In the past few years, the British public have developed an awful relationship with food and it really has to stop.
Comments I hear daily …
‘oh it’s just fuel’
‘healthy eating is such a chore’
‘I am taking X, Y and Z supplements…..er no I don’t know why actually’
‘well no-one looks forward to healthy food do they?’
Partly to blame are these so called nutrition ‘experts’ pumping out confusing messages about the various ways different foods are going to cause cancer, how juicing is life or carbohydrates guarantee weight gain. As these claims are all absolute rubbish, people naturally become really quite confused and eating becomes a more methodical, stressful and boring process.
Regardless of how educated someone is, very rarely are they actually able to tell me why a certain food is healthy or not…..we are simply so caught up in the millions of different messages.
I have developed some real personal pet hates in this disconnection with food;
- All this effort to spice up food with really weird ingredients such as cilantro root, spirulina, matcha or turmeric milk (again with bizarre and incorrect health claims) – normal staple foods are just fine thanks!
- A certain social media celebrity using stupid catch phrases to get people interested (‘bosh’ and ‘deeeeece’ – WHAT the?)
- The massive culture of teaching our children that unhealthy food is a treat. No I am not saying we should give our children sweets, cakes and biscuits all day long but equally why put these foods on a pedestal? Why use for ‘treats’ at all? They aren’t dogs! This only leads to an increased chance of obesity as soon as someone is old enough to buy their own food.
- The public subconsciously acknowledging a person’s ability to provide nutritional advice based on their looks…..A puppy looks cute but you wouldn’t pay to have them bark at you in the hope you too would become cute.
- Treat nights. This is typically where someone is really strict with their diet all week and then binges on a Friday night. All that is happening here is that you go from 1 extreme to another without getting any benefit and losing all concept of what a healthy diet is.
A lot of people in the nutrition world feel industry needs to take on more responsibility for the health of the country. Personally I don’t think that is really fair – fizzy drinks, burgers and sweets are not healthy foods – that isn’t McDonald’s, Rowntree’s or Tesco’s fault. And, why can’t we eat them? – just in bloody moderation, it isn’t any more complicated than that.
As a dietitian I love food, and I mean ALL food. So to hear and see people lose this relationship which is so important, really is quite sad. I feel that a lot of my role involves getting people to reconnect with food again by understanding it, enjoying it and manipulating it for their own personal needs.
So please, take a minute to reflect on your own diet. Is there anything you have in there daily just because you have been told it is healthy? – then check with a dietitian. Or perhaps you hate something but eat it anyway because it is a ‘super food’ – check the contents, I bet there is a food you like which it could be switched for.
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