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Realistic Diets That Are Actually Good for You

Feb 14, 2019 | 11m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Whether the Hunter-Gatherer Paleo diet actually works and what you need to be eating day-to-day
  • Fake nutrients that are stealing your money without enriching your body
  • Which organic foods you don’t need to waste your money on
  • Willingly exchange your potato chips for cauliflower rice and choose healthier meals every day

Health Trends

Just when you think the best diet plan has emerged, the next one comes along to tell you that you’ve done it all wrong and have been harming your health. From the Ornish diet to the South Beach diet to Keto, Paleo and the three different ways of saying it, it’s hard to keep up with the names, let alone the rules. Some people become complete carnivores who only devour meat, and on the flipside, you have the herbivores who stand 20 feet away in disgust at the slightest trace of meat.

The vegan crowd argues that our teeth, fingernails, jaw size and intestines are proof that humans are made to be vegetable eaters and not meat eaters. We don’t have big long claws, and our intestines are very long as compared to carnivores that have shorter digestive tracts. A further support to this perspective is that humans and chimpanzees have a 96% DNA match and the chimpanzees' diet is 95% plant-based. There are even arguments for vegan bodybuilders where they cite elephants as an example of animals who eat plants alone and yet are able to be so strong and large.

On the other hand, there is the view that our brains are so much more developed that we don’t need to have claws or other carnivorous features. We didn’t have to evolve physically because we evolved mentally. We have much larger brains compared to herbivores and this development helps us to strategise better when we are hunting for animals.

Finally, you have your middle ground which is the Paleo diet that includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This diet limits dairy products, legumes and grains. The Paleo diet is from the Palaeolithic era, also known as the stone age. The Paleolithic era spanned nearly 2.6 million years, during which both migration and evolution occurred. Climate, terrain, tools, and diets changed throughout this time. Yet there was no farming at that time, so the Paleo diet specifically excludes such farming foods that emerged about 10,000 years ago.

With all these options, what can you practically do day-to-day to have a healthier life?

You have to know what your personal goal is. The reason why there are so many diets is because of various long-term and short-term goals that people are trying to achieve. We have to really understand what our individual goal is. And it's not just about the number on the scale or the tag at the back of your shirt but also what kind of lifestyle you have and want to have.

You don’t want to be having extreme diets which are unsustainable. It’s not good for your body. Instead, you should build simple and powerful habits throughout the day to feed your body with the right food. Your nutrition needs to be tailored to your personal lifestyle, so that it can be sustainable and realistic.

After you’ve nailed these simple habits, you can then adjust your choices slightly to suit your body. For instance, someone who has a higher body fat percentage will utilise their energy differently from someone who has more muscle. In fact, the goals of each person may also be very different. We should also consider our ancestral genetic makeup. However, such personalised diets would require books of their own so in this book we’ll focus on simple ways to have a nutritious diet and how you can go about picking the right ingredients to get all the nutrients you need.

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