The Tale of Healthy Food
Like most tales, the tale of healthy food is a nice little story with exciting ups and downs, magical heroes, and malevolent villains. The tale has many different authors, and most of us don't exactly know who is the author of which section.
While the tale has been narrated many times in millions of families, TV shows, and newspapers over the last decades, it has been rewritten slightly but ongoingly. Now there are so many variants of the tale out there; it is unbelievable how many. Did you ever ask different persons about what is healthy food and what is not? You most likely got a slightly different version of the tale each time you asked.
It's a miracle.
One rewrite with impact
Whatever the tale of healthy food was about before, it got a dramatic re-write in the 1970s. During that time, politicians and the food industry thought it might be their turn to act as authors of the tale of healthy food. With their power of distribution and stoic repetition, their story has lasted a very long time and crossed national borders quickly. While many authors added their fair share of beliefs, the base tale we have today is founded on the roots of the story of the 70s.
The narrative found its way through an entire generation, and people like you and me can basically feel their echo in the bones. We've been bombarded with the tale everywhere. It has been written on our Cornflakes, prayed about in school, elaborated in families, and repeated in our favorite series and TV shows.
I mean, I get it - I really do: We have so many problems to face, so many decisions to make: Shouldn't there be some authorities we can blindly trust? If they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you'll be fine when you simply eat your dang cereals. Shouldn't we be relieved and say happily: Good - thank you!
The thing is: It looks like there is no food authority to trust.
Politicians gave wrong information
Among other aspects, the politicians in the 70s added nutritional fat like butter and bacon as the malevolent villain who is bad for you while saying everyone should eat more artificial margarine. Margarine was their glorious hero - margarine for a healthy heart and all power to her. They told this story for years.
But as time went by, their storyline was proven to be wrong. It is the other way around - butter and bacon and lard are the heroes, the avengers that help you thrive. At the same time, margarine and vegetable oils are the bad guys. For years disguised in the robe of the hero have they been uncovered finally. Uhh - but what now?
There are still millions of people who did not get the tale's update yet and keep on fearing the old bad guys - butter and bacon. However, those who got the update are fighting an internal dispute about what to believe: Who is right and wrong? What to do? If you accepted a tale for a lifetime, it is hard to make it un-believed if you still hear the echo in your bones.
By seeing more and more people claiming that the tale got a truthful rewrite and that the old villain is now the good guy we can trust, people began to wonder. And to me, it feels natural that some may ask: Is it possible that everything people ever told us about food is wrong?
Unfortunately, it looks like a disturbing YES.
When nutrition and healthy food became a political tale and were based on a couple of false assumptions, lousy advice has dramatically worsened the nutritional and health situation on the planet. For decades.
But what does that mean? Is nutritional fat just a sad example, but the rest works fine? You might guessed it already. The answer is: No.
The tale of meal frequency
Another fascinating storyline preached to us is that you need to eat 3, 4, 5, or 6 meals a day to stay healthy.
They said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that eating several small meals a day will keep us from being hungry. Several small meals should also keep us from overeating during a meal. That story was actually pretty neat and easy to believe and easy to follow. Unfortunately, it was way too easy, and way too many people did (and still do) it for a long period.
One-stop shops selling fast food, tasty handheld food to eat quickly on our way to work, the next store, to the cinema, to the car, or wherever we were heading to. It is so easy, tempting, and healthy to quickly stop and buy a slice of pizza, a bread roll, or a muffin. Luckily, it is so healthy as it is the recommended little snack between the meals that keep us from getting hungry and overeating on the next meal, right?
Sadly, it looks like that story is still nothing but a tale - pure fiction and with this terribly wrong when being lived by in real life. Especially for those already dealing with being overweight or obese or having diabetes or other health issues.
The consequence of snacking
Do you know what happens with insulin in your body after you eat something? It rises intending to move the glucose you ate from the blood into your cells. The insulin goes away again when it is done, and your level falls back to base levels. And that's a wonderful process we all adore, however, we are all happy when insulin is back to its baseline as we do not want high insulin levels all the time.
The problem is that when you are constantly eating (like 6 meals a day), your insulin levels will never be able to get back to a baseline. And with this, you have constantly elevated insulin levels.
That triggers - as we know - insulin resistance.
And insulin resistance is the starting point of a hundred health problems. See: Insulin resistance
Skip a meal
If you worry that you need breakfast first thing in the morning, you'll be happy to hear that your body is your friend. And as a friendly servant, the liver is pumping glucose into your body even before you leave your bed to get you started. Besides glucose, it is also providing you a cocktail of other hormones that will give you a kick-start.
Your body is literally providing you breakfast and giving you the energy to start the day. There is no need to eat anything as the energy will last for several hours.
With that super-power inside you: Try to skip a meal here and there and see what happens after a few weeks.
The truth about healthy food
The tale of healthy food written by politicians and the food industry can't be believed. This is clear.
Luckily, there are many credible scientists out there that shed light on the dark of nutritional fairy tales. Additionally, many people speak about their experiences and can help you define your own path.
If you want to find out who is right and wrong and what the truth actually is, let me tell you: It may be a challenging and long way to find out, but I think it is possible to find your truth. Your truth is what works for you and what makes you (stay) healthy.
Go and find it.
Educate yourself as well as you can. When you succeed and feel good with what and how you eat, educate your family and make sure you'll live a healthy life. Based on your own findings.
Don't trust the tales the food industry tries to tell you.