It can be so confusing. It seems as though I can’t eat anything. Everything has a problem with it. What is the point in paying any attention to what I eat?
It seems as though there is always a report circulating on different websites and news stations about diet fads and food that we all thought was healthy, but turns out to be really bad for us. Well, part of the problem lies in how information is communicated. The experimental procedures for any given study will be very important regarding how the information is applied. Researchers will often give their recommendations for application. With that said, sometimes, other experts have to take things into their own hands because researchers often leaves us with the idea that more research is needed.
Although it is often true that more research is needed regarding the benefits of some foods, we still need some sort of guidance as to what is healthy and what is not. This leads me to my first point. People will categorize foods as healthy and not healthy. Sometimes, a healthy food could be healthy for some and not for others. It is true that there are foods we should avoid such as white flour carbohydrates. So what happens is some research comes out on a food and it is portrayed by the media as bad. So the nuance as to under what conditions it is bad does not get communicated. Lectins is a great example. Lectin containing foods such as lentils can drive up inflammation and can cause digestive troubles. For vegetarians, however, lectins are considered a great source of protein. I would not discount the concept that lectins can cause trouble. Instead, you could give it a try and see how you respond. If the food causes discomfort and inflammation, then it is not good for you. This includes mental and emotional issues. Some foods might increase anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions. Experts such as Dr. William Cole, is a functional medicine practitioner that helps people understand what body system has higher inflammation and what foods might be triggering it. Dr. Cole as well as others utilize some form of an elimination diet to get to the root of this in combination with other research and experience.
Fruit is another good example. Some, such as Dr. Gundry, will say that fruit can cause swelling in the kidneys. He will advise people that it is not necessary. Other people, especially in the world of Keto and Carnivore will espouse this idea that fruit is bad. There certainly is a context where fruit is bad, but is your situation such that it is not advisable for you to have fruit? I personally believe one of the biggest factors here is organic versus inorganic fruit. Fruit that is not organic (and vegetables for that matter) can increase your exposure to pesticides and insecticides. These foreign substances can wreak havoc on your body. One thing to consider is the USDA list of the clean fifteen and the dirty dozen. This is a list of fruit and veggies with the most and least pesticide and insecticide retention, so you could buy produce that is not organic from the clean 15 list, but if it is on the dirty dozen list, it would be a good idea to get organic.
Anyway, if your path to health means not eating fruit, ok. Keep in mind the season as well, for both fruits and veggies. I think it is reasonable to consider that it is not the best idea to eat produce that is out of season. For millions of years, mankind would have been restricted to plants that were in season, and did not have the chance to import stuff from all over the world. For healthy individuals who are exercising on a regular basis and do not have any major health issues, fruit could be a great thing. If you are struggling with inflammation, brain fog, joint pain, trouble loosing weight, it would be a good idea to reflect on your daily energy intake. It could be very beneficial to see if some of the issues you are having are the result of food that is lacking in quality. Doing a food journal on a short term basis to document what you eat, and how you feel after you eat as well as your energy levels and other relevant info can help you to make the connection to how food affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. This way, when a problem arises in one of these three areas, you can ask yourself what you ate that might have been contributing to this issue.
The point here is to take everything with a grain of salt. This does not mean to not pay any attention to your health. If you see a report about something being not healthy, look for other sources to see if you can get some more info about the original context in which it was studied to see if it does apply to you. Finding what foods work for you is a journey that takes time. Take it step by step. Understand that everybody is right and everybody is wrong, so do not worry about the latest reports that spread fear and misinformation. Discovery for yourself how you can make good, healthy choices that your body loves.