No Food Is Neutral
If you are reading this on my Longevity Athlete blog then I might assume that you know that in our modern world, we have to pay attention to our nutrition, and it can be a difficult topic to understand completely, and a difficult area to make big changes in.
Here are a couple ideas that resonate with me, and I’ve adopted as axioms to guide my own behavior:
For me, I regard no food as neutral. This food is either predominantly helping my body get stronger or its weakening it.
Or, in the words of Brian Johnson, as he opens up his quick summary of Dallas Hartwig & Melissa Hartwig’s book It Starts with Food , “It’s +1 or -1. You are making a choice with every bite you take. You are either getting more healthy or less healthy.”
My wife and some of her friends have found the program in this book hopeful for a certain kind of intervention they seek. I can’t vouch for it myself – especially since it is rather difficult to be paleo as a whole-foods nearly vegan/vegetarian – but I offer you the link for your own reference.
Another book that Brian Johnson summarizes is The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Gundry. He paraphrases the first rule of Gundry’s book, “”What you stop eating has a bigger impact on your health than what you start eating.” Or in other words, removing the items in your diet that are causing unnecessary stress on your body is perhaps more important as a first step than starting to add better items.
Again, I can’t give an opinion about the whole book, but I like many of the ideas and ways these concepts are described. You might find it helpful also.
While writing this my conscience is renewed for eliminating chips of all kind (corn chips, crackers, etc) – I don’t consume them that often, yet any time I do they do me no good and I can feel something unpleasant in my belly and gut in the minutes and hour after eating these. The challenge here is that my family requests these and it’s not a good idea to force them to go as far as I have – but that means these items are around the house and I have to put out extra effort to resist! Otherwise, I simply don’t bring home items that I don’t want to eat so then its easy.
If you would like to get some fairly short, engaging, verbal summaries of important books, especially non-fiction, then you may like the youtube channel Philosopher’s Notes TV with Brian Johnson.
© 2020, Mediterra International, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mediterra International, LLC and thelongevityathlete.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Last week I thought of sending a thank you note to you after reading one of Dr Greger’s posts but considering your busy world I decided not to.
But after reading this post I could not resist the urge. Thank you ever so much for all the books, professionals, ideas, approaches you have been sharing. They have been shaping, re-shaping the way I look at/do/think of things constantly. Thank you.
I think you are absolutely correct and I have the same experience when I eat intensely sweet things. I not infrequently will develop symptoms quite quickly resembling the onset of a cold. I’ve learned over the years to just say no, but the hardest time is when around other people who are offering it either as a meal contribution or in their home when visiting. Whenever I indulge I regret it.
While I agree wholeheartedly with Gundry’s quoted comment, I know at least two people who are involved in his recommended diet plan. I think it’s quite unhealthy and his followers devotion to it fit the definition of “cult-like” to my mind. He also sells a lot of “supplements” which should be a red flag. Diagnose a problem and then be the monetized answer to fixing it. I’m a skeptic when it comes to Gundry, but I do think paying attention to what we eat is one of the most critical disciplines for maintaining optimal health.