On Friday night, I was out with a couple of friends of mine, one of whom is a raw vegan. Although I don’t believe raw veganism is the best dietary choice, I do agree with its emphasis on consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods, whether they’re cooked or not, offer a number of nutrients that are essential to a healthy functioning body.
However, while I don’t want to generalize, I do believe any diet that’s extreme, overly complicated, or hard-lined—like raw veganism—isn’t as healthy as one that’s balanced and basic. I also believe that people who practice extreme diets hold a skewed version of the facts to convince others that their way of eating is the best and only way to be healthy.
Nearly everybody will agree the standard American diet isn’t healthy, but that doesn’t mean extremes have to be adopted. With every decision you make, there are potential consequences. No diet is perfect.
For example, like many people, I enjoy a cup of coffee or two in the morning. I believe there are a number of benefits to caffeine and other compounds in coffee, and it helps me get my day off to a productive start. But coffee or tea can limit the absorption of iron, an essential nutrient, by up to 70%.
However, the impact is not eternal. As long as I don’t consume iron at the same time as coffee or tea or I wait a half-hour or so to consume coffee after consuming an iron source, my absorption will not be sacrificed.
The point is that nothing is perfect. By choosing to do one thing, you’re ultimately limiting your opportunity to do another. By not steaming broccoli or spinach, you’re not getting all the nutrients these vegetables offer. There is risk in everything you do, so it’s essential to weigh your options and decide what’s most important to you.
Only you can make the right decisions for yourself, and the only way to do that is by looking at factual, unbiased information. Know what effects your dietary choices could have on your overall health and focus on balanced nutrition.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Morck, T., “Inhibition of Food Iron Absorption by Coffee,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition March 1983; http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/37/3/416.abstract, last accessed September 29, 2014.