Mainstream scientists blame our health problems on excessive calories in the form of red meat (and other foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol), fast and processed food, and sugar. Common sense and mountains of misinterpreted data appear to support this science, but the scientists have quite failed to realize that these things are problematic only when nutrient sufficiency has not been attained. An adequately nourished human body is very resistant to these substances, high salt, and the other whipping boys of mainstream nutritional science. Dentists make the same mistake about sugar causing cavities. Not in an adequately nourished body.
The problem is less what we are doing and more what we are not doing. We are not exercising enough. We are not controlling mindless stressors. Most of all, we are not getting sufficient nutrition. Even those who gobble therapeutic levels of multiple supplements fail to counteract the effects of chronically bad nutrition. Unfortunately, some nutrients of great importance to good health are still missing in the many aisles of supplements because scientists have yet to discover them.
Extending the hypothesis: these unknown nutrients are found only in the highest quality whole foods. A diet with inadequate amounts of these unknown nutrients accelerates ill-health. A diet with adequate amounts of them will support healthful aging.
A “square” meal is defined as a 700 calorie, taste-optimized meal, composed of whole foods, by weight four parts vegetables, one part complete protein source (meat, fish, dairy, or methionine-supplemented legumes), which exceeds the recommended daily amounts of all essential nutrients.
Nutrient deficiency, one of the major sources of our health problems, is preventable. One way to correct nutrient deficiencies without major changes in our current dietary would be to replace one’s least favorite meal by one “square” meal. Consumption of just one of these meals would meet the daily nutritional requirements for good health and would leave the average person with 1,300 calories with which to enjoy his or her favorite foods and drinks. This “Square Meal Diet” is thus considerably less restrictive than other “diets,” which require unusual willpower to follow for a lifetime.
Mainstream scientists believe that if the rest of the day’s calories were invested on fast or even junk food, general health would still deteriorate rapidly, in spite of the achievement of the recommended daily allowances of all of the essential nutrients due to the enjoyment of a single square meal. However, if general health follows the oral health paradigm, then the majority of scientists are wrong yet again. Surprisingly, given the protective power of the nutrient sufficiency of just one square meal, children do not suffer tooth decay, even with poor dental hygiene, when the rest of the day’s calories are devoted to junk food. Hard to believe, but true.
In this model, nutrient sufficiency is like a switch. Achieve it and we switch on good health. Fail to achieve it and we switch off good health.
Operationally, one would optimally work backwards from health measures to define a personal nutrient sufficiency, given a person’s diet and lifestyle. This would allow us to define nutrient sufficiency as a function of extreme behaviors. E.g., how much nutrition would combat binge drinking, defined as eight or more units of alcohol per day? Can a sufficient level of nutrition even be attained in that case?