Have you ever wondered what the optimal ketogenic diet is? I want to propose that the optimal diet is not the same as the diet that has worked the best in our history to keep us alive. It’s not the same as what diet can induce weight loss. It’s not the same as what diet is exciting or fun to eat. I want to propose that the optimal diet is what an organism would thrive on if we could control what it was going to consume for the entirety of its existence. If you look at what nutrients a human needs to survive without causing disease and we look at what you would need to eat to attain those nutrients, what we find out is that you actually could do that by consuming only animal products. So only meat products. That’s a fact that’s based on what our bodies need to continue to function because meat has protein and fat, and organ meats have micro-nutrients, and all of these things contribute to humans being able to eat nose to tail and to do very well.
We need to look at the word optimal when talking about the optimal human diet because optimal means the best or most favorable. When people talk about this, the question is most favorable towards what and when people answer that question. I hear them use this idea of survival, so what’s going to allow us to remain alive? In that case, what’s optimal changes based on the circumstances and the error that we see when we were gatherers and hunters. Like hunter-gatherers, we ate meat preferentially and gathered plants to eat when the meat was scarce. But before being hunter-gatherers and in places where there was winter, we had to focus on hunting and fishing. I think what we try to ignore, but I feel we really cannot ignore, is that we’re humans. We’re brilliant, and we’ve evolved and created technology that has changed the way that food tastes, and I’m talking about real food; I’m talking about fruits and vegetables that grew from the ground that used to taste a certain way.
Humans have come along and decided that apples should be sweeter, and not only should they be sweeter, but some of them should taste like grapes. Some of them should taste like cotton candy. So we have decided that strawberries should be bigger and sweeter and we have genetically engineered fruits and vegetables to taste better to us than they used to taste. But in actuality, what it boils down to is we’ve engineered fruits and vegetables to taste sweeter. To be sweeter because there are more carbohydrates in them. We’ve genetically engineered the seeds out of certain vegetables and fruits because we didn’t like having to deal with those things and make our lives more convenient. How does that affect the actual fruit and vegetable? How do they reproduce so now we are in this genetically modified food area where the only way we can produce these seedless things is to have them created for us.
We also figured out how to tame our food source to grow them at scale, but in that process, we ended up putting them in small areas where they ended up having medical issues where we had to turn around and give them antibiotics. But then, lucky for us, we figured out that providing animals antibiotics causes them to be bigger and fatter, and we ignore the part where those bigger, fatter animals are pumped full of antibiotics that then we eat, and those antibiotics affect us. My issue here and what I’m asking every wellness warrior to think about when we talk about optimal diet optimal nutrition is that we have changed what is available to eat.
The food of today is not the food of two thousand years ago. Why do we believe that this will not affect how our body reacts to the food. We need protein and fat for optimal health, but here’s the thing for optimal happiness, there’s no one answer. So each person has a specific relationship with food. Some live to eat, and others eat to live. So what happens if you are one of those people who find it entertaining to eat and enjoy that? We need to keep in mind that when we’re talking about optimal nutrition. Today we do not live in a scenario, or most of us do not live in a system where food is scarce. Today, most overweight people are malnourished because the actual food they’re eating isn’t providing them with what they need. So what their body needs to build repair and grow stronger, we ignore this fact if we were living in a time where food was scarce. We would eat whatever was available. When we look at countries where food is scarce, they eat whatever is available. That’s not the majority of people that are reading this post. The majority of the people who are reading this post have choices and could eat better quality food, but we make choices based on taste and price over the quality of what we are going to be eating and how it will affect our body.
The reason that happens is that when we have a choice, when we have the luxury of deciding between a b and c, then food becomes entertainment. Food becomes this thing that we’re doing because it tastes good and fun to eat, and we’re not focused on growing healthy bodies. This allows us to classify carbohydrates as a macronutrient that our body needs, which is not valid. It’s an energy source that our body actually can do without because our body produces it, and we do need to be careful because incorrectly classifying carbohydrates as an energy source that our body needs don’t change the fact that when we ate carbohydrates to excessive amounts, our body reacts to them appropriately as the toxin that they are. So we are built to survive the fittest we can survive on carbohydrates but is that optimal? Honestly, it depends on whether carbs are optimal to keep us alive when food is scarce, and there’s nothing else for us to eat? Absolutely. Are carbs optimal to aid in the palatability of food and enjoyment of food? Absolutely.
Does that mean that vegetable products provide nutrients that we could not get from animal products? No, it does not. Let’s eat for health whenever possible because when we do that, we are much less likely to be led astray by the food companies trying to use our evolutionary history against us. This is because we evolved eating high-quality animal products with vegetation used to fill in the gaps. Those sweet vegetables of today, those sweet fruits of today that’s not what we were eating in the past. That means that the addictive quality of the vegetables and fruits we eat today is not eating. So we were not chasing those foods when we were eating them 100-200 years ago because they didn’t taste like this. That push for us to eat more vegetation takes it with a grain of salt. Which we do need, by the way, salt is good for you.