Assumed: What we eat actually matters

This is another entry in my “assumptions” series, in which my intention is to discuss one of my underlying assumptions definitively, so the next time I feel the need to veer away from a post’s point at hand to provide full background, I can just link to the full thought and let others veer, if they choose to.

Assumption: What we eat actually matters.

The team wins a big game and the coaches take them out for ice cream, or the office hits a big deadline and the boss orders in pizza. Meanwhile, putting “completely nutritious” on a label is as effective as saying “botulism free!” It’s good to know, but it’s hardly going to boost sales.

Said more briefly, junk food is fun and nutrition is for sissies. Or so most people think.

It seems odd to have to evangelize for the obvious, but I make the bold assertion that what we eat is a vital factor in quality of life. Even if it’s nerdy to say it.

So if it matters, what should we eat — not exclusively, but predominately? To begin with, whole foods are better than processed foods. Note that I’m describing a continuum: I do not go into a field of wheat to eat grain off the stalk. I want the chaff separated, which is processing of food. But the more ingredients a product has, the less it should be eaten. That goes double if the ingredients aren’t pronounceable.

This has never not been true, but herded by marketers for decades, we think of food as love, as culture, as hobby, as entertainment, as sensory fulfillment — all of which it can also be. But only so long as we remember Job 1: Food sustains life and almost entirely determines the compositions of our bodies.

Compared to that, everything else warrants only the “other” category.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
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