Is a diet of the same exact thing every day bad for you?

·2 min read
lunch plate
lunch plate

I’ve never been that much of a picky eater (fortunate, considering my job), but I know a few people who seem to eat nearly the same thing every day. Aside from the sheer boredom of it, I’ve always wondered if that’s bad for you, since you’d only be getting limited types of nutrients, and the same ones, at that. MEL Magazine examined whether eating the same thing every day is bad for you, even when the food is considered healthy (think oatmeal, spinach, chicken), and came up with a conclusion.

MEL argues that the human body is resilient enough to rely on the same types of nutrients, even if they aren’t super varied. If you’re eating a reasonably healthy diet (which is different for everyone), you should be okay. Remember, historically, some civilizations subsisted on diets of mainly starches, dairy, and fats, and survived. That’s not to say those people didn’t have their own set of health problems, but hey, they lived.

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Yes, a lack of varied type of nutrients isn’t to be overlooked, but what MEL is saying is that you’ll survive. The author, Ian Douglass, suggests you take a multivitamin if you’re worried about macronutrients. Despite the fact that many people say that multivitamins are semi-useless and aren’t absorbed fully, he argues that vitamins you get naturally from food also aren’t all necessarily absorbed fully through your body, and that you’re going to excrete some no matter what.

Because there are so many vitamins packed into a multivitamin supplement, and each single vitamin contained therein is absorbed differently, it’s not that multivitamins are completely useless. It’s just that your body will only take in so much of each in terms of efficiency. MEL also argues that you might not be getting as much nutrition as you think you are from food; some vitamins degrade from exposure to heat (like when it’s being cooked), and some require fat as a vehicle to be absorbed in your body. Otherwise you just pee the remainder out.

Nutrition is complicated and there’s no one-size fits all scenario when it comes to food. But if you’re someone who just prefers the same thing regularly, it’s most likely that you’re not doing yourself much harm in the process.

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