Everywhere you look, there’s another book written by another nutrition expert, telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat. That would be fine if they all told you the same thing, but sadly they don’t. From the original food pyramid to blood types to the whole food diet to paleo/banting, how are we to know what to eat?
The real truth
The truth is that everyone’s body is different. Some do well on protein while others thrive on carbs. Some need a high-fat diet and others a low-fat one. Some benefit from eating dairy, and some don’t.
You would have thought that fruit and vegetables were safe, but in fact for some people, the natural sugar levels in fruit are too high or some types of vegetables don’t work for them. For example, many people can’t tolerate anything from the nightshade family, which includes common foods like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.
If you feel that there are certain food groups that don’t agree with you, then a process of elimination is often the best starting point.
How to tell if something is good for you
If you pay attention, your body will make it very clear. Here’s what it’s saying to you:
When your body operates well on a particular food type, you’ll feel energised after you’ve eaten it and your mind will be sharp and clear.
If your body isn’t really happy, you might have symptoms like:
- Stomach cramps
- Bloating and/or gas
- Sore joints or muscles
- Skin break-outs
- Asthma or difficulty breathing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
If you experience any of these after a meal, check what you’ve just eaten and make a note of it. If it happens again, you probably have an intolerance, in which case you should avoid that food as far as possible.
Now we’re talking about actual allergies, when your face swells up, your throat starts closing and/or you throw up. You might be able to manage it with some anti-histamine, but in extreme cases, you should head straight for the emergency room.
Eating well is a skill that takes a lifetime to develop, and if that’s the case, it’s a good idea to start now. Listen to your body and adapt what you eat accordingly, and you life will improve on every level.