Let me tell you why you shouldn’t eliminate any foods. In this trend of becoming a vegetarian, vegan, or cutting out all gluten, dairy, sugar or whatsoever, I think it’s time we get to the basics again and start eating like we used to. Yes, I know many of you have reasons for eliminating certain foods. If you do it for health reasons, keep doing what you’re doing. But this article is for women who think they should eliminate certain foods, because it’s all around them. Stop it. Here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t eliminate any foods.
1. All Foods Are Nutritious
The fact that all foods are nutritious is only one of the reasons why you shouldn’t eliminate any foods. OK, maybe not all foods are as nutritious, but definitely those that are wholesome. Whether it’s bread, dairy products, vegetables, meat, fish or a teaspoon of honey in your tea, they all have a purpose. Above all, foods should be eaten in moderation, so having bacon and eggs or a juicy steak every once in a while won’t do you any harm. Remember that if you eliminate certain foods from your diet, you’ll have to compensate in other ways. So if you eliminate animal products, you’ll have to make sure you’ll get your protein elsewhere. It takes a lot of reading and food knowledge to be able to pull it off.
2. It Makes You a Bad Dining Partner
You might think that eliminating foods will make you healthier or skinnier, but it also makes you a bad dining partner. When you have a list of foods that you can’t eat, going for dinner at a friend’s house is not that easy. Not only will you have to ask him or her to take your diet into account, but there’s also a chance that your host has to change the menu. It’s not really something you want to bother your friends with. Although it’s less of a problem in restaurants, you’ll still find yourself having very little choice, compared to others. People who eliminate foods are often seen as peculiar and picky eaters.
3. Eating is a Social Thing
Don’t you just love going for brunch with your girlfriends and indulging in French toast or pancakes? Or arranging a barbecue party on hot summer nights? Eating is a social thing that should be enjoyed with those who are close to you. Why ruin brunch by eating a salad instead of pancakes, because they contain milk and eggs? There’s also a chance you’ll make your friends feel bad about themselves, while watching you eat super healthy foods every single time. By eliminating certain foods, you run the risk of not being able to celebrate those joyful moments that deserve good food, with your friends.
4. You Need to Satisfy Your Cravings
There is no sense in denying yourself certain foods because you think it’s better for you. You’ll end up craving the food at some point and, more importantly, you’ll end up eating too much of it once you lose your focus. How many times have you found yourself eating a bucket of ice cream, after forbidding yourself to eat it for months? When you crave something, it’s much better to satisfy your cravings by eating a small amount of it. For example, I eat one square of dark chocolate every day. I make sure it’s the best quality chocolate and I savor the moment instead of chewing it down in seconds. It satisfies my sweet tooth without going overboard. Besides, not giving into your cravings makes you grumpy.
5. Variety is Important
To have a healthy diet, it’s important to add variety to your meals. It’s very easy to say you eat fruits and vegetables every day, but if you’re stuck to bananas, apples, tomatoes and carrots, you’re missing out on some vitamins. Your body needs protein, good fats, whole grains and different types of fruits and vegetables. Deciding on what to cook every day can be hard enough, but when you eliminate certain foods, it can become even more difficult. A variety in your diet also makes cooking and eating more fun and you’ll have less chance of cravings, because you’re satisfying all your taste buds.
6. It Doesn’t Make You Healthier
Unless you spend time educating yourself on what substitutes you need to balance your diet, cutting out certain foods doesn’t necessarily make you healthier. For example, you could become a vegan, but binge on processed vegan snacks. You could cut out all dairy, but eat a whole bag of chips because you can’t have cookies or chocolate. Eliminating foods doesn’t mean that your lifestyle is healthier than others and you’re probably better off eating all types of wholesome foods in moderation, but leave processed snacks in the aisles of the grocery store.
7. It’s Not Sustainable
I applaud people who are determined enough to not eat meat or carbs for the rest of their lives. But for most of us, it’s simply not sustainable to eliminate certain foods. Not only is it difficult to keep up, but research has shown that it doesn’t improve long-term weight maintenance. So I’d say, why bother putting yourself through a miserable diet, when you can eat all wholesome foods by adding lots of variety and moderation? Eliminating foods on the longer term, for whatever reason, needs a lot of focus, time and effort and unless you’re fully dedicated to it, it’s not sustainable at all.
Even though eliminating foods from your diet is a trend right now, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t go along with the crowd. Not only does it affect your social life by being a picky eater, but it also doesn’t necessarily make you healthier, especially if you continue to snack a lot. Processed foods can be considered the only foods you should eliminate from your diet as much as possible, but even that can be difficult in the midst of the busy lifestyles we live. For those who have eliminated foods in the past: what made you stop eliminating foods and go back to a normal, healthy diet?