Irvine dietician Dorothy Ziegler (no relation), R.D., wrote the book on maintaining a balanced diet—The Best Darn Book About Nutrition and Health, actually. But life's too short to stay balanced, so we asked her what's best for our body once our inner hunter kills and eats our inner gatherer.
OC Weekly: So, say I'm hypothetically going to eliminate everything that's not an animal product from my diet—the opposite of vegetarian. What advice would you give me?Dorothy Ziegler: Even if you did all fish, you'd have to be careful because of mercury—I'd say if you predominately have poultry, fish and lean-cut meats, and egg whites . . .
. . . and you could wash it down with a nice glass of milk?
You'd definitely need to drink lots of water. You have to be careful because you won't be getting enough fiber to maintain your gastrointestinal health, and you'll be missing a lot of antioxidants, which are very important. You probably would have some skin issues. And your lips would probably get dry. And you'd probably develop a vitamin B deficiency, so there'd be some cracking around the mouth. And probably hair loss—your hair would be brittle. And your nails, and you'd get sallow eyes—and you'd probably be dehydrated, too.
What if I took supplements? Lived off of meat and pills?
Well, that's possible. But there are a lot of benefits to fruits and vegetables we haven't discovered yet. I personally think "everything in moderation."
So what's the worst meat I could possibly eat—like poison in meat form?
Honestly, I think just—uck!—the worst thing you could put in your body is raw chicken. Or raw beef. Because of the salmonella. That's the worst thing you could put in your mouth. Or liver? I wouldn't do that more than once a month.