I have an idea for a new book that I’d like to eventually write. And I had the thought that I could make notes for the book here in the form of posts.
The working title of the book is The Everything Diet.
No, it is not intended to advocate for eating large amounts of M&Ms and Coca-Cola as staples.
The premise is this: we humans have complex nutritional needs, and we can best meet those needs by eating a diverse and inclusive diet.
That probably seems obvious. And it should be.
But in recent years (or maybe for the past hundred years or so), there’s been a significant cultural trend toward dietary restriction.
Most diets that are promoted these days are, at the core, about restricting “bad” foods.
Sugar is bad, cut it out. Fat is bad, cut it out, Meat is bad, cut it out. Dairy is bad, cut it out. PUFA is bad, cut it out. Grain is bad, cut it out.
You know the deal. You’ve seen a lot of it, I’m sure.
But like so much in today’s culture, these diets are superficial. They grab attention and mesmerize us for a while, but they lack real substance. And when it comes to nutrition, a lack of real substance leaves us devitalized in one way or another.
Before I go on, let me add the caveat that of course for some people at some times, it may be appropriate to cut back on ice cream or coffee or grain or whatever. And furthermore, not everybody needs to eat some of everything all the time.
The Everything Diet is not meant to be a new religion that insists everybody must eat a bit of sugar and a bit of dairy and a bit of meat and a bit of bread every day or anything like that.
There are plenty of examples of traditional diets that have apparently sustained human cultures for thousands of years that appear restrictive by today’s global standards. The traditional diets of most of the people of North America didn’t involve coconuts and oranges, for example.
But the point of the Everything Diet is that the ideological restrictions that are en vogue miss what may be the most important point: we all need adequate nutrition, and that is a complex thing.
So by ideologically eliminating all grain or all dairy or all meat or all sugar or whatever, we may inadvertently be causing ourselves malnutrition.
In The Everything Diet, my intent is to demonstrate that we each have complex nutritional needs that are best met by a diverse and inclusive diet.
In the coming days, weeks, and months, I hope to publish notes on some of the arguments for these nutritional needs.
Although I am not certain what the structure of the book will eventually be, my intent for now is to break it down by nutrients such as vitamins and minerals – to look at the importance of each nutrient, the sources of the nutrients, and so forth.
I also intend to eventually publish some notes about some specific diets (low carb, grain free, sugar free, vegan, dairy free, etc.) and point out the potentials for malnutrition in each case.