We are all used to standards. Standards help us get a sense of what could be a yardstick to compare with. For example, we all believe that our blood pressure should be 120 diastolic and 80 systolic. If your pressure is higher or lower, you worry. In general, standards are therefore useful. Unless of course the very basis on which they were determined are flawed. Among the many criteria we use, the guideline on what you should be eating and the breakdown of the different components have received widespread attention. First published in 1980 in the United States, dietary guidelines told us what to eat. How many carbohydrates proteins and fat.

These standards define the basis for us to make decisions. If the assumption is wrong, you can imagine that your choices can go wrong. We now have come to realize that perhaps the basis for determining what you eat may have been faulty and not entirely based on scientific evidence.

Since the guideline went into use, the incidence of obesity and diabetes has almost doubled. The increase in disease means that clearly, the recommendations being made are not leading to good results. Also what was once considered a slam dunk regarding correlation – that saturated fat caused cardiovascular disease – is now increasingly coming into question. Another example of widespread belief being revisited is whether cholesterol in food causes cholesterol in your body. Apparently only 5% of the cholesterol in your body comes from food. So much for going slow on the yellow in the egg. It goes without saying that the recommendation to consume soda in moderation was without any basis. No amount of sugar-infused drinks are right for you.

So naturally, this makes us wonder what the basis for the recommendations for nutrition was? Also, what is the right proportion of nutrients that you should consume? Perhaps the best answer lies in that diet that gives you the best outcome metabolically speaking?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.