It has been said that there are nearly 3000 different religions in existence. Yet, to ask a true believer from any one of these, they will tell you that theirs is the ONE and all the rest are false. True believer’s in anything, be it politics, religion, economics OR eating, believe ABSOLUTELY in one path. Common sense would suggest the impossibility of this line of thought. With 7 Billion inhabitants, how can there be just one way of doing anything. We have hundreds of brands of cars, styles of music, television and movie choices – choice abundant. Why? Because we are each unique and the market recognizes this and seeks to provide a product to satisfy every taste.
Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us by Matt Fitzgerald provides a good overview of the prevailing diets of our day. From Paleo to Vegan, we all know someone who has chosen a side, spouts its benefits, belittles those who fail to “see the light” and proclaim the evil of other choices. Without choosing sides or revealing his own bias, he shows us the good, the bad and the ugly of each. The ultimate message being: perhaps they have some value, but other ways of eating may also have something to offer us. The purpose of our diet is to nourish our bodies, to give our cells the micro and macro nutrients to help our bodies thrive.
We are each unique. The needs of our bodies are different. Therefore, no single diet can possibly fit every body. The truth is there is no “human diet.” People have traditionally experienced food scarcity and, as a result, ate ANYTHING they could find. No moral or political stances were taken over meat or grains. Food was food. This entire debate is a product of abundance.
Diet Cults does a good job of providing a bottom line on this subject: There is no ONE diet, there is only YOUR diet. You are responsible for feeding yourself. With infinite choices, you are able to sample the best foods and seek those that meet your individuals needs and tastes. Only you know how you feel, the quality of your sleep and skin, regularity and energy. How you FEEL is the ultimate benchmark for the quality of your diet. Our bodies are designed to thrive, but need proper care and fuel. If you feel bad, get sick often, can’t sleep or are depressed – look at what you eat. Identify how you feel in response and start making changes – give your body what makes you feel good and remove what makes you feel bad.
Matt Fitzgerald has addressed the lunacy of our beliefs surrounding food and the diet wars. We would do well to heed his advice.
Be Strong. Stay Hungry. Walk Tall.