Deceptive foods in my journey towards eating healthier

It is amazing how much your environment influences you. I have been hopping around different cities, being surrounded by such different groups of people/cultures/mind sets, and it really shapes my own habits and lifestyle choices. Being in Washington, DC right now with my good friend Emily has drastically changed my lifestyle choices (for the better I believe). My friend is on her own journey to healthier living (unlike mine which includes weight loss – she is a stick!) she has adopted many new changes in her life, like cutting out a large majority of meat products, increasing her own consumption of seasonal fruits/veggies (see my earlier post for March seasonal veggies), and making a lot of her own food. Through this journey she has really researched and increased her knowledge about food and its affect on health. I know that I will always love meat but moderation and selectivity is a good thing. Her influence has been huge on my life as well, especially on my reading list. I wanted to share a tidbit from the current book I am reading Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. While I do not agree with all of his rules…they are great bits of food for thought:

“Rule 9: Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names…

The forty-year-old campaign to create low- and non-fat versions of traditional foods has been a failure: We’ve gotten fat on low-fat products. Why? Because removing the fat from foods doesn’t necessarily make them nonfattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low- and nonfat foods boost the sugars to make up for the loss of flavor. Also, by demonizing one nutrient – fat- we inevitably give a free pass to another, supposedly “good” nutrient – carbohydrates in this case – and then proceed to eat too much of that instead. Since the low-fat campaign began in the late 1970s, Americans actually have been eating more than 500 additional calories per day, most of them in the form of refined carbohydrates like sugar. The result: The average males is 17 lbs heavier and the average female is 19 lbs heavier than in the late 1970s. You’re better off eating the real thing in moderation than binging on the “lite” food products packed with sugars and salt”