By Laura Ciocan
I start from the premise that
eating instinctively means eating healthily. I strongly believe that the
body can transmit to the brain accurate information about its
nutritional necessities: a moderate amount of food, and only foods that
are beneficial for health.
Most of these natural eating
instincts, alas, are lost on the way. Usually, during the growing
process, adults project their unhealthy habits on children, offering
them a range of foods that are not always the best choices. As adults,
we form our own eating habits, which are more or less healthy. We
usually worry about our children's eating habits, but their instinct is
My theory has as starting point my
own experience as a child, when I recall rejecting foods that I found
too greasy or too deeply fried. Observing the behaviour of babies and
children towards feeding might give us an idea about what eating
instinctively means. Small children who did not have the time to be
influenced by adults, have their natural eating instincts unspoiled.
Contrary to adults' opinion about eating, they want to eat many smaller
meals and only when they are hungry.
To support my thesis, I resort to
the recommendation made by specialists in baby nutrition. They advise on
feeding babies on request, not forcing a program on them. Thus a meal
program will be generated by their inner scheduler according to their
So, from children we learn that
one should eat when hungry, and the amount strictly required by body
necessities. We should not be driven by social cues such as eating out
with friends, even if we are not hungry, or take a lunch break just
because it is 12 noon.
Another reason which supports the
theory of a simpler way of eating is that based on foods offered by
nature. All living creatures find in nature what they need to sustain
life. Theoretically, foods of natural origin in their unspoiled state
should be sufficient to ensure a healthy existence. While I do not
support any kind of paleolithic diet, but we are bound to make reference
to the simple way of eating in ancient times. In modern times modern and
more complex diseases have developed. These include the increased
incidence of tooth decay, allergies and various diseases of the
digestive system such as diverticulitis, most of them tightly connected
to modern diets. Man was not built for so many refined and super-refined
processed foods. Cooking, the great discovery, was just a means to make
foods more digestible. Nowadays we experience an extreme version of
modern eating, one abounding in processed foods and pre-prepared meals.
Eating raw foods, such as
vegetables and fruit, in proportion to cooked meals is definitely
healthier. It is also healthy to choose unrefined foods, as natural as
We need to reconsider our diets
and healthier ways of eating. But it is harder to re-educate ourselves
and easier to acquire good habits from scratch. First we need to forget
everything we know, get rid of all our unhealthy habits and only then
rediscover eating. And it is even harder to resist the many temptations
scattered around us.
Laura Ciocan writes for http://www.dietsindex.com/
where you can find more information about all
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