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Food Fear


Food Fear

Val MacDonald

Recently, the American Department of Agriculture released in its' dietary guidelines for 2015, that "cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption". They admitted that although they previously recommended limiting cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg/day (about 1 1/2 eggs), there is now evidence that there is no "appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum (blood) cholesterol". (For full CNN article, click here.)  By the way, Canada did not have an upper limit on cholesterol.

So foods high in cholesterol, such as shrimp, lobster and especially eggs, can now be forgiven, and perhaps eaten with enjoyment and with peace of mind by many more people.  This makes my job easier, I must say, because I have been telling people to eat eggs, including the yolks, for years. Some people have been very hard to convince. And I'm sure that there are still going to be diet gurus out there who will advise against eating the whole egg.  For a great article on the nutrition of eggs, click here.

This got me to thinking; why do we need to be advised what to eat? And why do we hold so tightly to beliefs about food that even when presented with the truth, we don't believe it?

I think we are eating from a place of fear.  I know, it's hard to ignore all of the messages out there; sugar causes cancer, carbs make you fat, gluten can't be digested and so on. There are a million diet books out there, and each one promises better health and a leaner body.  

What happens is we start to label all of our foods as being either "good" or "bad".  We feel intense emotions about eating these good and bad foods, and we either praise or criticize ourselves when eating them.  We follow food rules. We catagorize everything, based on what we have heard about it in the news, or on Dr. Oz or from some celebrity.  

Oftentimes, we deprive ourselves of our favourite foods, because they are off limits on so many diets.

I would like to suggest that we do things a different way.  What if you were to find out what your body likes to eat?  What if you started to connect with your body, from a place of love and care, and started to feed it what it wants and enjoys?  What if you start to nourish yourself with foods that simply feel good in your body?

I know what you are thinking; if I fed my body what it wanted, I would eat potato chips and cake all day long!  I have no self control or willpower whatsoever!"

I am willing to bet that once you tune into your body; take the time to listen to its' wisdom, that you will naturally make the best food choices for your body, without any "self control" involved.  I call this eating mindfully or eating intuitively.  

Mindful eating involves eating with more awareness to how the foods tastes, and to how the food affects your energy levels after eating it. Start by turning off all electronic devices during your meal, and by chewing your food more, to really taste it.  Turn off and tune in.

Pay attention to how your body feels after eating certain foods. Notice if you digest them well, and what your energy levels are an hour afterwards.  Are you feeling energized, or are you feeling fatigued? Processed foods and fast foods are energy zappers with few nutrients. Whole foods provide the right fuel to sustain energy, and enough nutrients to nourish the body.  Tune in to your body's signals and you will start a different kind of food selection process, based on how you feel.

And don't forget to eat your eggs.