A post on Zach Thiel's blog inspired this one as he made the point to eat Whole Foods. He didn't mean the store, he meant that what we should eat is REAL FOOD. Simple rule for eating, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. If the ingredient list looks like your college chemistry textbook, don't eat it!
People can, and do, argue all day about what kind of diet to follow, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, low fat, high fat, Hollywood cookie, Subway, Taco Bell, yadda yadda yadda. You can find somebody wanting to sell you a book that will justify eating almost any way you want to with 'scientific data' to back them up. Personally, I think it comes down to two things - processing and portions. Here's why...
There's that silly question, 'Why aren't the French fat, they eat cheese, cream, butter, fatty foods, and so on?' Here's why the French aren't fat, nor are the Inuits who eat a ton of fat and protein, nor the folks in Asia who eat a ton of rice, nor the Tarahumara in Mexico who eat a ton of corn and beans. They're not fat because they're eating REAL FOOD, not some overly processed, flavor enhanced, 'vitamin enriched', preserved faux food. Example - Butter is simply milk that lost a fight. Margarine (at least the kind in my fridge) is water, vegetable oil blend, salt, gelatin, nonfat yogurt, natural soy lechitin, vegetable mono and diglycerides (potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA) lactic acid, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene Its 35% vegetable oil spread, 10% yogurt, what the hell is the other 55% Don't know, doesn't say, but SCARY!!!!
Now, which would you rather eat? How did we convince ourselves to eat this kind of stuff, and how did we think it would be good for us? Why are we surprised when our bodies react poorly??
Second thing is portion control. Yes, there is blame to be placed on restaurant owners who realized they could put 10 cents more french fries in the bag, charge 50 cents more and we think we're getting a deal. My thought on this is twofold. We're eating more because fundamentally our food doesn't taste good so we're not truly satisfied. Example - a really great shot of espresso is just that, a shot. You don't need a giant mug of the stuff. Same with chocolate, a really rich, excellent quality bite of chocolate is enough, you don't need a half pound slab. Second thought on portions - the food we typically eat is so devoid of nutrition that our bodies are eating more and more just to try and get some vitamins, minerals, and nnutrients from the food.
The American export economy isn't dead, its just moved from exporting real products like cars to exporting ideas and culture. Unfortunately our over processed way of eating is one of those exports and people all over the world are starting to get fat. The over processed, poor tasting, nutrient barren food we've been eating for 40 years (yeah, I'm blaming that first Swanson TV dinner here) is taking over the world and its starting to show.
Now I'm not advocating throwing away all your food and only shopping at the Farmer's Market (although that's not a bad idea) I'm just saying be more thoughtful in what you put in your body. Look at the chicken you buy, you may think natural, organic chicken is too expensive; however, typical chicken is often injected with up to 15% 'solution'. 15% of what you're buying is salt water, mmmmm tasty, and a giant waste of money!! Cooking is not hard, convenience foods are not that convenient, and you will feel better eating REAL FOOD!! Don't get caught up in the diet scam, the first three letters spell DIE! Eat REAL FOOD, in moderation, work out, and you'll be fine.