A common trend I’ve noticed in well-meaning people following diets is they often have developed psychological food fears. They seem to think that certain foods or macronutrients, such as carbohydrates or fat, are detrimental to health and try to avoid eating them (this can turn into a moral issue if the “bad” food is eaten, making the person feel bad about himself or herself, reducing self-esteem). These food fears can be self-created, or a result of following a particular diet philosophy. Nutrition media found online, in magazines, diet books, on TV, and/or advice from friends can often influence what a person deems to be a “safe” food or fear food – what makes up a “perfect” diet.
The problem with labeled diets is that with every diet philosophy (whether it be vegan, vegetarianism, omnivore, Paleo, juicing, raw foods, “eat anything”, etc.), there are flip sides to the diet approach. No diet is absolutely perfect as each contains inherent advantages and disadvantages. I have a difficult time believing there is only one “right way” for all people with diverse ethnic heritages and unique DNA to eat and be completely nourished.
In order to benefit the most from nutrition, it needs to be personalized, taking into account a person’s past and present health, as well as future ambitions. Thinking beyond the context of a “cookie cutter” diet is a wonderful place to start. If this seems daunting to you and would like help from a nutrition professional, I would love to work with you to develop a customized nutrition approach to help you capitalize on your health!