Though there is no one scientific conclusion, it seems that (unsurprisingly) the answer is: a diet based on moderation and inclusion rather than on exclusion.
“Other evidence that there are many “healthiest” diets comes from the real world. In my work as a sports nutritionist, I have analyzed the diets of large numbers of world-class endurance athletes. This is an extremely healthy population. Without a doubt, most elite cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathletes would come out very near the top of general health rankings based on a battery of tests like the ones described above. Very few of these men and women are members of what I call “diet cults” (e.g. the Paleo Diet), which are based on the premise that there is only one correct way for all humans to eat.
Most world-class endurance athletes instead practice what I call agnostic healthy eating, a broad dietary approach where no food types are completely excluded but there is a heavy emphasis on high-quality foods such as fruit and fish.”
As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and who has failed to properly nourish her body at various points in her life (something that I think is, sadly, becoming the norm for many women regardless of whether they have ever had EDs), this is crucial to me. Recognizing that my diet could and should just be a balanced, happy and healthy relationship with food was groundbreaking. I am a total health nut, true, but I am never one to turn down a cupcake when I am offered.
Paleo nuts can do whatever they want, but I am going to keep eating the way my Mediterranean ancestors have been for years. Plenty of fruit and veg, healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, lots of carbs for fuel, and lean proteins.
Hey, it works for me (and it’s delicious)!
Peace, sweat and love,