Be Careful What You Read
By Marcia Bristow MS RDN CD
I recently read an article titled, “Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick.” —By Kiera Butler. The title caught my eye as yet another reason to make people feel confused and uncertain about food choices. The media and so-called experts are telling people gluten, dairy and sugar are the source of obesity, and health disparities. Don’t eat-fast, go on cleanses and detox diets. Now how we eat is under attack. The quote, “You are what you eat” seems to be changing over to, “You are what you don’t eat.” It is no wonder that everyday in my practice I educate and council clients who are extremely confused about what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.
In the article, blame is placed on the food industry and even European settlers for the tendency as a population to eat at meal times. Never is the fact considered that it makes sense why humans have evolved into a species that eat meals on average every 4 hours. This is because it takes about that amount of time for the body to digest meals-depending of course on the size of the meals. If people go longer between meals, hunger is curbed with snacks.
According to the article one of the answers to lessen health disparities and obesity is to fast. Skip breakfast and lunch on most days. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that caloric deprivation acts as a mild stress that helps cells build up defenses to ward off damage from aging, environmental toxins and other threats. My response is, “Absurd. The only thing fasting will do is lower the rate of metabolism in the body or the rate at which the body burns calories.” People need the calories and nutrients supplied from regular consumption of snacks and meals in order to have the energy to move about and the clarity of mind to think.
After filling the readers mind with ridiculous facts and thoughts the author ends the article with one bit of good advice from a weight loss and nutrition expert. “Everyone needs to teach themselves to pay attention to hunger and satiety (fullness) cues.” In other words, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Be MINDFULL! In my opinion the best diet is one that is rich in a variety of nutrients from all the different food groups to meet caloric needs. For the most part, people need to eat on a regular basis. They need to eat less and move more. If you are a person who needs to follow a diet to maintain overall health, loose weight, or lessen the symptoms of a disease condition, the food plan that makes the most sense and has been rated by a panel of health experts as the #1 plan for the last 5 years is the DASH diet. Keep in mind no matter what you read there is no magic formula for health or achieving the “perfect” body. Above all be careful what you read, you might die of a misprint some day.
For more information on the DASH diet: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash
Here is a link to the article by Kiera Butler: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/03/against-meals-breakfast-lunch-dinner