For years I ate a refined, processed diet with a lot of sugar, flour, and soy bean oil. Basically, if you could boil down the main ingredients of most items in the aisle section of your supermarket, you'll get those three ingredients.
The Standard American Diet
A few years ago I wanted to make a change, and we switched to a mostly "whole foods" diet. It helps when you have a wife with very good health habits. We switched from breakfast cereal to oatmeal, from lots of pasta to brown rice, and from meals in a box to fresh fish.
The next phase of my health journey was to reduce carbs, even the unprocessed kind. The Atkins diet kicked it off, but it evolved, and I was eating a lot of veggies, salads, nuts, seeds, and cheese, as well as eggs, fish, and meat. I lost a lot of weight and felt great.
With my health challenge right now, which I recently posted about, I'm not doing a strict low carb diet, that's too much stress on my body, so I'm doing what Dr. Andrew Weil (expert in "integrated medicine," has a big, fluffy white beard) calls an anti-inflammatory diet. I basically did this before low carb. And it is actually a semi-low carb kind of diet, in that it really cuts out a lot of simple carbs, pasta, and bread. It emphasizes foods that do not raise your blood sugar. Not that I'm diabetic--I've been tested--but recent nutritional science has highlighted the importance on low glycemic index food, i.e. food that does not raise the blood sugar much.
Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet (ie way of eating)
The mechanism goes like this: with high glycemic index food dominating the diet comes high insulin levels, which causes inflammation, and inflammation is synonymous with disease and illness.
If you have a bad cold, eating a Snickers will probably make it worse, even an orange. Both are boiled down quickly to sugar in the blood stream, which increases inflammation (cue nasal congestion) and lowers the immune system. In a matter of just a few minutes!
But if you're trying to overcome an ailment--who doesn't have an ailment?--and if that ailment is largely due to inflammation, itself largely due to high carb food, then it makes sense to eat an avocado or some strawberries instead of that orange.
So that's my eating plan right now. Thoughts?