I'm on kind of a strange diet...
...but my diet isn't the main focus of this article. The main focus of this article is how many people seem to have an opinion on my diet. Since I stopped eating carbohydrates, nearly everyone I know has had some comment to make about health, weight loss, and overall aesthetic.
This seems to be a unique topic in human psychology; I've never in my life seen so many people so passionate about anything. My political leanings are equally eccentric; how I spend my free time is probably even stranger to the average person (and, in my opinion, a more interesting topic of conversation); and no one has ever agreed with my philosophy of happiness. Whenever I bring up my opinions on any of these topics, I get strange looks and diverted conversation. My diet has had countless practitioners, advocates, and even social movements in the past, but the people around me are quickest to disagree with my feelings towards food than any of my other opinions.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand everything there is to know about nutrition (well, maybe not the first). There are a lot of questions to which I've never been able to find — or, more embarrassingly, comprehend — the answers.
However, I'm quick to acknowledge the gaps in my knowledge about nutrition. I'm proud but unhappy to say this acknowledgement seems to be a positive feature that I alone possess. The number of people who have come to me with concerns about my own diet is shocking. Earlier today, an exceedingly amiable and considerate fellow to whom I've never spoken told me that I should watch my sodium intake, lest I contract diabetes. I don't blame him for his concern, nor do I hold any enmity for the advice, but a quick Google search reveals that this is a completely unfounded concern. Excess sodium has never been shown (as far as I can see) to related to diabetes.
The types of food with which people seem to overly concern themselves appear related. Anything that seems like a recent invention gets unwarranted attention. This is mirrored by the relatively recent trend of the "paleo" diet and a fear of processed sugar (which is not to say that I necessarily disagree with these or any other diet trends in particular). I consider this a brand of technophobia, and it almost never accompanies actual statistics. The number of times I've been told I will get cancer because I drink diet soda is approximately proportional to the number of times I've been told I'm depriving myself of happiness for refusing to drink beer. This all comes in spite of the actual scientific consensus that artificial sweeteners are very unlikely to cause cancer while alcohol causes thousands of incidences of cancer yearly, to say nothing of poisoning, drunk driving accidents, as well as general heart and kidney problems.
Do your research or give me space.
My point isn't that everyone has to be super knowledgeable about dieting, nutrition, or the most recent nutritional data available. Nor is it that everyone has to stop talking to me about food, nutrition, or any diet in particular.
I simply want people to stop judging me — and everyone else — for their nutritional choices... particularly in the event of a complete informational void.