Intuitive Eating

I read with interest your article titled “Food Makers Are Taking Salt and Sugar Out of Food — But They’re Adding Fat,”in the Health pages of the December 20, 2017, Week In Review.

As a Nutritional Sciences student, I would like to comment on a different angle of eating that this article reminded me of.

The article portrayed changing food requirements. Manufacturers are now trying to include less sugar and sodium in products, with the compensation of increased fat. Previously, low-fat products contained more sugar. This dilemma highlights the fact that food is constantly being evolved to find the “healthiest” version.

But food was created to give us energy and enable us to thrive. Why are we trying to eat zero-calorie foods and live off air? The culture we live in now is so consumed with losing weight that we are forgetting that food sustains us. We need all the elements: carbs, fat, protein, sodium, etc., for different functions. For example, without sodium, our blood pressure would be too low. We need carbohydrates as the main fuel for our brain and heart. And so on. Processed and “treat” foods have their place, too, in providing pleasure and satisfaction.

Yes, some people have conditions where they need to be aware of specific food components. But generally we can partake of all varieties of food with varying numbers of calories and varying nutritional values.

“Intuitive Eating” is a way of eating that incorporates all food. Essentially, it involves a person relying on their innate hunger and fullness cues. Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the founders of this movement, believe that restricting food causes more eating issues, whereas food freedom creates balance. Individuals can learn their body’s requirements and desires to receive adequate nutrition and also pleasure.

Imagine a life where one can peruse a restaurant menu for any dish that tickles one’s fancy. One doesn’t watch her friend enjoying a chocolate milkshake, wishing for the day when she is skinny and “allowed” this ”indulgence.” We might fancy a salad for lunch one day and a sandwich the next, and that’s fine. Let’s trust our body to tell us what it needs, and we can live a healthy, satisfied life, saving our mind and energy to fulfill our dreams, rather than obsessing over food.

Eating in this natural way allows a healthy relationship with food, benefiting a healthy mind as well.

I hope this has been insightful. It only touches on this perhaps revolutionary concept of Intuitive Eating. I’m happy to answer any questions or write an article for your prominent newspaper.

Dina Spielman