Eating a “Normal” diet…

It saddens me how often I hear about diabetics that wish they could eat a “normal” diet. “Normal” compared to what? The Standard American Diet? A huge majority of Americans eat a diet that is completely abnormal and unhealthy. For many the longing for a normal diet, is in fact a longing for the diet that got many of them in that situation to begin with.

Emblematic of this fact is that when you search for “low carb recipes”, nine times out of ten you will get results for low carb deserts. We love the sweet stuff. If we are inhibited from eating something sweet we feel like we are being left out from a normal diet. Not that long ago “treats” were, well treats. They were saved for a special occasion, perhaps on the weekend. Now a sweet treat is part of each meal. In some respects our economic gains have lead to our biological detriment.

I have conducted a lot of “man (and woman) on-the-street interviews” on this topic over the past two years. From my (unscientific) surveys most people will describe a carbohydrate based meal when asked the question “What do you think of when I say the word food?”. The mental picture of food for most people starts with some kind of bread, rice, pasta…etc

This is ironic, because of all the macro-nutrients carbs are the least essential. If you don’t eat (good) protein, you will die. If you don’t eat (good) fat, you will die. You can go completely with out carbs and your body will generate the necessary glucose (via liver glycogen). Obviously, most fruits and veggies contain carbs, but really the main reason to eat fruits and veggies (espcially, leafy greens) is for the nutrients they provide…NOT the carbs.

To me, a healthy diet isn’t a one size fits all type of thing. Age, genetic background, allergies and tolerances all factor in to forming a “Normal” diet for YOU. A normal diet for you, most likely isn’t normal for the person next to you.

Lathe Poland is one of the creators of the documentary film Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying To Eat.

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