This should be simple. We all overthink it. Here are some simple rules to live by:

  1. If you feel horrible after eating it, stop eating it

  2. If it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it

  3. If it’s white, don’t eat it

  4. Sugar=bad

  5. Vegetable oil=bad

  6. Diets=bad

It’s that easy. Does real food come in cellophane? No. Stop it. Don’t eat it. Most of the grocery store is garbage. Stay on the perimeter; fruits, veg, meats, fish. Almost everything in the aisles is bad for you. Besides maybe pickles.

Ok, rant over.

So knowing what not to eat should be simple. Let’s get into some specifics of what to eat. The easiest thing to do is eats tons of vegetables, with lots of variety, and raw is better. Fish and meats should be the best quality you can afford and also have a lot of variety. Meat on the bone is particularly good. Fermented foods and organ meat are also fantastic for you.

I recently heard a podcast from Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett called ‘The Ready State’. By the way, I highly recommend it; it’s entertaining and chock full of knowledge. Dr. Cate Shanahan was the guest and the episode blew my mind. I already had a good understanding of how to eat but my food selection has changed since this episode. I am seeing and feeling the results. Dr. Cate’s website has tons of good information, and she has written two books: ‘Deep Nutrition’ and ‘Food Rules’. Here are the ‘Four Pillars’ as Dr. Cate explains them:

  1. Fresh Food (antioxidants)

  2. Meat cooked on the bone (connective tissue and joint health)

  3. Sprouted and fermented food (gut health and immune system)

  4. Organ meats (powerhouse of vitamins and minerals)

I want to pay some special attention to vegetable oils. They don’t get a lot of attention and they should. We all know the damage sugar causes and is probably the number 1 thing to avoid, so I won’t elaborate on that. We are finding out that there can be catastrophic damage caused by vegetable oils, and they are EVERYWHERE. When you decide to stop ingesting it and start reading labels, it is terrifying just how rampant it is. Even in baby formula.

Why are vegetable oils so bad for you? I’ll let Dr. Cate tell you:

“These oils contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are unstable, and break down rapidly when exposed to chemical stress. Ever heard of varnish? It’s what carpenters use to finish wood. Varnish is made from vegetable oils, including soy and linseed (which is rich in omega-3, like canola), because these oils are chiefly composed of PUFAs. PUFAs react with oxygen in the air to help polymerize the varnish into a nice hard coating that helps preserve the wood.

Varnish is good for your floors, but not so good for your brain, your arteries or mitochondria. I elaborate on that below, throughout this blog, and in Deep Nutrition chapters 7 and 8.

A little bit of PUFA is not a problem for us, we actually need some. And when we get PUFA from whole foods like sunflower, chia or flax seeds, it’s well protected by antioxidants nature builds into the seed. These protectants get stripped away during the industrial scale refining of sunflower and the other vegetable oils, and that’s just the beginning of the problems with vegetable oils.

The refining process not only strips away antioxidants, it makes PUFAs toxic by exposing them to heat, pressure, metals and bleaching agents. This chemically alters the molecules into a wide variety of potent toxins with long names like 4-hydroxynonanal and 4-hydroxyhexanol, aldehydes, and others. These molecules are toxic because they promote free-radical reactions that damage our cellular machinery including mitochondria, enzymes, hormone receptors, and DNA.”

If you want more information, grab either of her books “Food Rules” or “Deep Nutrition”. Not a reader? Check out the ready state podcast to get the cliff notes version: HERE. Spoiler alert, you will never want to ingest vegetable oil again. However, you will feel better and look better.

For reference, here is a chart to help with your oil selection:

Christopher EllisComment