They sound so… weight management. But this is not about eating disorders. Keeping a food diary – for yourself or your loved one – is a good way of keeping track of food and its effects (or lack thereof).
It’s also a good way to de-mystify food fads and wild theories (we’ve all heard them) about ‘curing’ autism.
Say you suspect wheat allergies (gluten-free is all the craze these days). Instead of just chucking bread and subjecting the family to a wheat-free diet (as well as hunting for palatable recipes and torturing the cook), try keeping a record of food intake and reactions first. If there’s a clear connection, act on it.
You may find something unexpected.
Or you may not. In fact, it may be disappointingly dull. But if this is the case, then it’s also a relief. No more wondering about wheat and dairy… you have data to prove a lack of reaction, or, conversely, to support your nagging suspicion that food is a culprit.
Food diaries should be kept for weeks, at minimum, and probably at least a month. A small sample size – say, a few days – just isn’t long enough to really give sufficient data. What looks at first glance like a sugar reaction may in fact be a reaction to caffeine (which happened to once be in a sugary beverage).
Or it may be a coincidence.
But if there’s a record – a food diary – showing a clear connection over time, then the guesswork can be removed. Solid proof can be golden when it comes to convincing yourself, doctors, and/or relatives.