The most common question that Naturopathic Doctors are asked is, “What is the best diet?”
It’s no surprise. The choice of diets can seem overwhelming. Should they be keto? Should they be vegan? Should they eat whole grains or avoid them? Should they eat raw food or cooked?
The answer? It depends.
Not every diet is right for every person. The diet you need to eat for best health is different from that of your neighbour, or your cousin, or your best friend. And it’s almost certainly different from the formula in the latest cookbook.
There are, however, a few good rules of thumb that seem to work for a large number of people. Our favourite? Eat foods that nature makes, mostly plants, not too much.
This is adapted from Micheal Pollen’s book In Defense of Food, and it’s simplest dietary advice that we can consistently recommend.
- If nature made it, eat it.
- If it is a plant, not made in a plant, eat it.
- If you are satisfied, stop eating.
It’s simple, and in our experience, it works. Unlike fads that come and go, eating a moderate amount of non-industrial food seems to serve the vast majority of our patients well, and has for years.
Lately, our obsession has shifted from what to eat to when. Eat six small meals a day. Fast for 16 hours each day. Don’t eat after 6. Don’t eat before 11.
Let it go. If you are eating healthy, whole foods in moderation as outlined above, the timing probably makes little difference.
What’s the best diet for you? We don’t know–but experiences tells us that your body does. There are many people who eat raw food and feel great. Others eat raw food and they feel awful. Some go vegetarian and feel amazing, others feel completely wrung out. Some people can eat eggs and fill energized, others feel bloated and inflamed.
Eat real food, and trust your body. In our experience, that’s the best diet plan of all.