When it comes to the topic of nutrition, most of us agree that in order to live a long healthy life one must eat right and choose nutritious alternatives to preserved and fast food products. The incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy is a huge problem that lingers in our every day lives. In recent discussions of nutrition, a controversial issue has been whether obesity is determined by the food industry or the way we eat. Some are convinced that trusting yourself and your body will lead to better choices, others argue that eating food in moderation and more fruits and vegetables is the path to choose. In this day and age, there are many different debates on what one can do to eat healthier and make better decisions in regard to diet. Many people have proposed their own theories and advice on beginning a healthier lifestyle, such as Mary Maxfield and Michael Pollan.
In her essay “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating,” Mary Maxfield, a famous blogger insists most won’t go for the healthy foods if we are taught to eat like the Western Diet has taught us. Maxfield states, “Trust yourself. Trust your body. Meet your needs” (446). In my point of view, Maxfield is saying we have as much facts about eating healthy as we do common sense, hinting that Americans don’t know much when it comes to healthy eating habits, food should not be seen as a negative thing. My view on the benefits of healthy eating is that you can eat what you want to, but in moderation.
If you notice your pants are starting to not fit, and are sure it’s not a growth spurt then I claim there is something wrong with your diet. Meet your needs. If you are an athlete, eat like one. Today’s population does not have the best opportunity to eat healthy. Every street corner is practically filled with quick and easy fast food joints to satisfy ones hunger. Culture is what took food and demoralized it. Food can’t be right or wrong, it is simply what is good or bad for you. What one chooses to eat is merely up to them. Today, food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of exercise cause a gigantic percent of all chronic disease. There needs to be changes in how we go about our daily diet.
When it comes to the issue of the “Western diet,” Michael Pollan, agrees that diet shouldn’t be about the science, counting this nutrient and avoiding that nutrient. In his essay “Escape from the Western Diet,” Pollan reports that the science of nutrition is focusing on specific nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and carbohydrates and that this only satisfies our hunger for a simple, one-nutrient explanation. What Pollan means is that a single nutrient isn’t going to change the Western diet and the illness the Western diet may cause is simply done by not eating the Western diet and cutting down on processed foods. Pollan introduces his response to a new way of eating healthier known as nutritionalism; a way of life in which people choose real, well grown, and unprocessed food over fast food or processed food with certain preservatives. He proposes three rules to avoid the Western diet.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” (440). The Western diet is easy, fast, and cheap. At the same time, fast food is more cost efficient and less time consuming. Although, eating healthier would definitely take more time and work, exercising, growing your own food, and consistently choosing the right kinds of food will help create a happier and healthier society. Society needs to make better food choices in order to decrease obesity rates and build a healthier environment. Pollan’s aim to persuade the audience that knowing the scientific breakdown of nutrients isn’t going to help you avoid the Western diet and America’s bad eating habits. His claim is to not eat much food, and mostly plants.
There is a lot of advice out there about helping people eat better, and making smarter health decisions. My formula for eating would simply be eating whatever I like, but in balance. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a good treat or a nice carb filled dinner if you do it every once in a while. My outlook of the basics of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a good exercising schedule, eating fairly, and getting the necessary fruit and vegetables needed in a normal diet. Also, the amount of food you consume in one sitting can play a major role in a healthy diet. Eating small portions about 5 times a day is a perfect way to maintain food consumption. However, while food regulation is extremely important, so are beverages. It is crucial to stay away from sugar filled beverages when obtaining a healthy lifestyle. Sugary drinks are one of the main culprits behind the obesity epidemic. It is best to drink water, fat-free milk, or one percent milk. My formula for eating is pretty easy to follow; one can still enjoy a good slice of cake and some ice cream as long as it is all in acceptable balance.
All of this being said, there are many different basics for healthy living in society today. Although they all may not be accurate, there are many different paths one can take to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Now that you have seen what a balanced diet should be, some of the aspects of life that health and diet affects, I hope that it has helped you to understand why health and diet are so important in everyone’s lives. Mary Maxfield and Michael Pollan’s theories differ in their formula of eating, but both have very interesting points regarding our society’s well-being and nutrition lifestyles.