Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Controversial Discussions

Yesterday I was talking to a colleague about my lunch. I didn’t start the conversation, he did, as I looked to be eating a particularly healthy lunch and my dietary habits are often the subject of discussion. My lunch consisted of canned tuna, boiled sweet potato (kumara), butter and two boiled eggs. Now this is quite a lot for me but I am trying to overeat a little in an effort to build a bit more muscle mass. He started going on about how it is bad to mix certain types of foods like it is bad to mix protein and carbohydrate in the same meal as different enzymes are used to digest these things. It suddenly occurred to me how annoying it is to have someone lecture you on food choices, which incidentally, is something I do to other people all the time.

Time for a double take I think. Now diet is probably the most controversial subject known to man. If you can find an argument in support of something you can always find an argument against it. Most diets could be described as fads. Even Paleo, which you would think, is hard to bitterly criticize as it is only eating natural foods, has its opponents. Also what is good for one person may not be good for another. There is even a bit of a movement now for the “eat everything diet” which could actually work for some people. At another extreme I read about how humans, as they were largely scavengers exploiting the kills of large predators, ate mostly raw meat that was slightly off and that is what we should feast on now – rotten raw meat.

Exercise too is constantly being criticized. Cardio is good then it is bad. Lifting weights is great then maybe not as you could go blind and so on. Exercise is useless for making you functionally stronger. Body builders are worse at doing everyday tasks and long distance runners damage their bodies.

So what to do? First off I think I will me much less vocal in my criticism of other people’s food choices. I am a student and not a teacher. I’m going to concentrate on what works for me and adapt my strategies accordingly. The focus has to be on healthy longevity and this blog is simply a log of my personal journey in pursuit of this goal.

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