We hear the phrase “Everything in Moderation” quite often and it sounds like it makes sense. It seems to makes sense because too much of something or not enough of something is probably not good. When I think of “moderation” what comes to mind is: “every now and then”, “not too often”, “not too much” and “once in a while”. All that seems to make sense…
I find it amazing however, that in actuality we don’t like moderation in most areas of our lives.
Do you expect a moderately decent job from your car mechanic? How
about your child’s teacher showing up for work every now and then? What about drugs? (Would you accept: “I am just going to use Ecstasy and Vicodin in moderation” from your child?) Seat belts in moderation? Helmets? Dare I ask about physical abuse? Crime?
All of a sudden moderation doesn’t sound so great, right?
So why do we insist that it makes total sense when it comes to food? I have never heard anyone say: “I eat broccoli in moderation” or spinach or apples. When we eat the foods we know we should be eating and that are good for us, we don’t have to say anything. We just eat it and move on.
But when we make food choices we are not very proud of, the need for an excuse suddenly comes up to the surface. Junk food is by far the biggest contributor to our “moderation” scheme. Since nutrient depleted, calorie rich food-like substances come in variety of shapes, colors and textures, and since they hide under many different names , it’s very easy to fall victim to our own moderation diet plan.
If you eat chips on Mondays, cheetoes on Tuesdays, drink soda on Wednesdays etc… you might actually be feeling good about your ability to moderate your intake of each individual kind of junk food. However, if you step back and look at the totality of your weekly intake of chemicalized, processed empty calories you might see a very different picture.
Let’s look at an even bigger picture. In the USA an average person gets about 60 % of their daily calories from added fat, added sugar and processed grains. Only about 15 % of calories on average come from nutrient rich vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
Additionally, in a country where close to half the population dies prematurely of heart disease, and where cancer rates are approaching a staggering 1 out of 3 people, maybe moderation isn’t such a great idea. Do we want to have heart attacks “every now and then”? Diabetes “not too often”? “Not too much” obesity? How about cancer “in moderation”?
Since the link between the Standard American Diet and the top killers of American people has long been established and proven, maybe it’s time we start calling things what they are and treat them accordingly.
Junk belongs in the garbage, food belongs in our bodies.
Edible food-like substances belong… you decide.
Iwona Leger, RN, MSN, Health Coach, owns Love and Peas Health Coaching and runs individual and group health coaching sessions. She is very passionate about disease prevention, lifestyle and diet modifications, as well as stress reduction techniques.
For more info visit www.loveandpeashealth.com