We live in an extremist society. People carry everything to extreme. That is especially true in diet and nutrition.
Every day you see some new report about how a certain food or nutrient is good for you, and people start loading up on it. Then you see a report on something natural being questionable, and people drop it like a hot potato. Then you see a report on a bad food and people ignore it. Go figure.
Can you really eat too much Kale?
Now the Kale stories are hitting. Healthy eaters have been loading up on kale to the point where farmers are having trouble keeping up with demand. Now reports are surfacing that indicate that too much kale can affect your thyroid. (read article here)
Can you really drink too much water?
Turns out you can. There are some people who drink to much water. I am not one of them. How about you? But it turns out that too much water disrupts your digestive system and affects nutrient absorption.
The thing is, you body needs lots of different foods and nutrients in combinations that are only achieved through a balanced diet.
We heard salt is bad. People cut down on salt. Now the truly healthy eaters who don’t eat packaged or fast foods that are loaded with sodium may now be deficient in sodium and iodine. Sodium is an electrolyte. It is essential. Too little can be as bad as too much.
Raw foods and vegan diets are falling out of fashion as people discover that they develop unexpected health problems. There was quite a buzz a couple of years ago when the Pope and Angelina Jolie went back to eating some meat for health reasons.
Eggs were made evil many years ago. Turns out that eggs are a rich source of many nutrients. And they are suggesting that eating cholesterol does not determine your levels. Your body makes cholesterol. Your levels are mostly genetic. Common Sense will tells you that people ate eggs for hundreds of years.
How about fat?
Did you know you can eat as many vegetables as your stomach can hold, but unless there is some fat in the same meal, your body cannot process the nutrients?
Did you know that your brain is primarily fat? Could this be a reason for the increase in Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Now its true that we ate too much fat, especially if your family is from the south. Now many people are eating too little. Does that mean we should go back to frying everything in bacon grease? Absolutely not! But you can use olive oil, coconut oil, real butter, and eat good cuts of meat.
Still stay away from Trans fats. I’m with Jack LaLanne – if man made it, don’t eat it.
Single vitamins are routinely singled out as being super nutrients. Take calcium for example. People were loading up on calcium. But in order for your body to use the calcium, it needs magnesium – which most people are deficient in these days. Too much calcium without the balancing nutrients causes calcium deposits in arteries, and weak and brittle bones. Wait! That is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish!
But, you might say that the RDA levels are too low.
That is true for 2 reasons –
1. Supplements are meant to supplement a healthy diet, not replace it.
2. We are getting fewer nutrients from our food due to overfarming and industrial food production.
The RDA is actually set at the highest level you can take without a response. Isn’t that crazy? The highest level you can take before it will do anything at all. The premise was that if you took a supplement and ate food with the same nutrients, that you could get too much. But in light of the fact that most people are eating foods with barely any nutrients and that even our healthy foods have fewer nutrients the RDA is laughable.
But as you can see, striking the right balance of nutrients can be tricky.
So how do you know what to eat?
Easy. Eat a balanced diet of real foods.
Forget the hot trends. Use Common Sense!
- The bulk of your diet should be vegetables and protein.
- Add some fruits and healthy fats.
- Limit starches, grains, dairy and sugar.
- Completely cut out chemicals. OK, as much as humanly possible.
If you need help transitioning to a healthier diet – Check out the member database. There are tons of articles and recipes to help you.
You can also grab a copy of How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind for a great plan to help you make the transition to a healthier diet.