I’ve spent most of my career within the ‘fitness industry’ and the ‘medical field’ as a nutritionist, writer, author, coach, personal trainer, and speaker. Although most of the people I’ve coached have been competing bodybuilders and fitness athletes, I’ve also worked with top athletes from most sports, as well as people just interested in improving their body composition or health. I’ve been around countless other coaches and ‘personal trainers’, and as you can imagine, discussed various topics and listened to their viewpoints and methods until my ears started to bleed. Not to mention all the clients that have come my way and sent me their previous disastrous meal plans for my evaluation. And that is what brings me to today’s topic – the total ignorance around micronutrients, bioavailability, bioconversion, and food sources.
From the hundreds upon hundreds of ‘authorities’ within the health and fitness community that I know personally, only a handful, if that, speaks of animal products being more than just a source of protein.
I’ve seen and heard the following ignorant statements a thousand times, and I still see them daily.
“Yes, meat is for quality protein, that’s why your meal plan has some it”, “oh, if you have a hard time eating that much meat, just replace it with some protein powder”, “yes, the vegetables are for, erhm, eh… for ‘nutrients’… and fiber”.
Yes. Animal foods are the best source of high quality bioavailable protein. But guess what? Animal foods are also the ONLY source of all bioavailable micronutrients – you know, all the vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to function.
We’ve already debunked fiber in earlier articles. There’s no evidence anywhere in any literature that humans need fiber, quite the opposite in fact. We also know about antinutrients, defense chemicals and the extremely low bioavailability and bioconversion of micronutrients in plants. You absorb close to nothing! Most plant ‘foods’ are simply fillers. And the starchy ones can sustain you, energy-wise, for short periods of time when animal foods might be scarce. Simply emergency fuel, void of nutrition.
Did you know that meat contains all the macro- and micronutrients you need – and in the right bioavailable form? If you can get quality grass-fed meat, you could actually live and thrive on that alone. Now, add organ meats that are packed with bioavailable micronutrients and you are golden! And as a bonus, you have seafood and dairy.
Dieticians, nutritionists, and coaches need to understand this simple fact. Humans are carnivores with the ability to be omnivores when quality foods are limited. Our natural diet is animal-based. And if you look closely at our stomach (pH) and digestive system, you can see that we also are scavengers. We were not only meant to hunt and trap animals, but also to steal and eat other predator’s fallen prey.
So… If you’re formulating a meal plan, the foundation needs to be animal-based. Plenty of meat, some organ meat, animal fats, and preferably some seafood. If it’s not based on this, the diet will be lacking in several micronutrients and it would be a crime against humanity to sell or give that meal plan to a client.
And if you think that vegetables, nuts, seeds or any other toxic plant ‘food’ are necessary for nutrients or fiber, you need to wake up. You’ve been duped. Do your research, and stop harming your clients!