So…I decided to do a post on what my thoughts are when it comes to food and dieting.
We all know the benefits of eating clean and healthily. Combined with other healthy and good habits such as exercising, healthy self-nurturing and personal hygiene, you not only delay premature ageing and prevent lifestyle diseases, but you also make yourself stronger and fitter. Food, no doubt, is such an important part of the health equation. It is the fuel that gives us the energy to do what we need to do on a daily basis. More importantly, it gives us the energy, nutrients, vitamins and essential minerals to sustain life.
This also means that we need to eat foods from different food groups. A little bit of everything (and a little bit more of the most essential foods) is what the body needs to function at its optimum. That is why I am NOT an advocate or fan of diets – the Atkins diet; no carbs diet; high protein diet; the this diet; the that diet. To me, all of this is nonsense. All these diets, if analysed closely, are based on some kind of deprivation. They eliminate the consumption of a certain kind or group of food. The body doesn’t need to be deprived. It needs to be fed.
Research shows that good nutrition is not about cutting out the so-called “bad” foods. It’s about limiting them. And increasing the ‘good’ foods. You can eat a little bit of everything – it just requires the simple know-how, discipline and portion control – the right amounts and combinations of foods. Research also shows that carbohydrates, proteins and fats are essential for the body to function well. Your body needs these foods to “develop, replace and repair cells and tissues; carry out processes in the body (i.e. digestion etc.) as well as to protect you from disease, infections and other sicknesses”.
Without these, the body is out of balance and you begin to encounter problems. So essentially, diets such as the no carb diets and high protein diets are, in the long run, doing some kind of harm to the body. I also think that people’s understanding of natural carbs and refined carbs cause a bit of confusion. In today’s society, we consume a lot of refined carbs (French fries, white bread) and so the solution offered is to totally eliminate carbs. The solution should be to educate people about the difference between refined carbs and natural carbs and teach them to incorporate and eventually replace the refined carbs with the healthier, better and more stable carbs. Because the body does need carbohydrates to function.
It may sound like an uphill battle. But following a few simple guidelines should set you on your way. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to eat healthily across the spectrum without thinking of it as too much effort. And you will also find that there is room for the sweets, chocolates, ice-creams, chips and what have you. You just need to learn to minimise your intake of these kinds of foods. Discipline!