Cutting Out Food Groups - Separating The Fad, Fact and Fiction


Many of us have experienced times where we hear about the latest diet trend, food scare or superfood. Eat less of this and you’ll lose x amount of weight and reduce your risk of x disease. Eat more of this and live longer...

By reading the latest headlines and magazine articles, or simply viewing a new food recipe or blog from a well known lifestyle ‘expert’. we are encouraged to mistrust food, obsess about nutrients, count calories, fear certain substances, and even eliminate whole entire food groups.

These days, in a world where there has been a boom in something I call ‘healthism’, it has become hard for many of us to escape seeing words such as gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, soya free, and pretty much enjoyment free ...

Supermarket isles, food adds and magazine articles are sprinkles with unsupported health claims, suggesting that they have the magic secret and exclusive elixir to a happy, healthy and long-lived life...

Of course, there are certain individuals who need to avoid certain foods or be wary of certain ingredients, especially if they have a particular food allergy or follow a diet-related lifestyle for ethical or religious reasons.

However, the majority of individuals are encouraged to cut out certain food groups, whether that be gluten, sugar, dairy or fat with the use of information that is unsupported by sufficient scientific evidence.

Although cutting out certain food groups without authentic medical advice is a cause for concern on a physical level (e.g. potentially increasing the risk of nutritional inadequacy), what concerns me the most is individuals’ psychological and social wellbeing.

For example, I question how food restriction and elimination creates pools of anxiety and stress around social occasions and feelings of isolation - experiences which, regardless of wha