One of the most noted books of the year is “Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health.” I interviewed author Denise Minger about her book and her views on Paleo diets and whole food nutrition.
“Death by Food Pyramid is an exploration of the politics, wayward science, and chronic misinformation shaping (and damaging) our beliefs about food. Although part of the book discusses the food pyramid itself, it branches far beyond that to look at the last hundred years of nutritional science, our modern confusion about what to eat, and the areas of intersection among all health-promoting diet,” explained Denise.
“At its core, the book strives to help people think critically about nutrition and avoid succumbing to harmful dietary dogma — whether from the USDA or from a popular health guru.”
Denise defines science-based eating as “basing our diet on evidence of what works and is appropriate for the human body. In a world where so many fad diets are battling for the spotlight (and often mangle the truth in the process), science-based eating peels away the hype and focuses on finding what demonstrably promotes human health.”
And for those seeking the perfect diet, Denise offers these thoughts: “I think the quest for a “perfect diet” is inherently a dead end. Part of the reason we see people from all those different groups feuding is because they have, indeed, found success on their particular eating regimen — but are stuck in the mentality that there can only be one best diet, so everyone else must be wrong. There’s enough variation in human genetics, health history, gut ecology, and so forth to justify the idea that no single diet is best for all people. We each need something tailored to our individuality.”
However, she does feel that the ideal diet contains these components:
- Minimizes high-omega-6 vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and so forth) and uses traditional fats instead, like olive oil or coconut oil or ghee
- Includes nutrient-dense foods from both the animal and plant kingdoms (organ meats, shellfish, bone broth, fruits and vegetables grown in mineral-rich soil, fermented foods, dark leafy greens)
- Limits refined grains and sugar; uses lower-temperature cooking methods rather than harsh ones like grilling or frying; and for those who tolerate grains and legumes, properly prepares them by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting.