Window of Light

The Way, the Truth, and the Perfect Diet

Pew Research tells us that the public is becoming more spiritual at the same time that we are drifting away from organized religion. So people are seeking spirituality in other ways. Coming to terms with life and death has always been a focus of religion. And so it is that vaguely spiritual concepts of clean and healthy eating infuse the quest for a perfect diet.

Writing in the Atlantic, registered dietitian Michelle Allison tells us that people sometimes pursue a perfect diet to deal with – or avoid – their own mortality:

This is why arguments about diet get so vicious, so quickly. You are not merely disputing facts, you are pitting your wild gamble to avoid death against someone else’s. You are poking at their life raft. But if their diet proves to be the One True Diet, yours must not be. If they are right, you are wrong. This is why diet culture seems so religious. People adhere to a dietary faith in the hope they will be saved. That if they’re good enough, pure enough in their eating, they can keep illness and mortality at bay.

Food is an essential human experience. Some people might debate whether spirituality or religiosity is essential as well. Regardless, caution is wise when food, spirituality, and religion start to mingle.

Serious nutrition science should steer clear of that messy stew. We agree with Allison: “There is no One True Diet.”

Click here to read more from the Atlantic.

Window of Light, photograph © Javi Sánchez de la viña / flickr

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February 8, 2017