Maybe I missed it, but I don't see how this question got bent to a "food reward" post. I don't know enough about food nutrition density and which three would be the "optimal" foods. However, if I were given 3 foods to eat and sustain myself, I would choose:
Grassfed ground beef
Guacamole (combo of a few items, but I consider it a single food)
I formulated my answer before seeing your full text, so the substantial overlap isn't because I copied you.
If I were limited to just a single food, I'd go with raw, grass-fed milk. If I got to add a second food, pastured eggs would be my choice. But with three foods, I get to branch out a bit more and include a starch and some fruit (to replace the carbs that would otherwise have been supplied by milk). So I'll go with:
For some of us with food intolerance issues we get stuck with eating only 3 foods for awhile until we can determine what we can tolerate. I think your list is excellent for nutrition, but for food intolerance issues eggs, sweet potatoes and liver can sometimes be hard on the system. My favorite three are beef with broth, potato, (white rice if you can't tolerate potato.) and romaine lettuce.
I thought food reward was learned and therefore stronger for known foods and weaker for new foods that had not built up an existing calorie-flavor association?
I thought that was why Seth Roberts recommended crazy spicing as a way to increase complexity of flavor and decrease the food-flavor reward pathway and that this was one of the reasons that junk food, being identical in flavor was so strongly associated with weight gain...
You guys, this isn't what food reward is about. I could eat just three whole foods and maximize food reward. Food reward has to do with flavorings and certain combinations of flavorings/macronutrients, and IMHO cooking techniques. Plain sweet potatoes or other starchy vegetables steamed or microwaved are absolutely the most unappetizing things I have ever eaten. I was trying to be strict paleo and eating them for lunch and I kept losing weight I didn't need to lose. But slice em up and fry them in butter...and I could eat them all day. You can eat as many different types of food as you like and be low-reward. I would say there are three simple things to do:
only non-industrial whole foods and no industrial flavorings like MSG
only raw, steamed, microwaved, or boiled foods
never combine fat, salt, or carbs. If you eat something sweet, DO NOT add fat/salt for example.
I can't vouch for grass fed raw milk because I've never had it and its unavailable in my state that I am aware of.
Honestly I would also go with your three choices of pastured eggs, grassfed beef liver, and sweet potatoes. I'm one of those people who can eat the same foods over and over and over. I rarely ever get tired of them. It's easier that way too.
Other then that, you could probably grow GMO marijuana with low THC content but large Cannabidiol content. Sounds natural and easy to make without any negative effects of synthetic stuff [Also, this is nice proof that nature always comes with poison and antidote in the same package]
Yeh, food reward is real, BUT, I find that diets a la Shangri La are idiotic. I don't say theory is idiotic, practice makes it so.
The problem with having someone pick three foods for you is that you might not be able to eat one or more of them. However that being said:
Pastured Lamb (or beef or bison)
White Potatoes OR Sweet Potatoes
I would also like to eat some wild salmon from time to time for health reasons. In addition some berries, citrus fruit and some green vegetables. The main modification I would make is switch the meat up during the week between wild salmon and pastured lamb or beef or bison. This is how the Perfect Health Diet mentions eating. Also allow yourself berries or citrus as well as green leafy vegetables from time to time.
This could be a typical day/ week for me in winter!
I'd definitely miss some fish, but that's it.
I don't consider this question as a "food reward" post!
And in my opinion there is something wrong to include "superfoods" in a 3-times list. It's really about quantities and you don't want to eat 3000 kcals with tons of eggs/ fish (omega 3 overdosis)/ seaweed/ goji berries or liver (vitamin A Toxicity).
but then again, i'm not sure how serious this question is and i miss the whole point!