For the vast majority of people, knowing what to eat is downright confusing. And that’s no accident. (More on this at Core Principles, section: Mass Confusion.) Despite all the confusion though – decades of research from the world’s most trusted research institutions, published in the world’s most respected scientific journals, have painted a very clear picture of which eating patterns tend to improve health and fitness, and which do not. The preponderance of scientific evidence suggests that a standard animal-based diet — where foods like meat, eggs and dairy are at the center of most meals — decreases overall health, increases the risk of numerous diseases, and reduces our lifespans. Conversely, the more plants you eat, the healthier you tend to be, decreasing your risk of many major diseases while increasing the quality and length of our lives. We dig deeper into these subjects in Optimizing Health.