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The book 'Food Isn’t Medicine'

Fad diets are a dime a dozen. Sometimes there are some benefits to them and other times they can be deadly or just plain ol’ misleading.

Image: Some beautiful paw paw pieces

I have fallen prey to some fads of late. But the funny thing is, although I’m now unsure if a whole-foods, plant-based diet is the optimal diet, Michael Greggor’s book I read, How Not to Die, did have some truth to it because I was vegetarian for 11 months and didn’t have iron, B12, calcium or protein problems… So, what is the optimal diet?

My answer is… Not sure! But I’m sure more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruit etc. won’t hurt the average person. I’ll try to continue eating a lot of them. Less junk food surely could do me some good too (I’ve been getting into the Tim Tams lately! A LOT of Tim Tams!)

What got me thinking along these lines is the book Food Isn’t Medicine by Joshua Wolrich, and I’d like to share some of my favourite points from his book:

  • Diet is only one factor in health, so obsessing about it in lieu of attending to beneficial things such as exercise, stress management and cigarette smoking can still leave you unhealthy

  • Weight is often a result of factors beyond our control, such as socio-economic position, so it’s paramount not to shame people for their weight, no matter how high or low it is.

  • Weight stigma – particularly obesity stigma – can kill. Some doctors refuse adequate medical care based on their patients’ weight which can lead to missing serious health problems. Likewise, some individuals with higher weights feel worried they will be shamed or blamed by doctors, so they avoid regular check-ups.

  • A healthy relationship with food is well worth the effort it takes to form it. He defines a healthy relationship as one where no one food is banned or “off the table”, so to speak. Allowing yourself to eat some of what you like, even if it is unhealthy, can take the power away from the food itself, leaving space for you to question things like if you are hungry (eat if you are, don’t if you’re not), or thirsty, if you feel like overeating or undereating (both can be fine time to time when needed) among other things. I’m not sure if I’ve explained this point adequately, but it is my favourite.

  • To Wolrich’s knowledge, a healthy diet involves… Eating more vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, legumes. Eat some dairy – cheese and milk mainly – and eggs, oily fish, and limit processed and red meats. He didn’t state if other meats were beneficial or not.

Are you more confused about what makes a healthy diet? Yes? Well, I think Wolrich does make many great points. I hope you find them as interesting as I did.



Hi there,

Lauren Sims is an artist and author from Brisbane, Australia. She has recently become and author and will be releasing her first book in late 2022.

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