The myth of Good and Bad Food

We hear constantly about good and bad foods. We’ve become obsessed with reading food labels. If you ever hear a professional nutritionist speak, you might well come to the conclusion that there is little left on the planet that is safe or good to eat. It is easy to realize that we have at one time or another each bought into this idea: “the good food and bad food syndrome”.

The lists of good foods and bad foods are constantly changing. For example, chocolate might taste great but was considered in the past to be bad. Now, however, we are told it can be good for us. When you see how much data is available and realize that evidence can be found both for and against almost everything, it puts the whole matter into perspective.

Since the mid 1980’s, many people have bought into the idea that the food we consume does not have all that we need to stay well and healthy. The results are quite alarming; individuals are often consuming vast amounts of vitamins, minerals and food supplements, believing that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Unfortunately the truth is rather different. Nancy Deutsh, in an article published by Reuters Health on March 2000 reported that a toddler with mental retardation who was undergoing an unsupervised mega-vitamins and mega-mineral treatment died of magnesium poisoning. Laurie Drake, in another article (Allure Magazine) titled “Too much of a good thing” presents the case of Susan, a 35-years old accountant who suffered an overdose of vitamins. These are just two small examples.

There are countless of others like Susan who are getting sick on vitamins, a nutritional paradox of otherwise healthy people. “Vitamins are medicines like anything else, and in every medicine there is little poison” says New York City cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld. She also points out that grossly exceeding recommended daily allowances can lead to everything from nausea, diarrhea, constipation to birth defects.

Unlike pharmaceutical firms, supplement companies in the USA are not required by law to report serious product problems to the government. On March 19, 2000, Guy Gugliotta reported in The Washington Post that “mounting evidence suggests that an increasing number of Americans are falling seriously ill or even dying after taking dietary supplements that promise everything from extra energy to sounder sleep”. Two months later Gugliotta added to his research that “although some products may be helpful, the surge in supplements used by children and adolescents is causing rising alarm among pediatricians, children’s health advocates and federal and state medical officials” as supplements are largely untested and unregulated and the short- and long-term impact of these substances is virtually unknown.”

Because of advertising campaigns promoting 100% natural products, a lot of people feel reassured by the word “natural”. The point is, whenever you take these products, you are giving your power and belief to a substance outside of yourself and not allowing you to discover your own healing thought process and your own body’s healing abilities.

Each and every month, we are given new data on what is good and not good for us to eat and drink. It’s almost impossible to keep up with so much information. What we need to do is to start now listening to our body and to ourselves, enjoy what we eat and drink and feel positively about our choices. Each one of us is unique and what’s good for one may not be for another. The body is amazingly adaptable and it is possible to know what is right and will work for each of us, as simple as trusting our own thoughts and feelings. As the sayings go, “variety is the spice of life” and “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Isn’t it time to get back to the basics, then relax and enjoy a healthy relationship with our food?

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