What Is the Optimal Human Diet?
This is an impossible question to answer because there is no single optimal diet for every individual. That said, there are core principles of nutrition that apply to all human beings, and we can discover them in two ways:
- By looking through the lens of evolutionary biology, archeology, medical anthropology, and comparative anatomy and physiology; and
- By looking through the lens of biochemistry—what nutrients contribute to human health (and where are they found in foods), how do various functional components of food influence our body at the cellular and molecular level, and how do certain compounds in foods damage our health.
Looking through either of these lenses brings us to the same conclusion: the natural human diet contains both animal and plant foods.
What Is Nutrient Density, Why Is It Important, and What Diet Is the Most Nutrient-Dense?
The term nutrient density refers to the concentration of micronutrients and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, in a given food. Despite a high intake of calories, Americans have high rates of deficiency of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate, as well as the mineral iron.