I Don't Know What To Eat

I Don't Know What To Eat

Overwhelming mixed signals from the nutrition industry

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I'm a fan of experimenting with different diets and lately have been particularly obsessed with reading and watching documentaries about nutrition. However, I've come to realize that there are all sorts of mixed signals being given off.

There is literally an argument against eating every single food group. Sugar, the top of the old-fashioned food pyramid, has of course been discouraged (or advised to eat in moderation). Meat has been shot down by vegetarians and vegans, who say meat is unhealthy and can cause cancer and diabetes. Processed meat is a class 1 carcinogen, and red meat is a class 2 carcinogen, as mentioned by What the Health. Dairy is advised to be avoided by athletes and vegans, who say 'Not your mother? Not your milk' and rave about how much better they feel after ruling out dairy. Grains, the base of the food pyramid, has been ruled out for its high carbohydrate content by people who follow the Ketogenic diet. That means no pasta, no rice, and no bread (super difficult for me!). The Ketogenic diet also rules out legumes, certain vegetables, and limits fruits. On the contrary, the Keto diet encourages consumption of more meat and fats, directly contradicting vegans and some nutritionists. Fish has been loved by pescatarians, but nutritionists are now saying there's a high risk of mercury and other toxins in fish due to bioaccumulation, and that these toxins can build up in women, where the only way to get rid of the toxins is to have a baby (passing on toxins to the baby). Eggs. Some people love eggs, but other nutritionists talk about how horrible eggs are to your cardiovascular health. Vegetables seem to be the most agreed upon healthy option, but you can't have a diet that's just vegetables - there's not enough carbohydrates or fats to pull energy out of a diet like that.

I'm trying out the Ketogenic diet right now, but I'm not sure where to go afterward. There are so many different things that nutritionists tell us, and there seems to be a new opinion coming out every day on what we can and can't eat. There's absolutely no food item that everyone agrees on, making it very difficult to find a healthy, long-lasting and trustworthy diet.

Diet is a win-some-lose-some struggle. We need to acknowledge that no matter what we eat, someone out there will be telling us we made a mistake. We also need to realize that - when was the last time an ordinary person died from mercury poisoning because they ate fish from a market? We all need to get by. By statistics alone, the US has a high proportion of people with cardiovascular disease, most likely correlated with the American diet. To contrast, people in Asian countries have lower proportions of heart disease and cancer, likely linked to the diet with lower calories, less oil, less meat, and more seafood.

I'm still figuring this out, and finding the right diet has now become a search for what's the least bad, rather than what has the most good.

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From The Girl Who Skipped The Party Stage

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.
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What's so wrong with skipping the party stage?

I can't count how many times I've been told I am missing out on the "best years of my life" because I'm not participating in stereotypical college party-girl behavior. I have even been told that I'll have a mid-life crisis because I am skipping this apparently crucial stage of life. Really? A freaking mid-life crisis? Because I'm skipping out on hooking up with strangers and being belligerently drunk every weekend?

Naturally, as a 19-year-old college student, my favorite pastime should be getting intoxicated. For some odd reason, though, I find it hard to believe that the best years of my life are supposed to be filled with moments that I won't remember.

Because my priorities lay in a different place than the stereotypical college kid doesn't by any means indicate that I am uptight, boring or a prude. Believe it or not, I get high on life just as much as you do on booze and weed.

Spending my time reading a good book with my morning coffee definitely tops a nasty hangover. Cuddling with my boyfriend of two years undoubtedly makes me happier than any one-night-stand ever could.

A successful girls' night for me is filled with hours of "Grey's Anatomy," ridiculous singing to Taylor Swift, and one-too-many slices of pizza — not dancing with girls that I barely know at a frat party.

Sorry, but if you're looking for someone to black out with and compliment your dress that is just too tight, I am not your girl. Want to have an actual discussion? Want to go to dinner, maybe even take a road trip? I am totes down for that.

When I look back on the best years of my life, I want my mind to be filled with memories that will bring a smile to my face — not a cringe.

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.


Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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