Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Why cheating makes me angry

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Reading the article How Nutrition Pros Cheat — And Get Away With It irked me. The author begins by making a great point. That many people trying to lose weight have an all or nothing mentality and don’t permit themselves to have certain foods when they’re dieting. The problem is, that’s not realistic. You can’t expect yourself to never have your less than healthy favourites ever again. If you’re forbidding yourself from having them then you’re not likely to maintain that diet and meet your goals. 

What irked me about the article was the continuous referral to unhealthy favourites as “cheat” foods. This just perpetuates the mentality that the author is suggesting getting away from. If you’re thinking of a food as a “cheat” then you’re still on a Diet. In order to develop healthier relationships with food we need to avoid demonizing foods and thinking of indulgences as cheating. Your healthy eating should be part of your overall healthy lifestyle. A permanent change. Not a temporary diet. This doesn’t mean never eating unhealthy food. It means learning where, when, and how much of these foods you can consume without guilt and without derailing your nutrition goals. Letting yourself have a small ice cream cone is not “cheating”. Never allowing yourself to enjoy ice cream again is cheating yourself out of the pleasure of enjoying one of your favourite foods. 


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Physical labour and heart disease

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A recent article in The Star reported on a couple of studies that found physical labour was linked to heart disease. Once again, I’d like to point out the difference between correlation and causation. Just because people who work in physically demanding environments are more likely to have heart attacks than people who work in sedentary environments does not mean that the physical demands of the job was the cause of the heart attacks. I can think of plenty of other factors which may have contributed to the development of heart disease in physical labourers. For one, physically demanding jobs are often associated with lower social determinants of health such as: education, income, and social status. These factors are also tied to higher rates of smoking, poor diet quality, poorer living conditions, and decreased medical care.

Of course heavy lifting at work will increase your chance of a heart attack or stroke when your lifestyle is unhealthy. It’s not the job that’s to blame though. It’s our societal structure which traps people in these unhealthy lifestyles.