Why we’re turning away from diet culture (and learning how to eat instead)

Spoiler: We are starting to see food as an ally not an enemy of good health.

Diet culture. You may not know it by that name, but you’ve definitely seen it around you. It’s in the belief that a skinny body is the most healthy kind of body. It’s in the way we use words like ‘naughty foods’, ‘clean eating’ and ‘cheat days’ to describe habits that don’t have any inherent moral value. It underpins products like “shapewear” or technology like “Facetune” that help people achieve so-called perfect figures and faces (however briefly) and, in turn, reinforce the idea that such perfection even exists. Diet culture sets us all up for failure. It can lead to disordered eating habits or simply a mindset that sees food as an ‘enemy’ not an ally of good health.

However, new research undertaken by Australian Macadamias shows that we may be beginning to shift away from diet culture and starting to embrace the physical and emotional benefits of delicious food. Here are three important takeaways from our research asking people how they felt about health and wellbeing.

1 – Every day rituals make all the difference

Our research showed that people are valuing ‘healthy eating’ over ‘going on a diet’. It seems we are understanding that the key to overall wellbeing is found in the daily rituals of life rather than occasional big experiences. So more people are now striving to incorporate healthy food and wellbeing rituals as part of everyday activities, as well as valuing exercise, and adequate rest and sleep as part of a healthy life.

2 – Mental and physical wellbeing are intertwined

Our research showed that people are increasingly viewing physical and mental health as equally important but also entwined. More than half of the people surveyed said that delicious food on its own is a key part of happiness and wellbeing. This leads us to embrace the role healthy wholefoods play in supporting our mood and feelings of happiness. It also leads us to favour foods with functional or emotional benefits, like macadamias which have a variety of mood boosting properties.

3 – The important role of gut health in feel good food

Where diet culture simply equated health and thinness, an increasing number of people are rejecting that idea and understanding the role that our gut plays in keeping us looking and feeling healthy. A vast majority of people in our survey saw food, not dietary supplements, as being central to good gut health and were wanting more from each mouthful. When we asked people about the functional and emotional benefits they expected from food the message was overwhelming: We want our foods to be delicious, as well as promote gut health, support healthy digestion and support the interactions of the brain and gut to stabilise mood and well being.

Macadamias can play an important role as an ally to physical and emotional wellbeing. Not only are they a delicious, convenient snack that can be easily worked into a daily routine, they also support our emotional wellbeing and promote good gut health. Find out more about how this works here.