Friday, January 6, 2012

The Grand Unification Diet is GUD

Today I am unveiling to the world the Grand Unification Diet. :-D :-D :-D
It's perfectly okay (and encouraged) to refer to it redundantly as the GUD diet (pronounced "good diet"). The GUD diet incorporates recurrent themes from all the most popular diets and welcomes insights from all the great diet promoters.

The GUD diet doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped. It is as much a philosophy as an answer. Though we already see clear answers, we are open to further insights and correction. So first let me introduce the GUD philosophy. Then we'll proceed to some introductory answers.


First principle: If a diet is popular, it may be doing something to make a lot of people feel better. So we examine that diet from all sides asking the question, "What are the key insights this diet brings to the table?"

Second principle: Rather than put down a diet or a promoter, we ask questions to try to extract the core insight that motivates that diet and its adherents. We are like a junk man at a dump, tossing trash behind us as we keep saying, "I know there's something valuable in here somewhere."

Third principle: The most important insights are repeated and shared by seemingly conflicting diets. For example, below the surface, both Atkin (no carbs, lots of meat) and McDougall (lots of carbs, no meat) are telling us that refined carbohydrates are harming us.


Here are examples of insights from some of the recent popular diets.

Atkins teaches us that a lot of our problems come from the way we've incorporated carbohydrates into our diet in the form of bagels, donuts, buns, tortillas, bread, pasta, and soft drinks, and sugary desserts.

Perricone teaches us that we are making ourselves sick with inflammation from foods we don't tolerate well including coffee, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.

Ornish teaches us that refined carbohydrates, stress, smoking, and excess animal products and fat are bad for us.

McDougall, Barnard (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), and Campbell (The China Study) teach us that excess animal products, especially cow milk, lead to the diseases of affluence like gout, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Oprah tells us that white food :-) is the problem.

D'Adamo (The Blood Type Diet and The Genotype Diet) says that our bodies all have different needs and sensitivities.

The Paleolithic Diet tells us that our bodies are not suited to subsisting on a diet dominated by grains and legumes.

Weight Watchers tells us if we weigh too much we can eat less, eat more carefully, and exercise more to lose weight.


The GUD Diet accepts a grain of truth from all these promoters. We observe a Grand Unification Diet taking form.

Refined Carbohydrates

Over and over refined carbohydrates surface as bad actors in popular diets. The most common culprits are sweeteners and refined grains.

Sweeteners (like sugar/sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) are added to drinks, desserts, and staple foods like breakfast cereals and daily desserts. We hear that these feed inflammation, infection, obesity, heart disease and contribute to an endless list of chronic conditions with long names. So we deduce that one of the first components of the GUD diet is the substitution of something else for anything in our diet that is sweetened artificially (with refined sweeteners).

Refined grains (like flours, especially bleached and degerminated) are used for breads, pastries, thickeners, pastas, tortillas, etc. We hear that these cause spikes in our blood sugar, fail to provide intestinal bulk, and also lead to obesity, diabetes, infection, heart disease, and long-named chronic conditions.

The diets repeatedly and unitedly tell us to substitute less refined treats and staples for the more refined versions. They tell us to drink pure water, juices, and teas. They tell us to eat rolled or cracked oats and wheat instead of oat and wheat flour (because of better insulin response). They tell us that pasta is preferable to bread (because of better insulin response) and that whole-grain flours are preferable over white flours. And they all agree that our health will improve as abundant colorful greens, vegetables, and whole fruits displace some of the grains and legumes that dominate the standard american diet.

Stress and Stimulants

The diets repeatedly tell us that in addition to foods we eat, stress harms us. So we deduce that an important element of the GUD diet is putting ourselves in touch with our bodies by eliminating habitual use of stress masking stimulants like caffeine and simple sugars.

Cow Milk and Calcium

Several of the diets tell us that cow milk is unhelpful for most humans, who are lactose incapable, intolerant, or sensitive. Some of the diets dispute with demographic studies our inculcated belief that only cow milk can keep our bones strong. They tell us that populations who don't have excess calcium loss due to high protein intake get all the calcium they need from greens, vegetables, legumes, and grains and have less osteoporosis than do we milk drinkers. So we deduce that the GUD diet would include very little or no cow milk and would not be a high-protein diet.

Meat and Eggs

Most of the diets, with Atkin and McDougall on the opposite extremes, recommend a moderate intake of meat and eggs, with a preference for fish and poultry over beef and pork. We are also aware in the 21st century of the emerging need (unrelated to the nutritional needs of the human body) to aim for sustainability in our lifestyles. So we deduce that the GUD diet includes some animal products subject to environmental sensitivity.

Poisons, Irritants, and Toxic Foods

The united voice of the diets warns about tobacco habits. Some warn of environmental pollutants in foods. Some of the more recent diets like GARD, GAPS, SCD, and Genotype/Blood Type tell us that some of our bodies may have long term difficulties with certain foods like corn, soy, or wheat. And depending on our ancestry there may be traditional or modern foods that are troublesome to us. So we deduce that the GUD diet may vary from person to person, and includes an element of personal experimentation with periodic abstinence from suspected food types as guided by our ancestry (family history) and our environmental observations.


  • Drink water, teas, and juices instead of sweetened drinks.
  • Eat whole fruit instead of sweetened treats.
  • Eat rolled, cracked, whole, and fresh instead of ground, refined, and packaged.
  • Reduce stress and drop stimulant and toxin habits.
  • Eat colorful greens and vegetables with moderate legumes and grains instead of cow milk.
  • Eat eggs, fish, poultry, and beef with moderation and sensitivity to their environmental cost in place of some of the standard legumes and grains of the American diet.
  • Eliminate known toxins like tobacco, trans fats, pollutants, synthetics etc.
  • Experiment eliminating your personal toxic suspects as guided by family history and popular elimination diets.
Let's eat GUD, my friends, and join with me in defining, pruning, and building the GUD diet.

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