We’ve all dithered at some point when it comes to food choices wondering whether to go with our heart or our head when fuelling our bodies.
With wavering hands hovering in the confectionery aisle and an even shakier willpower, we are often consumed with indecision when trying to decide what to consume.
Gluttony usually reigns supreme in my own case as the gooey slice of chocolate cake usually seduces me far more readily than a healthy apple while bags of crisps always win hands down to carrot sticks.
No sooner is the “naughty” food or drink item devoured, we’re usually eaten up with guilt and left thinking maybe we should have gone for the healthy option.
However, with all the confusing and conflicting health advice doled out on a daily basis, is it any wonder we’re all left scratching our heads in bewilderment uncertain if there’s anything that’s safe and recommended to eat.
“Don’t eat too many eggs, they’re bad for your heart … eggs are nutritious and a good source of protein.” “Red wine is bad for you … no actually, red wine is good for you.” “Drinking coffee can protect you against certain cancers … drinking coffee may increase your risk of a heart attack.”
Then there is “Sunbathing gives you vital Vitamin D … sunbathing gives you skin cancer.” “Fresh orange juice is one of your five-a-day and can reduce the risk of cancer … orange juice is damaging to teeth and can increase your risk of diabetes.” “Drinking during pregnancy is a definite no no … a glass of wine a night for pregnant women is absolutely fine.”
Every day it seems there’s a new piece of research telling you what’s good and bad for you.
But each fresh finding seems to negate and oppose the previous recommendations.
The latest health report really takes the biscuit as the National Obesity Forum claims official advice on following low fat diets and lowering your cholesterol is all wrong and that we need to stop counting calories and eating more healthy fats.
The new advice states eating a diet rich in full fat dairy such as cheese, milk and yoghurt can actually lower the chance of obesity and that the most natural and nutritious foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, olives and avocados, all contain saturated fat.
However, the Government is branding the findings as “irresponsible” for telling people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories.
Baffled anyone? I certainly am and, as a nation, we’re pulling our hair out in frustration as we don’t know what to eat or believe any more.
When I was a child, advice seemed to indicate eggs were to be avoided as they were chock full of cholesterol; butter was bad and we should use margarine instead and we should give our teeth a forceful brushing, especially after fizzy drinks.
Given the advice of today, it looks like I’ve furred my arteries with the hydrogenated fats in marg, eroded the enamel from my teeth and deprived myself of many an omelette and fried egg.
To be quite honest, I welcome the new health advice as I’ve never understood the obsession with calorie counting, calculating points and having red, green, yellow, pink and goodness knows what other coloured days.
I’ve always thought it deeply unfair that the majority of foods which taste good are bad for us while many healthy foods are a bit blah.
Imagine how great life would be if it was the other way round.
What if crisps, sweets, chocolates, pies and chips were our recommended five-a-day while so called “healthy” foods were laden with calories and best eaten in moderation?
“Oh no, I won’t have another celery stick thanks ... I need to watch my waistline. I’ll just have a plate of steak and chips.”
I’m waiting in anticipation for the health report saying excessive chocolate consumption helps ward off cancer and sitting on your backside all day will help you live longer.
Until then, I’ll carry on living in confusion reading contradicting health findings.
Warning: too many mixed health messages can seriously damage your sanity.