Tincup wrote:In my view, the worst case is that Gundry's approach is more restrictive than necessary.
Seems plausible. Certainly your ongoing experience of feeling energetic, strong, and happy shows that Gundry's diet is consistent with good health.
Also think diet may not be the most important variable in this whole exercise...
If by that you mean that there is a broad range of effective dietary patterns and that the results yielded by them vary only modestly, I agree wholeheartedly. Once one has a reasonable diet, I think the other interventions you promote like movement, strength training, sleep hygiene, meditation, stress reduction, multi-day fasts, natural light, exposure to temperature extremes, etc. offer much more benefit than dietary tweaking.
That said, epidemiologically, I think today it likely is
the most important variable. In my view, diet is the primary
cause of the worldwide epidemic of chronic disease that has afflicted industrialized societies over the past 40 years. It's certainly not the only
cause - sedentarism and environmental toxins are key secondary factors - but I think as a species we are proving collectively the old saw that you can't outrun a truly bad diet.
In my view, demonization of traditional foods is the foundation of that diet. I think humans have been persuaded to make three critical substitutions:
- Replace fat with sugar.
- Replace saturated fat with chemically refined oil.
- Replace nose-to-tail consumption of pastured animals eating traditionally with muscle meats from animals eating non-traditionally in confined animal feeding operations.
Sugar, refined oil (corn, soy, canola, peanut, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower), and sick meat (grain, soy, and sugar-fed cows, chickens, and pigs) are the building blocks of the hyper-palatable processed food which has swept the planet. I believe these substitutions are subtle and pernicious. Instead of directly encouraging us to eat lots of sugar, refined oil, and cheap protein, we are told that the traditional foods that fueled our species' rise to preeminence are harmful. And then when we replace those demonized foods, the gears of commerce deliver addictive processed food that makes us sick.
The substitution effect created by declaring traditional, proven foods harmful is powerful
- it hits us from our blind side. When we agree to avoid or reduce consumption of entire classes of nourishing food, we're left with narrower, more challenging paths to avoid being tempted by the foods that make us sick.
Around here, the sentiment against sugar and chemically refined oil and the comfort with eating more high-quality fat is strong. I don't think those valuable correctives to the world's "truly bad diet" need more support.
Saturated fat, on the other hand, especially from animals and even from pastured animals eating traditionally, still makes us edgy. We know that the guidelines advising us to choose canola oil and authorizing us to eat 2-3 tablespoons of added sugar daily are not right, but we still believe in lipid panels and the artery-clogging superpowers of saturated fat.
That's why I regularly stick up for saturated fat and especially why suggestions that avoiding saturated fat is "playing it safe" often inspire me to comment. Once we decide to "play it safe", we subject ourselves to a potent substitution effect by narrowing our path to a healthful dietary pattern.