Should everyone have the same diet? Yes (and no)
This is actually going to be a two part series. In this video I’ll make the case that there is a solid general foundational diet that everyone should be eating from a health perspective, namely real whole food.
In the second video I’ll explain where there can be legitimate variation on this base foundational diet of real whole food.
What’s the base foundational diet that everyone should be eating?
Real whole food. What’s real whole food?
Quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices.
Why should they be eating this way?
From a historical perspective, it’s just an objective fact that while different cultures have eaten things at different places and times they all were eating 100% real whole food.
-They were all eating some animal protein
-They were all eating some plant material
-They were all eating some healthy fat
-Also, none of them were eating Cheetos, pizza, or soda.
Forget history for a second, let’s just look at the nutrient contents of foods. From a nutritional perspective, it’s just an objective fact, from a health perspective, that certain foods have more nutrient-dense than others. If you compared all foods based on their content of things like Vitamin A, iron, zinc omega-3s,etc. the winners in every single category would be things like:
-Animal protein (especially organ meats, like liver, and seafood).
-Vegetables (not legumes, not grains, but vegetables)
-Not a single solitary Cheerio, Cheeto or Pepsi would even come close to making the list.
From a macronutrient perspective, it’s just an objective fact, from a health perspective, that there are certain things that are true about humans. We’re not pure carnivores like wolves, but we’re also not pure herbivores like cows.
-We’re omnivores and as such we need some protein, some veggies, and some healthy fat, not just only one of those three things.
So, while there are definitely a number of differences in what people ate across cultures and times there is 100% an objective fact of the matter about a foundational human diet for human beings that is based on real whole food, nutrient-dense foods, and a balance of protein, carbs and fat. In the next video we’ll discuss where legitimate variation can come in.
Today we are going to talk about the following question, should everyone eat the same things? Should everyone have the same diet, or the same nutrition protocol?
This is actually going to be a two part video, in this video I’m actually going to argue that people should be eating roughly the same thing, from a health perspective. You’ll see what I mean by that, it ends up being very broad. In the second video I’m going to argue that people actually should eat very differently.
So, you might be wondering am I just really contradicting myself? Well you’ll see, hopefully, that I’m not contradicting myself. Rather, what I’m trying to argue for I that from a broad and general perspective there is an objective fact of the matter about what human beings should eat, and what nourishes us. That being said, from that basic objective foundation there’s a tremendous amount of variation in which human beings can both survive, and thrive. That’s what I’ll talk about more in on the second video.
In this video let’s talk about whether human beings should basically eat the same thing? Again, we’re talking from a health perspective, no a religious perspective, or an ecological perspective, or financial perspective. Those are all interesting in different perspectives, but we’re talking about from a health perspective.
Sometimes you’ll hear the claim made, well you know these people in this culture they eat that. Those people in that culture they something entirely different, therefore there is no one universal human diet. Well to a certain extent that’s certainly true. That’s one of the ideas of variability that I’ll talk about in the second video. But truth be told if you look at pretty much all traditional cultures, all of the blue zones on earth, these super longevity sites where people are people are living 100 plus years. If you look historically at hunter gathers, there is an objective fact of the matter about generally speaking what they’re eating.
Generally speaking what they’re eating is the thing we’ve been advocating for in all of our videos. Namely real whole food. Food that you could grow or hunt. Food that you can cook. Food that does not come in a bag, a box, a package, or a bar, or something like that. These traditional cultures were not eating highly processed seed oils. They were not eating Cheetos. They were not eating pizza. They were not eating cookies. Generally speaking, every single one of them has some kind of animal protein in there in some quantity. They have tons, and tons, and tons of vegetables. They have lots of fiber. They have traditional, and healthy fats.
Now you can run this all the way to different extremes, right? The Inuit have this super high protein, high fat diet from a sort of seal, and whale blubber. Then on the other side you have The Catawbas who have a super high carbohydrate diet of different starchy tubers, and things like that. But at the end of the day what they’re all eating is real whole food. The macronutrients might differ, and the micronutrients might differ, but those things are the same. From, kind of, a historical perspective there is an objective fact of the matter that we are all eating real whole food.
Don’t even worry about the historical perspective for a second, let’s worry about micronutrients. There is an objective fact of the matter about what micronutrients humans need. We need certain micronutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, K, C, all the B vitamins. We need certain minerals, like potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. There’s certain things that we can’t synthesize that other animals can. Vitamin C for example, we can’t synthesize that on our own, so we need to get it from the diet. We need certain omega 3 fats.
Again, when you look at that entire list, all the vitamins, all the minerals, the phytochemicals, the omega 3’s, and you look at the top foods that have those things, guess what? It’s all real whole food. It’s meats, veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, earthen spices. You’re not going to see Pepsi at the top of that list. You’re not going to see a candy bar at the top of that list. You’re not going to see any of those types of things. You’re not going to see canola oil at the top of the vitamin A list, or the manganese list, or even anywhere on the list. So, when it comes to micronutrients as well there is an objective fact of the matter about the fact that we, generally speaking, need real whole food for the purpose of health.
If you look at it from a macronutrients perspective … Micronutrients are those vitamins, and minerals, and omega 3 fatty acid. If you look at it from a macronutrients perspective in terms of proteins, and carbohydrates, and fats there’s a certain objective fact of the matter about our human biochemistry that necessitates eating a number of different things. Now of course there have been multiple different cultures that have survived on different balances of these things, but we all need some of these three different things. We are not obligated carnivores. Say like a wolf, or something like that, where they can utilize all that dietary protein for different needs in their boy. We’re not pure herbivores either, like a cow. Where they have two stomachs, and can convert plant matter into all the necessary things they need.
We need some protein, and typically we need some of that protein, all though not all of it, to come from animal sources. To rebuild muscle tissue. For hormone production. For neurotransmitter production. For all sorts of different things. We need some carbohydrate, the brains preferred fuel is glucose. We need some of that for our body to function. We need some of that for high intensity activities. We can’t store very much of it, but we need some of it for high intensity activities.
Then we 100% need healthy fats in there as well. The number one energy source for the vast majority of what you do on a daily basis comes from your fat in take. Actually you know, that’s what your body should be using to fuel the vast majority of what you do. So, we need some proteins, some carbohydrates, and some healthy fats. We can not survive on carbs alone. We can not survive on protein alone. Fats really the one we could come closest to, but even that gets a little bit hairy.
So, both to survive and thrive, there is an objective fact of the matter about the fact that we need this real whole food as a baseline to survive. When people say that they’re in different cultures, that they’re eating different things, and therefore there’s no one true human diet. Well to a certain extent that’s true, but it depends on what you mean. When we’re talking about the broad outlines of what everyone should be eating for health the answer is real whole food. Meats, fish, eggs, seafood, veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, things of that nature.
From a health perspective we do objectively need those things. But within that there can be a whole ton of variation. In the next video I’ll talk about that variation. All right guys, thanks so much for turning in. See you next time.