In a day of media brainwashing and social media white noise it is hard to avoid the pressure to feel bad about your looks, your weight, your diet. I challenge you to count how many times in an hour of television viewing your are told about an easier, healthier, more glamourous way to ‘achieve the real beautiful inner you’. Friends quote rehearsed lines about how worried they were that their friend hadn’t lost their baby weight yet, or how they didn’t have as much time to make a healthy dinner each night. How do you feel when you watch these ads? I imagine some of you may even use these products and that is understandable, I probably would if I could afford them.
Once again I want to state that these opinions are mine alone and should not be taken over the advice of a medical or nutritional professional.
When we want to improve ourselves we immediately go to a diet. Because it must be an issue with our weight or what we put into ourselves. We always jump so immediately to a restricted diet to solve our troubles. How much research do you undertake about these diets to see why the creators are pushing them so heavily? Even when they offer you rationale and research about their product (because diets like this are products to be marketed) do you look into these yourself, further than what their sponsors want you to?
To clarify once more my usage of the term ‘diet’ is as follows:
The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats: a vegetarian diet
We all know that to improve our health and diet we have to cut a lot of things out. For this to be such obvious knowledge that we all accept so readily, we must also accept that we are not eating well to begin with. My last few posts about vegetables and fruits, as well as a balanced, nutritional diet, might have made you roll your eyes and turn your head away. They may have made you stop to consider your eating habits.
It was a good start I feel. But where do we go from here?
A lot of the foods that aggravate or can be linked to dietary concerns are not foods that were intended to be in our diet, either at all or in the quantity most of us regularly consume. I talk about both natural foods or man-made chemicals. There is also some vague uneasiness about some foods that occur naturally and are being avoided unnecessarily. Want me to be more specific?
Cane sugar, Palm sugar, added sugar in all its forms. There is A LOT of sugar in A LOT of natural foods. Sugar is a Carbohydrate. Your body needs it to live, just not in the obsessive way Westerners seem to use it. We rely on this overwhelming amount of sugars to flavour, even in our starchy types of carbohydrates like baked goods and coffee. We add flavoured sugar syrup to our bubbly water and even our juice!! The sugar you want is natural sugar, Lactose, and even then with many people’s sedentary lifestyle it is important to watch the amount of fructose you eat. This fad of avoiding all sugar may not be all it is cracked up to be, especially if it means Fructose as well. There is a lot of added sugar in a lot of food you would not suspect and so the only way to really ensure you are cutting down on added sugar is to read the label.
Colour and Flavour Additives
Not all of us have the time, desire or know-how to research all the food codes to understand which colour and flavour additives we should be avoiding. You must have heard about at least one from some source or other? I have. I know of 206 and 211, but I’m not sure what they do…I think it is safe just to think rationally about this. A carrot does not have a barcode and food additives *** or *** in it. Nor does an egg or fillet of Bluefin Tuna. Do you see what I’ve done there? The higher processed a food is, the more it is taken away from its original, natural state, the more likely it will have had colours and flavours added to enhance the flavour. Now I’m not silly and I’m not denying that even our naturally grown fruit and vegetables have not undergone at least some of this process. The fact is they have. But they are still, for the most part, natural. Doritos are not.
I could post a little infographic or video to show you, but I find many of them are a little to ‘fear mongering’ for my tastes. You can look and decide for yourself by searching Youtube for ‘additives in food‘. As you can also search for the actual use and name of any food code you see on the label of ingredients in a food product.
Preservatives are added to foods to give them a longer shelf life. Unless you are buying a food from a green grocer or baker you should assume there are additives in the food, and even then you could raise some questions. Bakery chains in Australia are pretty good at baking products fresh, when Coles and Woolworths tried to make that claim but actually used frozen dough their nuts were crushed. There is a lot of conversation about vegetables and fruit being frozen or ‘over chilled’ in these larger stores, apparently. I don’t know so I cannot help there. We buy our meat, dairy, groceries and baked goods at local mongers, butchers, grocers and bakeries respectively. We walk around the outside aisles when we have to delve into the abyss of these places, as every thing that is meant to last longer than a short time seems too good to be true. There are natural preservatives, such as vinegar and salt, but they don’t have our modern lifestyle expectations kind of powers. My question to you about preservatives is why we need them in our food? Do you really need a box of crackers in the cupboard? A bottle of juice that will taste the same for two weeks (that’s not necessarily natural)?
People cut out fat. That’s okay, but there is fat in everything and the human body needs to ingest three things to live: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. In whatever percentage you eat them in, it needs to equal an even 100% of your diet. There are guidelines about what is best, and it varies for different people but remember that the decision of what is best for you is something that needs to be decided by a professional and monitored by them and a doctor. Again this silly fad of cutting out fat is only good if you cut out the right fat in the right way with the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing.
This guy. MSG. Everyone loves to hate this one and if the body was a soap opera we would all groan outwardly each time it came on the screen, secretly perving on what a fine ass it has. MSG is a salt (sodium) in the amino acid Glutamic Acid (Glutamate). Amino acids build together to make proteins. As it can enfold into proteins the body doesn’t always recognise its presence. MSG occurs naturally in grown fruits, vegetables and edible fungi. In small doses it is okay. The trouble is it is used as a flavour enhancer, hence it is an additive, and has this strange adverse effect of creating a seemingly addictive taste of salty-sweetness that is difficult to create any other way naturally. Along with this comes an insatiable craving or need by eaters to return to the flavour, which becomes more prominent when it is eaten in the higher doses of ‘added MSG’ rather than in the small natural doses. Apparently it is also attributed to the sensation of feeling full yet having a hunger return 30-60 minutes later. Foods with high added MSG include corn chips, Chinese food, Canned food, soups and processed meats. Oh and KFC.
Now I could have covered more but these are just crazy, for the amount we invest in daily, yearly. The amount we put in our bodies and the amount we use to satisfy ourselves.
I believe in You only live once. Not that YOLO balderdash but legitimate healthy enjoyable living in an honest and happy way. If I want a cake I will eat it. I have WAY too much coffee. I use canned tomatoes in my pasta. I sometimes forget to use all the lettuce before it goes off.
I know. Reckless, wasteful, world destroyer who is inflicting her illness on herself right??!!
I have about two soda’s a year and never any of the diet or sugarless alternatives either. I eat fresh fruit with greek yoghurt for breakfast or oatmeal. We try to make our own pastes and food flavours for meals, which takes no time at all truly. I rarely snack and the occasions when biscuits or chips enter our household are too rare. Also, in case it needs to be clarified I do not smoke, nor drink. I LOVE CHOCOLATE, but eat the 90% cocoa type, not by choice, but I’ve learnt to appreciate it’s bitterness.
My body, regardless of whatever else is going on, is a temple and is treated to a good diet. I have found over time that this is the most effective way to eliminate and contain my inflammation. No it has not erased it altogether, but at this stage I honestly feel I am as close as I have ever been to it.
What to you think? What have you eliminated from your diet?