Here we are already mid February, I thought now would be an appropriate time to bring up a point of two about dietary trends for 2016. As we speak, organizations with very directed health agendas are trying to figure out where to put their stake in the ground for the upcoming year and I have a few thoughts in relation to what’s ahead.
For years we’ve had to suffer through articles that support specific diets and I think we’re going to see more lukewarm dietary advice this year. Moderation will rule public opinion in 2016 because inevitably, the amount of food we eat plays the biggest role in our health as a nation. Type II Diabetes continues to be on the rise and it is the manifestation of a lack of moderation. In addition, people are coming around to the idea that no single diet is right for everyone. Of course, we will continue to see articles titled “Eat These Four Foods For a Healthier Brain” or “What’s In Your Salad That May Be Killing You. ”I am ashamed that I, in my weakest moments, have been lured in by titles such as these in hope of learning that one tidbit of information I’ve been missing all these years. The truth is, the belief that certain foods are bad for everybody is not grounded in fact but on the belief that all of us metabolize and utilize food in the same way. We are each individual and unique and therefore need to listen to and observe the our bodies’ response to foods we eat and change our diet accordingly. What is right for one person may be totally wrong for another.
Do I advocate for moderation in all things? Yes I do! I strive to be somewhere near the middle because the middle is where the pendulum spends the most its time. This doesn’t sit well with many people because anxiety drives us to seek out black and white answers. In practice I’ve been very careful not to take a strong side with regard to diet, because if I do, five years from now, my advice will certainly change. I will however, answer questions about specific foods and my answer is almost always, “yes”! Doc, “Should I avoid sugar? “Yes,” I say. “Can I ever eat sugar? “Yes, you should because if you deprive yourself entirely for a time, you will end up eating more than your share at a later time. “How about salad? “Yes! But only in moderation. Too much salad will decrease the absorption of minerals and cause deficiency.” Do you see where I’m going here?
Moderation is always good advice and I too will focus on giving my patients advice to eat small amounts of most foods that their bodies agree with. Moderation is the middle ground where the pendulum spends most of its time and the next time it swings to the extreme, I think I’ll stay put.