Saturated by an obscure amount of information that supports the importance of a “healthy diet”. Media and the internet bombard us with the idea that a “perfect physique” is only achievable by what ever diet is popular at that time. or some new miracle food. With technology being so advanced we are often overloaded with information causing misconceptions, confusion and contradictions.
You may remember, two of the most common fad-diets – the “fat-free” and the “carb-free” approach. Those cautious of low carbohydrates avoid nutritious foods such as whole grain cereals, fruits, sweet potatoes, and even beans. The anti-fat dieters avoid nuts, salmon, avocado, nut butters, and common oils. Both of which are important in a healthy eating lifestyle. Let me explain…
Most commonly those who follow some sort of diet regime tend to develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The “no carb” dieters lack Vitamins E, A, B6, their levels of thiamin and folate start to dissipate as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. While the high consuming fruit, vegetable and whole grain, “fat free” dieters have low intakes of vitamins E and B12 and the mineral Zinc. (Check out one of our podcasts where we discuss a few of these essential vitamins/minerals at Download the Episode Here! (27min – 21sec) )
I believe that good health and weight control are obtained by variety and balance. However I do think it is essential that you are aware that by me suggesting you consume a balance of carbs and fats – I mean Healthy ones 🙂 Make sure you are choosing carbs such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats from nuts, avocados etc.
Rather than considering this balance a diet, make it your lifestyle!
I want to briefly approach some common things I have noticed or should I said “habits” people are developing….
So many people in society now eat on the run and are not actually savoring the flavor, texture and all of the wonderful things food has to offer. I know I have mentioned this before and yes, I will admit I am weird when it comes to health, fitness and nutrition – a fanatic some may say. But, honestly what I find works for me is when I am choosing foods to purchase I always tend to ask myself “what will this do for me?” as in what is in this vegetable, fruit etc and how is it essential for my body? Which leads me to the next suggestion – Listen to your body. There are days where I randomly crave a banana – for example.
Hmm… do you think my body is maybe telling me I need some carbs/sugar or maybe some potassium?
Like I mentioned above I think if you focus on the 5 following “suggestions” rather than dieting you will improve your health.
- eat a variety and balance of foods – from types of foods to colors
- portion control/moderate
- discover the benefits of the food you are eating
- savor/enjoy what you are eating
- listen to what your body needs
I will make only one more point for each the fat free and carb free diets and the risk it may cause on your health. By implementing a fat free diet eventually you can damage your gallbladder and restricting carbs can possible lead to high blood pressure. Now enough of the common “fad-diets” lets discuss the overall risks of dieting. We already mentioned that you are decreasing your vitamin and mineral intake, what else? Well I think a lot of times when people start a diet it is mostly for weight oss thus calorie consumption is quite restricted. By this “rapid” weight loss approach you are putting your body under a lot of stress, including your immune system (essential for warding off viruses).
To name a few, you may cause physical damage such as, muscle deterioration, fatigue, digestive problems, or the scariest of them all malnutrition – that could lead to dying; dehydration, acidosis, constipation and regaining your lost weight (from decreasing your metabolism). Mentally you may trigger irritability, depression, lower sex drive, and sadly an eating disorder.
Most people are too busy or have poor excuses to eat a well balanced (hopefully plant-based 🙂 ) diet. I think society is getting too accustom to the convenience of everything from pre-packaged meals to cell phone apps and their abilities. We are alternatively becoming lazy and expecting things to be done for us, and that instant. You are probably wondering why I am ranting about this well I think aside from maybe a fad diet, people look for a quick solution. Sometimes even the diet programs can be too complex, time consuming for one to even bother with. So they look for that “magic pill” or better yet those “proportioned boxed meal” that they can grab and go.
Okay so I am starting to ramble, mostly because I often don’t understand some peoples thought process of nutritional choices or shall I say “lack of” nutritional choices. Let me first clarify that eating a whole food, plant based diet is really not complicated or that much more time consuming, like most believe. Give a try and see for your self. Or at least slowly try to implement some of the suggestions I made earlier and see if it makes a difference.
Stay fit, stay healthy…