Choose any ten ways of eating (let’s start with vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, paleo, macrobiotic, raw and intermittent fasting) and you’ll find scores of people who swear that way is the best way to eat. You’ll can even find practitioners of any given eating plan who swear that eating that way saved their life.
So what does that mean? These people can’t all be right, can they? Are these people lying? Are they deluded? Is there really a right way to eat?
Yes there is. But no one way is the right way for everyone. That’s why I’ll never tell anyone that they should eat the way I do. I might suggest that someone eat more vegetables and fewer snack cakes, but that’s just good common sense.
We have a friend who is regularly told by his doctor not to eat eggs. This makes me cranky, because his doctor has never told him that he specifically should not eat eggs because he specifically can’t handle dietary cholesterol. No, this doctor is spouting the knee-jerk, outdated “nutritional wisdom” that cholesterol in the diet = higher cholesterol in the blood.
This is true for some people, but not for all. The bulk of the cholesterol in our bodies is made by our bodies. Most people’s bodies adjust how much cholesterol they manufacture based on how much is coming into the body through diet.
Bill Clinton is apparently someone who shouldn’t eat eggs. I read with interest his CNN interview about his adoption of a vegan diet, and the dietary trials and errors that lead him there. I appreciated how he discussed his health and his diet, in part because it is an excellent testament to the power of diet to affect health, but also because he doesn’t state or even imply that everyone should eat the way he does. Refreshing.
P.S. If you Google “Bill Clinton vegan” you’ll find a slew of articles. I particularly liked this article on Salon.