I love, loooooooove, when people tell me what I should be eating. I always respond politely, elaborating my views on nutrition and usually quoting Jared Diamond at some point. I still get a little internal chuckle from this exchange, though. When people criticize you it’s their issue not yours, right? To be perfectly honest, this smug satisfaction is one of the main reasons that I’m still a vegetarian. No one’s perfect, ok?
I will further rationalize my douchey behavior by saying that I like getting people to think differently. You don’t have to agree with me, but if our conversation gets you to think critically, I’m happy. I hope being a vegetarian who is strong, rarely gets sick, and in great shape makes people re-evaluate their habits, and maybe even realize eating bacon for every meal probably isn’t the best idea.
Now to get to the meat of the article.
There is a lot of talk these days about needing more meat and less wheat in the diet, even outside of those who subscribe to that whole paleo thingamajig. (Don’t make me pull over and quote Jared Diamond!!!)
Most people do not need as much meat as they are eating, especially here in ‘Merica where meat is more important than water. Everyone’s nutrition is specific to them, but chances are unless you’re a strength athlete you can get by on well under approximately a bajilliontrillionzillion grams of protein per day. I mean, I know sitting at your desk all day damages muscle tissue, but fuck man. Don’t you think that’s a little overkill?
Can you eat healthy if you’re a meat eater? Duh, if you do it right. Does everyone need meat? No duh, if you do it right.
Bet you didn’t expect that twist! You just got Shamalan-ed!
Wheat are you taking about? Do you have to have it spelt out for you?
My take on wheat is exactly the same as my take on meat.
Do you need it? No. Can you incorporate it into a healthy diet? Yes.
This idea that carbs are the root of all evil is absurd. Hey, guess what foods have carbs in them? Broccoli, kale, spinach, bananas, bell peppers, etc. Grains have carbs yes, but carbs are not synonymous with grains. There is an obesity epidemic because people sit on their butts all day reading stupid fitness blogs and eat tons of processed, calorie dense, yet nutrient deficient, foods.
How long have people been eating large quantities of grains? Oh right, since the BEGINNING of agriculture/civilization. The obesity epidemic is only a little less recent than the paleo diet.
Is wheat the healthiest thing you can eat? No, but that doesn’t mean eating wheat is ruining everything in the world. I don’t think wheat is essential, but it is certainly better than a lot of foods out there. Not everyone can afford organic-grass-fed-free-range-college-educated beef and veggies all the time. So for those trying to eat better on a budget, grains can be a decent alternative to cheap frozen junk food. Wheat has nutrients, maybe not as many as kale or broccoli (most foods don’t), but wheat still has many more than a lot of commonly eaten foods.
Will wheat kill you? If you are allergic, yes. If not, no. Is it necessary for a healthy diet? No. Can a healthy diet include wheat? Yes.
The epic conclusion: when wheat and meat meet
Dogma sucks. Everyone is different. There is no one thing that causes people to be overweight. There are usually many. As far as wheat and meat are concerned, you can do with or without as long as your diet is not composed of too much of either.