Nutritional investing: The pure play or hedge your bets?

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Beth Mazur, over at, gave voice to moderation in her recent post, and I left a comment that I reprise here. She wondered whether it was worthwhile to look at one's diet as an investor might, hedging against uncertainty by being, say, "part paleo, part vegan." "Crazy, or crazy like a fox," she wondered.

Ugh! Crazy like a crazy person! (Sorry for the knee-jerk passion.) 

Part paleo, part vegan is neither, no? Same with the others.

I am of the mind that some substances, more so the more processed they are, are not healthful and should be avoided, no matter how tasty they've been engineered to be. (Antifreeze is sweet, I'm told, but doesn't mean I should ingest it.)

Even closer to my point, I'm also of the mind that unhealthful substances should be eliminated, rather than reduced. Never mind the obvious parallel of addicts, who are never advised just to cut back. If something is unhealthful — causes inflammation, triggers a desire for more of the same, or "merely" leads to persistent weight gain — the smarter course is to avoid, not reduce. When an allergic person gives up peanuts, or shellfish, or strawberries, they may feel deprived by the loss, but on balance, she or he has decided they're better off without, not just cutting down.

I'm not doctrinaire about this, because one size does not fit all, but it's a perspective I think a lot more people who struggle with eating should consider. Just like the allergics, they might discover they like life better without some substances, even if they also miss the yumminess.


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