28 Sep Which diet is right for you?
I’ve been thinking…
People are so confused about food, and I can see why. We are constantly bombarded with mixed messages about what we should or should not be eating. Maybe I feel even more overwhelmed by this than many of you, because I’m so interested in the topic. I subscribe to a lot of “expert” newsletters and read a lot of books about different diets. Experts with vastly different viewpoints about what constitutes healthy eating. And they all make super compelling cases for adopting their particular way of eating.
For instance, there are paleo experts who think grains and legumes are downright blasphemous. There are vegan experts who believe grains and legumes are nutrition powerhouses, and that eating meat is unhealthy. There are some well-respected experts who still believe saturated fat is unhealthy, and an equal number of well-respected experts who feel that saturated fat has been unfairly vilified and is actually good for us. There are a growing number of experts (including a prominent neurologist) who believe we should all be gluten-free and dairy-free. Books have been written about “grain brains” and “wheat bellies”, and then, just this past week, I came across a book from a renowned leader in the world of natural health and Ayurveda. It’s called “Eat Wheat”. Go figure.
Trying to make sense of it all–to determine who’s got it right–is terribly frustrating.
And, I’ve come to believe, quite futile.
Because there are lots of happy, healthy vegans, and happy, healthy “paleo” followers, and happy, healthy “weight watchers”, and happy, healthy “carb cyclers” and happy, healthy [fill in the blank with diet of choice _______________].
And there are lots of people who are miserable trying to follow those same philosophies of eating.
We are all different.
Read any diet book that focuses on a particular way of eating, and you’ll usually see studies that validate it. You’ll also read case examples of real-life people who lost x number of pounds, or lowered their blood pressure, or cured their diabetes, or restored their hormones to normal. And I have no doubt that they did experience those positive changes.
Because every diet works for somebody, but no one diet works for everybody.
That’s what I think it all comes down to. And this sounds simple enough, but it’s hard to figure out.
Because figuring it out means that we have to pay attention to what we’re eating, and we have to tune in to how we actually feel throughout each day after we eat it. We have to pay attention to why we’re eating, and how we’re eating.
And I think this is harder for us to do these days.
We are terribly distracted, most of the time. I am as guilty as anyone. Many of us eat these days while doing something else–driving, watching TV, working, reading. And then we hurry on the next task.
We aren’t really paying attention to how, what, where, and why we’re eating–and how these could be contributing to our sense of wellbeing or causing symptoms.
We’re relying way to much on somebody else to tell us what to eat. And while I love reading the books, and I love taking away “nuggets” of wisdom from each one, I don’t believe anyone has figured out how every single one of us should eat.
I’m glad we have lots of guidance and theories. But in my opinion, they all (well, maybe not The Cookie Diet, yes, there is such a thing) make sense for someone. And it’s ultimately up to us to figure out what makes the most sense for ourselves.
This doesn’t mean I believe we should just throw out all the health advice and eat whatever we want.
I have some basic beliefs about food that are percolating in my brain, and I’ll be sharing those thoughts soon.