The Best Diet for Good Health
What does scientific research tell us about the best diet for excellent health?
If we look at all of the results of the nutritional studies from the past 40 years, and then look at traditional diet plans, we find the truth: most of the gold standard, unbiased research has validated what our ancestors knew and practiced instinctively.
The best diet for long term good health:
- is free of refined carbohydrates, low in whole grain carbohydrate consumption, and higher in protein and fat consumption. Eating a whole foods, lower carb diet reduces body inflammation, and keeps your blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and HDL), blood sugar levels and insulin levels even and within a healthy range. A target amount of less than 80 carbohydrate grams or less per day has been shown in study after study to help healthy people and diabetics maintain good blood sugar and insulin ranges.
In addition, research on obesity confirms that a diet lower in carbohydrates promotes the use of fatty acids as cellular fuel.
This is important because when high levels of sugar are constantly circulating in the blood, the body releases extra insulin to compensate. High levels of insulin cause the body to store excess energy as fat instead of burning it for fuel. Because fat is stored and unavailable, the body has to rely on carbohydrates in the diet for fuel.
This dependence on carbohydrates for fuel drives constant hunger, because the body cannot store large amounts of carbohydrate as glucose or glycogen. More carbs must be eaten on a regular basis or the person experiences the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These symptoms include shakiness, dizziness, irritability, heart palpitations, and extreme hunger. People who eat a high carb diet can't go very long without food.
This general concept of the effect of high insulin levels on body metabolism is known as insulin resistance.
Since the body can't access the stored fat, and it can't store very much carbohydrate for fuel, it will break down the protein in your muscles to get the sugar it needs. You end up losing muscle mass and gaining fat.
And this constant sugar burning process releases high levels of free radicals which can damage your body's cellular function. Keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels low will ensure your body "remembers" how to burn stored fat for fuel.
Ron Rosedale, a prominent expert on diabetes and longevity says it best:
"Health and life span is determined by the proportion of fat versus sugar people burn throughout their lifetimes. The more fat you burn as fuel, the healthier you will be."
- The best diet is also nutrient rich and free of chemicals and additives. In a best diet scenario, every calorie consumed is as high in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and amino acids as possible, and low in processed foods full of anti-nutrients, chemical pollutants, and genetically engineered organisms.
The best diet plan ensures your body has all of building blocks it needs to repair damage, grow new cells, and make energy for all the things you need to do on a daily basis in support of your life.
At this point, you may be asking the following questions. Click on each link to get more information:
Food as Fuel...
It's amazing to me that most physicians aren't all that concerned with informing patients about the best diet plan for good health.
They only start the "best diet for you" discussion when they want the patient to change it for some specific purpose, like lowering cholesterol, or maintaining blood sugar.
Most times, the doctor hands over a pamphlet listing the diet that the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association promotes as being right, and says "here, follow this..."
Food is the only source of building material that your body uses. How can food not have a major impact on your body health? Think about animals and machines, for instance.
- If you tried to feed a horse just meat, it wouldn't eat it. Horses are smart enough to know the best diet for them includes grass and other plant foods.
- If you put regular gasoline in a diesel engine, it would ruin the engine. That diesel engine is specifically made to run on diesel fuel.
It's the same with our bodies. Human populations have been eating clean, grass fed animal foods, wild seafood, raw dairy products, saturated tropical fats and clean, whole vegetables and fruits for a very long time. We evolved successfully as a species eating these foods, and the traditional diet is the best diet for restoring vibrant health.
In contrast, refined foods like white sugar and white flour were introduced to the American diet only about 350 years ago. Genetically engineered foods are even more recent. Our bodies are not designed to run on these processed, non-nutritive franken-foods. When we eat them exclusively, our bodies fail, just like that diesel engine.
Resources for Further Reading
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