Food system, that makes sense.
A step-by-step plan to improve our health through food.
Nutrition and eating have 3 levels.
Each one adds a level of health. Each one adds productive and meaningful years to your life. Each one adds a level complexity, but then it makes things easier.
Let me explain…
We label the way we eat in so many ways — healthy eating, clean eating, plant-based eating, ancestral eating, lowcarb eating, dairy and gluten free eating…
A lot of these labels don’t have universally accepted definitions and rules. People, even professionals and experts, mean different things by these labels. That’s why it’s so confusing for all of us. Having spent the last decade of my life researching and experimenting, tinkering and working with all of these, I came to a conclusion, that there is no good definition, because:
- We tend to define food through the lens of our beliefs and aspirations, food preferences, cultural norms and ideological theories instead of data (Vegan sounds so evolved! Doesn’t it? It’s also a very simplistic way to talk about sustainability).
- There are too many conflicting interests: food companies and global food supply chain, governments, brands and diet cults, diet schools and diet leaders.
- Healthy eating is an individualized concept — genetics, ancestry, local availability of foods, gut microbiome, health history, age etc.
But I still believe a definition, an approach I give below, can be used to successfully re-design our food supply to, ultimately, increase our health and life spans, providing all of us with more energy to create a meaningful life.
Healthy eating, a healthy diet:
An approach to eating, that creates maximum long and short term health benefits, minimizing the amount of disease and health issues, at the same time.
Step 1. Eliminate toxins
Step 2. Satisfy (species-specific) nutrition needs
Step 3. Personalize
This has to do with eliminating, as much as possible, substances, that create (or possibly can create based on available evidence) negative health effects (short or/and long-term).
Where people get it wrong: just because something doesn’t poison you right away, it doesn’t mean, it’s good for your long-term health also. French fries, fried using vegetable oils, might not kill you right away, but you’ll cut years of your life and the amount of health you experience, eating them regularly.
SATISFY (species-specific) NUTRITION NEEDS
Any animal has specific nutrition needs, that must be satisfied for maximum health and life span. So do humans. We don’t have full data set about all of our nutrition requirements, and how it’s best to satisfy them, through which foods and eating approach. But we do have sufficient data about macro and micronutrients requirements of a human being, and what are better ways to deliver them. (Example: The amount of Vitamin A we need, and eating livers being the most effective way to get it). And so you might argue, that a vegan diet is such an amazing diet for our planet and to elevate our consciousness… The only problem is, based on all the actual evidence, knowledge of our physiology and biochemistry, about how our body works and functions the best, vegan diet can’t support human life all that well. You might not die right away, but give it 3–5 years — and your health will start collapsing. One system at a time. Or a lot of them together.
We shouldn’t be political about our food. We need to accept our human condition — certain requirements for macro and micro nutrients, building our food system and food supply to deliver maximum amount of these requirements to each human being, instead of arguing about meat and plants, producing a bunch of CBD-infused bullsh*t and fake meats, that are simply a waste of resources, that could be used for building a truly sustainable and health-supporting food supply chain.
Yesterday, during one of my nutrition coaching sessions over Skype, we started talking about potassium and avocados as a great source of it, along with monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber — that all sounded great, but the person on the other side of Skype had digestive issues every time he ate avocados! And so we had to find another way to deliver similar nutrients and health benefits.
Not only we all have slightly (often a lot) different nutrition needs at different stages in our life (compare a 60-year old male and a nursing mom), in different health and metabolic states (compare a diabetic inactive adult with a pro-athlete), we also have different ancestry (and DNA) and gut microbiomes, that react differently to different foods! And no matter how good some eating theory is, if some food makes this particular person feel sick every time they eat it — you got to change it! And that will always be the case. Our nutrition needs change as we change. And there is no best diet, that works exactly the same for 2 people all the time.
Does it make sense to you? Do you agree with what you’ve just read?
And so, the purpose of your diet is not to count your carbs, fats, calories or go vegan. The purpose of yours, mine and everyone else’s diet, is to maximize the amount of health (mental and physical) and longevity we have, maximizing our performance and energy levels through minimizing toxins, maximizing the amount of required for a human-being nutrients in the way, that works the best for us at this stage of our life.
Now we just need to build a food system, that delivers THAT in the most straightforward intuitive way to you and me, the consumer.