Food confusion

Diet cults, when a way of eating becomes an obession

From Paleo to Raw, there is a diet to suit every mood and personality type, and often followers advocate that their way is the best and only true way to stay healthy. Often their commitment goes well beyond the facts, people get emotionally attached and vehemently defend their belief in their chosen diet. The media has also got involved, reporting on the latest science with conflicting advice about whether or not to eat certain foods as they cause cancer or contribute to heart disease or cause obesity and everyone is totally confused about what they should be eating.

Often a lot of these diets are about cutting out certain food groups, for example the Paleo diet, if followed with the focus on vegetables rather than meat can be a good option for some, yet in order to integrate this way of eating with cultural eating habits, you can find “Paleo” breads and brownies etc, which are expensive and not all that good for you as they are often highly processed. Being a vegan, can also be extremely nourishing and healthy if you eat a diet full of different vegetables, fruit, quinoa, chickpeas, almonds, green juice etc but refined sugar, white pasta and lots of processed food can also be vegan and that’s going to be deficient in nutrients and lead to health concerns. Labeling a food as bad for whatever reason is limiting, creates stress and restrictions around food which can be unhealthy, not just to your body but to your overall wellbeing

For me I think getting obsessed with anything is not good for your health, and often people become obsessed when following a specific diet. One thing we can be certain of, that if there was a magic way of eating we would have worked it out by now. There is no single way to eat for optimum health, no single way of eating, in other words there is NO BEST DIET! Everyone is different and how we assimilate food depends on a number of factors such as genes, gender, age, physical requirements, and our nutrient requirements also depend on a multitude of variables.

Let’s start nourishing ourselves rather than using food as another way to punish, control or give meaning to our lives. Nourishment is not just about macro-nutrients, ie whether something is a protein or a carbohydrate but about how that food makes us feel and how much energy and nutritional value it provides the body. In eating this way we loose the “diet” label and make the focus on eating healthy food, that is locally and organically grown, and more importantly is unique and specific to you.

Jamie Oliver: Food is about the family, really. “Nourish,” to me, is nourishing food, nourishing your family, nourishing your life. When you eat and you’re fulfilled, it physically and chemically makes you happy.

Stop judging people by what diet they follow and what they do and don’t eat. If someone wants to follow a particular way of eating that is their prerogative however the way you choose to eat should not become a weapon to use against others. Respect yourself and other’s with their choices and focus on nourishment.