I was scrolling through my Facebook feed recently I noticed the amount of friends that are doing some sort of diet. Deprivation diet to be more clear. They all have fancy names and we all know them and they all have one thing in common. They eliminate foods that they consider unhealthy. Interestingly enough, those eliminated foods are some of the same foods that nutrition professionals are begging you to eat.
You may have heard about this tiny craze of eliminating gluten from your diet. Most elimination diets tell you to eliminate all forms of gluten and you will lose weight, be healthier and be an overall happy person. What do you think is the mechanism behind this? Let’s think about it. Unless you have gluten intolerance, Celiac disease or another digestive disorder where you have significant problems when you consume gluten, your body does not have any problem with gluten. Gluten did not make you gain weight. Your food choices did. Gluten did not make you feel sluggish, your food choices did.
Gluten is in commercial bakery goods, white breads, hamburger rolls, tortillas, frozen treats and hidden in a multitude of processed foods. Guess what? It’s also in whole wheat, barley, rye and bulgur. Instead of depriving yourself of b-vitamins and fiber, try eliminating all of the unhealthy gluten containing foods first and see how you feel.
Another popular food to eliminate is dairy. It is true that some individuals have some very real gastrointestinal difficulties with lactose, but for those that don’t, dairy is also not the enemy of your diet. If your dairy intake consists of ice cream and cheesecake, then perhaps it is not dairy itself, but the types of dairy you are consuming. It could also stem from the sugar content found in a lot of dairy products. If you look carefully at some “healthy” yogurts, they are loaded with sugar. We are such a fortunate nation that our milk supply is fortified with vitamin D. Even our organic and non-dairy milks are fortified with vitamin D, that’s how important it is. You also miss out on calcium, riboflavin and B-12 when deciding that diary is the root of all that is evil.
What is the point to these examples? There is a trend that has been happening and gaining ground that nutritious foods need to be eliminated from the diet. These trends occur when one person or a group of people start a movement saying they lost weight, or they feel better, or they have more energy because they took gluten…or dairy…or fruit out of their diet. And because we are all looking for that magic bullet for weight loss, we do it. And it works. But not because you eliminated an entire food group, but because you eliminated excess trans fat and sugar from the diet.
Maybe we should deprive ourselves of unhealthy food and see how that goes.