The easiest way to know what is best for your body is to get a blood test--yes, even easier than reading 10 books on the Paleo diet.
What many people do not realize is that foods affect people differently. You can be eating foods that you're mildly allergic too and never really know it. When you eat foods that your body as an allergy to, you get more inflamed. To put it in simple term: your hormones will slowly get screwed up and you're cholesterol may increase to compensate.
Ohh wait-- but doesn't this sound a lot like the Paleo Diet..ie not eating broad categories of foods that cause inflammation ... well, not really.
So, let's take me as a case study. Certainly, I have always found that I did better on diets that were low on bread, high on protein, and included vegetables. To be honest, when I did diets like Paleo, that keep you off of sources of complex carbs like rice, beans, wheat, lentils, etc, I felt less explosive and drained more easily. On the other hand, when I did just strictly low carb diets and still ate dairy, I found I could drop bodyfat very easily though felt even less energetic.
Interestingly, through a series of metabolic and food allergy testing, I found out that I'm allergic to many things such that I long suspected, such as gluten, as well as things that I probably wouldn't have guesses such as asparagus and melon. In other words, had I just stuck by a strict Paleo diet, I would still eat "Paleo" foods that would cause inflammation to my body.
Interestingly, I also noticed that I always trained really well in South America. Well, turns out, I'm not allergic to anything in a typical Colombian diet.
Ohh, even better, I'm not allergic to any type of meat, so once again, looks like I picked the right sport.
The Paradox: Specific but general guidelines
Most people who have been eating a Western diet can benefit from abiding by these broad guidelines:
- eat as much whole foods as possible. Yes, this includes green things like leafy vegetables
- avoid GMO's (mostly affects soy and corn)
- Never eat traditional fast food (just watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI)
- Especially if you have any acid reflux, bloating, hormonal issues, organ issues, get a very sensitive food allergy test like the one at www.foodallergy.com ; it's more extensive than what you'd get from a typical lab