Omnivore Diet

Omnivore Diet

Fresh Look at the Omnivore Diet.

The Omnivore Diet is one of the oldest natural diets of all time but often misunderstood. So here is a breakdown of what the Omnivore Diet is and is not.

Omnivores eat plants and meat which includes both animals and humans. The debate over whether or not an Omnivore Diet is healthy mostly depends on the foods the Omnivore is eating. As was typical of the eating habits of creatures in the wild, omnivores ate whatever was available.

Todays Omnivores

In today’s Western culture processed food is what is most readily available and requires little or no preparation.

These foods typically contain high levels of sodium, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Most nutritionists would agree that these are not healthy choices. Some would say processed foods are not food at all.

Omnivore DietOmnivore vs. Vegetarian

When comparing Vegetarian and Omnivore diets, vegetarians almost always come out on top as the healthier choice.  However, in an article by Doug Dupont, (A New Look at Vegetarian versus Omnivorous Diets from breaking muscle.com) challenges that debate.

According to Dupont, people that follow a vegetarian lifestyle, overall live healthier lives. That includes eating better and getting more exercise than a typical Western Omnivore.

Furthermore, he challenges the methodology used to come to the conclusion that Vegetarian diets are in fact healthier.  The diets are compared based on how they score on the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS).

How Does Omnivore Diet Rate?

Dupont explains that the HEI uses the food pyramid which recommends consuming more grains than most nutritionists believe we need. Also, he points out that any meat other than fish scores poorly on the MDS.

Also, people who are active and require significant amounts of muscle mass for work or sports need more protein. Consequently, they can consume a higher percentage of meat in their diet without being unhealthy.

Omnivore DietAccess to Food

In his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan further critiques the modern diet compared to a traditional hunter/gatherer omnivorous diet.

In the days before global trade and transportation, people ate the foods grown in their communities. With the advent of modern day transportation, we now have access to foods that are out of season or not indigenous to the area where we live.

The increase in choices of foods increases the demands for these foods.  For example, people in Northern climates did not have access to citrus fruit during the winter.

Once farmers were able to ship their citrus fruit to the North in the winter, they needed to produce more fruit to feed their local population as well as the expanded Northern population.

Farming and Chemicals

This change in agricultural thinking led to increased fertilization and genetically altered crops across the United States and Canada.

As a result, even when we as omnivores believe we are eating a healthy diet by cutting out the processed and refined foods from our diets, we are most likely eating foods exposed to chemicals or genetic alterations.  The dilemma is finding food to eat that is local and has no exposure to harsh chemicals and genetic alteration.

Omnivore DietShop Local

There is a consensus that to eat a healthy omnivore diet; you should eliminate processed foods and consume greater quantities of vegetables and fruits rather than grains and meat. Fatty and sweet foods are not healthy choices either.

Shopping at the local food store and farmer’s market will help you find food that is native to your area and less likely to have been exposed to chemicals.

For a more in-depth look at the Omnivore Diet check out Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore Dilemma from Barne and Noble below.

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