There is no BEST diet from a health standpoint.
But, that does not mean there is no best diet for YOU.
I am sure there is. It’s just that it might not be what is best for me or your sister.
As I pointed out in the last post, the quality of the food one eats is more important than any label. So no matter what type of diet one follows, it should be a top-quality, nutrient-dense diet.
Furthermore, it is possible to be deficient in many nutrients very easily when one avoids animal products, because they are the most nutrient dense foods by far.
Therefore, if a person wants to be a vegetarian, I will ask “for health reasons?”.
If that’s the case, I might suggest a diet high in plants, but also one with meat and seafood, and then suggest metabolic typing to figure out what the balance should be.
I feel the best diet should be determined by testing their biochemical nature, their individual metabolic type.
If it turns out that they are suited to eating lots of carbs, and they prefer to avoid animal products, they can be put onto a health-supportive, nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet with my full support.
If the person is insistent that they want to be a vegetarian for ethical reasons, however, that might override anything their biochemistry might suggest.
I may point out that the work I do is to improve health. Therefore, if we discover it suits you to eat a more protein-based or mixed diet, I will have a hard time to support a vegetarian diet.
That does not mean that your dream of being respectful to the planet and its creatures need go out the window. I can help you to support your health and your ethical consumption of food, and your protection of the planet. I will meet you where you are.
If it suits you, I’ll fully support it, and help you to offset the potential for nutrient deficiencies, but if it does not, or if you are in anything but the best shape to do it, I won’t.
In terms of offsetting the potential for nutrient deficiencies on a strict vegan diet, this is something generally impossible without lots of time and access to many resources, or lots of money and access to many resources. In other words, being extremely well nourished as a strict vegan is the purview of the privileged. It is a luxury.
I feel it is important to mention that, as following a professionally balanced, high-quality, strict vegan diet and enjoying those benefits should then be seem as a privilege, a badge of having more, not of being more. I think it is important to realize that there are many people for whom being a healthy vegan is not an available option.
In my opinion, it should not be seen as something that makes one superior, but something one does with gratitude.
For some, vegetarianism comes easily. They are slow oxidizers and don’t do well on diets high in meat. They may also find that a lot of fruit and vegetables does wonders for many aspects of their health, and their skin glows.
A rainbow of vegetables certainly should be a large part of the diet of most people, and a very large part at that, but again, it is about what you tolerate. For some people, a carnivore diet is the most healing diet they can follow, at least for the time being. We are all different, and we are all worthy of health. I will support every person in their quest for the best health.
Compounds like fibre, polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids are highest in plants, so it makes sense that we should aim to have a healthy and inclusive diet, one with the widest variety of foods that our bodies can handle.
The art and science here is to discover what it is we handle.
That is why I bring to subject to the topic of Biochemical Individuality.
Catch the post by the same name where I will explain how we figure out if being a vegetarian is a good idea for you.