The Scientification of Food

posted by Russ, October 11 in health & diet with tags , ,

Add a comment

I have been unbelievably thrilled over the past few years to see people start paying attention to what they are eating again. I know obesity rates are still rising, but I am also seeing more organic products on shelves, more places carrying sustainably raised and cruelty free meats, and in general am starting to feel that people are getting more interested in going back to nature when it comes to eating.

And while I think it’s great for people to be learning what is in their food and learning about carbs, proteins, vitamins, and super foods, I still can’t help but feeling like people approach eating and being healthy a little bit too scientifically. Certainly it’s great to know how much Vitamin C is in an orange, that tomatoes are high in lycopene, and the benefits associated with eating garlic, ginger, or turmeric. But none of these things on their own will solve your health problems.

I often see people who don’t regularly eat well go browsing the supplement section at the health food store looking for something to help fix what ails them. And it seems that not a day goes without a news report claiming to have found supposed benefits in foods previously not thought to be so healthy.

Wait, so chocolate can be beneficial? Drinking coffee can offer some benefit?

It is always great to hear news like this, but I feel like people take this knowledge piecemeal and don’t see the big picture. The truth is that none of these things alone are magic pills. All the oranges in the world won’t keep you healthy if you’re drinking soda every day and eating microwave meals every night. Taking turmeric supplements won’t fix your aching joints or cure your IBS if you’re still eating McDonald’s.

Of course consuming these things that offer some possible health benefit certainly won’t harm you, but I do feel that all these facts about food sometimes have the adverse affect by giving people a false sense of security, and steering them away from what is in my opinion is a much simpler solution.

And that solution is: eat a balanced and healthy diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, and free of processed food and artificial junk. Period. The end.

Now I am no expert on this subject, but I can tell you that over the past 5+ years since I have change my diet I am considerably more healthy. I used to get sick like clockwork a few times a year, now I probably haven’t been sick in several years. While people around me get sick over and over, I don’t ever get more than a sore throat for a few hours. And I’m fine again the next day. I used to have sporadic cystic acne flare ups, but that is pretty much a thing of the past. And I pretty much always feel good, and if I don’t, there is a darn good reason why, and I can trace it back to my diet, usually too much gluttonous food or a few too many beers and not enough sleep.

I eat mostly organic food, I’ve eliminated most dairy from my diet, I eat meat occasionally instead of daily like I used to, and I eat a ton of fresh vegetables and fruit. I don’t worry whether each meal has enough protein or if I’m getting all my vitamins. My diet is incredibly diverse, and it just works. And because I do allow myself some splurges and cheats, there is nothing that I am absolutely restricted from, and there are no real nutritional gaps that make me feel that I am missing something.

The point here is that at least 75% of my diet is organic, natural, whole food, and is so extremely diverse that I don’t even need to pay attention to these scientific studies. I don’t need to worry about using ginger to settle my stomach, because I don’t eat things that cause me to have stomach problems. I don’t need to worry about taking an andrographis supplement or drinking a glass of organic juice because I eat a variety of fresh fruits each day. And I don’t need to watch my sodium intake because the only salt in my food is the salt I put in it!

Eating is one of the most basic, simple things in life. People have been doing it for as long as we have been around, before agriculture, before animal husbandry, and we’re still here. Learn about foods, there is much to love when you understand what you are eating, but no need to turn it into a complex science.

Originally posted on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at 5:57 AM .

What do you think? Add your two cents below!


Subscribe to comments