So, which diet is the best? Did we find a winner? Thankfully, not. It would be no fun if we all had to do the same thing to be healthy and fit anyway. We did learn a thing or two about diets, though. We know their weaknesses, strengths, and also what they all agree on. Now, it’s time to go beyond diets and each one of us should find our own way of eating.

As we have seen in the previous articles, not even the three most popular diets of today are without flaws. It simply makes no sense to look for one specific meal plan that would guarantee perfect health for everybody. There will always be differences in location, food availability, genes and microbiome, personal goals and priorities. That’s why it’s not enough to choose the most appealing diet. We need to able to create a style of eating that best serves our current situation. Here are a few thoughts to help with that.

Get rid of highly refined sugars, grains, and seed oils

This is a recommendation for which we have convincing scientific evidence and is common for all of the top diets too. Choosing wholesome rather than processed foods should always be a priority.

Fill your meal plan with nutrient-dense foods

Best choices from the plant kingdom would be seaweeds, leafy greens, spices, fermented vegetables, berries, and mushrooms. Best animal sources are shellfish, fish, eggs, bone marrow, organ meats, and high quality dairy.

Listen to your body and your genetics

For some people a low-carb, high-fat diet could be a life saver, helping prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome and a host of other issues, while for others it can mean a sky rocketing LDL cholesterol and worsening of other blood markers.

Realize that health isn’t just about the food you eat

In many cases it can be just as important, if not more, to get enough sleep, move your body every day, manage stress well, maintain meaningful social connections, spend time in nature, get enough sunshine, find what you enjoy doing, and seek pleasure in life.

Remember that you are not your diet

No matter its name or its mission, don’t identify with your style of eating. That will only make it harder to back away when it doesn’t work. You are trying to find what works for you and that’s not an easy task. So make your diet work for you, don’t be a slave to an ideology. Keep it a choice, your choice.