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Solving Your Food Dilemmas
“Wheat has gluten, America’s new public enemy. I have no lactase to digest dairy. Fatty foods make me sick, energy bars are loaded with sugar, and coffee – while it makes me feel good for a little while – stimulates me into a state of exhaustion. Fish is out of the picture since we polluted all of the water on planet earth and, oh yes, meats are loaded with hormones, the veggies today are devoid of minerals, and breads are loaded with cooked oils that are killing us all slowly but surely.”
This is the gist of what I hear so many people say when they are being honest about their food dilemmas.
Are you frustrated?
Eating is simple, right? Our ancestors ate only meat and veggies and no carbs. Or did they? Some swear by raw food, veganism, or eating only grass-fed meat and raw dairy. Others proselytize that we should eat 6 meals a day, grazing our way through each day.
There is a diet on the market for every day of the year and, what is interesting, is that each bestselling diet offers the antidote to what the previous bestselling diet left us craving. When Dr. Atkins introduced his high-protein, high-fat diet more than thirty years ago, America was left wanting for carbs which, according to Atkins, were the enemy. Then, out of the blue and with perfect timing came the Pritikin Diet – America’s antidote to a no-carb diet. Pritikin claimed that you could get all the same benefits of the Atkins Diet by eating 80% of our diet in carbohydrates, with small amounts of fat and protein. Well, it just so happened that America was craving carbs after five years without them, and the Pritikin Diet was the next bestseller.
Nature is Logical – Diets Aren’t
We have been arguing over different variations of high protein, high carb and low-fat diets for a lifetime now, with no end in sight.
The most recent facts suggest that hunter-gatherers actually ate about the same amount of protein and carbs as we do today! (1) Yet, we argue otherwise! The most compelling evidence states that it is not an excess or deficiency of carbs and proteins that robs us of optimal health, it is the lack of healthy fats and fiber. (1, 2)
According to recent research, ancient humans got 5 times as much fiber as we do now, and 2-3 times as much fat. (1) So maybe we are barking up the wrong tree!
In nature, there is a consistently occurring high-protein, high-fat harvest in the winter which is required to insulate us for the cold and dry months. Come spring, nature harvests a low-fat diet to compel us to burn our own fat, make energy last on little food, and detoxify. In the summer, to cool us and offer long doses of energy, nature harvests a high-carb diet of fruits and veggies.
The reality is that the three bestselling diets of all time actually co-exist in nature, each lasting roughly 4 months!
Ayurveda has studied the cycles of nature very closely and discovered that nature has a plan.
There is a diet for detox, for rebuilding, and for energy, and each is harvested in such a way that our evolution has depended on it. There are times of the year when the digestion is strong and times when it is weak and, accordingly, there are foods harvested in nature at specific times of the year that are truly required for our optimal health.
Perhaps most compelling is how we evolved to thrive on foods harvested in nature at certain times of the year to heal, protect and optimize our digestive tracts. This is not just so that we could nourish ourselves but – perhaps way more critical for our survival – so that we could nourish the health, well-being and diversity of our beneficial microbes, who do the heavy lifting for every physiological function in the body.
Check out my free podcast, “Food Frustrations: Eat Fad Free,” where I dive into the details and how-tos of a diet that was so precisely designed by nature to support the wealth of our beneficial bugs and our ability not just to survive – but to thrive.
- Lieberman D. The Story of the Human Body. Pantheon. New York, NY. 2013
- Perlmutter D. Grain Brain. Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. 2013