Why are we shooting for the bare minimum when we could have optimal health?
Let’s play a game. If I told you you needed to get optimal levels of, let’s say, Vitamin D, E, A, B, as well as zinc, magnesium and selenium everyday, what would you put on your plate today to make sure that happened?
Ding, ding, ding! I know! What about the Recommended Daily Dietary Allowances (RDA) listed on most foods? Isn’t that the nutritional sherpa we need?
I suppose the RDA is helpful to help you avoid age old diseases like rickets or scurvy, but the RDA is not so relevant in a conversation about optimal health. RDAs are there to help us prevent deficiency diseases. It was invented for people on rations during WW2. It was never meant to suggest optimal nutrition, which is the amount of nutrients required to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, etc.
In the last post I covered the fatal flaw in most diets, lifestyles, or eating programmes. We simply distract ourselves by focussing on the wrong destination. Usually it’s weight loss, but it can be other things too like gluten avoidance, ethics or the low RDA figures mentioned above. All of those things are good, but they don’t focus our attention on the critical end goal of optimal health.