No one can prescribe the ideal diet for you…

…but you can figure it out on your own

Tijn Touber | November 2004 issue

From low carb cornflakes to low carb beer to low carb toothpaste, food corporations are doing all they can to outdo the competition in the battle against carbohydrates. The trend has gathered enormous steam thanks to diet gurus preaching that eating too many carbs (pasta, bread, potatoes)—the basis of nearly everyone’s diet in the West—adds pounds and is bad for your health. After all, your body turns carbohydrates into sugar. And as we all know, sugar is bad.

Will the low carb boom last? The cover of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O (July 2004) reads, “The news about carbs you’ve been waiting to hear.” The story (partially) dismantles the theory that carbohydrates are bad. Experts consulted by O compared the low carb movement with the earlier low fat trend, whose popularity has dramatically ebbed. According to O, Pasta will soon be back in favor, in moderation. Which is not so strange considering that people have been eating grains since time immemorial.

O digs deeper, wanting to know why time and time again consumers fall victim to the latest nutrition trends. The magazine suspects that the panic around nutrition is simply part of a much larger problem than the food itself. Why is it that there are whole nations of people, like the Italians, French and Spaniards, who eat sumptuous dishes every day without becoming heavy, unhealthy or hysterical? All the people who are continuously thrown back and forth between Atkins and Fit-for-Life, Bodysense and Heller, the blood type diet and Weight Watchers only want one thing: clarity!

According to Michael Barbee a U.S. nutrition expert and author of the book Politically Incorrect Nutrition, clarity will never come. At least not from a doctor or “expert”. Barbee doesn’t think there is such thing as the “ideal diet”. A person of northern European background needs different nutrients than a Polynesian. An Indian Ayurvedic diet—based on three different human make-ups—works fine in India because it is a largely indigenous population. But in the melting pot of cultures that many modern societies have become, this type of simplistic classification doesn’t work. According to Barbee, the only ideal diet for you is the one that works for you. How do you find about it? By listening to your body. He asserts that we have lost contact with “how our biochemical individuality expresses itself and how the food we eat affects us.” He sees people misinterpreting their body’s signals time and time again: you think you’re hungry, but you’re actually thirsty. And when you’re thirsty, you drink soft drinks, which further dehydrates you, so you drink more soft drinks, and on it goes.

But it’s not easy to arrive at your own individual ideal diet in a world in which eating is more than just putting something in your mouth to get the required number of calories. In his book Nourishing Wisdom, nutrition expert Marc David says, “Eating is a vastly unexplored area in psychology. Unlike animals who feed, human beings eat. That is, food for us is largely cultural and psychological rather than instinctual.”
Barbee cites various examples in his book that show the extent to which human emotions affect food digestion. For example there is a famous study in which several groups of rabbits were fed a diet high in fat and cholesterol. During later vivisections, the arteries of one of the groups were 60% less clogged than the other groups. A mystery, until it emerged that these rabbits was taken out of their cages every day to be petted and held.

If emotions have such a strong influence on food digestion, it is clear that the same food will affect different people in different ways. Fear and guilt about what we eat may be just as unhealthy as fat, carbohydrates or sugar.
Which is why the best diet recommendations may not focus on quantities and types of food. It’s a diet that starts with a number of questions that everyone can ask themselves when they are about to eat something: Am I hungry? Will this food satisfy my hunger? What would really satisfy me right now? Do I really want to eat?
If you answer these questions honestly, you’ll probably be able to find your own ideal diet fairly quickly.

Solution News Source

No one can prescribe the ideal diet for you…

…but you can figure it out on your own

Tijn Touber | November 2004 issue

From low carb cornflakes to low carb beer to low carb toothpaste, food corporations are doing all they can to outdo the competition in the battle against carbohydrates. The trend has gathered enormous steam thanks to diet gurus preaching that eating too many carbs (pasta, bread, potatoes)—the basis of nearly everyone’s diet in the West—adds pounds and is bad for your health. After all, your body turns carbohydrates into sugar. And as we all know, sugar is bad.

Will the low carb boom last? The cover of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O (July 2004) reads, “The news about carbs you’ve been waiting to hear.” The story (partially) dismantles the theory that carbohydrates are bad. Experts consulted by O compared the low carb movement with the earlier low fat trend, whose popularity has dramatically ebbed. According to O, Pasta will soon be back in favor, in moderation. Which is not so strange considering that people have been eating grains since time immemorial.

O digs deeper, wanting to know why time and time again consumers fall victim to the latest nutrition trends. The magazine suspects that the panic around nutrition is simply part of a much larger problem than the food itself. Why is it that there are whole nations of people, like the Italians, French and Spaniards, who eat sumptuous dishes every day without becoming heavy, unhealthy or hysterical? All the people who are continuously thrown back and forth between Atkins and Fit-for-Life, Bodysense and Heller, the blood type diet and Weight Watchers only want one thing: clarity!

According to Michael Barbee a U.S. nutrition expert and author of the book Politically Incorrect Nutrition, clarity will never come. At least not from a doctor or “expert”. Barbee doesn’t think there is such thing as the “ideal diet”. A person of northern European background needs different nutrients than a Polynesian. An Indian Ayurvedic diet—based on three different human make-ups—works fine in India because it is a largely indigenous population. But in the melting pot of cultures that many modern societies have become, this type of simplistic classification doesn’t work. According to Barbee, the only ideal diet for you is the one that works for you. How do you find about it? By listening to your body. He asserts that we have lost contact with “how our biochemical individuality expresses itself and how the food we eat affects us.” He sees people misinterpreting their body’s signals time and time again: you think you’re hungry, but you’re actually thirsty. And when you’re thirsty, you drink soft drinks, which further dehydrates you, so you drink more soft drinks, and on it goes.

But it’s not easy to arrive at your own individual ideal diet in a world in which eating is more than just putting something in your mouth to get the required number of calories. In his book Nourishing Wisdom, nutrition expert Marc David says, “Eating is a vastly unexplored area in psychology. Unlike animals who feed, human beings eat. That is, food for us is largely cultural and psychological rather than instinctual.”
Barbee cites various examples in his book that show the extent to which human emotions affect food digestion. For example there is a famous study in which several groups of rabbits were fed a diet high in fat and cholesterol. During later vivisections, the arteries of one of the groups were 60% less clogged than the other groups. A mystery, until it emerged that these rabbits was taken out of their cages every day to be petted and held.

If emotions have such a strong influence on food digestion, it is clear that the same food will affect different people in different ways. Fear and guilt about what we eat may be just as unhealthy as fat, carbohydrates or sugar.
Which is why the best diet recommendations may not focus on quantities and types of food. It’s a diet that starts with a number of questions that everyone can ask themselves when they are about to eat something: Am I hungry? Will this food satisfy my hunger? What would really satisfy me right now? Do I really want to eat?
If you answer these questions honestly, you’ll probably be able to find your own ideal diet fairly quickly.

Solution News Source

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