Paleo. Vegan. High Carb. Low carb. With so much information out there, much of it contradictory, how are you supposed to know how to eat for optimal health?
You know the scary stats. 85% of US adults over the age of 25 are overweight. Chronic disease is the number 1 killer in the US. This country spends $147 BILLION on obesity related expenses every year. We KNOW obesity is a huge problem. So why can’t we turn it around? CJ Hunt’s documentary The Perfect Human Diet explores those questions, and for a change, actually provides some answers!
Producer and host CJ Hunt takes the viewer along as he searches for truth about the perfect human diet. He leaves no stone unturned, interviewing nutritional authorities from all over the globe.
One of those authorities was the Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation (www.ppnf.org). You heard me mention Weston A. Price and the foundation that bears his name in our raw milk and healthy oils posts previously. The PPNF has two main purposes – to archive and promote the work of nutritional pioneers.
Interestingly, they shared evidence that our ancestors had larger mouths and jaws that did not require the removal of wisdom teeth. The larger face structure had enough room to fit those teeth, and were attributed to a more nourishing and natural diet.
Another expert, Kerin O’Dea, an Australian researcher presented some fascinating research. She took a group of healthy individuals who lived off the land in the wild and transplanted them to an urban area with modern conveniences and foods. These formerly healthy individuals developed the chronic diseases we see in the US, including Type-II diabetes. The group was then taken back to the wilderness for a 7-week experiment. Guess what happened? Returning to their native diet reduced and even eliminated the negative health makers and risk factors – without any formal exercise! These individuals’ diets averaged 64% animal based protein – score one for the low carb meat-eater!
A note AGAINST vegetarianism – Vitamin B12 is ESSENTIAL for our health. It is considered an essential vitamin in our diet, because we MUST ingest it from our foods – we cannot make it ourselves. Without it, optimal health is impossible. It just so happens that Vitamin B12 is ONLY found in foods with animal origins.
Michael Eades, author of Protein Power, was another authority consulted by producer/host CJ Hunt. Eades described a conversation he had with a livestock feed expert. This expert gave Eades the recipe and macronutrient breakdown for how they make animal feed to fatten up hogs, cattle, etc for slaughter. Eades took the photocopies and ran the numbers at home. The results were astonishing – the feedlot ratios were EXACTLY what the USDA recommends for humans in the Food Pyramid! Eades now refers to the Food Pyramid as the “Feedlot Pyramid” – so should you, as it is all wrong for your health!
Next up was a personal favorite of mine – Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet. This guy knows his stuff, and you should definitely check him out. He presented any interesting analogy, using a football field to visually explain our evolutionary nutrition. For the first 99 yards, going back 2 million years, we as humans have eaten only what we could hunt and gather – wild animal meat, plants, nuts, seeds, and seasonal berries. The industrial revolution and the rise of agriculture, cereal grains (wheat, etc), and processed foods only account for the last inch of the football field. And THAT is why we’re having the obesity and nutrition epidemic that we are seeing today.
Cordain, along with other experts also presented evidence that it was PROTEIN and omega-3 fatty acids that allowed and caused our brains to develop from Neanderthal level to our current level of higher mental capabilities. Your take home – eat plenty of animal protein, and seek out omega-3 fatty acids from wild caught fish or wild game. If you can’t get enough from your diet, this is a great reason to add this supplement to arsenal.
The Framingham Study
I’m sure you’ve heard about low-fat, high carb eating. You know, that stuff that says whole eggs are bad for you because of the saturated fat and cholesterol. All that stems from the USDA’s push in the 1980’s to promote a high-carb, low fat lifestyle. What they don’t tell you is this: The Framingham Study actually found that people who ate the most saturated fat and the most cholesterol:
- Weighed the least
- had the lowest serum cholesterol
- were the most active
Never heard that side of the study have you? Hopefully this is the last time I have to tell you whole eggs are AWESOME. I ate 5 for breakfast today!
Hunt & Gather Carefully
“Back then, the world was pristine. Today, the world is polluted.” From feedlot meat products, to plasticizers, chemicals, preservatives, and hormones leeching into our foods, today’s foods are not the same as they were for our ancestors. This mean you will need to go the extra mile in order to acquire the grass-fed meats, free-range chickens, and raw nuts that are best for your health. It is worth the extra effort. And remember, every dollar you spend on food, is a vote…a vote for your health and our future.
You can’t go wrong with the advice Hunt’s parents gave him as a young child:
- Dive-in. Do your own homework.
- Don’t be afraid to look beyond conventional thinking.
- Start at the beginning.
And the perfect human diet?
The mainstream media is WRONG. The Feedlot Pyramid and the USDA regulations are WRONG for you.
Just what we’ve talked about here all along! JERF – Just eat real food. Or in the words of Jack Lalanne, “If man made it, don’t eat it.” However you say it, the philosophy remains the same. Avoid highly processed, refined foods. Eat the way our ancestors did – wild game, lots of fresh green veggies, and minimal grains. Start each meal with your protein source, add green veggies and build from there. Emphasize grass-fed, free-range, wild meats and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat more green veggies than you do now. Keep it simple – don’t over-complicate it.
I like the “green faces diet”. If it is a green veggie you can eat it. If it had a face (or would’ve grown up to have a face – eggs) you can eat it. If it ran, jumped, flew or swam, it’s a protein source. Eat it! Protein moves around, carbs come from the ground.
**The one exception I’ll make is for our athletes who require more carbohydrates for energy and muscle size gains. In that case, our go to carbohydrate sources are potatoes, rice, and oats (if you tolerate them).**