Our health services are wonderful, they work amazingly hard, doctors and nurses care about us and on the whole, they do their best to help and make us better again. But is all the hard work being undermined by the very organisation that’s trying to get you healthy again? Bad dietary advice can hinder us, not help us.
This was highlighted recently by a friend showing a leaflet she received to advise on getting calcium from non-dairy sources. There was no mention of sources such as greens (broccoli etc), instead, there were suggestions such as Frosties and Cheerios, cereals that are laden with refined sugar. You know, that deliciously sweet stuff that’s contributing to the health issues plaguing us such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. I’ve spoken to one person who was getting over chemotherapy (thankfully the cancer treatment she received was successful) and she was told to eat sugary foods “to help build her body up again”. It’s been shown that cancer cells absolutely thrive on sugar, it’s like catnip for the nasties!
So while our health service is trying very hard to make the increasing number of sick people better, it’s also contributing to the problem at the same time! One branch of health doesn’t seem to talk to another branch and this is where conflicting views and advice happens.
What do we need
We actually need a core department in our health service (not just in the UK) where it looks at all the advice being given to the public, sift through it and correct all the conflicts. It needs to be able to look at the bigger picture and ask “why are we saying one thing here but the opposite there?”. We need the spectre of this bad dietary advice to be reduced or eliminated and the only way that can happen is if ALL branches of the health service we all rely on actually talk to each other and work together.
Should we question things?
YES! If the advice you’re being given feels wrong to you (such as in the calcium leaflet) then it’s perfectly fine to question the person giving you that advice. I was looking at the “Eatwell Plate” the other day, the advice given by the UKs ‘Food Standards Agency’ and while a large part is actually fruit and veg (wonderful!), there’s also a large “Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta” section showing mostly, white rice, white pasta etc, no mention of brown/wholemeal versions containing fibre which is incredibly important to our health, it also has a slice (thankfully the smallest section on the plate) showing cakes, chocolate, fizzy soda and vegetable oil, all the things which should be eaten sparingly and only occasionally, not as part of your daily diet. These things should obviously be questioned, your health depends on it!
A lot of the dietary advice given to the public, in my opinion, is slightly flawed. I believe it is based on outdated information, ‘experts’ who are set in their ways and can be swayed by the huge food industry companies who have a vested interest in keeping you eating their junk food. This is a massive problem and one that is very difficult to eradicate from our society.
Listen to your instinct
I honestly believe that we all know down to our very DNA that certain foods are bad for us and certain foods are wonderfully beneficial to us. The problem is, that tiny voice we know as our instinct, is being drowned out by the cacophony of the adverts and advice given to us 24/7, 365 days per year. It’s like having a whispered conversation in a hurricane, the voices are just lost. It’s hard but we need to try and ignore that adverts etc and listen to what we already know. I’ve written a blog post about this, you can read it here…