I don’t like the word “diet”. As if everything was just about losing weight. Most of us want to develop a sustainable food philosophy that enables us to live optimally for the rest of our lives. Eating habits and the concept of a healthy food are evolving constantly, as our knowledge deepens. But certain things will most likely stay the same.
When new trends pop up, we can’t know the long-term effects until it’s too late. Debates about the official nutrition recommendations confuse and concern the ones who are questioning whether they can trust the authorities or the new thought-leaders. Common sense should keep us on track.
Food as philosophy
Many questions about food most definitely are philosophic. Do you choose to eat meat? What do you want to support with your choices? How important is health? What about the emotional aspect? Food philosophy can also be conceptualized as different trends, like veganism, raw food, or elitist foodie movement, just to name a few. The whole food system is a man-made process that continues to follow the path it one day started. Or could the food system of future be changed?
Food quite rarely even is considered a philosophic subject. Why?
“…perhaps the real reason why relatively few philosophers analyze food is because it’s too difficult. Food is vexing. It is not even clear what it is. It belongs simultaneously to the worlds of economics, ecology, and culture. It involves vegetables, chemists, and wholesalers; livestock, refrigerators, and cooks; fertilizer, fish, and grocers. The subject quickly becomes tied up in countless empirical and practical matters that frustrate attempts to think about its essential properties.” The Philosophy of Food Project
Indeed, many aspects to consider. For me, the simplified food philosophy is a combination of habits and ingredients. What you put on your plate, how much, and how you prepare and enjoy your meals. During the past five years, I’ve been transitioning from low-carb-high-fat to fitness (high protein & low-carb, low-fat), vegan and then Bulletproof Lifestyle. What I wrote a year ago, doesn’t fully apply to me anymore, since I’ve learned how my body reacts and what it needs. No diet alone would work for everyone the same way.
My reason for going the extra mile with testing and learning has been to find an optimal state of performance and well-being. Going from one extreme to another, I’ve learned that the golden mean, as average and boring it may sound, just simply may be the wisest decision.
Here are the fundamentals which I believe will have a place in my kitchen also in the future.
- Balance and diversity are important.
- The amounts and quality are key players. A small amount of something not-so-good doesn’t ruin the whole picture.
- Eating as much fresh, unprocessed foods as possible.
- Organic and local production for minimizing anti-nutrients and supporting sustainability.
- Paying attention to what the animal ate and in which conditions it was raised.
- Cooking method; the less processed, the better.
- A lot of green, organic vegetables: broccoli, green beans, cucumber, zucchini, celery, fennel, spinach, and kale. Green nutrient-rich goodness!
- Moderate amount of high-quality proteins: grass-fed beef and lamb, wild-caught salmon, organic eggs (ideally, pasture raised), grass-fed whey, and occasionally goat yogurt and cheese
- Moderate amount of carbohydrates: sweet potato, white rice, berries
- High-quality fat for satiety: avocado, olives, coconut, grass-fed butter
What goes around comes around
Most often key principles are shared by many different diets. Reasonable amounts of unprocessed, sustainably produced foods can hardly be seen as a risk by anyone or any regimen. Most important is to stay conscious of what you’re eating and question if it’s good on a long-term basis. Everyone needs to build their own opinion and own philosophy. For digging deeper, you might find helpful the Book reviews and Arguments For and Against by the University of North Texas.
Base your decisions on facts rather than emotions or general thoughts.