Overthinking Food

Eating continues to get really complicated. Or at least some people make it that way.

I recently listened in on a video interview of three doctors discussing which diet is best – Paleo, Gluten-Free, or Vegan. After listening to them for about 10 minutes, I thought – no wonder people are so confused as to who to believe, and what to eat! Only one of them referenced evidence based data (vegan), and one outright stated that he didn’t care about the science (gluten-free), and respects anecdotal information more.

I have to admit, it’s a little scary to me to hear a physician say he doesn’t care about science. I understand that building worthwhile evidence takes time, but the notion that all of the evidence we have isn’t valid or worth consideration, is ridiculous.

Let me clarify – if you view the video mentioned here, please understand that these three dietary approaches are in no way “the only 3 ways to eat”, and I don’t really relate to any of them. As David Katz recently put it – eat the way you want to. Because between the doctors who can’t agree (or more likely simply want their idea of the “perfect diet” to be the one “diet” you follow. Hopefully we can reach a point where we can collaborate), and the psuedo-nutritionist media personalities out there such as the Food Babe who spouts nonsense, deciphering nutrition advice, in the words of Roald Dahl, has become a clustercuss. MrFox

I often agree with Dr. Katz about food, nutrition, and diet (Katz heads up Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, and is an MD and has a Master’s degree in Public Health). Of course, Katz has much more clout that I do, yet I fear still, that nobody is listening. Or at best, we are preaching to the choir.

Set aside, for a moment, your own set of rules (perhaps you are a vegan, anti-GMO, anti-packaged foods, anti-grain-fed beef, anti-Big food, or whatever your world view). Consider that when many physicians and dietitians like me make dietary recommendations, are not just thinking of you. We are thinking about a wide range of the population. People who span the full socioeconomic and sociocultural spectrum. People of all genders, races, and ages…There’s no way one set of food rules is going to work.

So – just eat good food. Work on the bad habits (because we all have them, and you know what they are). Use some common sense. Avoid fear-mongering.

  • Eat the best food you can.
  • Eat more fresh vegetables – buy what’s on sale, wash them, eat them raw, juice or blend them if you like, cook them, add them to soups. Find easy ways to include them into your lifestyle.
  • Have a fresh piece of fruit at least once a day as a snack.
  • Drink more water.
  • Slow down. Enjoy each bite. Try not to multitask when eating.
  • Enjoy whole grains, and limit the more processed ones.
  • Enjoy fresh bakery breads – but limit portions to about 2 slices a day
  • Enjoy small portions of poultry, lean beef, learn pork – choose mostly unprocessed meats.
  • Add more green salads to your diet.
  • If you have children, offer them milk with meals once they are weaned from breast milk or formula. Despite some fear-mongering that goes on about milk, data shows that children who drink milk have better diet quality, and generally consume less sugary drinks.
  • Enjoy the pleasures of eating and drinking – and do so without guilt, and without overdoing any of it.

Now get the cuss out of here and just go eat.

 

 

 

 

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