If you knew exactly what makes a basic ideal diet—and my intention is that you will in about five minutes' time—you would have great power to take control of your own health.
Most people don't know, unfortunately, because what makes an ideal diet isn't common knowledge. Nutrition isn't taught in schools, and only a small percentage of us train as nutritional therapists.
The millions of articles and resources available to us in print and online help, but they don't provide a sense of the overall picture, and in many cases they just cause confusion. They also tend not to be inclusive, so people don't know what to leave out and what to keep in.
Raw one week, Paleo the next, fasting after that ... which is the right one?
I think this matters because it's just a basic scientific fact that our bodies need certain nutrients in the long term in order to function optimally. Without them, ill health is likely, sooner or later. And without having some sort of overall picture of what those nutrients are, we aren't going to know how to get them.
The reason I know what makes an ideal diet is because I'm a trained nutritionist and I've studied some of the healthiest, longest-living populations on the planet, whose diets marry nicely with what nutrition science has found.
Although we are all slightly different according to our genes, our environment, and how our genes and environments interact, there is a basic formula everyone could be taught.
Within that formula, there's room for tweaking and finessing according to individual needs and preferences, but the basic formula provides an essential framework for that.
So, without further ado, here is my basic, inclusive formula for what makes an ideal diet: