Monday, February 11, 2013

Going to the Extremes

We are living in a day and age of extremes- extreme sports…extreme violence…even extreme weather, as the northeast folks well know. There are also extreme forms of dieting. Some people have a horrendous diet, laden with fast and fried foods, sugary soft drinks and Trans fat. On the other end of the spectrum you have those who are up-to-date on the latest nutrition news, in a constant state of detox and eating “clean.”

As a dietitian, part of my job is to help my clients find a happy medium. There is a perception that dietitians are “perfect” eaters, void of any fatty fault or sugary snag. This is simply not the case. Our goal is to model an eating behavior that is both health conscious and sustainable, and sometimes that means eating an occasional piece of cake.

If you are an overall healthy person following a diet that is well-roundingly rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein, the body can handle the infrequent ice cream cone. You don’t have to get caught up in having the ideal diet as defined by health fanatics on the internet. The disservice comes when you abuse this feature daily over months and years. The diet you choose, whether it’s whole food, plant based, gluten-free or vegan should be one that complements a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing your peace of mind and happiness. Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t eliminate all forms and sources of sugar from your diet.

Relax. Eating doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be a chore and it certainly doesn’t have to be extreme.

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