We want a magic bullet.
The fake experts and profit seekers couldn’t take advantage of the public so easily if not for the magic bullet-seeking mentality of the average consumer. We want to hear that there is a simple, instant, and easy dietary solution to our health and weight issues. We want the ultimate revolutionary breakthrough diet secret. Given a choice between a fake expert telling us what we want to hear and a real one giving us the same old truth, all too often we will choose to listen to the fraud. But doing so will not bring the promised results, so our sense of confusion escalates.
It is by no means wrong to want simple nutrition guidelines. In fact, nutrition guidelines have to be simple if we are to benefit from them. However, they also have to be realistic. Many of the fake experts steer us wrong by oversimplifying the actual phenomenon of human nutrition. Atkins blamed everything on carbohydrates. Peter D’Adamo reduced it all to a simple game of matching nutrition to blood type. Such diets are very simple, but their simplicity avails nothing because it derives from false ideas about nutrition. The right way to generate simple guidelines for eating is to step back from the level of specific do’s and don’ts to the level of general principles. While the phenomenon of human nutrition is irreducibly complex, the core principles of healthy eating are not. By learning and focusing on the latter, you can make good nutrition choices consistently without getting bogged down in too many details.
About the Author:
Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Racing Weight (VeloPress, 2009).