Common sense and nutrition

Why oh why is there such a lack of common sense when it comes to nutrition, especially in the world of the press?

How can it possibly be that an article about pesto containing loads of salt, therefore being ‘less healthy’ than a MacDonald’s burger be something that ever makes it out into the world?

And how on earth are people supposed to have any idea what is healthy, or what is safe to eat, when pieces like that appear almost every single week?

No wonder people are confused!

When my clients come to me, feeling unsure about what does count as part of a healthy diet, feeling annoyed with themselves for not knowing this kind of stuff, I do my best to reassure them that it’s not their fault for having no idea what to eat.

I always talk to them about a few key areas, my philosophy of having some ‘general rules’, the idea that foods which are local, seasonal and fresh are always going to beat almost* any superfood in the world, and the fact that home-made, or at least, ‘proper’ food which was made in a proper food kind of way is almost* always going to be better for you than something made in a fast food joint.

Common sense would dictate that eating something made from basil, oil, nuts and cheese which is eaten in small portions as part a bigger meal is going to be healthier than a meal made from poor quality meat, unknown additives and flavourings with bread designed to last for years all served in a paper bag. The salt quantity of pesto would have to be extra-ordinarily high to negate the benefits of a home-cooked meal made with fresh ingredients.

And what about the business of eating?

And aside from the actual ingredients in both those meals, and the effect (positive or negative) of those foods is the simple value in eating foods which have been lovingly prepared (or if not lovingly prepared, at least prepared by someone who gives a tiny damn about the person eating their foods), at a table, in a relaxed social setting, rather than eating a meal fast which is, after all, the whole point of a fast food takeaway.

So, I’m not bashing the people who publish this stuff. And I’m certainly not bashing the people who do chose to eat food from MacDonalds. But what I am bashing is the lack of common sense by the people who, by virtue of their jobs, actually influence the way many people think about food.

It’s the same when they talk about giving children low fat dairy (because, obviously, a growing body and mind don’t need fat for their fat-dependent brain tissue, eyes, hormones, etc).

When in doubt, common sense is always going to be a useful starting point.

That’s why my workshops and my client sessions aren’t waffle and weird stuff: just common sense with a hint of humour.

Anyway, thats’ enough ranting for now.

Happy pesto eating!

*I say ‘almost’ because there are always exceptions to the rules for some people at certain times – which is why I rarely say ‘aways’!


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