Let me preface by saying that this article should be read with a sharp mixture of sarcasm and seriousness.
Ok, so not EVERYTHING sucks… just anything that isn’t organic, cage free, vegan, gluten free, or grass fed. Right? Wrong. If you’re reading this and expecting to learn about how to become the epitome of health, then I suggest you click the red x in the corner of your screen right now. Because if we listened to every piece of advice given to us by the “experts” then we’d quickly convince ourselves that even water is bad for us. Give me five minutes and let me show you that you’re not going to die from eating that nitrate enriched deli sandwich made with white bread.
We tend to believe two things about food. 1. It’s keeping us alive (obviously) and 2. That it’s killing us. The whole idea is almost like backstabbing, you know? The one thing that gives us sustenance is the one thing that’s killing us. That doesn’t seem logical. It’s time to stop making a criminal out of the food that is actually keeping us alive. It’s time to stop fearing the expert studies and what “they” say. Who are THEY anyways? Nevertheless, here’s a quick list of all the items that THEY have convinced us are unacceptable for consumption…
A while back, peopled believed that fat was the culprit. So food manufacturers began to create and market everything as “fat free” like that’s what was going to magically keep us healthy! They introduced fat free milk, fat free salad dressings, fat free snacks. But guess what? That fat has to be replaced with something else, usually by carbs, sodium, or sugar. All of which we’ve decided are going to kill us as well. Eat a healthy proportion of fats like avocado, olive oil, or nuts.
Once the fat free fad fizzled out, people began thinking that carbs are the absolute worst. So the experts created the most unattainable diets to follow. We entered the era of the “Low Carb Diet”. Slim Fast, Atkins, and South Beach, were all the craze. Women were taking the buns off their hamburgers left and right, convincing themselves that the carbs in bread were leading to their weight gain. Did they see results? Yes, but here’s why… When women dropped their carb intake, they automatically dropped their calorie intake creating a deficit and they were also diminishing their glycogen stores. Decreasing glycogen does not decrease fat mass, it decreases water weight; which lead many women to think that a low carb diet was optimal for fat loss. In reality, the initial weight loss was water. Eat a healthy harmony of carbs such as potatoes, grains, and fruits.
On to the next sinner, sodium. People have tried desperately to eliminate sodium by following a low sodium diet. Let’s face it, sodium is in almost everything. As with anything, TOO much sodium can be detrimental because it can cause high blood pressure. However, we do need sodium in our diet for a few reasons. Sodium helps your muscles contract, it sends nerve impulses throughout your body, and regulates fluid balance. Including sodium in your diet promotes homeostasis within your body. It’s definitely not the worst thing you can ingest.
Meat, yet another food felon. Vegans unite!
Hey, I can actually poke fun at this one… Quick story, I went Vegan for a little over a month after stumbling upon information about the meat industry. However, I wasn’t forgoing meat to better my health, I went Vegan because I felt bad for the animals. Clearly, we all know meat will give us all heart disease, strokes, and cancer!
Studies have shown that eating meat makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy body weight. Studies have also shown that eating meat makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. So just eat fish right? No way, you can’t eat that! It contains too much mercury! So how in the world are people supposed to know which advice to follow? As previously stated, there is such thing as TOO much of a good thing. Are you seeing a trend yet? Just find a healthy balance.
Last but not least, vegetables. Those must be safe right? Yes, but only IF they are pesticide free and Non-GMO. We wouldn’t want to catch a case of Attention Deficit Disorder from eating too many vegetables (This has cynicism written all over it, if you didn’t catch that). I’ve actually heard someone say “I’m going to stop eating carrots because I heard they have sugar in them”. Think about what your grandparents would say if you told them vegetables were bad for you. Use your common sense, and eat your vegetables!
As stated in the introduction, that leaves us with water. But if you Google “Can too much water kill you?” you’re guaranteed to find a host of articles about this seemingly innocent assassin. Realistically, water will improve your endocrine gland function, liver function, metabolic function, help absorb more nutrients, and regulate body temperature.
My argument is that we all start eating logically and intuitively. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in the latest Dr. Oz cover story. Don’t try to conform to the trendiest dietary cult. Don’t try to eliminate entire macronutrient groups. Try to find a healthy balance within the foods you eat. Because according to New York Times writer Jim Windolf, “We’re all going to die. And we all eat food. Therefore, food must be the culprit.”
If all of this isn’t insane enough for you, check out this article in Scientific America, advocating that we all start eating dirt. Yes, actual dirt.