Vegetarian and Gluten Free are NOT Inherently Healthy
The popularity of restrictive diets is a curious thing, whose trendiness seems particularly evident among young adults – but is becoming more and more popular to people of all age groups. As young adults, we often start taking a greater interest in social and political activism, as well as our health. The coalescing of these interests often constitutes the perfect recipe for adopting what might appear to be a more enlightened way of nourishing the body. However, the reality is not so black and white.
Consider, as an example, the popularity of vegetarianism and gluten free diets. While each of these lifestyle choices have their merits, the claims boasted by many of their proponents go far beyond what the science has to say; in reality there is nothing inherently healthful about either of these ways of eating. Yet vegetarian and gluten free alternatives often find themselves in the “health-food section” of the grocery store. It seems as though a large percentage of the public associates vegetarianism and gluten-avoidance as synonymous with health.
The fact is, with any lifestyle choice that causes a restriction of one thing, there is necessarily going to be an increase in another to compensate. Using the example of vegetarianism, what we choose to replace meat consumption with, will dictate the effect on our health, and there is no shortage of vegetarian-friendly junk food to fill the void. The same logic applies to gluten-free dieting, or really any dietary change.
The age of the internet has given us exposure to a wealth of nutrition information. Unfortunately, much of this information is promoted by well-intentioned – but nonetheless un-credentialed – bloggers, whose views are not necessarily backed by science. The sheer mass of these differing opinions can create a lot of confusion, and lead many people to adopt dietary patterns that may be detrimental to their health. That’s not to say that eating a vegetarian or gluten-free diet is bad for you, but rather that – like any other dietary pattern – these need to be carefully considered; without doing so, they offer no inherent value over any other diet.
Ultimately, what’s important to understand is the fundamentals that constitute healthy eating. This is why I have developed a program that allows for maximal personalization, while ensuring that optimal health is not compromised.