Friday, April 15, 2011

How to eat naturally

I am reading here a critique on traditional diets, of which I am also a fan. In short, the author criticizes these diets because – in his words – they were based on specific needs and are completely irrelevant to modern conditions.

The second argument is by definition correct, so we will not deal with it. The first one though, while also true, is exactly what gives value to traditional diets.

When we are talking about traditional diets, we are either referring to people that still live in primal tribes or the primal ancestors themselves. In both cases, we have to accept that these people didn’t have many choices. They were eating whatever was available. This meant two things:

1. These people were only eating natural foods - meaning foods that occur in nature.
2. This process went on for so long (thousands of years) that this diet – whether we like it or not – became natural for our kind.

In other words: it doesn’t matter why our ancestors ate what they ate. Indeed, they did it because they had no other choice. The important thing is that they passed our genes to us, and thus their diet is natural to us, too. We are not that different from them. We haven’t had the time to change.

And finally, no one (surely not me) will ever suggest you should copy exactly the Masai diet or the Eskimo diet. What you will possibly hear is that we should eat naturally. And that is one big and unquestionable truth. Think about it next time you are faced with a candy bar or potato chips.

It goes without saying that the same issues hold true for exercise too. But this will be the subject of a future article.

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