Is your healthy diet healthy?

We can easily say the western world is in what seems like a real craze of healthy eating. Try to search ‘healthy eating’ on Instagram and you will learn there are nearly 24 million posts with this very hashtag. Continue to the colorful posts and what you see are images of: fruity breakfast bowls, roast potato, vegetarian but also meat dishes, smoothies with nuts, pancakes of all sorts, chocolate cakes, juicy burgers with big crispy bread rolls and deliciously looking wheat pasta dishes … There seem to be so much health on those plates! Or … there isn’t?

If you are following Paleo, Primal or are just a regular meat eater and you speak to a vegetarian or a vegan they will likely state your diet is not a healthy one and unless you quickly stop eating meat you will get a cancer. Tell someone you are not consuming dairy and you will hear your bones will start breaking very soon.  Eliminate alcohol from your diet and you are on the sure path to heart problems … since your body needs those antioxidants lurking in a glass of nice red wine. Go gluten-free and you are just doing it for fashion. Basically, I am sure we all have been there and we know how the story goes …

Then there are more extreme situations, like one that happened to me just recently. I can now say I experienced the Internet ‘hate’ first hand. I was effectively verbally (though it touches you on a deeper – soul – level) attacked and abused by vegans for well … in simple terms for not being a vegan. I was called a sinner, a cruel and heartless person and an idiot too. What I guess ‘shocked’ me the most was how some calm and ‘everything loving souls’, those that supposedly are filled with so much compassion, can be so unloving towards another human being …

And here you are, reading and wondering what comes next, what diet I will claim is the real healthy one. After all so many of us are convinced our healthy diet is the only healthy one and others will eventually understand it too. 

The thing is there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer and solution. Although one can argue that we are all made of the same dust and we all have the ‘same’ red fluid running through our veins the fact remains that each of us has a very unique genetic code, a varied macrobiotic environment, we come from different climates and were fed very different foods by our parents. Then there is also the factor of our current health condition. Do we suffer from any allergies, did we have any organs removed, have we been diagnosed with one of (over 80 currently identified) autoimmune diseases, do we suffer from anaemia, the list goes on… 

On the general level the statement: ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’ is quite correct. However, it is safe to claim that certain types of food and among them: refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, high glucose / high fructose syrups, processed foods, hydrogenated fats, trans fats, excessive alcohol consumption are all and universally a poison to everyone no matter their unique genetic code. 

When it comes to what constitutes ‘healthy foods’ your own body will have its own mind aka requirements. As an example, if you are suffering from any sort of an autoimmune disease, continuing eating gluten and diary will keep your body in the state of inflammation, and make it impossible to achieve remission state (other than through serious medications, to treat the smoke not the fire, and it comes with host of issues and side effects). If you are still in a good health but eat a diet very high in, even natural, sugars (note this means: high glycemic index foods: certain fruit and also flours) you are asking your pancreas to work quite hard and making your cells less and less sensitive to insulin. If you are not including enough of healthy fats in your diet you are at a risk of not absorbing fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K). As for that healthy red wine, remembering that even moderation should be done with moderation is a good thought to hold when refilling your glass to accompany a ‘healthy meal’. 

We must listen to and trust our bodies. It just so happens that when it comes to food our body has a better sense than we do. Eat mindfully and observe how you feel after your meal. Though, unfortunately, we do not react to all types of foods in the same way. Sometimes it takes longer than a day for reaction to occur, but when it does, stop and think why this may be. Apply as much knowledge, wisdom and sense as you can ahead of choosing your meal. If you feel like your current diet is not optimal for your wellbeing working with someone that can help might be a good option to get you to a good start.