First, let me say that I think about food and nutrition a lot. That, you already knew. I read a bunch, I tinker with my menu here and there, I like to see what others are doing and trying. All good stuff. The thing I try to avoid, however, is overthinking these things. Analysis Paralysis as it's been called. What comes to mind in regards to food is called Nutritionism - the belief, or even obsession, that the health benefits of food derive from their individual nutrients. In other words, it's the person asking:
Where do I get calcium from in my diet?
What foods are high in Vitamin K, or this or that nutrient?
Am I getting enough Fiber in my diet?
Is there a lot of arterycloggingsaturatedfat in there?And on and on. I suppose this is the whole basis behind the government food recommendations where they say to eat this or that many servings from various 'food groups'. And there's nothing wrong with thinking about these things, it can just become quite absurd in a hurry if you know what I mean ... take this classic for an example:
You don't eat dariy products? ... then where do you get your calcium from?Right. Early humans didn't eat dairy and I'm quite certain they didn't fret one iota about where they were going to get their calcium from. Zoom out on the old nutritional microscope and let's look at our diets for what they are - FOOD.
Alrighty then. Here's how I kinda got caught in the nutritionsim trap myself today.
The first train. A few weeks ago I was looking at salt in the store and came across something called NuSalt. It's a 'salt substitute' made from potassium chloride. I thought to myself, I add plenty of salt to my food, but perhaps I'm upsetting the sodium/potassium balance by not consuming enough potassium. So I purchased some and have used a shake or two on some of my dinners. (Interestingly, my family rarely used table salt on our foods growing up ... probably a good thing as we had our share of 'conventional' foods)
The second train. Two weeks ago I ditched chocolate, which I was consuming after my lunch. After every lunch. To compensate for the calories I started adding in some buffalo jerky, but that wasn't quite enough. A couple of banana's rounded out the meals nicely though. On top of the banana's I started sprinkling an Asian salt blend that I had received as a sample at the store. Kinda good. Like peanut butter and chocolate. Well, not really.
Trains collide. Today I had the day off so I ate lunch at home, finishing, as usual now, with a couple of banana's. As I'm eating the first bite of banana, contemplating how the taste of NuSalt goes with it, I realize that I just added potassium to a BANANA!
Yep, I think I can stop using the NuSalt for awhile.
You just have to laugh at yourself sometimes.