Recently, my gym cited an article that talked about different sweeteners, and weather or not they were good or bad for your health. The usual suspects were on the for being “bad guys.” Sugar and HFCS were the top two as per usual. However I was a little surprised to see agave nectar on the list of poor choices. It sited the sweetener’s high fructose content and said that because fructose is processed in the liver, it raises blood triglycerides. This was news to me as I have been using the sweetener for a month or so believing it to be a healthy alternative to sugar.
The thing I want to emphasize, is that I was only mildly surprised. The reason being, that the face of nutrition is ever changing. You see, scientists have only recently (last couple of decades) begun to really do studies on nutrition and how it relates to overall human health. Because the science of nutrition is so young, we are constantly making new discoveries and learning new things that what we as humans know about nutrition constantly shifts. To complicate the matter, food giants are creating new synthetic foods and additives to make their food more appealing (read: make more money) by the minute. Scientific studies often take years to complete, and by the time they are finished, thousands of new products have popped up that need to be studied for safety. We are fighting a losing battle.
So what does this mean to the common person? Should we just give up on trying to find “the perfect diet?” No! I think it is a person obligation to educate themselves about nutrition. However I also understand that a person can go crazy trying to stay abreast on the latest health food crazes. So what do we do? In my opinion, we stay basic. Remember, food companies be they health or other wise only want to make money. It’s the sad fact about America, but its true. No company really wants to “improve your health” as much as they want to empty your wallet. If that were true, they’d give you their product for free.
Here is what we do know however. For the most part, foods grown organically are better for you. Sure studies may shown inconclusively that this pesticide or this genetic modification may not harm you, but why risk it? Vegetables and fruits are good for you. Some meat is good for you, and the less tampered with the meat is, the better it will be for you.
I also subscribe to the belief of everything in moderation. Does this mean I advocate a little cyanide every now and again? NO! It means eat a varied diet, not too much of anything, but eat a little of everything. The exceptions here are vegetables, and sugar. I have never met a person yet who consumes too many vegetables (as long as they are varied, eat too many carrots and you may turn orange). I have also never met a healthy person who eats tons of sugar. My advice to to eat a natural balanced diet, and save sugar for the rare treat, even then eating only small amounts.
Hope this inspires you to take charge of your health,