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Long before the internet age, people argued about diet. We were told to avoid fats at all costs, only to be told that carbohydrates were the problem and to eat all the fat we wanted. In today’s age, the internet has made it even harder to navigate the world of nutrition. The number one argument in the natural health world is about diet. We have the keto diet, the Mediterranean diet, the anti-fungal diet, the raw diet, the paleo diet, and so many more.
But what’s the BEST diet? It’s simple: There isn’t one.
The “One Size Fits All” Diet Doesn’t Exist
The reason is that people are unique. We have different bodies with different nutritional needs. Although the USDA has issued standard dietary guidelines, the truth is that humans are just too unique to conform to any one diet. Climate, lifestyle, gender, age, race… these are factors that often result in unique dietary needs.
The science backs this up.
A new study tracked over 1,000 people in the U.S. and UK – including 240 sets of twins – for about two weeks. The study was thorough, tracking sleep and exercise, blood sugar and fat, and gut microbiota. The results were astounding. Even identical twins (who share nearly identical DNA) had different responses to the same foods.
A diet that spikes blood sugar in one participant may not in another. Foods which increased gut health in some people depleted it in others. Even the time of day could change the way that participants responded to various diets. It was abundantly clear that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” diet.
While there are some things that most of us agree on, like eating plenty of vegetables and avoiding processed foods and sugar, other questions aren’t so clear. Is fasting beneficial to health? How long should someone stay in ketosis? These are questions that scientists and nutritionists alike have been trying to answer for decades.
The Power of Personalized Nutrition
Nutrigenomics is the science of personalized nutrition – and it’s been a hot topic in the scientific community recently. Essentially, nutrigenomics looks at the relationship between diet and disease. More specifically, it looks at the way that our genetic makeup works with varying diets in an attempt to find the optimal diet for each individual to prevent disease. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.
It’s estimated that about half of all cancer deaths are preventable, many through lifestyle changes. Obesity, which is on the rise globally, is a significant risk factor for the top two causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, too many people are focused on weight loss as the only mark of nutritional success.
But what we choose to eat – and how that nutrition works with our bodies – is way more important than simply shedding a few pounds. When it comes to disease, there is no better way to GET healthy and STAY healthy than through nutrition. From inflammation and gut health to toxins and antioxidants, the food we eat is the single most important way to take care of our bodies.
The Truth About Our Diets
Some people say that a ketogenic diet is the only way to go. Others will swear that juicing saved their lives. Even more have used The Whole 30, a Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting, the DASH diet, and others. The science shows that none of these people are wrong! We can waste time in a futile debate about which diet is best…
…or we can learn from each other.
We recently travelled through several countries in Asia to discover how they were using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat and beat cancer. The number one thing we learned was the importance of nutrition. From fermented ginseng to cordyceps mushrooms, every expert we met demonstrated how nutrition was helping to cure their patients.
Each doctor was using a different combination of herbs and specialized diets to treat their patients. The lesson we took home is that no single diet is right for everyone. It’s essential that you find out what is working for YOU.
When it comes to finding the right diet, there are essentially two categories: universal truths and targeted nutritional therapy. Universal truths are the things that 99% of us can agree on and which apply to any type of diet. Targeted nutritional therapy relates to the specific ways that certain foods affect our health.
Don’t worry, we made you a cheat sheet!
In today’s world, it can be hard enough to find real food that offers real nutrition. Add the fact that most of these foods are soaked in, injected with, or genetically engineered to produce toxins, and it can be a bit overwhelming. No matter what diet you choose to follow, make sure you stick to organic, non-GMO, grass-fed foods.
Almost everything we eat today has been exposed to glyphosate, a dangerous herbicide that’s been shown to cause cancer. Fruit and livestock alike are being pumped full of antibiotics (even when they’re healthy), paving the way for ultra-resistant disease. And genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are either designed to survive an extra dose of these toxic chemicals, or produce the chemicals themselves.
Cancer cells LOVE sugar. They feed on sugar. And cancer isn’t the only disease that feeds on sugar. Increased sugar consumption has been associated with heart disease, inflammation, poor gut health, and immune damage. No matter what diet you’re on, limiting sugar is ALWAYS a good thing. Stevia and monk fruit are great, natural alternatives that won’t make you sick.
