I had an egg for breakfast today. People tell me they're not good to eat, and I'm going to die a slow and painful death for making such a reckless choice. There's no real nutritional value in that egg, they say, but I scoff at them and eat it anyway. Of course, it was a Cadbury Creme Egg, not one a chicken laid, so maybe they were right.
Yes, I'm joking. I didn't eat the Cadbury egg for breakfast... not today, anyway. No, that was Saturday. Today I had my usual bowl of ordinary bran flakes, which are fortified with all sorts of vitamins and minerals to nourish the body. It is important to eat properly, and candy is a rare aberration even for me.
Once in a while, we end up indulging, and I've had more than my fair share of snack items through the years, but I'm working to curtail that. Will power is something I have in abundance when it comes to most things in life, but everyone has their Achilles Heel, and food has been mine for far too long. I think a lot of it has to do with the types of food I eat, and I think if more people had the proper amount of essential nutrients in their diet, we would all be thinner and healthier. Yet, when I try to take vitamins or other supplements, I find they make me sick. Obviously, my body doesn't need the overabundance, so what is the right amount?
Throughout history, human beings have not eaten a balanced diet, and to be fair the "experts" keep changing the definition of balanced. When I was a kid, they said you had to have a majority of grain items in your diet, yet today they say you need to eat mostly vegetables. Once they said eggs were deadly, then good, then deadly, then good again, etc... The doctors can't make up their minds, so what are we to eat? Plankton? Perhaps we should just switch to Soylent Green and be done with it!
I think the true answer to the whole "balanced diet" debate lies in our genetics. What one body needs of one nutrient might be too much or too little for someone else. I expect that someday soon doctors will come to the natural conclusion that each person's genetic coding determines what their body needs for fuel, and be able to give them a better idea of what they should consume. The more science uncovers about the genome, the more accurately we'll be able to determine the ideal diet for each individual.
When it comes to our bodies, each individual is unique and different. What is good for you isn't necessarily good for me, and vise versa. This is not only the case with nutrition, but medicine as well, though far too often we are all treated as a single organism. Cookie-cutter medicine doesn't always work, and the further we progress, the more we understand that. The more we look into the building blocks of life, the better we will be able to treat ailments, and the healthier each unique person will be.
Of course, I don't think anyone's genome would call for a Cadbury Egg breakfast, but it still tastes good. What's the point of being grown up if you can't be a little childish sometimes? And that leads me to my concluding caveat. The further we progress, the more the scientists and experts want to dictate what we do, what we eat, and how we live. Be wary of those who would use scientific discoveries to control your life and force you to eat whatever they decide you need. If you want to be as healthy as can be, and want to take their advice, that's very good, but it must remain a choice, no matter what.