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Everything in Moderation?

Every post I put up surrounding nutrition related topics always has comments that call out “everything in moderation”.  And honestly I have nothing against those who call that out because I understand that overall statement is valid, and it’s also a trap!  Moderation is an extremely subjective and usually personal thing.  This post isn’t intended to judge anyone, just to call out some of the pitfalls of “moderation”.

In today’s world portions are huge, food that doesn’t need added sugar has added sugar (and I’m talking refined sugar), unhealthy fat is at an all time high which throws off our Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratios causing inflammation, low fat low calorie foods are the rage and those foods include other not so healthy stuff, sodium in prepackaged meals is staggering.  The list goes on.

When you talk about moderation, what exactly are you talking about?  I only ask because everybody has their own sense of what moderation means to them whether or not it falls into a healthy range.  For example, if you normally 4 drink sodas a day, 2 sodas might fall into your definition of moderation, yet those two sodas have an average minimum of 80 grams of refined sugar you don’t need.  Even scientific studies around alcohol consumption, for example, mention moderation yet none of them do a very good job of explaining what it means and it’s left open to interpretation.

When most nutritionists talk about moderation they usually talk about the 85/15 rule.  85% clean, 15% not so clean or what some folks call cheating.   Yet, in order to use the rule you need to understand what eating clean really means.  And eating clean is also a grey area for a lot of our population due to us all being so busy and not spending the time to plan our meals and snacks out…  Eating clean is consuming whole, healthy unprocessed foods.  Lean proteins whether that is meat or plant based, colorful veggies, healthy fats like avocado, and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and the like.

If you’re eating those things above, then sure you can take your 15% and have some fun.  Life gets boring when you can’t live a little.  If you’re not, you may want to take a closer look at where you stand and think about your definition of moderation.  Life is about continuously learning and improving ourselves, why not also do that with nutrition.

Enjoy life!

–Mike

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