What is the healthiest diet you can eat?
There have been hundreds of studies conducted to try and find the healthiest diet on the planet, studies that look at gluten-free ketogenic diets to high carbohydrate vegan diets and everything in between. Ultimately the conclusion is often very similar: a diet high in plant foods, some lean meat, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty fiber is the way to go for good health.
One study found that the consumption of whole grains is linked to a 37 percent lower risk of liver cancer. Rates of liver cancer have been increasing in the United States and researchers are on a search to discover how this is linked to diet. Individuals who consumed the most whole grains (approximately 33g grams per day) were at significantly less risk than those eating the least (approximately less than 7g per day).
An example of a healthy whole grain is einkorn. Einkorn contains a completely different gluten structure to regular wheat so is less of a problem for those with gluten sensitivities and contains large amounts of key nutrients, vitamins, and fiber – which has been linked to improved general health.
This was explored in another study that conducted a meta-analysis on over 200 studies to ascertain the relationship between fiber and whole grains, and disease prevention. The study found that fiber consumption was linked with a 15 to 30 percent lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, and other comorbidities.
Gluten-free diets cut out whole grains in favor of gluten-free alternatives like white rice. While white rice is a better choice than processed gluten-free alternatives, it has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes compared to those who eat whole grains instead.
This was explored in a 2018 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition. The long term study ran for 11 years and found that individuals who replaced white rice with whole grain alternatives, had an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The type of whole grain you eat is also important. There is a big difference between the processed, hybridized wheat that is common in the United States that has had a lot of its natural nutritional value removed or refined. Einkorn is an ancient grain that still has its full DNA intact, meaning that it is nutrient dense and unprocessed.
One study supported this, finding that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to assessing what diet is best. The study concluded that high-quality carbohydrates like unprocessed whole grains (like einkorn) are linked to better health than lower quality carbohydrates of any quantity i.e. low or high carb diets.
So if you want to follow the healthiest diet on the planet, eat whole grains like einkorn and plenty of fruit and vegetables to see a reduction in disease and an increased quality of life.