Month: June 2015

Healthy Eating: Understanding your Tastebuds

eating healthy

Eating healthy is often a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Particularly when on the road or in a hurry, we don’t always have the ability to make informed decisions. However what we can do is make a conscious effort to take back control of our diet and not just be governed simply by our taste buds, but really think about our choices and consider what is in the food we eat and how it affects us.

There is a saying amongst chefs: “You can add but you can’t take away”. In other words, once you’ve over-seasoned or over-cooked something, there is no bringing it back. This is a credo that is not adhered to by the vast majority of restaurateurs, who naturally assume that if some is good, surely more is better. They smother foods with added ingredients like cheese, butter, and mayonnaise (aka calories and fat), and many times these additions are not disclosed on the menu.

Even worse is the inevitability that vegan customers will be unaware of what’s to come until they are presented with an inedible dairy-covered entrée. There is nothing wrong about being inquisitive when it comes to what you order. You’d want to know everything about a car before buying it, right? What we put in our bodies should be given just as much attention, if not more.

Even worse is the inevitability that vegan customers will be unaware of what’s to come until they are presented with an inedible dairy-covered entrée. There is nothing wrong about being inquisitive when it comes to what you order. You’d want to know everything about a car before buying it, right? What we put in our bodies should be given just as much attention, if not more.

The biggest threats to healthy eating are the two ingredients that our taste buds desire most: sugar and salt. It’s no big secret that you’ll find more than your daily recommended sodium intake per day in any number of entrees at fast food and chain restaurants. In fact, in some cases, the sodium content is more than double the daily recommended allowance and that’s only for one meal! Just remember that when in doubt grilled always beats fried and contrary to popular belief you don’t always have to get fries with that.

Canned soups are also notorious for being high in sodium. For instance, at first glance Progresso’s Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup contains 690mg of sodium, but when reading the label more closely you’ll see that this is only the amount of salt in one serving and the can actually contain two full servings. The healthier option would be their Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle, with a sodium content of 470mg per serving. Although still relatively high in sodium, it is the “lesser of two evils.”

When reading labels high fructose corn syrup is another ingredient to be avoided as much as possible. Found in everything from cookies and juice to bread, cereal, and much more, high fructose corn syrup is a highly processed relatively inexpensive sweetener used in place of regular sugar and unfortunately, it is found everywhere. Princeton researchers have found HFCS to cause significantly higher obesity rates than standard table sugar.

 

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as

a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the

U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the

definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the Americans are

considered obese, the CDC reported.

 

If such a large percentage of the population is obese and poor eating habits are all too common, clearly we cannot simply “do as we see” and follow the path set out before us. Eating healthy requires a proactive mentality where informed decisions are made based upon specific dietary needs and not on what everyone else is doing. Simply thinking about the foods we eat, reading labels, and being aware of the benefits and/or detriments of our foods is the most significant step towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Here’s how experts recommend you make eating healthy easier