What’s Healthy and What’s Not?

I originally posted this on a discussion forum but thought it was a pretty good topic to post here as well.

OK, nutritional wisdom confuses the hell out of me. I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

I’m 40 years old so I was raised in the era of the traditional food pyramid and “3 squares a day”. Beef was good for you, so was Wonder bread and white rice. Anyone else remember the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon “Beans & Rice is nice.”? Eggs and pork were OK… and milk, lots and lots of milk – it does a body good. And Juice! I just remembered that one, fruit juice was good for you, too. You had to eat breakfast as it was the most important meal of the day. And don’t eat too much sugar or fat.

Then we were told eggs were bad… too much cholesterol. Movie theaters quit using coconut oil in their popcorn because it was deemed too unhealthy. And fruit juice is no better for you than soda. Wonder Bread and white rice are no-no’s, and you have to limit your beef and pork. Eggs are good again, I think so anyhow, not sure the official word this week. And if you ask a Keto fan you can eat all the fat you want. I’m not even sure what the hell the Paleo diet is about but I do know I’m not sure about a diet based on people whose average life expectancy was 33.

Personally I just try to eat a balanced diet with lots of vegetables, lean meats and some healthy carbs. I just can’t get behind a ketogenic diet, it just seems wrong to me, all that fat can’t be good for you – at least not based on everything I was taught for 35 or so years. I’m not trying to argue keto here, I know you people are like a cult when it comes to defending a ketogenic diet. (I kid, I kid… sort of.) I’m just saying to me it doesn’t feel right. My body doesn’t feel right when I eat that much fat and anyone starting a ketogenic diet usually goes through a sickness. I realize a body can get used to a new diet but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you long term. I know reports are mixed, even among the “professionals”, but there are definitely pros and cons to a keto diet that people need to be aware of.   I realize also that for a lot of people it’s helped them find a diet they can stick to and lose weight, I just wish think there should be more consensus on the long-term benefits of the diet before it’s preached as gospel.

However I see where trying to eat healthy can be very confusing for some people because the rules keep changing. Also, you see people losing weight on a diet like keto or Paleo and they start preaching it like gospel, like they are nutritional experts. I saw a post on another forum where someone said they were trying to watch their fat intake and someone replied that they didn’t need to do that because fat was good and they didn’t need to watch it. The original person said, “Oh, OK… I didn’t know that.” They had nowhere near enough information to base their decision on but they just said OK. In another discussion a person was told not to eat breakfast as that wasn’t important but in another discussion someone was told to eat 5X or more a day, even waking up at night to have a shake to keep the metabolism going.

I could go on and on about the points that confuse me, but I’ve pretty much made my point.  I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks about this.

3 thoughts on “What’s Healthy and What’s Not?

  1. I think what works for one doesn’t work for other people. I have been on MFP since January, at first I was just staying within the 1200 calories that MFP deemed I should and eating what I felt was “healthier” than what my normal fare was. I would lose about 2 lbs a month, teetering up and down every week, despite working out 6 days a week. Then I listened to some people and recalculated my calories by using my body fat percentage and BMR and came out with about 1700 calories to consume a day, which I will tell you moving up my calories that much a day scared the bejeezus out of me, but it worked, I started losing every week. Then I started reading about intermittent fasting and 16/8 (16 hours fasted/8 feed) it seemed like it might be something I could easily do, so I fixed my eating window from 10 am to 6 pm and fast the rest of the time, and woah did it ever work, I was consistently losing about 1.5 to 2 lbs a week since. Even losing when I’m pmsing (which I assure you is no small feat) as well as regulating my very screwed up hormones. So everyone is different, I like to take what people say with a grain of salt and do my own research and try things out on my own. I know a calorie isn’t just a calorie despite what so many claim. carbs aren’t good for my hormonal issues so I try desperately to stay away from them, but it’s really hard due to that same hormonal issue I crave them like crazy. But other people carbs are totally fine for them, and a calorie truly is a calorie. I know for myself when I watch my macros, and eat lean meats, veggies and just a little carbs I can drop at least 2 lbs a week. If I watch my same macros, and consume mostly carbs but stay within my macros, I won’t lose nearly as much. As Tony Horton says, Do your best and forget the rest. There is always a new meal to do better.

  2. Beans and rice ARE nice – but every, single thing you do to your body should be done in moderation. I recently read a study (don’t have it on hand right now) that said it’s not that FAT is bad for you per se, I know very well that my predecessors lived on high-fat diets, but where the fat comes from has an effect on heart disease. As far as heart health is concerned, the difference is between eating a steak and eating a Twinkie: processed fats are the ones more harmful to you. I mean, seems pretty obvious that steaks are okay to eat once in a while, and Twinkies are okay never.

    • I agree, everything in moderation. But, as the little cartoon says, we were told that beans and rice is nice, “once, twice or even thrice”. Rice fell into the group we were supposed to consume the most of.

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