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Nutrition tidbits

This is extremely WIP and will be for a long time.

- Selenium -
- Magnesium and calcium -
- Manganese -
- Coconut oil -
- Obesity -
- Ketogenic diets -
- Beans -
- Whole vs refined grains -
- Cholesterol -
- The Paleo movement -
- Non-restrictive eating -


We are all likely deficient in selenium. Beneficial effects from eating 200 mcg per day have been found:

Data from the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer randomized trial have shown a significant protective effect of supplementation with 200 μg Se/d, as high-Se yeast, on cancer incidence and mortality with the most notable effect being on prostate cancer, with lesser effects on colorectal and lung cancers.

And yet, the average is a lot lower (archive):

The level of selenium intake in Poland ranges from 30 to 40 µg/day [70]. In Spain, the intake of selenium is 44–50 µg/day, in Austria it is 48 μg/day, while in Great Britain it is 34 µg/day [30,78]

The best food source are brazil nuts, with 100mcg per nut.

Magnesium and calcium

Scaled to weight, a wild howler monkey ingests 57 times more calcium and 38 times more magnesium (archive) per day than what is recommended for us:

Amounts of minerals that a wild howler monkey eats per day compared to human recommendations

In that case, even massively increased amounts compared to what we ingest today shouldn't be harmful (they aren't for those monkeys) - and might be beneficial. Even if we assumed that we metabolize magnesium 10 times better, that still leaves us with a 4 times increase that we probably should be getting. The commonly ingested averages (archive) are very close to the recommended amounts, which seem inadequate:

Estimates of people's magnesium intakes in various countries

This could explain why heart disease is the most common ailment of today's people, since magnesium is involved in a lot of heart functions.


Probably the most deficient nutrient in the usual diet, since the vast majority of common products (white bread, meats, oils, eggs etc) have very little of it. I'll let Jane Karlsson (an expert on this topic) speak:

The western diet looks almost as if it was designed to be Mn deficient. Lots of animal foods which have hardly any and can be very high in iron; lots of saturated fat which inhibits Mn absorption and increases iron absorption and lots of refined carbs whose Mn has been removed and replaced with … iron.
The importance of Mn in cell biology can hardly be overstated. MnSOD actually prevents aging.
I find this astonishing. It means Mn deficiency is arguably the most important cause of all the age-related diseases we see today.

And from another thread (archive):

The average manganese intake in the US is 2 mg/day. Surprisingly, the RDA is also 2 mg/day. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, it was decided on the basis of no evidence that the average intake was enough. It might be enough in a low-iron diet, but the western diet is very high in iron.
Manganese deficiency is implicated in diabetes, and the Ma Pi diet which apparently cures diabetes has 16 mg/day of manganese. This is 8 times more than the RDA.

The single best source of manganese is pineapple juice, and if you drink that, there is no need to worry about being deficient. Otherwise, beans and whole grains.

Coconut oil

This is definitely the best oil to use, and the others cannot even lick its boots. If I had to rate the oils in terms of healthfulness, the list would look like this:

Coconut oil has proven to have benefits against pretty much everything you can think of (archive) (and even what you cannot think of). This probably means it is affecting some fundamental processes inside the body - Ray Peat has some ideas about that (archive). On the other hand, you can barely find even one benefit for those other fats aside from providing a lot of calories. Olive oil does have some antioxidants but no proven beneficial effects in scientific studies as far as I can see (yes, I actually looked a while back), and the significant amount of PUFA might still be dangerous when fried. Butter is probably harmless but doesn't do much other than loading you up with calories and an irrelevant amount of a few vitamins. The reason other animal fats are worse is because they have more PUFA and it is actually the fat in an animal that is the storage organ for toxins. The only reason coconut oil isn't recognized as the elixir of Gods is because of the cholesterol scare (even though CO won't raise cholesterol by a relevant amount, or at all) that somehow can't die yet.


It doesn't happen because of overeating. This should be obvious - after all, everyone of us knows someone who eats however much they want and doesn't gain weight, as well as the opposite: the person who eats little but stays fat. Matt Stone's The Calorie Myth series should put that idea to rest. Here is a more direct disproof:

Going back to this natural diet has changed gorilla behavior. Before, gorillas only ate during a quarter of their day because the food was so packed with nutrients. Now at Cleveland, they spend 50-60 percent of their day eating which is the same amount as in the wild. With all this extra eating, the gorillas have doubled their caloric intake, yet at the same time have dropped 65 pounds each. This brings their weight more in line with their wild relatives.

The currently accepted model of obesity (archive) is based on the idea that the more food you put inside your mouth (and the less that is "burned" through exercise), the more will end up inside your fat cells and increase your fat mass (we could call it the "gas tank" model of obesity). If you read that link carefully, you will see that even when they admit some factor other than overeating is responsible for obesity (e.g medications), they still try to spin it as it "making you eat more". So, the current theories cannot look beyond gluttony and laziness as explanations. They, of course, need to assume that the only function of bodyfat is energy storage - which is totally wrong (for example, toxins are stored in the fat tissue (archive)). If we realize this, then isn't it rational to assume that the body increases the fat size because it wants to have a place to stick the toxins, instead of the person getting fat because the "energy balance" of their fat tissue became positive?

The mainstream theories also assume that energy storage (or "burning") is the only route food can go through. Bowel movements alone completely destroy that idea, when you realize that fats can come out in the toilet (I mean, do you really think that if you drank a tub of olive oil, you'd absorb everything from it?). I cannot find science to directly test that, but I have found (archive) a study that shows a herbal formulation increasing the amount of fats that go down the toilet. Another example is how a high fiber diet more than doubles (archive) the amount of fats and carbohydrates dumped through the bowel route. Therefore, it is obvious that the amount of ingested food doesn't directly determine the amount of fat gained (as in the previously mentioned "gas tank"). Now, this doesn't mean that those ways will necessarily make you lean - but they do give the body a way to dump energy through a route other than "burning", changing the focus from obesity being caused by an influx of food to the conditions of the body.

It is universally accepted that every other tissue (muscle, bone, brain, tumor, etc) has many mechanisms in the body regulating its size. Why - then - think that the body somehow loses its regulation capabilities for only the fat tissue, and the problem is suddenly about human behavior? Saying that someone became fat because food went there is like saying that someone grew hair or a tumor because food went there, instead of being the result of complex biological mechanisms. Yet that is what everyone (including scientists, fitness trainers, nutritionists, or other experts in the field who should really know better) is doing today.

It annoys me greatly how the caloric theory has consumed obesity thinking for the past century when there hasn't been any real evidence to show that it's valid. Even though every other disease is rightly recognized as a result of a multitude of different factors, obesity has been reduced to gluttony and laziness. I wonder if this isn't just a hidden desire to play the blame game against fat people, finally having a chance to surface. Either way, as long as that attitude persists, obesity research won't progress and the people suffering from it won't get the help they need and deserve. By the way, journalist Gary Taubes (archive) has made many of the same points as me here - but fumbled right at the finish line by blaming obesity on the increased carbohydrate intake. However, his overall influence is very positive - unlike the "energy balance" dimwits who have imprisoned obesity research for the past century. After all, how can you figure out the factors making people fat when you have already decided it all boils down to their mental failings that make them eat too much and sit on their asses?

What to do if you're fat, then? Well, ensure you are eating a nutritious diet, for one. Vitamins, minerals, etc. are all involved in countless biological functions in your body, including body fat regulation. All other diseases are affected by low nutrition levels, so why expect obesity to be different? Again, don't try to starve obesity; it makes as much sense as trying to remove your chest hair by not eating - while ignoring the hundreds of hormonal, etc factors behind chest hair. Actually, Matt Stone has had success (archive) with the overeating approach to weight loss! Yes, you read that right. When you accept that the body is able to regulate its own weight when you give it what it needs, this is expected. I mean, how can anyone think that long term starvation (the Minnesota starvation experiment (archive) tested this, by the way - with the predictably abysmal results) is a good idea? Yet that is what all the world's authorities recommend to lose weight.

Obviously avoid ingesting too much of anything toxic like seed oils (archive) or SSRIs which increase the amount of fat tissue in your body (which in those cases is seemingly trying to protect you by stashing away the toxins). Add coconut oil which seems to send the body into overdrive in terms of using instead of storing energy. But I think it's because of the overall good effects it has on hormones etc, and thinking that it's simply "speeding up metabolism" is just falling yet again into the caloric trap we've tried hard to avoid (because, if we stopped using coconut oil, then surely "energy expenditure" would decrease, and we'd get fat again? But no, that's not necessarily so if you take bodily regulation into account). Of course, I don't claim to have all the answers for obesity, but it's a start. There are surely more factors other than eating, like good sleep, lessening needless stress, etc. Coming up with anything more substantial will first require removing the grip that the caloric theory has on all things obesity.

Ketogenic diets

They are unsustainable, pointless, and dangerous. You are required to remove from your diet food groups that are not only harmless but very beneficial. Whole grains, fruit, beans, potatoes and honey - for example. Certainly anything close to a "normal" life will not be possible anymore. You are pretty much left with just meat, eggs, butter, cheese, nuts and some vegetables. But even the nuts and vegetables have to be curtailed (archive)

Be more careful with slightly higher-carb vegetables like bell peppers (especially red and yellow ones), brussels sprouts and green beans to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day. The carbs can add up. For instance, a medium-size pepper has 4-7 grams of carbs.

You really need to autistically count the carbohydrates (and protein) in everything that passes your lips, every second of every day. Even that, seemingly, isn't enough (archive) to bring about ketosis. Wow, that link is really gold. Someone was eating all the right keto foods, yet still wasn't in ketosis when he measured his ketones. So he had to drop the keto angel broccoli. Hahahaha...oh wait, it's not funny. You're denying yourself everything and yet still can't reach your prized ketotic state. And of course, if you dare to put a few slices of bread in your mouth, it's back to square one...for a week (archive). Do you know why it works like this? Because ketosis is fucking unnatural! If you look at hunter-gatherer groups (current or extinct), not a single one of them is in ketosis - not even the Inuit. Yet the keto cultists will try everything to reach that state for no reason, including butter guzzling (archive) or eating these keto delicacies:

Photos of dumb keto recipes

The reason you crave those abominations is because your body wants the real thing! It is begging to have a truck of carbs delivered down its throat. Don't you see how keto is just an eating disorder? Drop it and eat all the carbs you want, they won't kill you. In fact they are an essential nutrient (archive); here we have a keto talking point refuted over a decade ago that the cultists still haven't picked up on. And of course, if carbohydrates were an essential nutrient, you'd expect there to be many side effects from not ingesting them. And that is exactly what we see; hey, the cult leaders have even graciously collected them for us:

List of keto side effects according to the keto supporters

Fucking induction flu? Have you ever heard of a "high carb induction flu" or a "vegan induction flu" or maybe a "grain eater induction flu"? Why are we eating a diet that gives us a flu? Or for that matter any of those other listed side effects? Because I haven't heard of constipation or performance decreases for any other diet (aside from long term malnutrition). Anyway, let's check out what the physical performance (archive) page from the keto cult leaders says:

The second cause of reduced early performance isn’t as quickly fixed. It simply takes time for your body – including your muscles – to shift from burning sugar to burning primarily fat for energy. It can take weeks or even months. After the adaptation period, some may see significant benefits (see below).

So they know very well that keto destroys physical performance, but they pretend that magical metabolic changes will happen months down the road that will reverse all the bad effects (but even they admit that it's only some that will see significant benefits). Of course, those metabolic changes don't exist. Intense exercise relies on glycogen, which a ketogenic diet doesn't provide in enough quantity - because biochemically, it is created from carbohydrates.

Questions remain regarding if the adaptation period was long enough, but suffice it to say that this is still an area of debate without a clear answer.

We do have a clear answer - athletes need lots of carbohydrate because nothing else supports the glycogen-depleting activities of sports:

Graph showing high fat diets lower athletic performance even after a 7 week long adaptation period

After 7 weeks of "fat adaptation", the performance of the "fat adapted" subjects was still a lot worse than the carbohydrate-ingesting ones. Many similar studies exist (here is the one where that figure comes from, by the way). There is a reason why world-class athletes are not using low carb / ketogenic diets (and when they try, their performance inevitably tanks). You could say you need even more months of adaptation, but there is no evidence (or even a biological mechanism) anywhere, that such a prolongation has a point. And many athletes have already tried (archive) those long-term ketogenic diets with no magical metabolic improvements. If they happened, we'd have realized it long ago! Now let's check out what the keto cultists have to say about constipation (archive):

The prevalence of constipation on a low-carb or keto diet can be as high as 50% according to some studies. Clinicians familiar with low-carb diets, however, feel it is closer to 25%.

Yeah, that 25% figure surely saves keto when you realize that the regular prevalence of constipation is 12%. And keto is supposed to be a health diet, so it should score better than the average!

Anyway, one of the ways the cult leaders recommend to cure constipation is to eat more fiber - but hey, wasn't eating broccoli kicking people out of ketosis? There are some additional ways, but why deal with all of that when you don't have to? You can just eat fruit, vegetables, grains...and all the stuff will get pushed out. There's no way constipation is going to persist on a diet full of plants (unless you're lacking nutrition). By the way, herbalists recommend having a bowel movement at least twice a day; so the real prevalence of constipation in keto dieters (or anyone) is a lot higher than it seems.

