I really love this article. It demolishes Paleo and other low-carb diet fads, and amplifies something I strongly believe: eating a balanced, rational intake of real food will stand us in better stead health-wise than “dieting.”
New Years Resolutions are BOOBYTRAPPED. Especially ones involving dieting.
Could fat shaming be making us more fat, not less? The science from experimental social psychologists seems to back the idea up.
And the Diet-Industrial Complex revs up for another January blitz.
Take a close look at this picture. On the left is a margarine tub. Canola Harvest. From a Canadian company based in Alberta. On the right is a tub of whipped butter, Challenge brand, from a California dairy. Read the ingredients. Read the calorie count. Read the amount of sodium. Now, whipped butter includes a fair amount of air whipped into it to make it more spreadable and give it more volume. I grew up on margarine instead of stick butter, so something spreadable in a tub is sort of personal preference.
So yeah…science is now saying that the move away from butter to margarine was not a good idea, and that the hydrogenation process used to make liquid oils solid made something far worse than saturated fat for our cardiovascular health. The Canola/Palm oil margarine on the left does not have hydrogenated oils in it, but it has way more sodium than the butter, and more calories when you compare the volume of margarine vs. the volume of whipped butter. Yes, if you go by weight, the margarine serving is heavier than the whipped butter. But our eyes see volume instead of weight, so ultimately the amount that fills a tablespoon is the same. That tablespoon’s worth of the whipped butter looks, to our eyes, like that tablespoon of margarine.
And where the difference really becomes clear is when you look at the ingredients list on the margarine vs. the butter. Butter: cream and salt. Margarine: a long list of substances that are hard to pronounce and go halfway down the package. And then there’s also the fact that the butter came from a dairy in California, and the margarine is from thousands upon thousands of miles away. Local food is better than non-local food for the Planet.
Moderation is key in all things. You don’t want to be eating out of that tub of whipped butter with a spoon. But the occasional bit of it on a potato or on a whole wheat English Muffin is fine. And probably better for you than those mystery ingredients in that tub of margarine.
I drink a fair amount of green tea nearly every day. I’ve been doing so for about a year, when I substituted homemade, unsweetened iced tea for my Pepsi MAX habit of 2-4 cans a day. I don’t do artificial sweeteners anymore, (with the occasional lapse or accidental consumption, mind you) and I keep nutritive sweeteners to a minimum. If I drink a sweetened beverage, chances are it’s sweetened with Stevia or Monkfruit extract, or a blend of both.
However, steeping tea in water is one thing, using chemicals to extract the maximum amount of catechins from green tea leaves, then concentrating that extract, is yet another. A glass of wine at dinner is pretty much a good thing, unless you are taking meds that specifically do not allow alcohol consumption. However, chugging a whole jug of red table wine is harmful, to say the least. A few cups of green tea, spread out over a morning and early afternoon, is fine. But taking large doses of diet supplements with green tea extract in it can screw up your liver even faster than alcohol abuse, apparently.
I strongly believe that the closer to nature food is, the better it is for you. You can’t always eat that way but the more fresh stuff you eat and the less processed stuff you eat, the better off you will be. Unfortunately, the Diet Industrial Complex and the Bodybuilding Industrial Complex is very successful in selling special food and special supplements to people trying to either lose weight or gain muscle. It’s a huge business, and last year I saw it in action, up close and personal.
Even if you don’t want to check out that link, I want you to take a look at this picture. Check out the hellbroth of chemicals in this supplement, and all the disclaimers. It’s scary stuff.
Seriously, that’s a packet of “high performance fitness supplement” I was given at that event. Do you think anyone wades through all that verbiage before popping one or two in hopes they can get that leg up on weight loss or training? Of course not! We should not be surprised that doctors are seeing really scary side effects from these supplements and pseudo-meals. There’s also the way some people train that’s very dangerous…yes, I like Crossfit, but people take it to extremes and some people wind up coming down with Rhabdomyosis, which is a muscle wasting disease that actually can be brought about by insane overtraining.
The fact of the matter is this: health should be the goal of any fitness and/or eating regimen. If you are endangering your health in the chase after skinny or buff, you are missing the point completely.
I talk here a lot about body acceptance. This is not an accident. This is not dogma, this is a necessary starting point for a realistic fitness journey.
I’m not a religious person, but the Serenity Prayer has a message even for someone who is agnostic like me. Let me rephrase it a little.
Let me find within myself the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We cannot change our genes. A fair amount of what controls our metabolism and our body type is genetic. Ectomorph (skinny, non-muscular) parents tend to have Ectomorph children. Endomorph (fat) parents tend to have Endomorph kids. Mesomorph (Average build) parents…you get it. Parents whose ancestors had to deal with food insecurity a lot tend to have slow metabolisms that hang onto calories. In turn, they have kids with similarly slow metabolisms. Those whose ancestors lived in relative plenty tend to have quicker metabolisms. Why do Frenchwomen not get fat? Why do we look at Greece and Rome for our body ideals instead of Poland, Hungary, Ukraine or Russia? Again, you got it. The more science looks at the connections between heredity and weight, the more it seems that our results are at least partially written in our genes rather than completely a matter of effort. This is something the American psyche rebels against, kicks against these goads until it bleeds, but it’s truth.
However, there are things we can change. We can get more active. We can eat more real food, more plant-based food. We can stop doing things that work against our health. We can control stress. We can get enough sleep. Ultimately it’s not going to provide the kind of OMG WOW results that you see all over the place in the media, but it will at least mean you will be a stronger, healthier person who will likely live a longer life than those who tend to not pay attention to things like that.
So yeah, let me find within the serenity to accept what I cannot change; (my body type) the courage to change what I can change; (my health habits) and the wisdom to know the difference.
Poor people are being priced out of the real food market. This is why you see a lot of obese poor people.
I see a lot of discussions regarding the topic of people living on food stamps/ poor people and “Why can’t they just eat right?” and talks about not letting people buy “junk food” with SNAP. There are a lot of things your average American who has never lived in poverty don’t consider. People largely seem unaware of obstacles that face poor people when it comes to food or…well…anything at all. They’re failing to grasp that just getting enough food period is a challenge , let alone healthy food. I’ve had to become a very forgiving person when I see certain remarks but it’s become easier since I’ve made this connection that people who say these things are speaking from a place of privilege and ignorance and really don’t understand the complexities of food scarcity in the US.
Here are 5 reasons good food is hard to find for poor people sometimes.
1. FOOD DESERTS –…
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I don’t know why “1200” managed to be the magic number of calories women should consume if they want to lose weight.
I don’t even know how I know of this number. Only that I know it, and my friends know it, and my mom knows it. Somehow, somewhere along the road, I was taught that if I want to have a flat stomach and tight tushy, I need to limit my calories to 1200 a day and do cardio. I don’t know how it got in to all of our collective brains, but somehow it did (if any ladies remember how or when they first heard the 1200-calorie rule-of-thumb for losing weight, please let me know via comment box).
What I do know is that 1200 is the general number of calories health professionals say women cannot drop below without suffering negative health consequences.
Interesting, isn’t it? 1200 calories. The…
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