Most fruits have been genetically engineered (via selective breeding, not via the methods that people have been complaining about) to have more sugar relative to fiber than wild fruit. So I seek fruits that have been neglected by agriculture and have nutrient levels that are more like the fruit that our ancestors ate … hmm, I’m probably oversimplifying dangerously there. I suspect there are a number of wild fruits that aren’t especially nutritious, but my heuristic of getting more wild-caught fruit is at least slightly healthier than eating exclusively factory-farmed fruit.
I’m currently trying to get a paleo level of fiber using the heuristics that good food should have at least 25% of its carbs as fiber, and more than 50g of fiber per 2000 calories.
Saskatoon berries (sometimes known as serviceberry, shadberry, or juneberry) are my favorite fruit.
I’ve seen some highly conflicting reports about their nutritional value, but the most reliable-looking version says 140 grams of fiber per 2000 calories (32% of total carbs). The most convenient way to get saskatoon berries is in pie filling that has too much added sugar, but still has around 67g of fiber per 2000 calories.
I recommend adding generous amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon, and a few walnuts, and eating without any further preparation.
Baobab fruit has about 320g of fiber per 2000 calories (64% of carbs come from fiber!). I find the taste to be slightly less pleasant than that of a typical fruit, so I mostly use baobab powder as somewhere in between food and medicine, and also eat various baobab bites from nuts.com (alas, those contain fruit juice that dilutes their nutritional value a lot).
The Hadza get 7-15% of calories from baobab, and get little western disease.
Fruits that are less healthy, but have interesting taste:
Freeze dried durian
Freeze dried mangosteen
Freeze dried dragonfruit
A fruit that breaks my category system:
Avocados have a well rounded set of nutrients, and Trader Joe’s Avocado’s Number Guacamole is almost pure avocado, and more convenient than whole avocados.
if you shop at a grocery store that caters to asian customers, you should be able to buy taro roots that weigh several pounds, for a dollar a pound. It has more nutrition per pound (or dollar) than most other starchy roots, although not as much nutrition per calorie as sweet potatoes (I presume you already know that sweet potatoes are a good source of nutrition).
I just slice off a piece, microwave it, and add salt/potassium chloride. I find it especially valuable for feeling full/getting plenty of fiber on days when I’m doing protein fasts, as it’s unusually low in protein.
is made primarily from carrots and beets. It’s mainly a tomato sauce substitute for those who are allergic to tomato. It’s likely a bit healthier than tomato sauce, but if you’re currently satisfied with tomato sauce, then nomato sauce is likely not tasty enough to get you to switch (but it’s fairly close to being that tasty). I use it for paleo-friendly versions of pizza (crust: shredded carrot, egg, olive oil, and various flours) and spaghetti (with sweet potato noodles).
I use a variety of flours in baking that are generally healthier than grain-based flours:
- Green Banana
- Green Pea
- Sweet Potato
interesting, and backed by some trendy sounding hype. I don’t know whether there’s any reason to prefer them to other nuts. I eat a modest amount, for variety.
I’ve moderated my anti-grain stance a bit, and now cook millet occasionally. It’s got the nutritional features of a whole grain, and tastes more like a refined grain.
like popcorn, but with more fiber and other nutrients.
yet another legume, that isn’t particularly remarkable compared to familiar legumes. It’s a bit like a lima bean or soybean. Brami sells a lightly fermented version that’s a bit more convenient than a typical bean, and fermenting likely adds some nutritional value.
For canned beans, I recommend Eden Foods, since they’re soaked overnight and pressure cooked, eliminating some possibly harmful lectins.
like almond milk, but with a higher nut to water ratio, and minus the vitamins/minerals that get added to almond milk in order to make its nutritional profile more infant-oriented.
Not whole foods, but likely still fairly healthy:
Pegan thin bars, chocolate lava:
Each of these bars has a whopping 26 g of fiber. It probably a good omega-6/omega-3 ratio, but I can’t find good evidence about that – it uses de-fatted Sacha Inchi seeds, which have a great percentage of omega-3 in any fat that remains, but I don’t see any info about whether the de-fatting leaves much fat compared to the poorer sunflower oil that they add.
Perfect Keto Bars – fiber, and plenty of collagen from grass-fed cows:
if you get most of you protein from animals, you likely have a poor glycine to methionine ratio. If you eat lots of milk or eggs (Mealsquares?), that ratio is even more likely to be poor. It only takes a little collagen to fix that ratio. (The Pegan thin bars also have a good glycine to methionine ratio).
Swerve or pure erythritol:
fairly natural ways to sweeten foods while adding almost no digestible calories. It’s hard to know whether these are as safe as not using sweeteners. They taste fairly similar to regular sugar, maybe cause mild digestive problems in some people, and work in some but not all baked goods.
Most people should be getting more potassium relative to sodium (with important exceptions for people who take some trendy(?) drugs). Regulations restrict many convenient ways to do this, but it’s pretty easy to replace table salt with potassium chloride salt.
Green mussel pills:
if you want something healthier than a vegan diet without causing animals to suffer, but don’t like oysters, green mussel pills seem convenient.
Liver pills (from grass fed beef):
a relatively natural way to get some B12, B2 (riboflavin) and folate.
Wink Frozen Deserts:
taste a bit like ice cream, but have almost no calories. They’re mostly water, with some inulin and pea protein.
I bought a scale that weighs food to the nearest gram for my alternate day calorie restriction diet, and that has been better than measuring by volume for a variety of cooking tasks.
Finally, one food that I likely won’t get around to trying: Hákarl (aka rotten shark). It apparently takes months to make it non-poisonous. How did someone have the patience to discover that process?