There are a lot more (archive) side effects of keto (that the cultists won't admit to), like the very well evidenced destruction of thyroid function. But covering all of that in depth seems like a waste (as is keto itself). EDIT: okay, I couldn't resist. Look at the IQ-sucking, health-destroying (if you follow it) nonsense the keto cultists have spat out (archive):

6. Can low carb damage your thyroid? Not likely. If you eat a well-formulated low-carb diet, it’s very unlikely it will affect your thyroid negatively.

Although some studies of low-carb, high-fat diets have shown a decrease in the active thyroid hormone T3, it seems unlikely that this represents a clinical problem.

How the FUCK is it not a clinical problem when people are getting (archive) clinical symptoms (archive) over (archive) and over (archive) and over (archive)? Guess what the fuck is high cholesterol a symptom of? Low fucking thyroid!

For instance, some hypothesize that our bodies become more sensitive to thyroid hormone and therefore have a different “normal” range. Others suggest fat is more metabolically efficient, and therefore less thyroid hormone is required to metabolize it.

There is not a shred of evidence - or even a plausible biological mechanism - for this imagination. With everything else, if a result is seriously out of range, you assume that there is something wrong. For example, the usual amount of hemoglobin for a man is 14+, and if you have 12 that could suggest iron deficiency anemia or kidney disease or whatever. But the keto cultists would instead come up with some unphysiological bullshit theory about how on keto you need less blood or some other wild dream. Even when symptoms like tiredness or pale skin were staring them in the face. It is irresponsible to say something like this - and possibly harm the health of your readers - when there is no reason at all to do keto.

While these are just hypotheses at this point, they highlight how a change in a single lab value does not automatically signify a problem or deleterious change.

It's not a single lab value, but many - and they are accompanied by side effects that happen over and over. Effects consistent exactly with low thyroid function or diabetes.

Anyway, earlier - 5. Can you get nutrient deficiencies on low carb? - the cultists assume that the keto diet is nutritionally complete. Guess what? The nutrient that's missing in the keto diet are the fucking carbs! And as has been already shown by the multitude of keto side effects, they are very important. Another one is manganese, which is almost completely missing from a diet heavy in meat, eggs, fats and some vegetables - but is plentiful in grains and some fruit. And fiber (the amount in your usual meat+fat ketogenic diet is ZERO, the puny amount of vegetables adds only a little - remember that more than 500g or so of plant matter will kick you out of ketosis already), and vitamin C (same as fiber), and potassium (in keto you need supplements, plant eaters will reach sufficiency easily from their bean meals, bananas, juice or potatoes). Hell, did you know the that keto diet is literally the only one that's deficient in sodium of all things? The cult leaders even admit (archive) that In addition, on a low-carb or keto diet, your sodium needs may actually increase, due to increased losses via the kidneys. Why eat a diet that pisses away all your precious minerals? By the way, this fits right in with fructose increasing mineral retention (archive) - Fructose affects the body's ability to retain other nutrients, including magnesium, copper, calcium, and other minerals. Comparing diets with 20% of the calories from fructose or from cornstarch, Holbrook, et al. (1989) concluded "The results indicate that dietary fructose enhances mineral balance.". However, the rats on the sucrose diet, also vitamin D deficient, had normal levels of calcium in their blood. The sucrose, unlike the starch, maintained calcium homeostasis. And a ketogenic diet will have zero (or effectively zero) fructose.

The keto diet is based on the absolutely retarded assumption that carbohydrates are bad. Yet there has never been a shred of evidence for this idea. Carbohydrates have been exonerated from everything they have been accused of. They do not cause obesity, diabetes, heart issues or anything else (except proper functioning of the human body :D). Many populations eat moderate or high carb diets and enjoy very good health (such as the historical Hunza). Keto should have never become prominent (not even diabetes (archive) is a reason to do keto) but it has - all while helping cult leaders like Jimmy Moore make lots of money from selling their stupid books to unhealthy, desperate people.

What should we eat, then? Anything that isn't actively toxic (like the seed oils - but even using those every so often is better than an eating disorder such as keto), as long as the full diet contains enough nutrition. Do not let cultists convince you that a particular food group is the devil and needs to be exorcised. And do not get bogged down in the details unless you are genuinely fascinated by nutrition. That's it - but those simple instructions won't sell too many books, will they?


These posts have engraved themselves in my mind since I read them:

Recently Per Wikholm’s old friend and co-author came out with a book about beans and resistant starch in Sweden. He wrote it with a guy who suffers from T1D. The guy simply started eating 1/2 cup of beans with every meal, and this caused ridiculously stable blood sugars, which he didn’t have even on low carb.
I’m reading the book now. The T1D guy was on 100 units of insulin a day doing low carb. After adding the beans to each meal he’s down to 20 units a day (the authors comments that this is counterintuitive, adding carbs gives less insulin). Some days he can go completely without “food insulin”, only taking the baseline insulin. He also lost lots of weight.

An insulin dependent diabetic being able to drop 80% of his insulin dosage is just insane. This is in comparison to a low carb diet, remember - proving that the latter is not the best approach for diabetes. Modern medicine cannot touch those results, either.

Whole vs refined grains

Graph showing the loss of nutrients from refining grains

Speaks for itself. Please remember that all junk food, white bread and white rice is refined.


From an interview with Ray Peat (archive):

The high cholesterol that develops in most people as they age is another thing that, in the '30s and '40s, many researchers recognized that high cholesterol was nothing but an indicator of low thyroid, the same way low blood sugar was mostly an indicator of low thyroid. There were published studies in the middle 1930’s which showed that when you took out someone’s thyroid gland, immediately the cholesterol went up, and when you gave them a thyroid supplement, immediately the cholesterol goes down.

So, high cholesterol really exists because your body isn't converting it to the steroid hormones, etc - which biochemically are all made from cholesterol. And guess what makes someone low thyroid? A keto diet (among other things). In contrast, a high carb diet with lots of nutrition would likely be curative. Statins are very harmful (archive), and should probably never be taken.

The Paleo movement

The idea behind it is that we're adapted to a completely different environment than the one we're currently living in, and this disconnection is making us sick. Sounds great, and following this basic rule would mean that you:

But the execution of this movement could barely have been worse. Look, they fell right at the first hurdle. Here is a recommendation from Loren Cordain's (the person who invented the Paleo diet) website:

Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

Remind me when did those oils get invented? They can't exist without heavy technological processing that is very recent (less than 200 years) - exactly what the Paleo diet was supposed to protect us from.

I totally believe that - if people moved their diet and lifestyle in the direction of actual Paleolithic people - they'd be a lot more healthy than average. But that isn't what happened in the Paleo movement, and it seems that it was destined to fail. It is unfortunate that early on, it got taken over by the low carb / keto cultists (such as Mark Sisson, who still had lots of good lifestyle advice but pointlessly restricted carbs). Do you really think your ancestors would have dropped that juicy pineapple to the ground just because they thought carbohydrates were the devil? Lol (archive):

There’s evidence that several of the fruits we enjoy eating today have been around for millennia in much the same form. For example, archaeologists have uncovered evidence of 780,000-year-old figs at a site in Northern Israel, as well as olives, plums, and pears from the paleolithic era.

Paleolithic people also ate grains and tubers (archive):

Survival may have hinged on oats some 33,000 years ago at the Italian cave called Grotta Paglicci. Inside the cave, archaeologists have uncovered paintings and what must have been a cherished tool: a sandstone pestle about 5 inches (11.8 cm) long. Analysis reveals the pestle was studded with starch granules from a cornucopia of plant materials, including grasses similar to millet and what might be acorns, the researchers report in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But the most common starch was from oats.
Pre-agricultural people also carbo-loaded on the tubers of the purple nut sedge, a noxious weed; underground stems of the cattail, which may have been ground into flour; and the seeds of wild wheat.

Which were one of the factors (archive) that enabled the human brain size to increase (and create civilization as we know it):

Dr Hardy explained that after cooking became widespread and the salivary amylase genes multiplied, this increased the availability of dietary glucose to the brain and foetus which, in turn, allowed the acceleration in brain size which occurred from around 800,000 years ago onwards.

And so, the real Paleolithic diet does not provide the rationale for rejecting fruit, potatoes, or grains. And yet the Paleo website even claims that keto or carnivore are diets similar to Paleo! Lolwut? Not a single traditional culture ever ate either keto or carnivore. Actually, the Paleolithic principles should prevent disordered eating like keto since the ancient man ate everything he could find. The Paleo movement should have distanced themselves from the keto cultists immediately; this might have been the factor that would have kept it alive and relevant. But the supporters didn't manage to figure that out, which spelled their doom.

