There Is No "Best Diet"

  • I love the Paleo Diet.
  • I love telling people about the Paleo Diet.
  • I love telling them how great it is for losing weight.
  • I love telling them how great it is for improving blood pressure and cholesterol and blood sugar…

And yet, when I talk online with a single mom who works two crappy jobs in order to keep a roof over her family’s head, I realize that the Paleo Diet is far from perfect. Availability and cost are a significant barrier for Paleo wannabes.

The same holds true for Atkins and the Zone and the Mediterranean Diets.

And if it isn’t cost or availability, another reason many diets aren’t “best” is that the recipes are too complicated for the general public.

We live in a world where kids are no longer learning how to cook. Take-out and re-heating crap in the microwave has replaced home-ec  and cooking from scratch. Some of today’s youth can’t even identify different varieties of fresh vegetables.

And what about time?

Back in the day, Mrs. Cleaver had all afternoon to whip up dinner for Ward and the boys. Who has that much time on their hands nowadays?

Not our single mom with two kids.

She emailed me last week asking for advice on how she could possibly manage to feed her family Paleo meals on a severely fixed income in a neighborhood without fresh produce. She wants to feed her kids healthy food, but her life is getting in the way.

There Is No Best Diet….not even Paleo

So, what did we do?

We came up with a relatively healthy Paleo-esque hybrid that made the best of her income, free time, cooking skills and food sources. I also put her in contact with some healthy food co-ops in her area and recommended some cooking manuals she could take out from her neighborhood library.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better.

It’s the best possible diet for her current circumstances. And as those circumstances change, so will her diet (I hope).

And that’s how we should be judging the effectiveness of the latest fad diet.

Not just by their amazing claims of rapid weight loss or miracle health improvements. But also by…

  • the TIME required to prepare meals
  • the COST of those meals
  • the AVAILABILITY of the ingredients

There Is No “Best Diet”…but there is a best diet for your life.

And since my eBook,  A Paleo Diet for the 21st Century is totally free, that should help with the cost element of eating Paleo 🙂

0 thoughts on “There Is No "Best Diet"

  1. Good point. Despite the fact that the anti carbohydrate polemic incorporates the broader impact in regard to the conundrum that the poorest of the population are the fattest — going low carb isn’t el cheapo. I fact that’s the ruling significance of dense carbohydrate eating, isn’t it?

  2. This is why Health Habits is one of the few blogs I visit regularly. We all have personal bias when it comes to dietary philosophy, but in my opinion the people who really have the potential to impact others are the people who understand, “best” is often a subjective experience that has to be applied to an individual.

    Dietary philosophy means nothing, public health policy is useless, unless people can take that information and apply it meaningfully in their lives. That often takes understanding, sensitivity and the ability to think outside our personal box.

    Great post.

  3. I totally agree. The best diet for you is individual to you – precisely because you are an individual. Your genes are different, your environment is different, your lifestyle is different…

    A sustainable diet and fitness program is one that works for you, not against you, and indeed makes it easier to live your life, not harder. If you have to learn new ways to cook you are not likely to keep it up – but if you learned how to make healthy tweaks to your family’s favourite meals that took the same amount of time, you are more likely to stick to it. That’s something I’ve learned for myself, and it sounds so simple but really is a revelation.

  4. Also never forget that a diet, same as a fitness plan needs to be enjoyable to obtain the best commitment, results and longevity, We all have emotional connections to foods, usually ones that are not the healthiest. It is important to still be able to have those feel good feelings from your new diet to help lower your chance of slipping or cheating. For me homemade chilli reminds me of camping in the winter, ice fishing etc. I’d never want to cut chilli out but I can always make it healthier.That’s my 2 cents, I have about $5 worth of opinions haha but, there is 2 cents of itKurtisBLOG: