1 the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats: a vegetarian diet.
2 a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons: I’m going on a diet.
• [ as modifier ] (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content: diet soft drinks.
verb (diets, dieting, dieted) [ no obj. ]
restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight: I began dieting again.
• [ with obj. ] put (a person or animal) on a special diet.
We often refer to a diet as the above verb or as a special food in which one restricts oneself to. All too often I her about some new fad diet because people have to lose weight. This is often due to health reasons, lifestyle changes, the latest celebrity ‘fad’, or preparing for the next ‘big event’.
I though see diet as a way in which we eat. Personally I feel that our diet should reflect a number of things. One of the first tings is looking at what we are genetically designed to eat. To paraphrase James Chestnut, if it roamed the earth or grows on the earth, then we are able to consume it in its most natural state. Pretty simple.
This means fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meat. Within this group we will gain our proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
You will notice that I have mentioned food in which we are genetically designed to eat. I believe that we should also be eating foods congruent with our heritage. For example, people who have grown up for generations in a coastal environment will benefit more form a coastal diet including fish. Those from the Mediterranean will look more towards a Mediterranean style diet, whilst those from Asia will have a diet traditionally different congruent to their region of origin. These forms and ways of eating will differ from society to society. My take home tip here is to eat how your ancestors ate. As close to your traditional way of eating as you can.
Not doing this is a bit like a cow deciding that it’s time to eat potato chips. They can do it, however they aren’t designed to do so.
There is also the question of seasonality. With greenhouses, fridges and transport, food is in plentiful supply all year round. Today I could walk into my local fruit market and find watermelon to purchase in the middle of winter. As a child, this was a summer speciality. My tip here is eat your fruit and veg that are in season.
When choosing your protein, look as to what it has been fed. What is the natural diet of the beef, or lamb, or fish that you are eating. In Australia most of the fish are farmed and are fed pellets and farmed animals such as cattle are grain fed. Grain consist of Omega 6 fatty acids (FA). These Omega 6 FA’s are stored in the fat of the farmed animal and subsequently consumed by us. An overabundance of Omega 6 FA can lead to problems within us such as inflammation, degenerative changes and arthritis. Even though we think we are eating well, we might not be. My tip here, look for wild caught fish and grass fed or wild beasts.
Your diet should not be the next fad. It should be a way of life.