Happy National Nutrition Month!
Ultra-low-fat, Zone, Paleo, Low-carb, South Beach, Keto, Vegan, Dukan, HCG, the list keeps going and growing. There will be catchy names to come but what is important is how to evaluate these diet guidelines and find what works for you.
In his book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. T. Colin Campbell uses the old story of six blind men and an elephant to help describe why all this confusing and sometimes conflicting information exists. As the story goes, six blind men are asked to describe an elephant by each feeling a different body part: leg, trunk, tusk, tail, ear, and the belly. Each description is immensely different: tree, branch, pipe, rope, fan and wall. They vehemently disagree with each other, convinced that each of their experiences alone are the correct one.
I found this to be one of the best metaphors to explain why we need to understand context along with the nutrition information we hear about. While individual perspectives provide focus and detail, we can’t mistake that for the whole truth. Sometimes we become hooked with methods we defend to the end but would encourage you to be nimble and explore different perspectives. In the end, lifestyle changes are holistic and persistent, so it is more important that you find what works for you long term.
Making connections between components of various diets and understanding commonalities may help you sift through some of the hype. We will explore how to get beyond the headline in a future post but take a minute to think about your reactions to the latest and greatest diet trend.
Do you trust and jump right in?
Do you seek more information or maybe start with a few changes?
Maybe you feel nothing has worked for you and nothing works, what’s the point in trying?
No matter where you are, you can find a way to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Start slow if needed and work to change just one thing for a month. It only takes a few weeks to make something a habit. More importantly, small persistent changes can have profound positive effects!