My grandparents’ diet was spot on

I literally wonder if folks need to look up the definition of a “fad diet.” Whether you are showing livestock or simply eating food, it apparently is cool to follow the latest fad or trend.

Diet is on my mind because I have heard far too many people speaking about diet without any true science on their side. Fat is such an essential nutrient and it should not be demonized. We have attempted to cut fat consumption for the past 50 years and chronic illness continues to skyrocket. It is quite simple: we need to get back to the basics.

I just read the latest published study on the importance of fat in the diet, this one from St. Louis University:

The research team, led by Kyle S. McCommis, Ph.D., assistant professor in biochemistry and molecular biology at SLU, looked at a metabolic process that seems to be turned down in failing human hearts.

In an animal model, drastic heart failure in mice was bypassed by switching to high fat or “ketogenic” diets, which could completely prevent, or even reverse the heart failure.

“Thus, these studies suggest that consumption of higher fat and lower carbohydrate diets may be a nutritional therapeutic intervention to treat heart failure,” McCommis said.

Ketogenic diet may be a fad, too, but the point I take from the science that continues to surface is that fat is an important and essential part of every diet; fat keeps heart and head function at its optimum.

Additionally, I finished a Rural Route Radio program with Wendi Irlbeck, a registered dietitian from Minnesota, and we spent most of our time talking about the simple concept of getting back to the basics. She emphasized the importance of animal products—milk, meat and eggs—and their role in the healthy lifestyle.

She really started her career in giving healthy living advice because she developed a keen interest in nutrition at the age of 11. As a very aggressive athlete even beyond her college years, she has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on what to do and what not to do in preparing for strength and stamina in both the mental and physical realms and how your personal diet plays such a huge role in the endeavor.

The one nutrient that Irlbeck and I totally fell in lock step with was the one called dihydrogen oxide. Yes, good old-fashioned water. Today so many want to find a boogie man in their food and I have my own idea that most are simply dehydrated.

According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

This is why I drink 1 gallon of water every single day. At the end of the day, any old cattle or hog feeder can figure these things out, if animals don’t drink enough, they just can’t perform as well. We need to get back to the basics. We shouldn’t demonize any particular food, we need to eat a moderation of all food groups and we need to exercise more than we eat. It turns out that the trend my grandparents had for a healthy living diet in the early 1900s would be far better than what we have today.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].