My philosophy on nutrition is probably very different than what you often hear from “health nuts” and for good reason. Health nuts often focus on hyped up nutritional philosophies, often jumping from one study to another only to find each of them invalidate the other. If the health nuts had their way we’d all only eat kale and bark and that probably wouldn’t even be good enough. I think it’s very unfortunate the nutrition world is so convoluted with people jumping back and forth and the only ones taken seriously are the ones who restrict your diet to be unenjoyable.
My philosophy on nutrition is pretty simple and much more relaxed relatively. There are a few main focus points, but I don’t like jumping to conclusions based on one study alone. I think nutrition is much more nuanced than that. Here are the things I think are important because they have been well-researched and proven over and over again.
- Don’t drink sugar. Even fruit juices can be harmful if drunk as a drink. The reason is drinks are very easy to consume and get digested very quickly. Fructose has a similar pathway as alcohol and can do serious damage to the liver, as well as leaving fatty deposits in your arteries leading to heart disease, and causes inflammation. This is very well studied at this point. I know there is a lot of confusion surrounding this because the US government set up a campaign blaming dietary fat on heart disease about 60 years ago when an epidemic of heart disease was spreading, but it was based on very limited research, and was more of a reactionary campaign than a scientific one. Since then the research has accumulated and it is very consistent. Fructose leads to the metabolic syndrome, not fat. Sugar and Carbohydrates should be consumed in smaller and slower burning varieties, like our whole grain bread and chips.
- Fat isn’t bad, only bad fat is bad. Saturated fat is fine, although it can lead to higher bad cholesterol it also raises good cholesterol. The only fat that is bad is the kind that can lead to inflammation like excessive omega-6 fatty acids, and trans-fat. Soybean oil is a big culprit, the most popular oil in most fryers across America unfortunately. Fortunately at Deli Volv, we use Canola oil as one of our main oils. Canola also gets a bad rap from the health nuts because it is GMO and its precursor, rapeseed oil, is toxic to humans. But in reality, Canola is one of the best fats because of its high levels of mono-unsaturated fats and its high levels of Omega-3’s (a fat that has been shown to have a multitude of health benefits).
- Get plenty of nutrients. I love using Romaine lettuce because it has all the delicious crunch and hydration of iceberg, but it is a powerhouse of nutrients.
That’s pretty much it. Most the rest you hear in the nutrition world is FUD based on limited research. You have to find your own caloric balance based on your activity level, but honestly I think plenty of the “health nuts” of the world undereat. I wish there were more balanced people in the world who sift through the good and bad data, but it often seems it is dichotomized between people who care and those who don’t, and the ones who care often make eating and living too difficult and unenjoyable, and the ones who don’t gave up on trying to understand it at all. At Deli Volv I hope to fill this gap and find this balance.
**About my Sources: I like using searches as my source because it is Meta and also auto updates to the latest studies. If you’d like me to link specific studies to backup any of the claims I made, or the claims I purposely left out (looking at you MSG, sodium and artificial sweeteners) please contact me, this is an area I’m very interested in and enjoy the dialogue. Another note: I left out the discussion of glucose simply for simplicity, while drinking glucose is also a problem that can lead to insulin resistance, I think fructose is the larger issue, besides they are usually paired and consumed together.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean_oil (this link contains the different fatty-acid makeup of several oils, including Canola)