Excess sugar can also lead to something called “non-alcoholic induced fatty liver disease.” This is when excess fat caused by too much sugar makes its way into the liver, causing cirrhosis. Remember that everything you consume eventually makes its way to one place: your liver. It is the main organ where everything gets broken down into either energy molecules or waste. It can also damage your kidneys, crippling your body’s detoxification pathways.
Processed foods like hotdogs and nuggets, enriched white bread, or sugar-free sweeteners like aspartame should be avoided no matter what. Processed meats have been shown to increase your risk of cancer.
Aspartame and other chemical sweeteners can increase your risk of cancer, stroke, and dementia. Most breads you find at the store are engineered to keep you hungry, providing little nutrition, tons of calories, and a heavy dose of carcinogenic toxins.
These foods are generally loaded with artificial ingredients like preservatives and food dyes. They can be addictive and are often high in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates, which can lead to obesity. Whether you’re on a juice cleanse or preparing for a summer cookout, it’s absolutely essential that you avoid processed foods. You’ll be glad you did.
A typical keto diet recommends getting 75% of calories from healthy fats, 20% from protein, and only 5% from carbs. By minimizing carb consumption, we change the very fuel our body uses to make energy from glucose to fat.
Our liver breaks down fat to fatty acids and glycerol, which are further broken down into chemical molecules known as ketones or ketone bodies – and these are used as fuel by muscles and other tissues in our body instead of glucose. Multiple studies show that the keto diet reduces tumor growth and improves survival in animal models of multiple cancers. It also helps with enhancing the effects of other forms of anticancer therapy.
You wouldn’t think that depriving a person’s body of nutrition during certain hours of the day would have much effect on their cancer state, but it does. A 2009 study out of the University of Southern California found that cells respond to this period of being in “starvation mode” differently depending on whether they’re healthy or malignant. Healthy cells generally wait out this “lean period” by going into a type of hibernation mode, which protects them from damage. But cancer cells continue to grow because their genetic pathways are stuck in “on” mode, which makes them less resistant to stress and more prone to failure.
A recent report published in the journal Cell Stem Cell found that a 3-day fast helped regenerate the immune system as well as protect it from damage, even at the genetic level. A study conducted on those who practice intermittent fasting found that the practice regulated the number of proinflammatory cytokines produced by the immune system.
Juicing is a great way to improve your antioxidant levels. Even better, it delivers a serious nutritional punch. We talked about how much fake food is out there today. Juicing is hands-down the best way to get vital nutrients that support our health. Juicing is also a fantastic way to detoxify our bodies. According to my dear friend Cherie Calbom,
Your body is going to do what it’s supposed to do when you give it the right nutrients.”
And that’s true. When we load our bodies with healthy nutrition and cut out all of the toxic and inflammatory foods, they go into a natural state of healing. We’ve heard testimonies of people who have gained healthy weight after chemotherapy, lost excess weight after ditching the standard American diet, and even healed from cancer by juicing.
Do What Works for YOUR Body
There are plenty of other diets that can be extremely beneficial. It all depends on your body, your goals, and your health. If something doesn’t work for you, THAT’S OKAY! We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and no two people – even twins – are exactly alike. When it comes to disease and deficiency, you aren’t alone. And what works for some may not work for others.
The truth is that you CAN live a healthy, happy life. So much of the food we eat is toxic, fake, or loaded with junk we don’t need. Inflammation and cancer thrive on these diets, but you can make a change. So no matter which diet you choose, make sure that it’s natural, packed with nutrients, and (most importantly) that it works for you.
Because we all have different nutritional needs, it’s imperative that you talk with a health professional before making drastic changes to your diet. Unfortunately, most medical doctors only receive a few hours of nutritional training during their years of schooling. Your best bet is to find a holistic practitioner who can help you understand your body as a whole and recommend the best nutrition plan to get your health back on track.
Did you catch our recent webinar on diet & nutrition? There’s been a lot of bickering among health experts as to which diet is best. But no single diet is right for everyone. We’re here to help walk you through it. Watch the replay HERE!
There simply is no BEST diet.
Nutrigenomics is the science of personalized nutrition – and it’s been a hot topic in the scientific community recently.
Nutrigenomics looks at the relationship between diet and disease.
When it comes to disease, there is no better way to GET healthy and STAY healthy than through nutrition.
No matter which diet you choose, make sure that it’s natural, packed with nutrients, and (most importantly) that it works for you.