The Psychology of Subtraction

Think about this. What food, what supplement, what medication can you take or feed to your family to fix their health?  Do you have or know children with sick brains? Do you have a parent with a sick brain? The fix is usually not in what you should add but rather what you need to subtract.

We humans are not fond of subtracting anything.  We do want to feel good, maybe lose weight, and live a long time for sure. But the idea of changing our life style, cutting some kinds of food from our diet is not appealing. We wouldn’t be eating that stuff if we didn’t like it.

Thus we have the psychology of subtraction working in full force.

I take no credit for those words.  They belong to Dr. Georgia Ede (website I watched a video presentation today by Dr. Ede, a psychiatrist.  The focus of her presentation (The Descent into Madness: Modern Diets and the Global Mental Health Crisis,) is diet effect on brain health, making once again (at least for me) the case that commercially processed foods, sugar, and the predominance of grains in the American diet are largely responsible for our ill health. A sick brain, as we all know, is a sad thing to live with or behold.

My book, It’s All about the Food, is pretty short.  But if I hadn’t taken space to explain how our diets went astray, how the body works, and why diet changes were important, it could probably have been a three page brochure. It is really unbelievably simple. Subtract commercially processed food, sugar, and grains from your diet. The benefits to your weight, cognition, and general well being cannot be overstated.

If the idea of feeling good, healthy weight, and living a long, healthy life is worth considering, then watch Dr. Ede’s video. Might be the best 30 minutes you ever spent.

Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Pat is a resident of Montgomery County, AR, president of Ouachita Village, Inc. board of directors (Montgomery County Food Pantry); chairman of the Tasty Acre project; and member of the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Her website is