their own advice? Do the people who "invent" those strange diets involving half a lettuce leaf and a wafer thin slice of organically grown cucumber actually keep to them? Are there people who never eat anything apart from "approved foods"?
I am not including here people who must maintain a particular diet in order to stay alive. That is different. I know someone who is severely allergic to peanuts. Eating those could be catastrophic and she has no desire to eat them. I have a mild allergy to alcohol and vinegar. They make me feel uncomfortably itchy. I avoid them. I have no desire to eat foods that contain these things and do not even care for the taste of them.
But what about other things? All the conflicting advice does not help. We are told "not" to eat any number of things and then told to eat them. We are told to eat them in small quantities and then told that we can eat them in larger quantities. We are told something is good for you for one reason and then, in the next breath, bad for you for other reasons.
When we first moved to this house there was an elderly couple living next door. The old man was, at the age of about 90 diagnosed with mature onset diabetes. He was told to cease eating his favourite dessert - tinned pineapple in heavy syrup and icecream. He told me this in a puzzled sort of way. Why should he cease eating these things at his advanced age?
The doctor had given him a list of other dietary restrictions as well. The restrictions would have required a radical change of lifestyle and diet. It was quite unrealistic to expect someone of 90, someone who was now endeavouring to do the cooking his wife could no longer do, to change so much. By then I was, as often as I dared, giving them a main meal but even our diet did not accord with the sheet.
The hospitals here are currently under fire because some patients are leaving malnourished. Some patients, particularly the elderly, cannot undo the containers containing the food. I have visited patients who are, quite simply, not even able to reach their food. It has been dumped out of reach. The food itself often looks simply unappetising and must look worse to someone who is not feeling well.
I have no doubt it is all done according to dietary guidelines laid down by dieticians and catering guidelines about "portion control" etc etc. They try to do it cheaply. The food is necessarily bland in an attempt to cater for all tastes.
I do wonder though if the dieticians who design it would eat it themselves. I suspect they do not. Do they really deny themselves all chocolate and sweets? Do they forego eggs, cheese, butter and other dairy products? Do they avoid all salt? Do they have a single mouthful of lamb chop with all the fat removed?
There was a statement by a doctor-dietician saying that it would take forty minutes on a treadmill to work off the effect of eating one Cadbury's Creme Egg. I have never eaten one and I have no particular desire to do so. However there are other people who do like them. It may be better if they did not eat them, just as it would be better if they did not consume tobacco or alcohol. Like tobacco and alcohol, chocolate and any number of other foods labelled "bad" are legally available. "Bad" foods often taste "good". They will be eaten. Telling us they are "bad" simply makes them more desirable.
Dieticians may eat more "sensibly" than many people. I do not know. I know they make some people miserable by demanding they follow impossible guidelines.
I will avoid the Creme Eggs "on special" in the supermarket this morning but that will be because I want to rather than because I have been told to.