The nutrition world has got a little scary over the past few years. Everyone from degree qualified scientists to chefs to bloggers have an opinion on what’s healthy and what’s not. The wars are on between groups, with people being put down and slandered for their beliefs.
This, along with the plethora of information available online mean people are freaking out about food. About what to eat. And what not to eat.
Grains cause inflammation. Dairy gives you cancer. The oil you’re using is giving you cancer too. Gluten is killing you. Legumes must be avoided because of their anti nutrients.
Food has gone from nourishment to something that’s become a mine field to navigate if you believe everything you read on the internet. I see so many people confused about what to eat. And so many people stressed to the max about their food choices.
One of the things I read recently was a question around fruit on a Facebook page:
How much fruit should I eat a day?
Replies: “none! It’s full of fructose”
“2 pieces that gives you all your daily sugar intake”
“2 but don’t eat before bed because you can’t digest it properly”
“A sports nutritionist told me I should eat it after dinner if I was hungry?!?!”
Fruit is a natural, healthy source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It seems crazy that there is information out there that scares people off eating it.
To tell you the truth, I’m over the hysteria. I’m over seeing people freaking out that they ate 3 pieces of fruit. I’m over people being misinformed and frightened about what to eat and how to eat. I’m over people giving up oats as a nutritious breakfast because someone said they’d make them fat because of an insulin spike.
Let’s look at some of the healthiest nations in the world, the “blue zone countries”. Are they worrying about anti nutrients in their legumes? Are they afraid that their bread is making them fat? Are they avoiding dairy, gluten and fructose? No. (not unless they have a medical reason to)
What are they doing? They’re doing naturally what most nutritionists recommend. Avoiding refined carbohydrates. Avoiding excess sugar. Eating lots of plant based foods. Eating legumes. Chosing small portions of meat or fish (for those that choose it). Most eat nuts/seeds. Interestingly, “Blue Zone” diets are all different, but they have similar principals. In a nutshell, it’s like the famous quote by Michael Pollen. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
We are all different. Just because someone might feel great eating one way, it doesn’t mean you will. Your ideal diet will depend on your preferences, your medical history, your body type, your culture and your activity levels. Don’t feel like you have to follow what someone else is doing. Listen to your body, get nutritional advice if you need it, and do what is right for you, not what the latest trend is.
I don’t want to live in a world where I’m constantly thinking about what I can and can’t eat. I want to go out for coffee and enjoy a slice of cake occasionally. Would I be healthier if I never did these things? Possibly. Possibly not. But I know that I sure wouldn’t be happier. In my opinion, it’s about balance. Eating mostly nourishing foods, including some treats and listening to your body.
Want some help finding balance? Contact me here to work with me.