Don’t become a victim of a food fad

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  • It’s all over the news and all our fault
  • We’ve been eating all wrong, say the experts
  • Don’t become a victim of a food fad

Did you hear the news?

No?

Well, all the papers have been talking about it…

Officially, everything is now bad for you.

Of course, you already know about some of the things that are bad for you…

• Too many carbs
• Too much fat
• Too much sugar
• Too much dairy
• Too much wheat
• Meat
• Vegetables (the GM ones)
• Vegetables (the ones with pesticides)
• Vegetables (the unseasonal ones flown around the world so they lose nutrition and pollute the atmosphere)
• Cheese
• Water from the tap
• Coffee and alcohol (except when, sometimes they are not.)

If you’ve ever read The Mail, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph or watched anything on the BBC, you know all that, right?

But the NEW news is this…

All the healthy alternatives to the healthy things are also now bad for you, including:

• Low sugar drinks (“Diet drink dangers” said the Guardian on the 22nd April, warning of a link between artificial sweeteners and high risk of strokes and dementia)

• Non-dairy (“giving up dairy could be bad for your bone health” said the Times, also on April 22nd)

• Low carb (“Carbs are essential for good brain function and fuelling muscle” said the Times.)

Or what about this in the Times on Monday April 10th…

“We Must Stop Pandering to Risky Food Fads”

According to writer Matt Ridley, the very act of avoiding the things that are supposedly bad for you is BAD FOR YOU.

So let me get it straight…

We’re bombarded with unrelenting “X is bad for you” and “Y is bad for you” for 40 years (this all started in the 1970s)… making newspapers rich from hysterical panicked articles that people love to read.

…an entire food industry grew out of making alternatives to the unhealthy stuff… (low fat, low carb, gluten-free, fairy-free, low sugar)…making lots of business people rich.

…we’ve been pushed from warning to warning by finger-wagging scientists, nutritional experts and journalists.

Yet now we’re told that it’s ALL OUR FAULT that we’re a nation of fad dieters.. because we listened to them in the first place.

“WE must stop pandering to risky food fads” says the Times.

But hold on – journalists aren’t “pandering” to the public’s fears and quirks…

The journalists are CREATING the fear, worry, paranoia and obsession with health.

They’re the ones feeding the fads, not the public.

And it’s not just the newspapers but the lifestyle magazines, fashion websites, TV chefs and celebrity gurus.

As always, ordinary people get blamed.

In particular vulnerable people who only have the media to go on when they think about their diet… who can’t pick between hysterical articles and reasonable comment… who are ill or in pain and are looking for advice…

Also parents who panic they’re poisoning their kids… genuinely food intolerant people… over-weight people who find it easier to blame a food group than deal with the host of psychological and social problems behind their over-eating.

This is victim-blaming on a huge scale

Forgive me for being angry here, but I object to this rush of patronising articles that harass regular people for being obsessed with fads, diets, superfoods and intolerances.

These smug articles about how we are all slaves to ‘free-from diets’ are no different to the smug articles in the past about how we were slaves to sugar, or carbs, or fat.

They’re attacking you for being concerned about your diet…

…when it’s more their fault than yours.

The experts are pointing the finger of blame at we, the public, for listening to self-made health gurus, celebrities and bloggers.

“THEY’RE RUINING IT FOR US!” they bleat.

But the nutrition bloggers are latecomers who are simply catering for a massive existing demand.

A demand created by scientists, journalists and the government (as well as vested interests in the food industry) who spent four decades telling us we were eating wrongly, and constantly changing their minds about why.

The result?

A huge nutritional mess, where even the desire to eat healthy is seen as a ‘health problem’.

Welcome to 2017!

The world’s a madder place than it’s ever been.

So what do we think at The People’s Doctor?

The fact is, too much of anything (even good stuff) is usually bad for you.

• Too many carbs ARE bad for you.
• Too much sugar IS bad for you.
• Too much wheat CAN be bad for you…

But…

• Avoiding whole food groups can be bad for you too.
• Replacing sugar with sweetener is bad for you.
• And replacing wheat with gluten free alternatives is also bad for you.

The solution?

You should try and eat a balanced diet, following the season if you can, trying to keep processed foods to a minimum, and having sugary or salty foods as a treat.

But you shouldn’t beat yourself up when you fail, or slip into bad habits now and then.

It’s also important to look at your entire lifestyle when you think about your health… not only diet but your sleep, your exercise, your relationships, your mood, your habits.

Too often we panic about a specific food group instead of facing up to all the other reasons we might feel poorly, tired and in pain.

And it’s not surprising, because the media is constantly ablaze with health panics, all deigned to keep you confused, worried and BUYING PAPERS.

For more information on food and health, take a look at these blog posts:

Is cheese bad for you? (Clue: yes and no)

Too few people realise this health issue is as bad as smoking: Research reveals a surprising cause of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and inflammation

Could this missing ingredient be a key piece the puzzle over our mental health problems?

If you have any thoughts on this topic, do let us know!

Until next time,

Stay healthy (and don’t panic).

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