Dear Health Professionals, Please Shut Up About Food

Life has become impossible.

It’s OK. I’m just talking about mine.

You see, I’ve become unbalanced to a degree that I never imagined possible.

For this — for once — I’d like to blame other people.

Not former lovers. Well, not directly. I’ll come to them later.

No, the people I want to blame are the people who frighten me into eating and not eating certain foods.

I’ve come to a point where my mouth twitches before it allows anything past its gates. Growing up, you see, I believed that as long as I ate Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in the morning and no meat on Fridays, I would live until at least 110.

And then I would go to heaven.

Suddenly, as the Corn Flakes contributed to the vast development of my mind, all sorts of food pressure groups began to infiltrate.

Fat was, apparently, very bad for me. Often, though, fat was all I could afford. I still don’t know whether fat made me fat. I don’t know what effect it had on me.

But now I’m told that fat isn’t so bad. My real enemy is the carbohydrate.

Yet, when everyone noticed that Italians were terribly healthy, I was told to eat as much pasta as possible. So I did. How did this contribute to my ill health or not? You tell me.

Actually everyone wants to tell me, everywhere I turn. Eat only protein and olive oil, some say. Avoid milk, dairy, wheat, corn and wine and you’ll be fine.

I won’t be fine. I’ll be hungry.

It seems that no one can truly agree why the Italians seem to have such rude health. Some say it is, indeed, all the olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I say that it could just as easily be because they have a lot of sunshine and never pay their taxes.

Today, I read something terribly important in USA Today telling me that I should reduce my salt intake and increase my potassium intake.

Aren’t bananas a wonderful source of potassium? But they’re also laced with more sugar than your average sugar bowl.

And speaking of salt, actually it can be quite good for you, at least if the New York Times is to be believed.

And why not ban these labels for a while?

And why not ban these labels for a while?

High cholesterol was supposed to be terrible. That is, until some clever researcher decided there was good cholesterol and bad. High good cholesterol is very good. I think.

How am I ever supposed to know what is good and what is not? Especially as all this fear-fetched information is being gobbled up and regurgitated by lovers, who may have my best interests at heart, but ultimately add to the woe.

Why haven’t these researchers ever sat down and worked out what combinations work for whom?

It always seems as if they target individual substances. But how do they know that eating french fries with salt and vinegar mightn’t be far worse for you than eating french fries with salt and ketchup?

For all I know, rice and fish might be the most dangerous combination for my own personal ridiculous innards. Which would be a pity for my love of sushi.

For another person, it might be that they should never go near a combination of peanut butter and dates.

I’m beginning to feel that the food-expert industry is simply devoid of experts.

It’s just as bad as Hollywood. No one knows anything. Diet gurus die of heart attacks.

Which is why I’d like to suggest a very modest experiment.

For the next 12 months, all the world’s governments should declare a moratorium on anyone publishing, writing, speaking and even singing anything about food.

Restaurant reviews will still be allowed, as long as they don’t refer to fat, cholesterol, calories, sugar, dairy or anything that might be interpreted as a comment on health.

For one year, let the people’s tongues and stomachs decide, without having their predilections influenced by supposedly scientific scaremongers, who are often in the employ of some food lobby.

I can imagine that a tug-of-war between the sugar lobby and the salt lobby would be quite a spectacle. As long as they only grunted.

At the end of the 12 months, let’s see if we have healthier, happier humans or large, depressive ones.

I should add that all health apps of any kind should also be banned. I once sat next to a man who used an iPhone app to calculate how much he was allowed to eat and drink.

He explained to me that sometimes he felt forced to order dessert, even though he didn’t feel hungry, because the app told him he still had a few hundred calories before his allowance was fulfilled.

I feel sure that lifting the burden of guilt, shame and fear imposed by so-called experts upon our delicate psyches will do enormous good.

After all, doctors insist that the mind has a vast impact on health.

If they’re making us worry about every single thing that enters us, how can they expect us to pass our physicals?

They can’t.





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