What should we eat?
“This magical, marvellous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal.”
Joel Salatin, Farmer
A logical follow-up to last week’s note critiquing the National Food Strategy would be to set out a summary of my dietary advice. Dietary advice should achieve two goals. First, it should enable us to obtain the nutrients that we require from food, Second, it should enable us to attain and maintain a healthy body weight. (The two goals are complementary).
Obesity was a major focus of The National Food Strategy, and I liked the way that it was positioned in the plan. The Executive Summary opened by saying "The food system we have today is both a miracle and a disaster." A miracle because it has managed to feed a growing world population (albeit unevenly) and a disaster because "the food we eat – and the way we produce it – is doing terrible damage to our planet and to our health." Obesity is a serious health issue in the more affluent part of the world and it’s an indication of a misuse of resources, substances having been consumed that caused harm rather than good.
The following has been adapted from The Diet Fix where I set out the basics about food and weight loss, before building on this to propose five principles for attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight (Ref 1).