Earlier in the year I read a blog post that got me thinking. It was about a woman who was a former vegan and had reverted back to eating a balanced diet containing animal products including meat – and how great she felt.
As a naturopath I am constantly hearing about the latest dietary fad. I have seen a few in my time
- High protein high fat
- High protein low fat
- Low fat
- No sugar
- No gluten
- High fat
- Israeli Army diet
- Fruit only diet
- Grapes only diet
- Raw food only
- Raw vegan
The latest one seems to be paleo 😉
The thing that strikes me with these ways of eating is they initially make people feel great. Countless patients, people on Facebook, and friends and family tell me they are following this or that diet, and they feel great – never better!
But the other thing that strikes me is that eating this way is not sustainable. A few days, weeks, months go by and the diet fad has fallen by the wayside and people are back to eating the way they always did. It doesn’t last because it is not a balanced way of eating. Even eating McDonalds (heaven forbid!) every day isn’t sustainable (as we found out in the movie Supersize me). Some of you may be thinking that I have listed vegan as a fad diet, but surely being vegan is sustainable… But (possibly controversially) I’m saying its not. A vegan diet contains no vitamin B12, which is essential for life, and very low levels of omega 3 fatty acids, and the minerals iron and calcium. Humans have evolved to eat animal products, so being vegan is very difficult and generally only sustainable for about 2 years without supplements.
So, my aim for my patients and myself is to eat a diet containing a little bit of everything and a lot of the good things. So, a lot of vegies and fruit, nuts and seeds and legumes, and a little bit of meat, dairy, and grains is a good way to go. Even a little bit of chocolate or sugar never hurts – after all, life is to be enjoyed and a big part of that is through food. It is just when we over indulge in one food group or cut out another that we run into problems.
The original article is here – it is SUPER long – It makes me feel better about my semi-long blog posts! and makes me wonder where I got the time to read it in the first place!
EDIT: Feb 2016
I have since changed my mind about gluten and wheat. We should be limiting those very strictly for a few very good reasons. You can read more about it here.