I like the idea of eating in moderation, however from conversation with people, most of the time when I hear this argument, it is by proponents who hide behind it as a reason to not learn or understand nutrition.
For moderation in eating to work for your individual needs and get you your maximum health benefits possible from your diet, there is a lot for you to know about nutrition as well as knowing your body (and while most people will tell you they know their bodies, they are far from being in their optimal health condition).
The first workable data about Moderation, is that it needs to refer to food, in other word, if you ingest thing that are not food, moderation with it will not propel you to better health. A clear example could be wood, while it has calories and some life forms can digest it, consuming it will not produce any benefit for us, and probably even hinder our progress into a healthier state.
Now while this one is quite obvious, some other biologic matter has fallen to a grey area, since some substances are very commonly consumes by our species nowadays, for instance;
Trans fatty acids- while we all know it is not good for us, most of us don’t know that it is actually never been food, it originally was an industrial by product, a fatty acid that does not exist in nature, and is causing lots of havoc in our systems, no moderation can be of help here either.
While most of us would swear they don’t consume it we don’t realize that money making industries were smarter than us by not calling them tarns fat on labels, instead they could be recognized as hydrogenised vegetable oils to their sorts.
One of the things that from early times got our species to be successful is the fact that we are highly adaptable, and proof to that exists in the variety of diets we were able to adapt to in various parts of the planet.
Having said that, among other things that should not be consumed in moderation are alcohols, and grain foods. To each his own problems, but just to show for the latter, it was mistaken for food many ages ago; while only recently science is starting to realize all the problems it had created.
Here is an article that shed light on some of the related problems:
In order to fully understand the full meaning of eating in moderation, one need to understand that havoc creating substances in the food is NOT included in moderation, damaging the cells and tissues of your body with things you consume cannot be called moderation!
Eating in moderation has to do first with eating real food, and when it comes to that it is pretty much consist of various meats and eggs, produce (not including grains and legumes), tubers, and nuts.
The Word moderation imply ratio between these ingredients, and that is a very individual thing, it would vary with age, physical activity as well as changing existing plateaus in health and body composition, it would also vary for different ethnicities.
For one thing we need to realize that we had developed for millions of years to be a meat eating species, one of our closest relatives, the Neanderthals, were proven by bone tests to be a complete meat eating species, even though there were lots of veggies and fruits in their proximities, they did not touch those, and that does say lots about us.
However, we have adapted to various diets across the globe, some of complete carnivores, others less so.
The bottom line is, there are many ways to manipulate food intake for bettering physical conditions, and there is a lot to know.
While it is a very exciting journey to get to know your body, it does help shortening the way by working with individuals that know the bigger picture, as there is a lot of confusion in this field, even among people that claim to work in it.