In all of our meals, there's a constant, neverending battle between our urges to overindulge in delicious food, and the realization that this is probably going to put us in an early grave. Of course, some of us have accepted our fate and seem content to chow down on pizzas, burgers and desserts, while others avoid fats, carbs and other bad foods to keep the Grim Reaper at bay, if only for a little while.
But what if all we knew about good and bad food was greatly exaggerated, in an attempt to help us wrap our minds around dieting in a simple manner? What if you could eat what you want without having to worry about calories or anything like that? It sounds like a fantasy, but Dr Aaron Carroll suspects this might actually be the case.
Dr Carroll is the author of "The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully", and in his book, he states quite clearly that we should be able to eat whatever we want, pretty much. In an interview with NPR, Dr Carroll explained his reasoning, and once you see what he's getting at, I think you'll definitely agree.
In his reasoning, Dr Carroll said that most of what we know when it comes to nutrition is based on experiments we carry out on animals, and while there are some obvious metabolic similarities, Dr Carroll says these are little more than just "associations", and we should be a little more careful about what we unfairly label "unhealthy".
"All the data that's behind making you think these foods are bad for you, is pretty weak ...if you just take some sensible ideas and try to eat in moderation, and not worry about it too much, you'll probably be much healthier and certainly much happier."
Hard to argue with that logic, I guess. But before you head to McDonald's and proceed to order a week's worth of food at once, keep in mind that Dr Carroll is probably talking about unprocessed food, as he still thinks you should avoid processed like the plague.
Still, red meat, salt and wine are all great in Dr Carroll's eyes (as long as they're in moderation), while soda is also good too; he says the tests for artificial sweeteners are conducted on vulnerable mice in labs, and as such are laughably inconsistent. Interesting stuff.
If you're interested in learning more about Dr Aaron Carroll's ideas, then it might be a good idea to check out his book, but if he's onto something, he's effectively telling us to ignore a ton of the dieting rules we've put together over the years. That's got to take guts. I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to try out a couple of these controversial ideas. In the name of science, y'know? Well... science and good food. It can be both things.