Pros and cons of special diets
It seems that for most of my adult life I’ve had frequent periods of experimenting with my diet. Not weight loss diets, but various diets that purport to improve my health and well being. I’m not sure if my health has thereby improved or not, but that’s a little bit of a tangent. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not a person who must follow a specific food regimen or get very sick. E.g. I don’t have Celiac disease, so I can experiment with eating or not eating gluten. Lately, for example, I’ve been thinking of trying to eat significantly fewer carbs as a way of addressing a few physical issues.
I think one reason I experiment with diets a lot is it’s kind of an interesting project for me. Plus there’s always the hope that something will change significantly for the better. But there are a few tradeoffs to following a designer diet. One is that special diets are often more expensive than conventional diets, especially if you buy organic.
Another is that these special foods often become less available or even more expensive during times of crisis or shortage. I usually try to buy certain things organic but when the pandemic hit last year all thought of organic food or special food went out the window. My focus was on just making sure I had enough to eat at a relatively affordable price. Oh, and also there was comfort food.
Now I’ve noticed that I feel stable enough in my food supply to stat thinking about experimenting again, but the lesson is that if food shortages really do come along it will be harder to make the adjustment with a special diet. The transitions to and from a special diet can add extra stress to a crisis. Even when I travel to my home town in Russia, I often have a pretty rude dietary adjustment there. My dear friends, with whom I stay, are all about sugary snacks, simple carby potatoes and porridges, plus cold cuts and hot dogs. It’s a shock to adjust to that. Then, when I get back to the States it’s a shock to adjust back.
This makes me wonder about the viability of designer food diets when I’m trying to live with crisis preparedness in mind. My emergency food certainly doesn’t reflect my more esoteric food interests. So, if the food supply breaks down I’m going to have to have a wallop of an adjustment, in addition to any other stresses of the emergency. Is it worth sustaining that extra stress? Does it make more sense to eat more conventionally and simply? I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my food experimentation yet, and I do think there are health benefits to customized diets. What do you think?