Dr. Edward M. Lang, DPM
Dr. Edward M. Lang, our foot and ankle surgeon and certified nutritionist ( Stanford University's Center for Health Education) recommends an ancestral diet rich in clean, quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. "I aim to help my patients achieve a lifetime of optimal foot health by integrating the most advanced, evidence-based therapies with ancestral nutrition. Moreover, optimal foot health is best realized when the feet are connected to a healthy individual." - Dr. Edward M. Lang
Eating an ancestral diet is about eating like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. It means consuming natural whole foods including meats, organ meats, fruits, wild honey, wild-caught seafood, quality dairy, and clean water. It’s avoiding nutrient-deficient processed foods, sugars, simple carbohydrates, processed juices, sodas, beer, wine, and alcohol.
Ancestral Eating Eliminates
- vegetable and seed oils
- refined sugar
- processed soy and meat substitutes
- refined, packaged products
- grains, legumes, and starchy-vegetables
Ancestral Eating Incudes
- grass-fed, beef, and other ruminant animals
- wild-caught seafood
- pastured chicken and eggs
- organic fruits, berries, and some non-starchy vegetables
- healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, tallow, and grass-fed butter
- grass-fed, organic dairy
- fermented foods
- raw, wild honey ( Manuka and buckwheat )
Tips for Adapting to Ancestral Eating
- visit your local farmers' market or co-op
- eat organic as much as possible, but especially when it comes to meat and dairy
- stop buying pre-made meals; meal prep controls calories and is budget friendly
- start a container garden
- raise backyard chickens (visit the free-range brood roaming New Orleans Podiatry Associates' campus)
- take a class on beekeeping (fresh honey!)
- check out Walmart for a wide selection of affordable ancestral foods, including grass-fed meats, raw Manuka honey, and a variety of organic produce.
Ancestral Eating and a Healthy Lifestyle: 15 Steps to Achieving Optimal Health
1.) Eat for your caloric needs based on height, body type, BMI, and activity level. Eating above your daily caloric needs results in excess weight. I have attached links to two calorie calculators below to help you determine your daily caloric needs:Calorie Calculator
2.) Complex carbohydrates are kept around 100 grams per day or less for optimal health. Some athletes do need more. Mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, and fermented vegetables are low in carbohydrates and are excellent choices for good health. Use the app below to track your carbohydrate intake:
3.) Do not consume flour, sugar, grains, and legumes; they are associated with inflammation and poor gut health.
4.) Drink plenty of clean, filtered water. Drink at least 100 ounces per day.
5.) Do not eat processed foods; avoid anything in a wrapper or package.
6.) Eat quality proteins and animal fats, including: pastured, free-range eggs and fowl, wild-caught fish, nutrient-dense red meats, rabbit, lamb, deer, elk, bison, and organ meats. Protein repairs tissues, and good fats feed the brain.
7.) Eat organic berries- they are antioxidants and have a low glycemic index.
8.) Eat quality, grass-fed dairy products in moderation. Quality dairy does not include processed cheeses and cheese spreads which are made with harmful chemicals.
9.) Avoid beer, wine, and alcohol; these are primary triggers for gout episodes and inflammation.
10.) Avoid seed oils; they are overly processed and can cause inflammation. Use beef tallow, butter, olive, and avocado oils instead.
11.) Participate in weight training and twenty minutes of cardio six times per week. The skeletal muscle is the largest organ in the body, and it is essential for burning fat and maintaining healthy biomechanics into our golden years. Cardio is necessary for maintaining heart, vascular, pulmonary, and brain health.
12.) I like the research supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting - but it is by no means necessary to achieve optimal health. If intermittent fasting is something you are interested in, the 16/8 method has solid research behind it. It is performed by fasting for 16 hours and eating your daily calories within an 8-hour window. The link below will teach you how it's done. If you have diabetes, speak with your primary physician or dietitian before starting intermittent fasting
13.) Spend time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine to relax and de-stress.' Grounding' or 'Earthing'- the practice of connecting one's feet to the earth to improve health and reduce inflammation- is supported by twenty-two evidence based studies; I have included a link to a documentary on earthing below. Additionally, meditation helps relieve stress, reduces inflammation and restores brain health. Try this free meditation app below.
14.) Socialize! Studies show that longevity and good health are correlated with an active social life. Connections with friends are essential. Put down your device and enjoy their company. Meetup.com is a great place to locate like-minded people who gather for friendship.
15.) Get away from plastics wherever possible- they disrupt hormones and wreak havoc on your endocrine system. One hundred ways to help you live plastic free are listed below.