There is a lot of hype, misinformation, and conflicting information on nutrition in the media, and government guidelines change over time and often can be influenced by the food industry more than based on real science. And even authors who try to base their results on sound science don’t agree on everything. This causes so much bewilderment that lots of people throw up their hands and keep eating the Standard American Diet (which has the appropriate acronym SAD) or its equivalent in other countries. And that’s not working out so well for us, with a large percentage of the population overweight or obese and associated medical issues like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type II diabetes. [Update 03/10/2019: The evidence that these medical conditions are associated with being overweight is weaker than I was aware than I knew this. These conditions are strongly associated with inactivity and poor diet, not being overweight]
I talk about all of this a great deal in my book Old But Still Moving But here I want to simplify things by presenting some suggested eating rules that help cut through the confusion. I call them the…
- Eat what everybody agrees you should eat: lots of whole or minimally processed foods like fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, avocados, etc.
- Avoid eating the stuff everybody agrees is bad for you- processed junk (especially refined carbs like soda, candy, cookies, etc.)
- For foods that the experts or different diets disagree on, if you’re concerned about any of them, just eat them in moderation.
Some people will tell you the problem with our modern diet is we eat too many carbs, others that we eat too much fat, and others that we eat too many animal products. And there’s some truth in all of these arguments. But the main overriding problem that everyone agrees on is we eat too much junk: modern commercial overly processed food. And it doesn’t matter what way of eating you’re trying to follow, to eat healthy or lose weight, if you can’t stop eating junk your are not likely to succeed
But it’s not that simple, you might be thinking… What about overcoming cravings, staying motivated, and what about details about things like carbs and fat and animal products? There will be a lot more to come on all these topics, watch this space! Or if you can’t stand the suspense you can read about it now in the book at Amazon.