Ok, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s okay to have ice cream, donuts, sodas, chips, chicken wings or any number of other “foods” you know is not healthy for you as long as it is done in moderation. In theory, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. I am certainly not perfect in my own food choices. However, moderation is very frequently problematic. Why so? 3 Reasons
Mistaking “Food” for Food
I sometimes hear people say that food shouldn’t be labelled as good or bad. Rather, they contend, It is something we should enjoy in moderation. This line of reasoning overlooks a crucial distinction. It fails to differentiate actual food that comes to us from the Earth from highly processed “foods” that are churned out from a factory. Natural food, with rare exceptions, are inherently good for us. Our bodies evolved over the millennia is just such a way as to be able to digest these foods from nature that nourish our bodies. In contrast, highly processed foods – which today comprise a staggering 60% of the average American’s diet (and a whopping 70% of our kids’ diet) – can hardly be called “food” at all. To fail to understand that is to justify to ourselves that the SAD or Standard American Diet, is okay.
Taste Buds Never Rehabilitate
Second, by moderating, we often fail to ever get to the point of rehabilitating our taste buds. As I’ve said before (and demonstrated using google search), highly processed foods really do taste better than real food. They are made to be addictive and highly pleasurable. Just try offering a chocolate cake or ice cream versus any natural food of your choice to a little child. See which one they pick. I’m sure the results are predictable without having to run the experiment.
Many people considerate it moderation if you only get one dessert a day. The constant re-exposure practically ensures that they will never experience taste bud rehabilitation. Yes, research shows that by avoiding these tempting foods for about a month, we do lose much (though not all) of our craving for it.
Moderation vs Reality
A Better Way Forward: Optimize the Environment
If you live in the 21st century, you’ll have a hard time resisting all the temptations around us. Very few of us manage to get this right. When a few people are failing at something, you can possibly blame the person. When the vast majority of people are failing, there’s something wrong with the system. Indeed that is the case today.
BOTTOM LINE: THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
- As John Maynard Keynes said a century ago, people of our time ought to be largely independent of our employers for our income – unfortunately, due to “mindless consumerism”, we are not.
- Mindless consumerism is the underlying reason leading to the rise of chronic disease for 3 major reasons:
- It ties us to dependence on our employers and modern day employment is a health hazard for most (in part due to the sedentary nature of most jobs).
- It has led to environmental changes toxic to our wellbeing:
- (a). We evolved in and are best suited to natural environments and instead we live in increasingly artificial environments.
- (b). Overconsumption has lead us to engineer out the need for meaningful use of our legs for ambulation.
- Finally, it transforms workers to work with blinders on – instead of working for the product or service and receiving money as a side effect, workers focus on making money and the product or service is instead the side effect. The results (with respect to health) is that “food” is no longer food but changed to maximize pleasure and extract profit in spite of the toxicity to our health.
- Based on the science of wellbeing one can derive the philosophy that once basic needs are met, “The best things in life are free” therefore —>
- Most people can live far below their means without sacrificing happiness AND by investing the rest, they can become financially independent of their employers enabling them to be —>
- Happier. Healthier. Wealthier. More engaged. Simply better.