When health is the subject I tend to be gullible. My guess is we all are.
Gullibility itself is an innocent thing. Really, you must be a little gullible to try anything. There’s a sense of excitement about new and different.
Sometimes we crave the strange.
Gullibility’s problem happens when the sense of excitement turns to something darker, like the sense of betrayal.
Betrayal is a powerful word for a powerful emotion. And in terms of wellness, health, and nutrition, betrayal can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
With this in mind, I wanted to get at what’s up with trends in popular diets and exercise programs. Why are there always so many, why do they keep coming, and why do they work, or not. To put it another way, I wanted to think about our gullibility and if it keeps us from achieving our wellness goals.
First, let’s do some debunking.
The human body and nutrition
Our bodies are majestically complex organizations of systems and pathways taking in raw materials and processing them to the simple molecules our tissues need to survive.
That’s a terrifically long sentence and I enjoyed putting it together. Here’s what it means.
What you eat is comprised of about 50 nutrients that can be classified into the following 6 categories:
- Fats (Lipids)
That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. And each of these nutrients perform different functions in your body:
- Carbohydrates provide energy
- Lipids (fats) provide energy, promote growth and maintenance, and regulate body processes.
- Proteins promote growth and maintenance and regulates body processes
- Vitamins promote growth and maintenance and regulates body processes
- Minerals promote growth and maintenance and regulates body processes
- Water promotes growth and maintenance and regulates body processes
Okay, what the hell does all of this mean and why is it important.
Well, the food you eat has a certain amount of these nutrients per gram of stuff. So, like a sugar glazed donut has hasn’t a lot of this good stuff, but it has an awful lot of calories. On the other hand, a sprig of broccoli has an awful lot of this good stuff but not a lot of calories comparatively. See where I’m going here?
There’s this thing called nutrient density. Pretty simply that means that the amount of good stuff like carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water a particular piece of food has per calorie is how good the food is for your metabolism. Eat a whole bunch of refined sugar and you’re getting tons of calories without many nutrients. Eat a whole bunch broccoli and you’re getting a ton of nutrients without a bunch of calories.
So where does the gullibility come into play here.
Because we don’t know the basics of choosing good foods that nourish our body efficiently we fall prey to every passing whim that says “this [fill in the blank] thingy will give you the things you need without the calories. And you’ll lose weight, feel better, or whatever. It may very well do these things, but the fact of the matter is you can do the same thing by shopping smart at the grocery store. Something you have to do anyway.
Let’s think about this a minute
The next time your favorite celebrity comes on the media stream and hawks their nutrition product ask yourself this: What about what they’re selling me is so different than what I could do by some smart shopping at the grocery store.
The reality is there really isn’t much difference if they’re trying to sell you something based on real raw food. See, the fact of the matter is any diet that’s based on real food and watching how many calories you take in every day works. That’s the truth plain and simple.
So, I’m not going to sit here and slam this diet or that diet. The fact is if they’re based on real food they will work if you can keep doing them for the rest of your life. But really, how many Pineapple rings awash in cottage cheese can you eat? Or how long can you eat nothing but meat?
The bottom line, there simply isn’t a good substitute for a well-balanced, varied,and healthy selection of foods for your diet.SCHEDULE A MEETING