By Olivia Janisch
Poor diet is currently one of the leading causes of chronic illness, disease and death, not to mention an apathetic and listless existence. Our country is getting sicker and sicker and we still can’t seem to find a diet that will support a healthy and high functioning society.
Or can we?
A vast majority of the confusion surrounding the nutritional quality of our food is due to the fact that we’re constantly being bombarded by diets with conflicting findings claiming to have the secret to a happy and skinny life. While we’re running around stocking up on the latest ‘health foods,’ a new study is published negating the findings of the previous one, and we’re forced to switch gears and get on board with a new fad. No wonder people would just rather close their eyes and eat whatever tastes the most delicious without worrying about the consequences.
It’s undeniable that the right diet is central to a healthy and fulfilling life on earth, but the many avenues that are being offered to us aren’t helping. Simply put, diets are complicating and delaying the majority of our population’s journey to a vibrant and nourished existence, where what we eat isn’t a constant source of frustration.
Well, finally a long term study has been published reviewing the various diets out there, from veganism to Mediterranean to paleolithic, and one thing rang true time and time again: Plants win.
Michael Pollan, in one highly revered New York Times article said: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” This simple and sound piece of advice comes across as very radical in a society that promotes lifestyle choices that are clearly misleading, exhausting, and ineffective.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits (50%), and low in processed foods, is the single healthiest diet for everyone. This means, as long as at least half of what you eat comes from the ground, then you’re fine. That’s right, to be healthy and free of disease does not mean counting calories, reading labels, monitoring salt intake, portioning out your meals, or focusing on avoiding fat. It just means eating real food.
The science of good health is intricate. Each individual on this planet has a very personal and specific biochemical makeup, which includes their hormones, blood type, DNA, neurotransmitters, intestinal health, and body type, to name a few. This means that each person’s bio-individuality can actually determine what’s best for them, as opposed to broad studies based around finding what works for the population at large. This study is significant in that longitudinally, the one common denominator for good health among a large group was simple: fruit and veg.
So load up on real food, shop local, and enjoy the freedom of knowing that what is really best for you is the simplest, purest choice out there.