The expression “everything is ok in moderation” is a commonly used axiom among today’s society. In most cases it’s logical as well as being applicable for a wide variety of topics and activities. However, the latest research is now concluding that this is no longer the case pertaining to health and nutrition topics.
In a recent article published by Tech Insider, Dr. David Ludwig who is an obesity and nutrition expert from Harvard, actually deemed the notion “useless.” Dr. Ludwig believes in an approach that heavily involves considering what it is you eat rather than the amount you consume on a daily basis. He made reference to the Mediterranean Diet, applauding its emphasis on consuming some foods in abundance meanwhile limiting or even eliminating others. For example, a diet that includes moderate intake levels of vegetables and sugar is not healthy nor recommended. According to his research and a number of other studies, a diet with a large quantity of fruits and vegetables and a limited sugar intake will decrease the risk for a number of heart diseases and cardiovascular conditions.
One of the more riveting references Ludwig made was concerning a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this study they gave a group of more than 7,000 people at risk for heart disease either a Mediterranean diet with lots of olive oil, a Mediterranean diet with lot of nuts, or advice to eat a low-fat diet as a control. The rates of heart disease dropped so low in the groups eating lots of healthy fats that the researchers were forced to discontinue the study leaving Ludwig in disbelief and reporting “it would have been unethical to keep the control group eating the low-fat diet.”
In general it is difficult to disagree with many of the points Dr Ludwig made in this article. I do think our society is more knowledgeable and less ignorant than he leads on here. For instance nobody is in line ordering a Big Mac one second and then thinks they can counter that decision by stopping and hitting the veggie aisle at the local Food Lion on the way home. And truthfully, the secret has been out for a while about the health benefits of diets with large amounts of quality fat. In retrospect I would have more so appreciated a study on the difference between the health effects among say the Mediterranean Diet in comparison to the ever growing popular Paleo Diet. Or possibly a retrospective analysis of the difference in impact from choosing one of the previously mentioned diets compared to simply trying to attain similar health effects via over the counter vitamin and mineral supplementation. Regardless, this article should serve as a strong reminder for all of us on how impactful our eating habits can be on our overall health.