'Am I avoiding this food that I love for a good reason?'The main connotation of the word 'DIET' is RESTRICTION. Nobody likes restriction unless it is necessary. HOWEVER, there are many circumstances in which food restriction of specific foods is absolutely necessary. These include the following:
- Elimination and restriction of certain foods for ethical reasons and for spiritual and religious reasons.
- Anaphylactic reactions to nuts, seafood and red meat require ESSENTIAL AVOIDANCE of these foods to avoid life threatening medical emergencies.
- People with diabetes need to avoid or minimize sugar and simple carbohydrates in their different forms
- People with coeliac disease must totally avoid gluten
- People with autoimmune conditions should avoid gluten
- Those with an intolerance to foods that contain salicylates, amines or certain sugars should avoid these foods to avoid their troubling symptoms
- Intolerance to foods that contain food additives such as colorings, flavors, sweeteners or flavor enhancers mean avoidance of foods containing these additives.
Don't be fooled by the marketingHowever many people and companies make a lot of money promoting their own diets on the most amazing of ALL marketing media called the INTERNET. As a result, many people implement food restrictions in their lives simply because a website or a friend told them to do so without any consideration of that person’s individual needs or tastes. The end result can be that you end up eliminating or avoiding foods that you enjoy that are not harmful to you and that take away a slice of enjoyment from your life. I see many people who have no reasons why they should avoid certain foods who are avoiding so many foods who tell me that there is nothing left that they can eat!
Food should be enjoyed!Food should not become an intellectual exercise. It is one of the staple pleasures of life for those who are blessed to have an abundance of it at their fingertips. When you eat something that you enjoy, a very complex set of health promoting responses occurs in your brain that is beyond the scope of this article to explain. Also, happiness and a sense of emotional well being have long been recognized as having a positive influence on our overall health. Choosing foods that we enjoy can add to our happiness and feelings of well being. Conversely, eliminating foods you love for no other reason than because a website suggested that you should, adds an element of restriction and guilt to your eating which can reduce your overall enjoyment of life. Optimal health depends upon a very complex interplay between MANY factors including those relating to our genetics, our emotions, our environment, and our diet and lifestyle.
The key concept here is moderationFor example, a little wine has been shown to be good for our overall cardiovascular health. Too much wine can promote heart disease. A small amount of chocolate can provide a dose of powerful antioxidants. Too much can ruin your sleep and, depending on the chocolate, can cause blood sugar imbalances.
So let us apply the principle of wholism to this issue:
- We are beings that have both a capacity for logical analytical reasoning and for intuitive perception.
- Lets use BOTH LOGICAL AND INTUITIVE faculties in assessing what foods are good for our families and us.
- So if you feel like a certain food, have it unless there is a good reason not to have it.
- Always ask the question “WHY??” when you are told something is good for you or bad for you.
- Our urges come from our deeper mind, which knows exactly what we need. We just need to interpret these messages through the filter of common sense.
- The bottom line is ENJOY YOUR FOOD and try where possible to avoid making it an intellectual challenge.