Food Variety – A Catch 22

The buffet’s are treating me well here in vegas even though I’m downright abusing them. (it’s not a fair trade at all)

I can't stop eating prime rib in vegas!

Eating at buffets has reminded me of the inherent contradiction to the healthy eating mantra of eating a ‘variety’ of foods.

It’s pretty common to hear health/fitness marketers advise eating a diet with as much food variety as possible…the proverbial ‘everything in moderation is ok’ or ‘eat lots of colors’ etc.

But there is a catch 22 with this story…the more foods you have available the more chance you have to overeat. You could almost say that you get ‘full’ on one type of food or flavor/taste, but you still have room for other types of foods and flavors. (the ‘eat variety’ story should be qualified with ‘eat a variety of fruits and veggies’ specifically)

The reality is we need far less food variety then we might think. Most of our nutrients can be found in a few foods, and most of us (when we’re not lighting up a buffet in vegas) eat a routine selection of the same dozen or so foods. And this works perfectly fine for the bulk of the modern world.

You can easily make the argument that the option for eating a wide selection of foods has only become available since the modern industrial revolution anyway. So we’re not evolved to need the type of selection your grocery store offers (how the hell would someone in canada get access to a banana in the winter before the industrial revolution).

In other words, you can get by just fine with far less food variety than you think, and you most likely eat less food variety than any healthy eating mantra ever speaks of anyway. (try to think of all the different foods you’ve eaten in the past 7 days, I’ll bet it’s not as varied as you might like to think)

And that might not be such a bad thing. The more available and affordable different food choices are the more chance you will eat more of all of them.

Thanks for the suggestions on eating venues, I’ll try to check them out, but I gotta say that I’m having a hard time going anywhere besides the various buffets simply to eat prime rib and whatever else happens to be available!

John