Why diets don’t work

And by “diet” I don’t mean losing weight. I mean removing major food groups — essential macro-nutrients that our body needs in order to be healthy.

I’ve been intrigued by this book lately, Coping With Food Intolerances by Dick Thom, D.D.S., N.D. He talks about how the body develops food sensitivities or intolerances when it is over-exposed to certain kinds of food.

In our culture, for example, we tend to be over-exposed to gluten and dairy. Which is why it seems like every other person these days is gluten or dairy intolerant.

Why didn’t it used to be that way? I have struggled with this question for years. I’m pretty sure our ancestors didn’t have gluten-free or dairy-free choices when they sat down at the dinner table, and they managed just fine.

I have avoided gluten for several years now, but with limited choices of gluten-free bread, I have literally been eating the same millet and brown rice loaf for-evah! To say I’m tired of it is a gross understatement. Gross being the operative word.

While adamantly avoiding gluten, I’ve been over-doing it on other staples like corn, rice, and potato. Dr. Thom talks about this phenomenon in his book, explaining that the removal of certain foods in someone’s diet can actually result in over-exposure of the replacement food, leading to new food intolerances or sensitivities.

I had a light bulb moment.

The key to a healthy diet is moderation and variety.

(Which happens to tie in very nicely with Chinese medicine’s view of diet and nutrition. My light-bulb moment was also a “duh” moment.)

I realized that even though I was eating a gluten-free diet, I was not necessarily eating healthfully.

Since my light-bulb moment, I have changed my eating habits significantly. I’m focusing on the quality of my food instead of making sure it’s gluten-free, which has opened the door to so many more healthy options.

Um, hello sprouted grain bread! Where have you been all my life?

Some questions to ponder: Are you eating enough different kinds of foods? Are you focusing on what you’re not eating or what you are eating?

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Photo credit: bloggyboulga

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