What Does it Mean to Follow a Traditional Way of Eating?
When deciding how best to support your health with your diet, there are a lot of extremely well-educated people out there espousing a wide variety of different philosophies, and it can be hard to parse through all that information to come to your own conclusion. While we believe in the validity of other approaches for a variety of reasons, our recommended diet is based on tradition, history, and the broad outcomes of different societies whose diets focused on different elements. Overall, our recommendations are more of a philosophy than a restricted diet, and are broad enough so that any person can shape it into a diet that works best for them.
More specifically, we espouse a diet that is focused on properly ingesting fats, cholesterol, raw milk, farm-fresh ingredients, fermented drinks, and bone broth; when choosing meat, we recommend lean, pasture-raised meat. On the other side, we strongly recommend against processed and additive-laden foods, and also against packaged foods more broadly. Soy is also something we recommend staying away from if possible, and we recommend minimizing the amount of tea, coffee, and alcohol consumed (although complete restriction isn’t necessary.) Vegetables and fruits can be consumed as often and in as much volume as desired.
There are a number of reasons we espouse this particular diet. First of all, we believe that it is important to clarify that fats are not inherently bad for you, regardless of what popular opinion has taught. Human bodies need fats and cholesterol in order to properly function, and so the myth of “fat is bad” is just that—a myth. It is, of course, a good idea to steer clear of processed fats and other processed foods, but as long as the fat is natural, you shouldn’t be afraid of it. In addition, consuming a high-fat diet can help you consume fewer carbohydrates, since the body often craves carbohydrates when not enough fat has been consumed. As far as cholesterol goes, it’s important to remember that cholesterol is critical for proper brain function as well.
Secondly, we too often see fad diets taking over and converting people to unhealthy, unnecessary ways of eating. We believe the best diet is a flexible one that allows you to eat good, varied food that nourishes your body without depriving it arbitrarily. While very restrictive diets like keto or paleo can be good in certain circumstances, there is often no need to go that far when determining how best to fuel your body and prioritize your health.
Thirdly, eating traditionally allows you to know, with certainty, what is in your food. Eating traditionally means, to us, going back to nutritional basics. While any grocery story is full to the brim with processed—and admittedly delicious—foods, the reality of those foods is that they provide a wide array of “nutrients” that are bad for you, and not much good to offset them. In addition, due to obfuscation and lack of clarity—and sometimes even outright misdirection—when you eat packaged or processed food, you often end up eating things you didn’t necessarily want to eat, such as preservatives and stratospherically high levels of sugar or sodium. If you’re not careful, this can all too easily lead to overall declines in personal health. Even many packaged foods that advertise themselves as “healthy” simply are not.
Overall, although it may be tempting to be lackadaisical about your diet, it is clear to us that we all need to be intentional and thoughtful about what we put in our bodies. Simply wanting to eat healthy isn’t enough—we need to make intentional choices to do so. On the flip side, not much good often comes from highly restrictive intake prohibitions, and in worst-case scenarios such diets can even cause long-term psychological issues with food. A traditional diet is more of a lifestyle philosophy than a true diet, which allows people to more easily make reasonable choices about what fits into it, as well as providing a lot of personal flexibility in how and what you consume.