Sweet Cravings, Fad Diets and Chinese Medicine’s View
“Food is the first Medicine” – Old Chinese saying
Think about this statement as you look down at the food you are about to eat. Remember though as I’ve discussed in the past “Food is not the Enemy”.
Diet is always a topic of debate, with so many new diets emerging almost daily. All claiming to have the answer to our health problems. There’s the numbers diet, the no sugar diet etc. In the end though, the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true here. A balanced diet is a balanced diet, clean and simple. What works for one person will not work for everyone. The perk of being human is our individuality, which can also be a curse. We all have different, lifestyles, genes, health conditions, all which affect what and how we eat. The problem with our modern lifestyle is we are too busy, and therefore skip meals, or look for easy way out and get take away. I see lines out the door across the road from my clinic for take away sandwiches and fast food. You are what you eat, no need to play a numbers game with what and when you eat. The rules haven’t changed, eat lots of fresh food, nothing from a can or a packet. Processed food is full of sugar and salt, which is why people are starting to have digestive problems. Same with people reacting to Gluten, its in a lot of processed food, to much of it and you start getting inflammation which leads to other problems.
In Chinese Medicine, the sweet flavour strengthens the digestion, but too much blocks it up, same with raw food, which though healthy, is harder to digest. Eating this way occasionally is fine, but doing it for the long term, can lead to problems. Sweet cravings is the classic example. Ask any nutritionist and they’ll say that a craving means there’s something missing from your diet. If it is balanced and you are eating all the nutrients you require, then you won’t have cravings. Chinese Medicine shares this view, sweet cravings are the sign of a weak digestion, which is often caused my improper diet.
Again, no need to follow fads or craze diets, though we are bombarded by quick and easy meals and stupid protein bars, you don’t need any of it. You need to simply eat fresh food, avoid processed products and fast food. You are allowed to indulge, but not all the time. Of course too, include some regular exercise and make sure you have a hobby to help you cope with work stress. With this simple lifestyle totems, you should not have any sweet cravings and avoid a lot of digestive problems, which in turn will improve your long term health.
Think of it this way “a little bit of everything, never too much of one thing”.