Even in an alternate reality where Paleo did not become symbiotic with low carb and accepted fruit, grains and tubers as healthy parts of the diet - a true Paleo diet is actually impossible to do, and probably suboptimal anyway. Look, most of the stuff available in grocery stores (which Paleo man did not have, of course) has been selectively bred over centuries - and I don't see many Paleo authors recommending to base your diet on wild foods (which do have more nutrition according to some studies). In a wild situation the big problem for people (or any creature) is finding enough energy to sustain themselves. If you listen to this interview, for example - you will see how a hunter-gatherer's major focus is on getting food and not becoming food himself; agriculture bypasses this problem. It is also important to realize we've already broken nature hundreds of thousands of years ago (archive) when we started using fire, which has allowed us to extract more value out of things like nutsedges (archive) or eggs (archive). No other animal is able to do that, which necessitates relying on their in-built digestive capabilities to break down their foods, wasting resources that could have been used to develop a bigger brain (see for example the expensive tissue hypothesis (archive)). Juicers, by the way, could be considered fire++; literally take 15 carrots that you'd never be able to eat in one sitting, throw them in there and just gulp down the result. I wonder if juicing will create Ubermensch :D. Either way, the nature break allowed us to improve, and using cooked foods for your Paleo diet is an admission that nature does not have all the answers (some people did seemingly realize this and came up with the Raw Paleo Diet). This doesn't mean nature is now useless; we're still dependent on biological stuff as long as we're biological organisms - so Paleo does have a point here. Basing your diet on mostly industrial products, ignoring exercise, sleep cycles etc. will never be good for us. But the effectiveness of fire - at least - does mean nature supremacy is not absolute.

Again, I don't even want to be overly critical here. Paleo could really have been great (if its supporters stuck to what it actually means), so consider this section more like mourning a good friend that died instead of an attack. And this is all because of the LC / keto cultists as well as the businessmen that came in down the road to shill their worthless supplements (I'm sure archeologists are going to find the magical disappearing supplement factories from the Paleolithic era soon).

Non-restrictive eating

Almost every diet out there (whether that's low carb, paleo, ketogenic, carnivore, fruitarian, starchivore, raw, gluten-free, OMAD / warrior diet, GAPS, Peatarian, food combining) focuses on what food groups to restrict, or when. And yet we're sick at seemingly unprecedented rates, and our restrictive diets don't seem to be helping. Yes, I understand that the common diet is not necessarily a healthy one, but it still restricts many things. After all, do people on the civilized diet eat enough fruit, beans, or whole grains? And well, the proposed solutions just move the restrictions elsewhere. Maybe it's time to rethink the entire approach?

The human body has requirements for nutrients, and those are often seriously understated by the mainstream charts. By loading up on everything - whole grains, fruit, honey, leaves, nuts, underground storage organs, beans, eggs, cheese and coconut oil - you ensure all those are satisfied (mild quantities of meat are fine in terms of health, though come with the obvious ethical problems). All the listed restrictive diets will be lacking in one nutrient or another, leading to one deficiency disease or another (and they won't always have a diagnosis / medical name). Please remember that our physiological knowledge is not complete and might never be. Many things that are often considered "nonessential" by certain groups have proven benefits (carbohydrates, increased amounts of manganese / selenium / magnesium / calcium, vitamin C, short chain fats, fiber, spice ingredients...). There are also nutrients still being discovered, thousands of phyochemicals in plants etc. With this approach, you also prevent possible toxicities, since you are eating a little of everything instead of a lot of one or two things. And a lot of antioxidant nutrients might buffer the possible harms of anything bad you might be ingesting in excess.

People often start a restrictive diet, seemingly get results (because they removed an offending item or just added nutrients to their previously deficient diet), but eventually encounter problems. By eating a variety of food, you ensure that you ingest everything that exists, instead of relying on a diet theory to tell you exactly what you need or don't need and in what quantities (does anyone really think they are gods when they make such pronouncements?). This is pretty uncharted territory since most people seem to like their puritanism of avoiding animal products, grains, etc. But Matt Stone has had success (archive) with this approach in his High Everything Diet / Rehabilitative Rest and Agressive Re-Feeding / Diet Recovery. He seemed to like significant quantities of processed food, though, which might still be fine in an otherwise adequate diet. Optimally I might move the approach towards more natural products without becoming obsessive about it. This strategy might not be viable if you already have some disease that would necessitate restricting things; but at that point, you probably already know what you have to limit. But also don't assume that something necessarily has to be restricted, like sugar in diabetes (see the beans results). Find a way to get in as much nutrition as possible considering the ailments you have.

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