Last week, I published an article on beer and wine, with the title “Why Women Should Drink Beer and Men Should Drink Wine.”
I showed that women could probably benefit more from drinking beer than men, while men should be careful about drinking too much beer and probably choose another type of drink most of the time, if they want to avoid the dreaded “beer belly” and other symptoms of estrogen imbalance.
I included the caveat that this wasn’t absolute science, but was just something to think about in case you had a drink occasionally. But some people saw it as an endorsement for drinking alcohol, and vehemently stated their anti-booze position.
Some comments I got included:
Alcohol will produce micro toxins in your body that produce all kinds of disease.
Nobody should ever drink any alcoholic beverage. It is harmful to the body and spirit.
I’m saddened by the (mis)information you’ve presented here. My opinion has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION! Alcohol is a poison to the system.
I gave up alcohol when I went vegan 3 years ago. I don’t want to ingest anything that will mess with my mind or body.
So initially, my article was just about some healthier choice we can make in case we have a drink. And most of us occasionally have one.
Some people make the choice to NEVER drink any alcohol. And that’s something I respect. I did that myself for many, many years.
This made me think that, when it comes to health and nutrition, we all choose where we draw the line.
Some people have consciously decided to never touch any alcohol.
Some of those same people might occasionally cheat and have something containing white sugar, while yet others would never touch white sugar OR alcohol.
Some people avoid all animal products to the best of their ability, but don’t worry too much about whether a soup contains some chicken broth, or some honey has been used in a dessert. Other true vegans go to great lengths to make sure everything they consume is 100% free of animal products.
Where to Draw the Line
There are some things we always do.
There are somethings we never do.
And then there are some things we occasionally do.
And we all have to decide what those things are and where we draw the line. In other words: what are our priorities? What’s most important for our health? What do we choose to reduce or eliminate completely? And what do we try to consume on a regular basis?
My own personal list of “dos” and “donts” has evolved overtime. For example, there was a time when I was a 100% raw foodist and would never touch anything that had been heated or cooked. On the other hand, I would consume a lot of dried fruit and dates on a regular basis, something that I rarely eat nowadays, except as a condiment.
Sometimes it’s a conscious choice — a definitive “I’m never going to eat this again.” Other times, it’s more a general trend in your diet.
For example, I’ve noticed lately that I almost never eat bread anymore. That’s because I’ve been eating more fruit, sweet potatoes, and white corn tortillas as my main sources of carbs. So I just don’t buy bread or other wheat-containing products. I’m not consciously trying to be gluten-free, but I’m making an effort to eat other foods instead.
My Own Personal List
My own personal list has been shaped by my experience over the last 10 or 15 years. At the moment, I do occasionally drink alcohol, but I make sure I don’t during the week and only drink socially and not very much.
If I buy animal products, I always buy them organic. However, I don’t buy all of my produce organic. That’s a choice I make based on where I live and my current set of priorities.
I make sure to never two days in a row without exercising. I can skip a day, but when it’s been two days, I make an effort to at least go for a 20-minute jog. That’s a conscious system that I have. Occasionally I skip two days in a row, but I get back on track after.
I try to limit saturated fat. I know that there is a controversy surrounding saturated fats and some disbelievers think that it’s the greatest thing ever and that heart disease has nothing to do with saturated fat intake. I have looked at their arguments. I have also looked at the current research on saturated fat and heard disease. And my personal conclusion is still to limit it.
So for that reason, I stay away from red meat and full-fat dairy products, and I avoid coconut products, except as a treat. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong on this. But I’ve made up my mind for the time being and seem to be getting good results.
I try to eat more green vegetables (raw or cooked). And I avoid fat-laden fast food.
And all the time, I re-evaluate my list of “dos” and “donts.”
Your Own List
It makes sense to ask yourself what are the things you:
- Always do
- Never do
- Sometimes do
You can reevaluate the list from time to time. But it’s good to draw the line somewhere, after evaluating the pros and cons.
For example, when it comes to alcohol, I understand the pros and cons. I still think that the best thing for overall health and optimizing weight would be to avoid alcohol completely. However, I’m not drinking for health. I enjoy an occasional drink because of the social bonding that comes with it. But when I do, I keep in mind the old saying about moderation with alcohol and the dangers of abusing it: “One martini is perfect. Two is too much. Three is not enough…”
Question of the day: please share some of your list of things you always, never and rarely do for your health.