So, what should you eat for optimal health? – Part I

That is the million dollar question. Isn’t it? This is such a big and controversial topic that so far I had dared not touch it. There is so much information out there on this topic. It is mind boggling.

Let us start from a simple premise.

Let’s assume for a moment that you can get over all the excuses like: I don’t like the taste of it, or I am a vegetarian, or I cannot live without meat, or but that’s the way I was raised, or but I travel too much, or, I don’t have time to eat healthy, etc., etc., etc.

If the only objective was optimal health and you could follow whatever diet or nutritional plan was optimal, what should you eat?

Well, that is the question I have been asking and answer I have been searching for quite a while now.

Here is a sampling of the books I have read, in no particular order, looking for the answer:

The South Beach Diet The Perfect 10 Diet The Life Plan The Top 100 Zone Foods The Disease Dillusion The China Study The Body For Life The Blue Zones The Blood Sugar Solution The Top 100 Zone Foods Dr. Atkins DietPrevent and Reverse Heart DiseaseThe Joe Dillon DiferencePower Foods

All of these books have their specific points-of-view.

Some of these advocate vegetarian or vegan food.

Some recommend high protein.

Some recommend low carbs.

Some balanced meals.

Some advocate very low amount fats.

Some recommend saturated fats. Some don’t.

Some focus on eating simple foods.

Some focus on sugar management.

Some say track (count) calories.

Some say don’t bother with calories counting.

So, what is one to do?

It is so easy to get lost in trees or the nuances of different food paradigms.

While there are so many things these books don’t agree on, there are also a lot they all do agree on.

Looking for what they do agree on, here are some basic principles I have extracted from these and other books and resources:

  1. What you eat, how much you eat and when you eat, all matter
  2. Eat clean
  3. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits
  4. Use only healthy fats and fat sources
  5. Incorporate sufficient proteins in your diet
  6. Best beverage to drink is pure water
  7. Add or subtract specific foods based on your personal needs

Over the next posts, I plan to take each of these items one at time and share my thoughts. For now, I would like to hear your feedback on this list of basic principles.

Have you seen any diet book or nutritional studies that violate any of these basic principles?

Do you think there should be other basic principles to add to this list?