I first started paying more attention to what I am eating after having my first kid back in 2010. After all, who doesn’t want the best for their little angels?
What is a good diet?
This was where I got very much confused. Here comes the “High X, Low Y” cavalry (where X, Y are some classes of nutrients), intent to drive a wedge into your sanity. Every diet comes with their legion of supporters and detractors, often with not a kind word for the other. Those who rejected all of this, simply called them “Fad Diets”.
Interestingly, even with all the available scientific research, at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was which diet you believed was good for you, science be damned. One reason being that the same paper can be interpreted in different ways by different camps, depending on what was selectively taken into consideration. And at times there are as many papers demonizing some nutrient as those that try to praise it.
Hence the term I coined…”The Diet Religion”.
Years passed and I came to my own conclusion. The key moment came when I bought a book called “Know Your Fats” by Mary G. Enig. This rather more-technical-than-average book appealed to my curiosity and basically gave me that “Holy !@#%” moment when I realized what I had previously known were either incomplete or wrong. Most importantly, it made me curious to know more. I started scrutinizing food labels and researching the ingredients. I watched and listened to all the media on Food on Netflix. I read books and news articles but stopped short of actual research papers.
As for my diet religion? This is what I believe in now.
- All traditional diets are good. The fact that we are here today is proof enough (for me) that this is so. Otherwise, we would have all gone extinct from malnutrition.
- Moderation and balance is key. Too much of any good thing is bad for you. That applies to any nutrients. Therefore all “High X, Low Y” diets are bad in my mind. There is no need to avoid “fats” like a plague for one.
- Avoid any unnecessary food additives. Coloring, preservatives…etc etc
- Waste not. Take what you need and finish it all. Plant or animal, every bite taken was a life lost.
This is purely anecdotal but my own health had been much better after these adjustments to my diet. Fall sick less, recover faster and of course, more energy for (late night) gaming!
- Making and drinking fruit smoothies every 2-3 days. With this, I stopped purchasing commercial juices.
- Home-cooked food, typically one vegetable, one meat with one carbohydrate source for weekday dinners and weekends.
- Avoided prepackaged foods, snacks and candies. I even make my own cakes and popcorn! Ok fine…I still have that soft spot for commercial ice-cream though I make it a point to choose the one with the least number of ingredients.
Now…what do you believe in?