How many times have you heard the following confusing and sometimes contradictory statements?
“Alcohol is toxic” v. “Alcohol is full of antioxidants and heart-healthy”
“Egg yolks are bad because of cholesterol” v. “Eggs contain good cholesterol and are full of Vitamin E”
“Carbs are evil and make you fat” v. “Complex carbs help you feel fuller longer and are necessary for energy”
“Fats are unhealthy” v. “Some fats are necessary AND healthy”
“Caffeine gives you high blood pressure” v. “Caffeine prevents Alzheimer’s and improves your mood”
“Wine, cheese and oil are your enemies” v. “The Mediterranean Diet” (i.e., wine, cheese and olive oil” !!!
You get my point – there is an overwhelming amount of information (or misinformation??) out there on what is and isn’t healthy, what does and doesn’t make you fat, what to eat or not to eat. And sometimes it seems like the instructions you are getting make a 180-degree turn overnight and suddenly you are told to do something opposite of what you thought was the right and healthy thing to do. Who has not tried an Atkins diet? Or a Paleo diet? A “nothing-but-ground-beef-and-green-beans” diet? (Yes, I know a lady who tried that for a while). Any kind of “never eat bread/dairy/red meat/pick any other food group” diet. They don’t work. They don’t work, and after months of struggling to adhere to some impossible way of eating, suddenly you are informed by the most recent study or diet guru, that in fact, you should have been doing something completely opposite.
It’s disheartening, and frankly it’s unhealthy. Limiting your intake to only certain types of low-fat, low-calorie, etc. foods, actually deprives your body of a lot of nutrients that it needs. The fact is, our bodies need it all. We need fats, we need carbs, we need sugars and we need antioxidants. The key to all those things benefitting instead of hurting us is -MODERATION. A little bit of everything is good. Don’t go overboard with over-eating nor completely cutting out certain types of foods. As always, strive to eat natural, home-cooked, minimally-processed, and – if possible – organic foods, in reasonable portions. As long as you are doing that, you should be well underway to better health AND weight.