There are so many food rules these days that make pretty clear statements about what to eat and what not to eat. When it comes to our nutritional health, there are all kinds of fascinating facts to chew on. The problem is, most facts seem to be of the same variety: “eat this, don’t eat that.” Of course, there’s lots of useful information out there in terms of what we should and shouldn’t eat. But there’s so much more to our nutritional story. In this fascinating video from IPEtv, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating reveals a little known nutritional fact that can make a huge difference in your metabolic AND your emotional health. Here’s a hint: It’s a “formula” that’ll help you estimate the relative toxicity of a food, and that can help guide you in making the right choices for yourself. Sound intriguing? Then please tune in. Expect to make some potent connections and come away with some great insights into nutrition, health and personal empowerment. This is a unique combination of nutrition and psychology!
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
This Little Known Nutritional Fact Can Change Your Life
I love information that makes a big difference. I love learning simple facts, especially scientific ones, that I can use right now and have an immediate impact.
Here’s one of my favorite little-known nutritional facts that can be a game changer:
The dose makes the poison.
Allow me a few moments to explain where this phrase comes from and what it means.
The field of toxicology is a fascinating science that’s quite well articulated and whose job it is to understand the biology of what’s poisonous to the human body.
If you were to get your Ph.D. in the field of toxicology, it might take you a good six years of study – and yet the entire field can essentially be summed up in five words: the dose makes the poison.
Essentially what this means is that there are plenty of substances, foods, natural chemicals, and man-made ones, that impact the human body in both positive and negative ways. Ultimately, what determines whether or not something is toxic to human biology is the DOSE of that substance.
In other words, in this very moment, we have hundreds and hundreds of toxins of the natural and synthetic variety quite literally circulating in our bloodstream and stored in our fat tissue. I’m talking pesticides, petroleum-based chemicals, herbicides, heavy metals and so much more. In this very moment, we can measure the amount of arsenic in your body. Arsenic is a poison and can kill you – when administered in the correct dose. In small enough quantities, it may very well be meaningless.
Indeed, science has a term called LD50 – which essentially describes the dosage at which a particular substance will be lethal to 50% of all test subjects. Not the kind of experiment we want to be participating in, by the way.
Caffeine has a lethal dose, aspirin has a lethal dose, mercury has a lethal dose, most prescription drugs have a lethal dose, even water has a lethal dose – it’s called drowning.
So how can this little-known scientific fact change your life?
Here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we meet far too many people who have a sincere interest in nutrition and health, who do a lot of reading, who educate themselves, and who have a very good idea of the long list of foods, substances, and other chemicals that should not be in their diet. And these days, that list is getting longer and longer.
The challenge is, if you’re a human being alive on planet Earth, it’s hard to avoid all the things that aren’t supportive of biological health. We go to birthday parties and there’s cake. We go out to dinner and there’s wine. We have a piece of fish and it has heavy metal residues in it. We eat some meat or some cheese and it has synthetic hormones in it. We have some ice cream and it has sugar and fat in it. It’s hard to participate in this world and keep a squeaky-clean and healthy diet.
There’s a lot of social pressure to do otherwise. You might go over a relative’s house for a holiday dinner and the quality of their food is nothing like you have at home. What to do? What do you do if you’re visiting a foreign country and your gracious host offers you something that you know isn’t high quality or it’s highly processed and again, not something you would choose to have in your own kitchen?
At such times, I take a deep breath, I look around me, and I remember this simple scientific fact – the dose makes the poison – and then I make a choice. And I always do my best to walk that line between making a healthy choice for my own body, and making the choice to be a participant in life and not set myself aside or isolate myself from others because of how I eat.
Granted, this is not always easy and straightforward.
But our core belief here at the Institute is this:
We have a body wisdom within us that knows the answer.
I’ve never heard of a piece of birthday cake killing someone. I’ve never heard of a glass of champagne doing major damage. I’ve never heard of a slice of pizza making us fat and miserable for all of eternity.
It’s hard to escape the toxic world that we live in. Oftentimes, we need to relax and let go. We need to trust in the body, and trust in life. We need to gauge when the nutritional value of participating in meals with friends or loved ones outweighs the toxins in the food that they’re serving.
Food joins us with others, it connects us, it makes us human, and it’s the great equalizer when it comes to all of our differences. Food helps us come together. Sometimes, that’s way more important than our worries about a little bit of sugar.
Are you willing to relax, let go, and join the human family sometimes when it comes to your food rules? And likewise, are you willing to find creative ways to say no to sharing certain foods with others that you’re clear won’t be good for your body – but do it in a way that doesn’t alienate others?
Life is short.
Do your best to be healthy, but equally important, do your best to stay connected to the ways of the world, and to the ones you love.
I hope this was helpful.
In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
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