What is the Best Diet?
These days it may be confusing to know what is the best diet to follow for optimal health and well being. There are literally hundreds of diets to choose from and so many articles promising better health if you follow their prescribed diet. Maybe your co-worker has been telling you about a diet she has been on and she states she feels amazing and she even looks great, but then you read something somewhere else that another diet is truly the better one. So what do you do… what is the best diet?
Today we constantly hear about the benefits of the vegetarian, paleolithic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, macrobiotic, blood type diet, or the ketogenic diet, etc. To make things more complex, some of the nutritional ideologies go against one another. Each diet has hundreds of books and supporters who swear by it and they all sound convincing and even have scientific evidence to support their claims. Many have even stated to have cured diseases by following the prescribed diet.
We Process Food in Different Ways
The truth is there is no single universal best diet, all of us are genetically different and out bodies process foods in various ways. One diet that can be healthy for one person can kill another through an allergic reaction. For example my mother had her gall bladder removed and she has high cholesterol and some cardiac issues. She simply does not feel good on a 100% paleo diet. Through trial and error she feels best when she follows mostly a vegetarian diet.
On the other hand, my dad who has had significant neurological problems (he even had paralysis and complete nerve damage at one point) feels best when he follows a paleo diet. The paleo diet in fact has helped him reverse many of his health deficits. I also know people who have difficulty digesting the protein in animal products and do best with a vegan diet.
Those individuals who have written books about that one diet that has changed their life for the better are probably right. They found the diet that works for them, allowing their bodies to heal properly. Since the diet helped them, it is very likely it will help many others. But will it work for 100% of the population… absolutely not!
Food is Medicine
We have to realize that food in fact is medicine and it can be good or bad medicine. Eating foods that have high nutritional value and are properly suited for our bodies can heal us from the inside out. But what we must keep in mind, we are not all made the same way . It’s not only food that each of our bodies react to in different ways, but it’s also medications. For example, an antidepressant can help one person feel better and the same antidepressant make another feel suicidal.
With medications many people go though a trial and error before they figure out what works best for bodies. There are hundreds of medications to treat each disease, and often it takes some time to find the best match for our bodies. In many ways the same principal applies to finding the right foods for our bodies.
Finding the Best Diet Requires Some Trial and Error
It can be a process of trial and error to figure out which diet or which foods are most tailored to our biological needs. It is also important to realize that sometimes it is a combination of diets that work best. I work in a hospital and I can tell you that there are various doctor prescribed diets based on each patients diagnosis. Some people can have 4 or more prescribed diets.
I personally don’t follow any one diet strictly, through trial and error I have discovered that I feel best with a combination of paleolithic, pescadarian and vegetarian diets. I take what I need from each diet and make my own. Having gallstones, my body cannot tolerate high amounts of fat as recommended in the paleolithic diet. I still incorporate the paleolithic aspects by not consuming dairy, grains, processed foods and reducing my sugar intake. However I stick to mostly eggs and seafood, consuming some meat but not large quantities.
Our Nutritional Needs Can Change With Time
Our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to the environments around us. Some of us may discover that we may have new food allergies that we never had before or something we tolerated once – now makes us feel sick. A diet that worked for us before may cease to do so now. This is normal, and we should listen to our bodies and make dietary adjustments. I was a vegetarian for 20 years, when I was 36 yeas old my immune system gave up on me and I was struggling with my health for 2 years. This is when I realized my body needed a change. Having switched to a more paleolithic based diet and eating meat, I immediately felt better.
My friend who has been eating meat all her life started having significant health problems, she switched to a vegetarian diet and recovered completely. She learned that her body no longer tolerates animal protein.
Dietary Changes That Will Improve Your Health
No matter what diet you choose to follow there are some guidelines that will improve your health. A good diet will consist of reducing your sugar intake, reducing processed foods, eliminating added preservatives and chemicals, and increasing your intake of organic foods and vegetables. It’s not easy to do but it’s a great start and just doing following these pointers will have a huge positive impact on your health.
Good luck and may you find the perfect diet for your body!
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