The empty threat of empty calories.
Let’s start here
food (noun): Material, usually of plant or animal origin, that contains or consists of essential body nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to produce energy, stimulate growth, and maintain life.
I’m tired of food being demonized. We, as intelligent, media-savvy individuals, spend a lot of time wading through the information surplus and gleaning for ourselves what is relevant and trustworthy and what is not. But when it comes to food a lot of us have a huge blind spot. We mindlessly believe whatever the media tells us. We’ll follow the rules set forth by anyone granola-crunchy enough to seem to know what they’re talking about. We’ll allow fad diets to infiltrate our psyche. If you haven’t heard it before, let me be the first to tell you: food isn’t the enemy.
Today i was reading a food blog that focuses on healthy cooking. This particular writer’s idea of healthy is low-fat, low-calorie and subbing out “bad” ingredients for “good” ones (let me be clear, i do not intrinsically disagree with this angle. i mean, i do subscribe to the blog). This particular post was for blondies made from scratch. What got to me, though, was that at the end of the post there was a disclaimer saying that “there is no nutrition” in the recipe. What? It’s food isn’t it?! The author seems to explain this strange statement away by stating that she used white flour and white sugar.
The human body is complex and resilient. We live in a society of vast abundance and variety of food. Our bodies need very little to function properly. As long as you keep putting in fuel when you feel hungry, your body will keep chugging along. This is scientific fact. But our heads are messed up. The food pyramid has made us think that each thing we eat is made up of one nutrient. Meat only has protein. Pasta and bread only have carbs. Vegetables are 100% nutrition. etc. Atkins and food-pyramid-backlash have led to the demonization of carb-heavy foods as fattening and devoid of nutrition. None of these things are true.
Here are some things that are true:
- 100g of lean beef has more than 4X as much iron as 100g of cooked kale.
- leaving the skin on a potato does not significantly boost it’s nutritinal value. However, potatoes are a complete source of nutrition. Containing good amounts of several vitamins (especially C), minerals (especially iron and potassium), dietary fiber, and are a source of complete, high quality protein.
- celery, while low in calories, packs a high nutritional punch on a per-calorie basis. Celery is a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
- 11% of the calories in bleached white flour come from complete, high quality protein. White flour is also a good source of thiamine, folate, and iron.
i’m not saying you need to abandon your quinoa and wheatgrass. but why be a food extremist? nutritionally inferior does not equal nutritionally void.
don’t hate, fix a plate.