There are a bajillion and one experts out there who want to tell us all about how to eat and how much of those items to eat and what to avoid and honestly the whole thing gives me an anxiety attack. I have to tell myself they're all guidelines and not absolute rules but in the end I just ignore most of them. Which is probably good because a lot of the guidelines out in the media are put out by people who don't understand statistics (i.e. should not be extrapolating bags on trash day let alone data to tell you what to do with your pie hole) or people who are trying to sell books. Here are five that make me extra hyperventilate-y.
1. Eat only one fist-sized serving of grains per day. Whole grains are preferred.
Let me get this straight, you're telling me that when I eat a bagel I need to eat maybe half of it and probably can't put anything except a tomato on top? The sticky rice that comes with my Chinese food should be ignored? Even the tiniest containers of rice are bigger than my fist. How the hell is a person supposed to eat a sandwich in this world?
Also, one word for these grain haters: Pho.
2. Eat a minimum of five fruits and vegetables per day. A majority vegetables is preferred.
I think what you're really telling me is I should stuff myself to the point of spending a few hours on the toilet later. I think, um, no.
3. Limit sugar to rare treats. Refined sugar should be avoided as much as possible.
The person who invented this guideline clearly doesn't work in an office with any old ladies who can bake. I'm going to guess honey is also included in this and I have to say that eating local honey has made my allergies better by leaps and bounds. I used to live in a world where I couldn't open the windows in my house in fear of pollen. Now I eat a little local honey everyday and I am no longer afraid of grass and trees (okay, less afraid of them). Also, cake is what makes the world go round.
4. Eat complete meals to keep your blood sugar from spiking. Protein should be paired with vegetables.
Okay this one I'll accept a bit more readily but not because of my blood sugar. Lets be honest, blood sugar spikes are how I get through the work day sometimes. but last night I combined left-over salmon with brown rice, sauteed mushrooms and onions and it was incredibly delicious. Also, greens sauteed in a bit of oil with a nice steak on top is a great combination. So really, blood sugar is something that I have no idea how to control or monitor but I love it when flavors meld well.
5. Try to follow all the guidelines at the same time.
The expert of the day is always telling you to do the following five things to control your weight/blood sugar/cholesterol/happiness but the kicker is always that at the end they tell you to do your best to do all of those things. Uh, yea right. If I tried to follow all the guidelines the USDA suggests I'd probably gain a ton of weight. Also, their dairy guidelines (they call them milk guidelines which I try to tell myself is just poor copy-editing) make me want to jump off a bridge.