People often ask me "What diet should I be on?"
Should I be eating Paleo, or vegetarian? What about the blood type diet, or raw food, or MM? There are so many different options.
My opinion about diets is this: there is no one diet that’s right for everyone. If anybody says they have a diet that suits everybody, then that doesn't make sense to me because we all have different needs.
Some people need more carbs, or low fat, or high protein, or whatever.
There are two major things we need to take into account with our diet.
The first is our genetics. We all have a different mix of genes.
The second one is the climate that we live in. You've probably noticed that you eat different foods in the summer time compared to the winter. That's just you intuitively knowing that you need different foods depending on whether it's hot or cold.
So let's have a look at two extreme examples of both climate and genetics.
The Inuit people in their traditional culture, eat mostly animal products. They eat meat, fat and blood, and all the various products from say a seal, a whale or a caribou.
They rarely eat fruit, vegetables or grains. Most of their diet is animal products, and when they're living in their traditional environment, they do well on that diet. They don't get lots of degenerative disease like we have in our society today. If you start giving them a standard western diet, they get sick.
On the other end of the scale, there are a number of tribes in South America where they hardly ever eat animal products. They eat fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts. And when they eat that diet they're healthy and happy. Give them a western diet and they get sick.
Most of you reading this blog today probably don't live in extreme heat or cold, and you probably don't have a single genetic origin. Most of us today have a mixed set of genes and live in a more temperate climate.
So what should we eat? Listen to your body. Work out the things that make you feel better, and the things that make you feel worse. Our bodies are very intelligent. Your tastes will change depending on what you need. I often have people in my clinic who crave chocolate. When I test their magnesium levels it's usually really low. Chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium.
So for the most part, the things you like are the things you need, and the things you don't like are usually not good for you. For example I've never liked fish much. I did a gene test and found I have a gene that doesn't do well on seafood.
So listen to your body and choose things that make you feel well. The big exception to this is sweet things. That's usually caused by a microbe in your gut called Candida. Candida puts a chemical into your blood that says: go and eat sugar!
The one piece of dietary advice I can give you that applies to everyone is: EAT REAL FOOD.
So much of the food in our supermarkets these days has either been processed and interfered with, or has added things that don't belong in food. An example of processing can be things like milk which is pasteurised and homogenised. It's no longer the same as milk that comes straight out of a cow.
There are so many foods that have additives like preservatives, colours, flavours, emulsifiers, you name it! These things are not real food and they're not meant to be in our bodies.
You need to read ingredient labels and be selective about the things you choose to eat for yourself and your family.
Keep your eye out for another blog soon on how to read ingredient labels, and the tips and traps to watch out for.