Ideal human diet?
There is no single ideal human diet. The pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo diets all have pros and cons. As humans, we are omnivores, and we have evolved and adapted to a variety of different diets over millions of years.
Throughout evolution human diets have primarily been defined by geography and climate. These two variables have determined what types of plants and animals the environment will offer. In cold locations next to the ocean — think Alaska — people fed off of whatever the ocean would offer them. This involved diets that were very high in fat. Up in the mountains — think the Andes — native tribes would largely subsist on corn and have diets that were very high in carbohydrates. Out in the deserts herders would survive on diets that were very high in protein. And all three use cases never witnessed the amount of disease we see today related to western diets.
With that said I do think there is an ideal diet for every person. The only way to find it is through trial and error. There are things that work well for some and not so well for others. There are two basic principles that can help immensely in identifying an ideal diet and will have tremendous impact on results:
- Diets should consist primarily of plants and animals that come from quality sources that are organic, grass-fed and wild-caught.
- Think like a monkey. Would your ancestors have eaten it? Avoid things that have been proven to be poisonous to us such as junk food, alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, etc.
I used to hear all the time that our results are driven 70% or 80% by our diets and 30% or 20% by our exercise. I’ve learned by trial and error that both the 70/30 and 80/20 rules are wrong. The ratio is more like 90/10 diet/exercise. If you follow the principles above you will be able to afford the 90/10 rule and not have to work your butt off.