In most modern societies, the relationship that many individuals have with food has fundamentally changed from previous generations. People have shifted away from viewing food as primarily sustenance, and rather now seek out foods based on pure palatability or specific nutrition. However, it is far from clear what optimal nutrition is for the general population or specific individuals. We previously described the Food Triangle as a way to organize food based on an increasing energy density paradigm, and now expand on this model to predict the impact of oxidative priority and both nutrient and fiber density in relation to caloric load. When combined with meal frequency, integrated energy expenditure, macronutrient oxidative priority, and fuel partitioning expressed by the respiratory quotient, our model also offers a novel explanation for chronic overnutrition and the cause of excess body fat accumulation. Herein, we not only review how metabolism is a dynamic process subject to many regulators that mediate the fate of ingested calories but also discuss how the Food Triangle predicts the oxidative priority of ingested foods and provides a conceptual paradigm for healthy eating supported by health and longevity research.
Keywords: cardiometabolic disease; longevity; metabolism; obesity; oxidative priority.