Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nutrition: Fat is NOT the enemy!

This past class we spent a lot of time talking about fat. For decades fat has been the enemy in rhetoric thrown about by the media, dieticians, doctors, etc. Well, how does this come into play with the French diet? All that butter, foie gras, pastry – that can’t possibly be healthy, right?

The secret to a healthy diet is truly moderation, not too much meat, fat, and carbs. The American diet is chock full of processed, overly sweetened, convenience-oriented fast foods. We eat so much garbage when it comes to processed foods, all that stuff is full of chemical preservatives that help it maintain a long shelf life. What happened to going to the market on a daily basis to buy food for dinner, buying the freshest meats and vegetables…we are so far away from that model of eating. American society is far more sedentary, much less active than our European friends, and more dependant of food that is fast, easy and ultimately not healthy for us.

Let me get my soap box to stand on…the low-carb, low-fat, diet craze is a multi-billion dollar business – companies are getting rich and we are getting sick. We are an over-fed, nutritionally deficient country – it is truly a shame and the incidences of diet-related diseases and obesity are astounding. We don’t need supplements, extra vitamins in pill form, or energy drinks to live better. What we need is a balanced diet of whole foods (grass-fed beef, organic, wild-caught fish), whole grains, fresh fruit and more vegetables – oh, and booze is good for you too! Everything in moderation, is the rule of thumb. This is why the French can eat foie gras, drink a glass a wine or two, eat gourmet food and stay healthy. Portion control is key and eating lower glycemic foods are more beneficial to your diet and metabolism.

These past few classes really opened my eyes. I’ve learned not only about basic nutrition but more on how to eat better, shop wisely, prepare healthier food and become an advocate for locally produced food – support your local farmers and green markets! Read about the slow food movement.

I’m getting off my soap box, for goodness sake, go eat some kale!

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