Monday, October 16, 2006

the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow

In the Middle Ages knights searched for the Holy Grail. Ponce De Leon Searched for the fountain of youth. Cortez searched for gold. Ahab searched for a big white whale. I search for the optimal diet. In my definition of optimal, nutrients come from food not supplements. If we need certain nutrients, we are, according to biology, required to eat those foods, or suffer the consequences of deficiency. In many cases, such as the tomato and lycopene, we have learned that trying to extract one particular nutrient with out the rest of the plant often does not provide the same benefit as eating the food itself. By and large getting our vitamins is easy. By eating a variety of meats (including organ meats), fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, and whole dairy, we can accomplish meeting our vitamin needs with out too much effort. One key part of this, however, is variety. Once we get into the Mineral side of our nutritional needs, things get a bit more complicated, and difficult, especially for those who keep their carb levels very low. Many of the richer sources for mineral content are nuts, legumes, and whole grains. On a side note, the more I research this, the more convinced I become that Nuts should be their own food group and you should eat at least 2 ounces a day. But, to use Sally Fallon's term, the "diet dictocrats" wouldn't like it as they are too high in fat. I digress. Now it is not only possible, but feasible, to prevent deficiency with out eating legumes or grains. The question in my mind however is, does prevention of deficiency mean optimum? I think not. Prevention of deficiency is like getting a C-minus. I'm looking for the A-plus. In typical US fashion, I want it all, not just to survive, but to thrive. A body that feels good, looks good, and performs well. Is that too much to ask?

2 comments:

Carol Bardelli said...

I'm always looking to optimize my diet too. I sure wish I could still eat nuts, I really miss them.

So I am the supplement queen. My husband looked at my collection of bottles the other day and said "They breed, don't they."

K. Dill said...

Because the real and the ideal seldom meet, I too take suppliments as insurance. For people who are unable to meet thier needs because of food intolerance etc then they are not "supplements" they are "necessities". For those of us who suffer from no such malady, they should be taken as a supplement to our diets, not used as an excuse to avoid certain foods. IMNSHO.