The search begins….
I want to start by firstly saying, I do have a bit of experience with this topic. I am a qualified personal trainer, which I think had more education on diet than the typical medical degree [Something the education systems need to address in my opinion- albeit it that the world of medicine is controlled by pharmacology], I studied part of a nutrition and human health degree, but openly admit that I didn’t complete university, and actually was nowhere near completing university. It just wasn’t for me.
So that said, I have been spending a large amount of time investigating whether there is a perfect human diet. The diet wars are real, and everyone from the Paleo crew, to the keto cartel, all the way through to the vegan tribe will claim their way is optimal, and supply you with copious amounts of scientific evidence to back up their claims as the most optimal way of feeding your body. The carnivores are the ones I struggle most with seeing the logic in the argument.
I was, and probably still am. However, I do have some conclusions from my research so far but must state it is only research so far. This will be an ongoing series of discovery into what humans should eat. Today’s post will outline the basics of what is needed in the perfect human diet. The essentials if you will that we must consume.
The human body has a requirement to consume certain things outside of just calories and water- H2O which of course much is consumed from food rather than in its natural liquid state. These are essential to not only thriving, but actual survival of the human organism.
Essential Amino acids are the building blocks of life and come in proteins we consume. They are essential as the body cannot self-synthesize these amino acids, and as such they must be consumed within our diet.
The most common source of these amino acids is a meat-based protein however a plant-based diet can provide most of the essential amino acids, however, Quinoa is a food which can cover the gaps in a vegan diet needed to provide all 9.
Essential Fatty acids are essential fats which the body must consume via our diet and cannot be synthesized by the body internally. Typically, these are found in marine sources [fatty fish etc]
There are no essential carbohydrates. Something you will see the keto and carnivore gang jump on the second you start this conversation around optimal diet and what is best for you.
So, having established the basics of what is needed in a diet. Calories, water, essential fatty, and amino acids, vitamins and minerals we have a foundation to start constructing the perfect human diet.
Whilst the diet wars will continue, across all these marketed diets there are some fundamentals which will remain true.
Eat food, that is natural or organic, in its most close to original natural form as possible. Eat a variety of foods, ad get your macro nutrients from a variety of organic and “real food “sources”.
When we look at calorie requirements, to maintain an equilibrium it is best to increase calorie output by increased activity daily, and not necessarily reduce calorie input. Of course, something different is required to reduce body fat and improve body composition.
My research has taken me in several directions, and I will share these over many blog posts as this journey continues. Epigenetics is a really interesting field I intend to study much more on and how they affect the diet which is right for the individual. You see, what has become very clear from my research is that there is no such thing as a perfect human [macro] diet, but there can be a perfect diet for an individual. Some of these on a macro level will be similar but of course drilling down into the detail is where the differences will start to show. I will also be reviewing the diets involved in the diet wars.
Get involved. Let me know in the comments what diet you follow if any, and what works for you!