News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Asking the wrong diet questions

As a nutrition coach working with people to help them lead a more healthful life, I get questions constantly — questions such as: “Should I avoid grains?” “Does fruit have too much sugar?” “Will drinking diet soda give me headaches and disruptions to my wellbeing?”

These questions are inapplicable to 95 percent of those who are asking. You have to understand and implement the fundamentals of a healthy diet prior to jumping ahead to these nuances.

Do you understand the role of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in a diet and how much of each is sensible for health? Do you know where they come from, why too much of each is an issue?

Are you eating unprocessed foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and getting adequate lean proteins in all meals? Are you preparing, enjoying, and taking time to fix healthy food?

If you want to lose weight, what is feasible, sustainable, and enjoyable? Are you doing this consistently over the course of many, many consecutive days? Are you committed, do you do the basics over and over again without trouble?

These are the golden rules of nutrition to achieve before asking the other questions.

Here’s one that’s very common: “I don’t drink juice because it lacks nutrients like fiber.” Yet those three glasses of wine on a given night contradict that statement directly.

Without a solid day-to-day achievement of the basics, engaging with the complexities of nutrition will be futile. These mistakes are propagated by gatekeepers making themselves sound like they have all the answers, like they possess the nuance and they know something the layman doesn’t. Nutrition is a thousand different variables and a thousand different personal characteristics. The basics remain the same, and those need to be heeded before considering whether or not an apple is better than an orange.


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