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
Acts 4:18-31 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
2 Chronicles 25:19 “You said, ‘Behold, you have defeated Edom.’ And your heart has become proud in boasting. Now stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you, even you, would fall and Judah with you?”
1 Samuel 2:3 “Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 16:5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
Micah 2:3 Therefore thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity From which you cannot remove your necks; And you will not walk haughtily, For it will be an evil time.
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