A simplistic approach to diet
Do you find yourself endlessly searching for that secret diet that will keep you slim and healthy without feeling deprived and succumbing to cravings and binges? With all the information (or shall I say MISinformation) out there, and wars going on between the die-hard vegans and carnivores, low carbers and high carbers, it's hard to know who to trust and believe.
STOP! Erase all your beliefs about diets now... Done? OK, keep reading.
Ask yourself this one simple question: if there were no supermarkets and you had to find your own food right now, what would you eat?
If it is summer where you live, you may find a small handful of wild berries or grapes. You may find a few crab apples. You may also find some seeds or nuts, especially end of summer heading toward autumn. You may also choose to plant a garden and grow fresh produce. All of these available sources of food would likely provide around 10-15% of your daily caloric requirements. So where do the rest come from?
As you are busy exploring your environment and gathering these foods as well as sourcing fresh drinking water, you would be hunting for nutritionally dense, fatty animals. So during that time, you would be fasting and burning up your own fat stores to produce chemical energy to fuel your cells.
Once successful in your hunt, you would feast on animal protein and fat to get your remaining caloric requirements just before the sun goes down and you call it a day. And not only would you consume the muscle meat of the animal, but also the organs, skin, cartilage and fatty bone marrow. The fattier the cut of meat, the more nutritionally and energetically dense it will be, providing the optimal substrate for maximal energy production within mitochondria.
You could also do some fishing if you are within proximity of streams, creeks, rivers, lakes or ocean, as well as hunt for eggs and consume raw dairy from cows or goats.
Now on the contrary, what would you NOT be consuming?
1) Sugar or starch in high concentration
2) Nut or seed butters or oils
3) Vegetable oils
4) Grains including but not limited to wheat
In wintertime when the growing season is shortened or absent due decreasing power densities from our sun, you would rely solely on animal protein and fat, as well as your own fat stores and would enter into a state of nutritional ketosis. This allows your body to shift primarily to burning fatty acids as fuel and also generate ketones in the liver as an alternative energy source to glucose to make up for the deficit.
Additionally, a high intake of protein can indirectly supply the body with glucose by converting amino acids through a process that takes place in the liver known as gluconeogenesis, and protein is also known to inhibit appetite which can offset hunger in a time of low food availability.
This allows the body to tap into more of its fat storage which has now expanded after consuming higher amounts of carbohydrates in the autumn when they are still available as the sun's power density weakens and the metabolism subsequently slows down.
Most do not realise that our metabolism adapts to the external environment (i.e. the solar and thermal cycles) primarily rather than dietary choices, and so the autumn sets up a mammal to fatten rapidly if glucose is consumed in excess.
The cold weather then drives a shift in the metabolism toward fats as the metabolism is up-regulated for heat production since the goal of surviving winter is regulating our body temperature to maintain biochemical reactions.
In essence, when we face a cold stimulus and allow for adaptation, we become ultimate fat burning heat generators and melt away our accumulated fat stores while improving every aspect of metabolic function to reverse insulin resistance and a mild diabetic state induced in autumn to prepare for potential famine.
So the takeaway is that we work hard for the foods we eat, and we eat foods that are coded by the solar cycles.
When we follow nature's patterns, no diet can hurt us, we simply consume what we can source. It is when we step outside of nature's laws and break the rules by consuming imported foods or artificially grown foods year round that we begin to experience symptoms of a broken metabolism.
The fact that we can simulate summer year round with artificial heat and light does not help the signalling within our body to allow for an adaptive shift in metabolism to cope with a lower energy yield caused by a decrease in solar power. Living this way year round, coupled with an excess consumption of glucose whether from natural (imported) or artificial sources, is going to break the metabolism no matter how much exercise is done in attempt to offset the mismatch.
Humans always have, and always will thrive on a mostly nutritionally dense ketogenic diet, with some mild sources of glucose consumed at the appropriate time of year with the appropriate amount of sunlight energy to drive the metabolism to convert the food into energy.
The argument for ketosis is that much stronger when you disconnect from nature and sunlight for any given reason at all aside from the seasonal transitions.