18 July, 2013

Gotta Eat!

It seems like everything I read about nutrition or food contradicts something else. Canola oil is good for you. Canola oil is bad for you. Eat your raw veggies. Make sure to cook them so you get all the nutrients. A whole grain diet is the most well-rounded. Whole grains are bad for diabetes and place a lot of stress on the body. Eat lots of fruits. Too many fruits could put you at risk for pancreatic cancer.
A few general guidelines seem to hold true across the board- stay away from smoking, overdrinking and sugar. Experts opinions are mixed on things like chocolate, coffee and how much meat is good for you.
Spinach- should you cook it? Some say raw spinach has more enzymes while others say it has compounds that make it impossible to digest. Similar concerns surround chard, collards, kale and many cruciferous vegetables. Some stay completely away from all plants in the nightshade family(which includes everything from potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and more) while others swear off everything in the animal kingdom.
My grandmother, who is 99 was never a great cook or eater. My other grandparents lived similarly long lives, but none of them ate particularly well diets. Perhaps some of it was luck or perhaps some of it had to do with the fact that none of them were terribly obese- I really don't know.
One of my favorite books on diet and nutrition is Nourishing Traditions, and at the center is the idea that whole foods are at the center of our problems with obesity, diabetes and many other conditions.
I'm sure it contradicts half of what you are currently hearing from Dr. Oz or any other expert on the subject and who knows, maybe in 5 years we'll have conclusive proof that broccoli really is bad for you, sugar is good for you and coffee should be drunk at every meal.
But until that time, I think I'll enjoy the confusion along with my broccoli and coconut oil.

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