Diet Books, Which One Has The Answers
By: Nutritionist S. Keith Klein IV CN CCN
Relapse Prevention Series: Educational
I was asked an interesting question the other day, “why are people so accepting of false and misleading information regarding food and diets?” So I responded this way; if you ask yourself a few basic questions rather than just taking someone’s opinion, the truth is pretty easy to figure out. To the diet book that tells you beans are bad for you. Just ask yourself, haven’t people been eating beans since humankind first began walking on Earth? And yet, nothing bad has ever happened to our ancestors from eating them, in fact, civilizations have thrived from eating them, not died. So why are beans suddenly bad? Can beans be bad for some people? Sure, if you are of Mediterranean descent and have a blood condition called Thalassemia, beans are bad for you, but that doesn’t mean everyone should avoid them.
To the diet books that tell you eating corn is bad for you and will cause a increase in blood sugar and a weight gain. Civilizations have thrived by eating corn for centuries. Why didn’t they die off, and why were the majority of Earth’s inhabitants a lot thinner than they are today? Why did eating corn suddenly become a bad thing? While eating processed corn products like corn syrup and corn flour are associated with a blood sugar issues and a weight gain, unadulterated corn isn’t. However, when it comes to dieting and losing weight, the dieting community literally throws out the baby with the bath water. And that partly adds to people’s confusion about food and weight loss.
To the diet book that says you have to stay away from bottom feeders…..Why? Why can’t I eat bottom feeders like shrimp, lobster and clams? In truth, everything is a bottom feeder…cows eat off the bottom of the Earth, and so do chickens, birds, goats, and almost every animal you name. Then we eat them, which even makes us bottom feeders. In fact, almost everything we eat comes from the ground. The idea of avoiding bottom feeders came from the religious sects where eating shellfish is forbidden….it was never meant to be applied to everybody.
Here’s a hardcore fact; all of these falsehoods and many like them began in the late 1950s – 1960s with the invention of diet books. Before the late 1950s, diet books and diet gurus didn’t exist on the level they do today. With the creation of radio, television and charlatans trying to sell weight loss diets and products, they had to come up with something known as “hooks, controversy, and fear.” Weird things that hook a person into the particular uniqueness of the diet plan and associate them with the fear of getting fat. To sell diets, the book’s information must go against the current diet trends and line of reasoning. So, if a low-fat diet is in right now, write a book that says the opposite…” high-fat diets are good for you, low fat is bad.” Or if current trends are to eat high carbohydrates, then come out with a book that says no carbohydrates are good, high carbohydrates are bad etc. With a book written to go against the current health trend wave, the diet book industry discovered that people will begin to ask questions about it because it’s “controversial.” As more and more people talk about eating in an opposite way, the news begins to pick up on it and starts broadcasting this new and controversial way of eating. After all, it’s the opposite of what everyone has been told to do, so by putting it on air to reach millions of people at one time, more people will tune in to see what it’s all about. As they start talking about it, it sells more books. As more books sell, more people talk about it, bringing out the authorities to refute the book’s findings. Now the news media picks up on it and starts interviewing the so-called authorities, which sells more books. As more books sell, it moves up the list of best sellers. Once it reaches that level, more people talk about it, more people buy it, more news stories cover it, and more books sell.
Then, after millions of people have bought the book and tried the diet, only to discover it didn’t work, the news media and people quit talking about it, and the book sales dry up. Then, a new book and a new diet with a new controversial title will get published. And before you know it, after this process has been repeated for 20, 30, or 40 years, all common sense is lost, and people don’t even know the truth anymore. They repeat what they heard without questioning the origins or the validity of the diet information. And because it’s been repeated, over and over again, for so many years, people assume the falsehoods as a facts.
In a world filled with conflicting information and misleading diet trends, it’s crucial for us to question, analyze, and seek the truth about the food we consume and what our bodies need. We must remember that history has shown us the wisdom of our ancestors who thrived on beans, corn, and various foods that are now deemed “bad” by some diet books. Yet, the cycle continues, as a new wave of controversial diets replaces the old, leaving common sense and reliable information obscured by the noise.
It is up to us to break free from this cycle of misinformation by asking the basic questions, consult reliable sources, and rely on our own critical thinking to uncover the truth about the best eating plan for you to lose weight and be healthy. By doing so, we can make informed decisions that promote our health and well-being. In this era of abundant information, try not to be swayed by catchy titles or fleeting diet book trends. Finally a great question to ask yourself as you look over a new trend is simply, “is this based on sound nutrition and can I follow its advice for the rest of my life?” If the answer is “no,” it best to avoid it altogether.
Copyright 2023 S. Keith Klein IV CN CCN