By Xochtil Wilson,
Bachelors in Dietetics, 15 years plus in Nutrition Education, Health Coach and former GCU student
Food, once upon a time, was scarce and for survival.
Do we nurture ourselves to be healthy or simply to exist? It’s been 100 years since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided nutrition guidance to Americans. We’ve seen multiple “food pyramids” displaying sample images of foods we should include in our daily diets, the recommended amount of physical activity for both children and adults and even foods we should limit or exclude all together. As efforts have been made by not only the USDA, but also the Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the many who provided feedback to these agencies, a new MyPlate was created. MyPlate is an updated nutrition guide that accommodates to varied lifestyles and limits phrases that exclude nutrients that, for some, are necessary.
We are bombarded daily with nutrition advice and images of what a healthy body should look like. There is no turning on a social media outlet without seeing an ad pop up for some slimming or detoxifying tea, juice or powder. Celebrities have fallen prey of this game. Why? Because the food industry has become lucrative. There is a massive push by giant forces from the agricultural industry that targets specific populations with specific nutrition items and guidance. It is our responsibility to become aware of the truth.
So, are we currently nurturing ourselves based on what we need and know is good for us? Or is it based on what is being forced down our throats by an industry that has monopolized our health and wellbeing? We know our grandparents, their grandparents and every grandparent prior lived, survived throughout history. One quick Google search will give a glimpse on how we began life farm to table to the manufacturing food industry back to the significant movement of farm to table. The manufacturing food industry has provided us with safety measures to keep our food safe through the transport and shelving processes at our local grocery stores. However, we have at times surrendered our will to the excellent marketing abilities of said industry.
Feeding our body, mind and soul should not be dictated by any industry or celebrity/YouTube icon. It should be decided based on our need to live well and healthy, regardless of your shape, color, sex, race and or social status. You know your body better than any doctor, but if it helps to speak with one or many, do get a different opinion. Do and find what is best for you. Disconnect from trying to conform to what society dictates you should put in your body.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.