Finally - a realistic way to determine what's good for you to eat

Nutritional questions

Because the amount of nutritional information out there is humongous, often contradictory, and may or may not have any scientific validity, we've tended not to post much on the issue. However, it is a body of knowledge that anyone who likes to eat should try to stay on top of - or at least try to be rational about. To that end, when we found this article in the Stanford Magazine, Food Confusion, which we  thought presented a unique approach to determining what's good for you eat - and what's not - we really wanted to share it.

The premise is simple but one that seems to be lost in the crowd - the right diet is not "right" for everyone. As the article discusses, when vitamins were being discovered left and right and nutrition-related diseases like scurvy and goiter were being cured by nutritional changes, the idea of a one-diet-fits-all looked like it would work. But as the article writes:

"... because for all its success, that science also led to a series of mistakes that are now baked into the way we think about food. Once researchers had discovered all the essential nutrients, they assumed the hard work was finished. The next step was to pump these components of the ideal diet into the food supply: Add vitamins into Wonder Bread, fortify salt with iodine, and so on. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Very wrong. This strategy did eliminate diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies by dosing everyone with more than they needed, but it also gave rise to our current dietary quagmire, and the problem of nutrient super-sufficiency has proved much more subtle.

The notion that different people require different diets could render the great battle between low-carb and low-fat (not to mention the Paleo diet, and all the rest) totally irrelevant."

The article is much more developed and makes for fascinating reading. One more concept that we really enjoyed was one study's discovery that altruism can play a part in getting people to eat healthier:

"It's so intoxicatingly fascinating to see the lightbulbs go on in these students' heads," Gardner says. "Because, after 20 years of nutritionists recommending that people eat more fruits and vegetables, people don't eat any more fruits and vegetables. I can tell you to eat differently because it's good for you, and you'll never change. But if I say, 'If you eat differently you can help others,' it can produce this huge shift in diet."

Lots of food for thought here.

Photo courtesy of Stanford Magazine

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • Lambsears  on  7/29/2013 at 5:36 PM

    Great find and plenty of common sense, too - thanks guys!

  • FuzzyChef  on  8/6/2013 at 1:32 AM

    Almost makes up for the completely spurious article about organic foods a couple issues ago.

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