To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

I don’t know about you, but I am very tired of the constant messages about what foods we should or should not be eating! Common sense dictates that filling our bellies with lots of fried foods, and sugar are not exactly good choices. However, in the last several years eating has become a game of Russian Roulette.

There are a myriad of books out now that demonize grains, linking them to dementia, diabetes and a whole host of other diseases. Good old oatmeal, that was touted as being able to lower cholesterol is on the hit list now. Rice, especially white rice, could get you a life sentence of bloating and weight gain. I found it amusing when I read that researchers had found that the Chinese were much thinner when they were eating rice as part of their meals. They are now getting fatter because of their love affairs with Western fast food emporiums.

Whole milk was a staple of my diet growing up. My grandparents, and parents ate lots of ricotta, parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Those dairy products have become an anathema! “No one needs dairy after a certain age, especially when it has fat in it”. Now comes a new revelation that extrapolating the fat from dairy leaves it high in “sugar”. Read the labels of many of the yogurt products and you will often see that the content can contain upward of 20 grams of sugar, with one exception Greek yogurt. An eminent TV physician reported that skim milk should be shelved in lieu of whole milk. It’s interesting that my mother who died at ninety-nine, fell multiple times and never broke any bones. I wonder if the dairy she ate helped maintain them.

Of course you can take a calcium supplements, but be careful, there is also evidence that calcium supplements may increase hardening of the arteries. Omega three fatty acids were hugely encouraged by health professionals as a way to get the benefits of fish without eating it, since there are a lot of folks who do not like fish. The benefits were considered to be enormous, promising everything from lower blood pressure to skin that might resemble a baby’s bum!

The ultimate irony is the study that stated that some people on statins gain more weight than those who don’t take them. I suppose you must throw caution to the winds, thinking that a pill will save you even though you just chowed down a half an elk and a banana split.

I think the stress over what to eat, is creating a plethora of problems including weight gain. Fear increases the stress response. Let’s face it, the majority of us know what makes up a healthy diet. Now let’s start enjoying our food instead of making it the enemy.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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2 Responses to To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

  1. Jim Griesemer says:

    The answer is both simple and complex. We are in a new age and much has fundamentally changed. For most of us, food has become plentiful. After millennia of existence with having to accept less to eat, we are still genetically hard wired to go for high caloric food at every opportunity. We eat more, much more, without even realizing it. Restaurants now use dishes the size of what used to be a platter for individual servings and yet people still try to eat it all. Food is not what it used to be, even as little as 50 years. What we eat has been hybridized, sometimes genetically modified, for purposes of higher yields and higher shelf life. So, what your grandparents ate is not the same thing. Processed food is rife with sugar, and not just any sugar. It’s loaded with multiple forms of sugars and syrups that are used at the same time, in the same food. Look at the ingredients lists. Much of the stuff people have never heard of is yet another sweetener. As a culture, we have become obcessed with convenience and saving effort. Out technological advancements have given us the ability to exist without barely having to move at all. Work is now something we must do sitting behind a screen. The more we sit, the more work we get done. Our basil metabolisms are wrecked. Finally, research is compromised. Nutrition researchers are under pressure to find funding and often the only funding that is available comes from the food industry. It should not be surprising that so many studies contradict each other. It hard enough to keep unintentional bias out of research without also having funding held hostage by a source that might not stand to benefit from the findings.

    Three years ago, I would have laughed at what you wrote because I felt the same. Now, after having lost 40 lbs. and having kept it off for a year and a half, I feel entirely different about it. To me, it isn’t funny at all. I am astounded by the diligence and tenacity it takes to maintain my goal weight. Yet, I will do it! I have seen too many loved ones succumb to chronic conditions that could have been prevented with a healthy weight and regular activity. Jokes aside, there is one thing that is apparent. There is no question that our culture is in an obesity epidemic. Two thirds are overweight and one third are obese. Diabetes is one the rise and for the first time in our history, type 2 diabetes has appeared in our children. The researchers who ARE blowing the whistle are now saying that this new generation could be the first one to not out live their parents. That’s something that’s not funny at all.

  2. Anne says:

    A bakery moved in just a few blocks from me. At first I was ravenous about their Orange tea Cakes! I had to eat at least 6 to get (sick) and tired of them. Now I’m hooked on their fruit tarts! When my pants won’t close I don’t go. Walking there and back helps. It also helps to go late in the day after they’ve sold most of the good stuff. Eat, drink and dance with Mary !

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