I’m often asked what I consider to be the healthiest diet. Through decades of nutritional research and experimentation, I’m convinced that a diet of primarily organic, plant-based Mediterranean foods—including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy products (cow, goat and sheep milk derived) and healthy fats (mostly olive oil), with fish and seafood playing a key role as a main protein source—is by far the best diet for long term health. The term “pesca-flexa-vegetarian” comes closest to describing the diet that my family and I eat.
At one time it was fat and cholesterol, then it was yeast, and then salt. Today, wheat is considered the “villain” and the cause of many health problems. In the popular press, wheat is blamed for everything from brain fog, to dementia, to obesity and cancer. How can a grain once considered “the staff of life” that has helped to sustain humanity since approximately 10,000 BC now be considered detrimental to health?
Why Grains Are Not The Problem
Fueling this trend are so-called experts who are vehemently anti-grain, and in particular, anti-wheat. They profess that wheat is the root of all disease, and cite a great deal of research in support of their theory—but in my opinion, they are overly simplifying the complex science of nutrition, and are picking and choosing research (and misinterpreting studies) simply to support their platform. The internet is a great resource for disseminating information, and that includes misinformation. In my practice, I often hear statements such as “I’ve heard that eating grains causes cancer,” or “Everything I read on the internet says that the healthiest way to eat is to avoid grains.” As a result, I spend a great deal of time helping to correct these misperceptions and to provide my patients with a more balanced perspective.