What’s the healthiest way to eat? It depends on whom you ask. Many medical and nutrition experts claim to know the “perfect” way to eat for health, yet some of these dietary advocates disagree with each other in some fundamental ways. So, who’s right . . . and who’s wrong?
The truth is that there is no single way to eat for good health. As a species, humans are quite similar on a genetic level, yet as individual specimens we can be amazingly diverse. That’s why some people may feel great on a vegan diet while others prefer a paleo diet— two dietary patterns that would appear to be polar opposites. The paleo diet includes meat but excludes grains and legumes, while the vegan diet includes grains and legumes but excludes meat and other animal products.
How can both diets work? When planned well, each diet includes lots of vegetables and minimizes highly processed foods. Those are the common denominators of a healthy diet. From there, you can fill in the blanks to suit your tastes and your unique physiological needs by adding your choice of high-quality fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fatty fish), carbohydrates (whole grains, fruit, starchy root vegetables), and plant- or animal-based protein (legumes, soy, fish, lean sustainably raised meat, poultry, eggs, dairy). It takes a varied diet to get the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals required for optimal health, but there are many combinations of foods that can get you to that goal.
While everyone needs carbohydrates, fat, and protein, there is no “magic” ratio that you should be striving for, as long as you avoid extremes. In fact, a number of recent studies have found that the quality of the food you eat—particularly emphasizing whole foods over processed food—is more important than whether it’s low-fat, low-carb, or somewhere in between.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …
Luke 11:28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
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