal products later in the day.
I adjust to my climate, to seasonal changes, to my lifestyle, and my needs (gut); and I always buy the least imported, processed, pasteurized, refined, genetically modified, and bombarded with pesticides, antibiotics, and synthetic chemicals I can find (clean) and I eat only the food I prepare with my own hands, because I know for sure what I put inside me. I am not perfect, I can’t be, but I do the best I can with what I have.
I hope I debunked some misconceptions and confusions and I hope now it will be much easier for you to buy food and know what to eat. And remember, eat mindfully. What you eat is as important as how you eat, because regardless you have the good quality food if your body is unable to digest it, absorb it, and use it!
Take care and stay tuned!
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