Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Diet Wars

Most of us have been in the trenches. As a generation we are trying to recover from the diet wars, looking for sustainable solutions. And, after years of obsessing about fat, calories and carbs, we’ve been left mostly … fatter. So much so that 65 percent of us are overweight, and 31 percent are officially obese. Maybe we’ve finally convinced ourselves that diets don’t work. But, lifestyle changes do.

The good news today is that nutritionists and health researchers are seeing signs of change. The percentage of people on traditional diets (about 50 to 60 percent for the last 5 years) appears to be falling, and we are seeing growing signs of a “positive eating” trend. Positive eaters avoid traditional diets and instead focus on eating well, adding foods like vegetables, nuts, fruits and berries, grains and healthful fats onto the plate. Positive eaters cook with olive oil and season with herbs rather than salt. The key word is health. And notice, positive eaters eat real foods, not pre-packaged, not drive-thru, not instant just add water foods.

If you aren’t familiar with Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food,” which highlights our unhealthy dependence on processed foods instead of “real” food, we recommend it. And, along the same train of thought, consider this—with all the diet foods available, sugar-free soft drinks and low-fat snacks, the majority of Americans still can’t seem to manage their weight.

We like the concept of “positive eating” and of eating real food. It’s what we’ve been promoting for three years, and let’s face it—change takes time. Let’s focus on the big picture—and that means thinking about what to eat as much as what not to eat. And then, let’s enjoy our good choices.

No comments: