Another reason why one-size-fits-all diets don’t work is because foods affect people differently. One food that your friend loves and relies on to lose weight could cause you to be bloated. Your body is different from everyone else’s because we live different lives and our bodies have had different experiences. Those experiences may include allergies, stress, medications, antibiotics, trauma, childhoods, cultural differences in our diets, vitamins, vaccines, and so on. To permanently fix our relationship with food, we need to be in our own bodies and stop comparing.
Back in the day, I used to call myself a food detective because I was able to root out everyone’s food sensitivity issue. And I was good! If you’ve studied epidemiology, you understand that when you grow up in different parts of the country, and in different cultures, you likely grew up eating different foods and making different lifestyle choices. That makes you susceptible to different digestive conditions because of those foods and behaviors.
Question: So, how do you figure out which foods are causing you harm?
Answer: Start with a simple process of elimination. If you came to me and said that you were experiencing any physical symptoms (your body’s alert system) after breakfast when you ate yogurt, blueberries, and cashew milk, the first thing we’d need to figure out is the underlying cause of your symptoms. We’d also look at your family history. We know that our DNA matters, but so does our lifestyle. For instance, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, does this mean you’ll have it, as well?
Sugars from carbs, like the lactose from yogurt, will affect you within fifteen minutes after eating. Proteins do not affect you for two to four hours. So, the next day, I’d say try yogurt and blueberries, but leave out the cashew milk and see how you feel. If that didn’t fix anything, keep switching out each ingredient one at a time, and go through the process of elimination with each ingredient. Eventually, you will pinpoint the food that gives you digestive issues.
For more information on this topic, check out Chapter 6 of This Is What You're Really Hungry For. As always, I am here to help.