Why It’s Dangerous to Keep Up with the Latest Dieting Trends
Humans have been struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with food for centuries, and we’re no closer to a palatable balance today than we were in the 1800s. We need food to survive, but we’re also burdened with the luxury of “taste” — the one aspect that’s allowed us to pick and choose what we want to eat. Most other animals simply eat whatever they can find because it’s their biological impulse to do so.
But not us. We like cheeseburgers and cherry pies and make-your-sundae bars because of the freedom they allow our taste buds as well as our stomachs. In the last few decades, the national dialogue in America has turned again and again to the obesity struggle, with the latest numbers showing that nearly a third of all people in the U.S. are obese.
So what do we do to combat those negative numbers? We make outrageous claims that sugar is, in fact, more harmful to us than tobacco and, therefore, should be taxed heavily. At least, that’s what anti-sugar activist Dr. Aseem Malhotra said earlier this year. But what Dr. Malhotra (and other like him who push for eliminating certain core food elements from humanity’s collective diet) don’t understand is that there are “bad sugars” and “good sugars” — and quitting sugar completely would likely do more harm than eating too much of it in the first place.
That’s because our bodies are made to eat a wide variety of foods in order to get the most nutritional value from them (including vitamins, nutrients, etc.). In fact, our brains aren’t wired to eat the same foods all the time, even the best healthy diet foods. That’s why you get sick of oatmeal if you eat it for breakfast every single morning. Our minds are programmed to crave foods of different colors, shapes, textures and flavors because that’s how we get the full scope of nutrients we require.
But crash diets like South Beach, which places a moratorium on sugar, and Atkins, which advocates killing carbs altogether, miss the point of a “balanced” diet. It’s as essential to eat enough protein-filled, iron-rich and fibrous foods to maintain a healthy diet as it is to eat sugar, fat and salt — as long as the quantities are right. So, what exactly does a balanced diet look like?
As it turns out, it’s all very subjective based on the person. The best healthy diet foods for one person might be completely wrong for another, so it’s important to understand that there’s no one “true” diet that everyone can subscribe to in order to achieve a healthier body. What’s important, too, is personal taste, as we mentioned earlier. Raw food diets have their merits as do diets rich in grains and lean meats. For the most complete and accurate dietary advice, it’s important to talk to your doctor one on one.
And please, for the sake of your stomach, don’t just follow the trends. Remember that the best healthy diet foods are totally subjective for everyone. Now, who’s up for a trip to the make-your-own sundae bar? Research more here.