Healthy eating and orthorexia

One danger of striving to be überhealthy is the risk of falling into orthorexia and fragility. The goal of health should be resilience, not neurosis. While I’m sure every biohack offers a theoretical benefit, you have to ground yourself by thinking of a spectrum from useful to extreme.

Here are five potential lifestyle upgrades, and my opinion of whether they’re worth it.  

1. Toss aluminum baking sheets and ditch cooking with aluminum foil in favor of stainless steel baking sheets. Aluminum is a heavy metal that could leach from your cookware into food. Yes.

2. Switch from making coffee with Keurig k-cups to ground coffee beans, to avoid a dose of aluminum and microplastics with each cup of coffee. Yes.

3. Give up coffee because it contains substances that deplete your body’s stores of vitamin B1. Not yet.

4. Switch from eating beef —> to bison or lamb —> because of the better amino acid ratio of methionine to glycine. Some background: Our ancestors ate animals from snout to tail, and in our modern diet we do overconsume muscle meat. Bison and lamb are better choices to avoid excessive consumption of methionine vs. glycine, which can lead to elevated blood levels of homocysteine. More glycine and less methionine is especially important if you suffer from a rare genetic mutation in the MTHFR gene that impairs your body’s regulation of homocysteine levels. For me, sequencing your genome to optimize your diet still strikes me as extreme. I’ll make that a 2030 resolution. No.

5. Leave your egg yolks runny when you cook your eggs, because thorough cooking of the yolks breaks down the beneficial HDL cholesterol you could otherwise consume. In reality, dietary cholesterol has little effect on serum cholesterol. And unless your family or guests understand what you’re trying to do, they probably just think you don’t know how to cook eggs. No.

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