Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is Diet the New Religion?

Remember those two things you're not supposed to discuss at a dinner party -- politics and religion? Maybe we should add diet to that list.

Some people are so emotionally attached to the foods they eat they act morally offended if you dare to eat differently.

Instead of Protestants, Muslims and Jews, we have the low carbers, the low fatters and the portion controllers. Even among the low carbers, we have the high fatters vs the low fatters. And let's not even get started with the Paleos and vegans.
Whether we're eating for pleasure, eating to lose weight, eating to be healthy or any combination thereof, there is a belief system behind our dietary choices. And any time we believe something, we get an irrational emotional attachment to it.

In a former life I was a low-fat vegan and thought that was a morally superior choice from both a health and planetary perspective. I had the typical missionary zeal that comes with being a self-righteous extremist of any sort.

More recently, I lost 35 pounds on the Medifast diet and was pretty quiet about it. If someone asked me how I lost my weight, I told them (and then waited for the inevitable eye roll because I was eating processed replacement meals instead of whole foods in moderation).

Not to mention I was going against the official United States government diet du jour, which preaches low fat and high carb. The feds now force schools to provide children with low- or non-fat  milk -- including chocolate milk -- despite the fact that so-called healthy non-fat chocolate milk contains 26g of sugar compared to only 12g of sugar in whole-fat white milk (which is now "sinful").

But is all that added sugar really healthier than the natural fat in milk that helps you feel satisfied so you won't be jonesing for a Twix bar an hour later? My bible says "no."

So you can imagine how excited I was to read a New York Times article yesterday that turns conventional wisdom on its head. "A Call for a Low-Carb Diet" reports on a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that comes down squarely in favor of low carb vs low fat. 

Times writer Anahad O'Connor put it right out there in the lede: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows."

Since I now try to eat a relatively low-carb diet and don't worry too much about the fats in my food, I feel somewhat (okay, a lot) vindicated. But I will try not to be all holy roller about this.

My belief system is always subject to change as new scientific evidence emerges on what is healthy, and I rely on my body to tell me what feels right for me. So if I pass on the potatoes at dinner it's not a religious statement. It's just how I'm eating right now.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

Similar posts:

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast?

How Medifast Helped Me Develop Better Habits

Medifast Centers Vs. DIY Medifast

Irrational Numbers: Doing the Math on Medifast Popcorn

Medifast Vs. Lean Cuisine Diet

Visit my other blogs:

Fit Kitty

Food Trends 


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