The phrase “everything in moderation” is meaningless!
Why is it repeated so often and what does it actually mean? Most people use this valueless phrase to justify eating junk food on a regular basis.
Did you know that you are actually healthier by eating a small range of healthy foods, than everything in moderation?
Everything in moderation is terrible advice
Do we need a varied diet? – YES but do we need to eat everything in moderation – NO. This is a subtle, yet incredibly important point to distinguish.
Eating a varied diet can be done correctly or incorrectly. Eating a variety of whole unprocessed foods is perfect, eating a variety of processed food, unhealthy oils, processed carbs and nutrient-void food, is simply unhealthy.
“Americans with the healthiest diets actually eat a relatively small range of healthy foods,” he said. “These results suggest that in modern diets, eating ‘everything in moderation is actually worse than eating a smaller number of healthy foods. Forbes “
What To Eat?
Spoiler alert – eating a salad on Mondays and doing some exercise does NOT undo a bad diet.
Aim to include a variety of good quality proteins, vegetables, and enjoy only healthy fats, not a variety of calories from the bakery, soda aisle, snack aisle and candy aisle.
Even though “everything in moderation” has been advised for decades, it has never ever been defined or quantified. It is virtually an urban myth.
Everything In Moderation – the studies
And how does a diverse diet of everything, impact peoples intake of processed food?
By eating a diverse range of everything, allows an individual to overeat both healthy and unhealthy food in excess, leading to increased weight and larger waist size.
Eating healthy food simply does not cancel the effect of unhealthy food. And overeating then visiting the gym does not undo the damage and inflammation that junk food causes.
Everything In Moderation – an easy way to gain weight!
This study shows that those who have a diverse diet, actually put on weight.
“greater diversity leads to increased intakes of both healthier and unhealthy foods. Thus, potential benefits of increased intakes of fruits and vegetables may be outweighed by unfavourable effects of trans-fat, sodium, starch and refined carbohydrates, resulting in no overall benefit to metabolic health.”
In fact, this article shows
“scientists discovered that those with the most diet diversity had a 120 per cent higher waist circumference than those with little diet diversity.”
“Having more options can lead to eating more of those options,” she says. “If you’re exposed to a wide range of foods that are not that great for you, it can lead to increased intake.”
Everything In Moderation – a “get out” clause?
By following the advice “everything in moderation” allows people permission to eat processed foods at regular intervals. It condones a variety of foods from the bakery. It vindicates eating a variety of foods from the snack aisle and a range of fizzy soda drinks.
The authors of the study concluded
“An unexpected finding was that participants with greater diversity in their diets, as measured by dissimilarity, actually had worse diet quality. They were eating less healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and more unhealthy foods, such as processed meats, desserts and soda,” said Otto. “This may help explain the relationship between greater food dissimilarity and increased waist circumference.”
“Our results challenge the notion that “eating everything in moderation” leads to greater diet quality or better metabolic health. Our findings support the importance of diet QUALITY, independent of diversity”
Everything In Moderation – worse for metabolic health!
In conclusion, they commented,
“Our findings suggest that, in US adults, eating “everything in moderation” may be worse to metabolic health than eating a smaller number of healthy foods.”
And of course, we want to eat a variety of healthy foods to ensure we obtain all the nutrients and vitamins our bodies require, and to avoid food boredom. So in fact, maybe the advice should be “eat a diverse diet of unprocessed food” and let us once and for all throw “everything in moderation” in the bin where it belongs.
“Our findings showed that people with greater diet quality, had nearly 25 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes after 10 years,” she says. “This suggests that eating a range of healthy foods may be more effective in promoting metabolic health than ‘eating everything in moderation.”
What do you think? Is moderation of junk food a good thing? How do you quantify moderation? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
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