We must let go of this idea that food can either cure us or kill us.
If you eat large amounts of one food at the expense of other foods, your health may well be compromised.
Unless we get fatal food poisoning, have a life threatening allergy, or simply don’t eat enough food, food will not kill us.
Likewise, avoiding a specific food does not guarantee health.
In fact, if you restrict yourself from foods you enjoy and would really like to eat, you may actually be compromising your health.
Preoccupation and anxiety with food leads to psychological and emotional health issues. This may effect your motivation to be active or socially engaged which can further damage your mental and physical health. If restricting food leads to weigh loss followed by weight regain and an increase in weight over time, this can damage your physiology, and your physical and mental health.
I felt compelled to write this after listening to a show with a man who had recovered from cancer, the guest stated that what we eat can cause cancer. The presenter half jokingly mentioned peanut butter which she loves and the guest went on to say that peanut butter contains a compound that causes liver cancer. While there may well be a link, this does not mean that everyone who eats peanut butter will get liver cancer, or that if one did get liver cancer, it’s because they ate peanut butter.
There are so many other variables that influence cancer, genetic predisposition being a big one, along with many other lifestyle factors such as overall nutrition, physical activity and exposure to all the many substances we are in our modern world.
Now, to be fair, the guest did say that a little peanut butter was probably not an issue and he was not trying to demonise any one food. But there was still the suggestion that certain food could be harmful or that we can ensure our health through controlling our nutrition.
We must stop looking for the holy grail for health as there isn’t one. Instead we need to be as connected to our own body as we can be, take time to listen to it and find a balance that allows us to enjoy all aspects of life, including peanut butter!
(Ps unless you have a peanut allergy!)