The Trouble with Food Documentaries
The other night I went down a spiral of food documentaries and I have watched many in the past prior to this. I also had seen numerous articles circulating about What the Health so I know these documentaries are making their rounds.
As fascinating as I find each of these, it is also quite frustrating. I mean could they be more one sided??
One documentary shows you all of this evidence that sugar is killing everyone and we should cut it out completely (Fed Up). Others barely mention sugar but say that meat is the silent killer and we all need to become basically vegan to survive and is also backed by research (Food Choices, Forks over Knives).
Give me 5 minutes and I can find 100 articles disagreeing (and supporting with facts) all of these claims.
So who are we to believe? What are we to believe?
I won't claim by any means to have all of the answers (or honestly any). And I think the food industry and the research behind each of these claims are evolving constantly. That being said there is one simple fact that the majority of these documentaries have in common.
The belief that we need to INCREASE our whole foods consumption (fruits & veggies) and DECREASE our processed consumption (meat, packaged foods, fast food).
No matter what way you spin it, and what side these researchers fall on, the majority can agree that in today's society we rely too heavily on fast and processed food and too little on natural whole foods.
Please hear me when I say that I am not telling everyone to become a vegetarian, to never eat sugar and to only shop at Whole Foods. What I am saying is that it would benefit everyone to starting eating more foods you can name and less foods that have ingredients that are 12 letters long i.e. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) found in many packaged foods including some breakfast cereals, potato chips, dry drink mixes, commercially prepared bread, and even some chewing gum.
Now I am all about balance and not jumping to extremes. Introducing more whole foods into my diet has been a process over the last few years. And there are still times I eat cake, drink wine and nom on a bag of chips.
However, making mindful choices and consuming foods that our body can naturally digest and process has overtime allowed me to shed weight, clear up my skin and overall feel better.
So what little things can you do today?
Do your research! Enjoy reading those articles and watching the documentaries but I encourage you to research their perspective, read opposing positions and see who funded the project itself. For example...the article that was circulating all about how horrible coconut oil is for you? Was actually funded by the corn industry....seems like they might have had an agenda? But who am I to judge.
- Try and add veggies to a meal or two a day! You don't have to change your whole diet over night but throwing spinach into a smoothie, adding a side salad with your pizza or steamed veggies along with your burger are small ways you can start incorporating more whole foods.
- Shop smart! Many of my friends and clients have heard me rave about Aldi! Seriously I am obsessed! It is a grocery chain that removes all the fluff and extras from the shopping experience to try and bring you the best price possible. They still offer organic produce and dry goods you can find anywhere but for significantly less. I love me some Trader Joe's but it has made a difference in my budget when I shop at Aldi and I don't feel like I am sacrificing on quality. Pick the things you want to stay with name brand wise and then be flexible on the rest! Eating healthy does NOT have to cost a ton extra.
- Decide what is right for YOU! Ultimately we are all different, crave different things and live different lives. We do not have to all eat the exact same so do what makes the most sense for you. Listen to your body and make small changes.
I hope you found this helpful! And I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a source you use to help navigate these types of topics? Favorite documentaries? Lemme know :)