Monday, 19 April 2010

5 apples a day keep the doctor away - not

The Beyond Chocolate principle: 'Be your own Guru' is about getting women to think for themselves and trust that they know best rather than going along with rules and diet plans drawn up by people who have never met them and often have dubious qualifications or vested interests. When we introduce this principle, we often get quite strong reactions. "But surely doctors and nutrition experts know what's good and bad for us!",  is one frequent objection.

Well apparently not. Everyday, the press publishes stories in which a study has just disproved another prevailing nutritional theory. We grew up with eggs branded as cholesterol devils - and then we find out it's not the type of cholesterol that's bad for you. We endured the margarine conspiracy in the 80s exhorting us to abandon the evil of butter and animal fats - and eat what we discovered later was cancerous plastic derivatives instead! We still put up with the no protein police, the anti carbs brigade and the zero fattists and countless other groups of militants who tell us that we'd be healthier, live longer and lose weight if only we would STOP eating this or that. For some outfits like Lighter Life, the solution is to stop eating real food altogether.

More recently, the number one undisputed rule of eating - the one backed by governments, world health organisations and 'experts' across the board, has just fallen flat on its face. The tenet of 'healthy eating' which has been at the basis of every health campaign in the West is now being debunked. According to this latest study eating 5 a day only has a very modest effect in protecting us from cancer. There is no statistical data to suggest that people who eat 5 portions of fruit & veg a day are any better off when it comes to cancer than those who don't.

Of course, we're not suggesting that we should stop eating fruit & veg altogether. Eating a diet rich in natural, fresh foods is bound to be beneficial at some level. This is, however, an invitation to be your own guru - decide what works for you and what doesn't rather than struggling to fit your eating into a arbitrary plan.

Being your own guru means experimenting with eating different foods, gaining first hand experience of they affect your well-being and then deciding how much you would like to eat of these foods as a general rule of thumb..

Make your up your own rules - and then be willing to revise them based on what you find out. That's what healthy eating looks like.

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