Have you ever wondered why humans, apparently the most intelligent of all life forms, are so confused about what to eat? Every time you open the newspaper or a magazine or turn on the news, there is a different message being trumpeted out.
Eggs are good, eggs are bad, just eat the egg whites, no eat the yolks too, for the lutein, oh no - sorry - eggs are bad for you again. Saturated fat is the killer, oh no not anymore, saturated fat is good for you. What the heck are you supposed to believe?? In light of all the seemingly conflicting “evidence”, what do most people do? Yes, you guessed it. They throw up their hands in despair, and say, well I am just going to keep eating what I like to eat until the scientists sort themselves out, and come up with the correct answer. And after all, if I give up ice cream today, I am only going to miss it, and be bummed, when I find out next year, that it is good for me again! This is where the complacency creeps in.
Isn't it funny too, how we all think we eat “pretty well”. So many overweight, unfit women eating salads and yogurt at their desks at work, but snacking at home at night. If I had $5 for every overweight, diabetic, hypertensive man (sorry, in this case it is usually the men) who happily says - I think I am pretty good for my age - I would have retired some time ago. Reality check, guys - George Clooney is “good for his age”! Ditto, for every man, who fondly pats his huge belly, and confesses rather conspiratorially, that he knows he could “do with losing 5 or ten pounds” when the reality is, that he is well over 50 pounds overweight. Most people, when polled, feel that they eat well most of the time, and just have “occasional treats”.
One of the biggest problems leading to confusion about what to eat, is the focus on individual nutrients as opposed to whole foods. When we go to the grocery story, we are not there to buy nutrients - we are there to buy food. Unfortunately, often we are actually buying food-like substances and not real food at all. We obsessively read labels - as we have been taught to do, but at what cost.? We are now the unwitting victims of the food industry! “Low in fat” - great, must be good for me. “No added sugar” - even better, I know sugar causes cancer. The food industry has spent millions of dollars on packaging. It is well known that boxes with the words ‘Natural’ and differing versions of green on them cause consumers to buy more, feeling that they are doing the right thing for their health. Have a look at the cookie aisle to see what I mean.
This very misleading concept that health is found in a box is promoted by food manufacturers. Even this is a contradiction in terms isn't it!