Never before has food and diet been so well covered by the media, yet instead of making sense of it all, it has become increasingly more confusing. From new vocabularly asking if we’re flexitarian (kind of vegan but love the odd meat-treat) versus paleolithic, to unpronounceable superfoods taking front shelf in our supermarkets. No need to cook when you can ‘app’ food to your door in under 5 minutes. And who needs pots and pans when you can simply reheat. We’ve found a million ways to peel, pulp, puree, pack and resell an apple where once upon a time we simply took a bite. Can we ever go back to the ways things were and simply eat food?
Yes and No. Ask any 10 people and you’ll probably get a different answer from the old school cooks to the convenience lovers to the artisan revivers. What is clear though is just how confused many people are about how, and what to eat. Should we only eat organic? Whats the deal with red meat? To juice or to smoothie? Less sugar. Fat, yes or no? What actually counts as 5-a-day? Is gluten bad for everyone? Can I drink coffee?
And what about ‘the’diets? They come and go like buses diverting attention away from good old fashioned ‘healthy eating’ and filling us with angst that we should be 5:2ing or going grain free. When did it all get so complicated?
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. Strip back the proverbial labels and underneath there is a good chance you’ll find some real food lurking. If it looks like food, smells like food and feels like food, there’s a good chance it is food providing its not swaddled in plastic, dated 2020 and ‘made’ with only natural flavours.
Confusion aside, the answers to many of these questions come down to personal needs. What works for one person may not work for another, we are all unique after all. Nutrition has evolved into an individualised science with our many different needs able to be met in many different ways. Yet underpinning all of this are some simple truths about food. The more natural it is the better. The less processed it is the better. The more in season it is the better. We can all benefit from eating more fresh foods and less manufactured, processed foods and fast foods. These guidelines are a first nod to making healthier choices. Lets cut the confusion and go back to eating food again.
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