eating to be healthy is different because you don't really count kcals as heavily as BBer's tend to do and you don't take anything to the extreme (400+g protein/day etc). also for a healthier diet the types of foods are more important. for instance someone concerned with health might not eat as much tuna as BB'ers because of the mercury. then there are 'lifers' who always stay hypocaloric to try and slow their metabolism down and decrease free radicals and stuff like that which is believed to be the reason why we age and ultimately die.
there are quite a few differences, but unless you have a horribly set up diet as a BB it will be a very healthy diet.
"The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." -Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate
Can someone tell me what I should be eating for optimal health? Or maybe point me to an article? I've been reading so many body builder nutrition plans that I think I totally lost the consept of "eating for health" and right now THAT is what I need to be consentrating on.
Is there a difference between a bodybuilder's diet and a diet to achieve optimal health?
If so, what are the differences?
It depends on what type of BB diet you are talking about.
Competition BB diets are not healthy. The calories are too low, the carbs are too low, and the fats are often too low too... The diet is also too restricted which can limit the vitamins, minerals and other things that the body needs.
eg: there is often no fruits (vitamins and minerals), limited vegetable intake (for some diets anyway), limited fibre (so you don't bloat), very low levels of mono-unsaturated fats (such as olive oil and avocado), limited poly-unsaturated fats (nuts, seeds) and especially important in females, it often lacks calcium (usually due to no skim dairy).
However, at other times, the BB diet can (AND SHOULD) be very healthy. If done properly, it should be based around all the right types of things:
Lean proteins (seafood, poultry, eggs, game meats)
With limited packaged or processed foods.
There should be abundant vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, adequate carbs from high fibre, wholesome sources (grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables), enough healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oils) and no/very small amounts of the detrimental 'human made' compounds such as trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup.
In my opinion BB is not just about 'looking good'. It is about the total health of your body - inside and out. So those people who scoff down nothing but protein bars, powders and dextrose are not really in-tune with what it is really about.