Food Taboos

The subject of food for some people can be a bit taboo –  almost like politics or religion.

It seems that so many of us don’t want to be told we should be eating this or that.  Many receive ‘you are not eating properly’ as if they were being told: ‘actually, you’re ignorant and don’t know how to make good choices’.  In essence, many see the ‘advice’ of others as another way of saying ‘you’re stupid’.

Yet if you stop to think about it for just one minute, you may well realise that in fact what we eat is dictated to us from practically every direction.

First off, we have our family and cultural background, giving us a fine grounding in the developement of our preferred tastes and textures.  Thats only natural.

Next, we have local availability of food products and then the seasonal variations in those too.  All of those you could say are a natural consequence of things beyond our immediate control.  (Unless you move or live with other cultural influences.)

To be frank, none of those bother me in the least.  In fact, similar to many folk who enjoy food, I like to go out of my way to cook, taste and experience the new and as yet unknown.

What I do find galling is the subtle way you and I ARE having our food choices dictated.   And that, in a way that is not good for our health and well-being.

Maybe dictated is too strong a word, perhaps to say ‘influenced’ would be more appropriate. Whichever term you prefer, the net result is the same.  What we end up eating in some cases is a nutritionally unsound.

Lets take a really quick look at the things that have changed over the years and you decide.

What has changed about say – Breakfast

Depending on family, culture and so on the fact is that years ago what people ate for breakfast was rich and diverse.  Ranging from bread, croissants, cheese, ham, eggs, bacon, sausages (both hot and cold), fish and even soup.

Now – if you follow the western trend, it’s going to be some form of cereal – low fat of course.

In some cases you’d be better off eating the packet they came in – equally low in fat.

Before today, the customs for lunch were even more diverse.  You can probably think of a dozen different things your grandparents ate for lunch.  Now, its a sandwich and or a burger and fries.

Dinner

Dinner, in many cultures used to be the meal of the day.  A time when family’s got together and ate – most of the time – something good and nutritious, while spending time with each other.  Now for far too many it’s a TV dinner or something very instant that will find them hungry again only a few hours after.

Then there is the rise in snacks and sweets. There is a link there in that the poor nutrition of the basic three meals has left many reaching for snacks – to bridge the gap – between meals. Snacks, as a general rule are high in sugars, starches and other cheap and nutritionally poor ingredients that eating them is really a waste of time.

OK, so I think I’ve made the point here. We have been influenced in ways largely unnoticed by all but a few.  Without exception, the western world has had it’s food choices dictated by folk who don’t have your health and well-being in mind when they launch new products. No, their goal is to make a profit and a damned good one at that.

Also, the ease with which one can open a box and eat – with or without heating, has for many taken away the incentive to learn how to prepare food properly.  This has meant that many are  reliant upon others to choose what goes into the stuff they eat.

Even if you do cook – many of our ingredients are not as our parents would have known them.  Also, the convenience foods that slip onto the table for many meals are full of additives, sugars and other nasties.  (Take a look at that ready made salad next time you buy one.  It’s not just salad!)

Food changes have gone un-noticed

Now all this has happened over the years without many people even noticing. The power to influence folk to change the habits of a lifetime have been sharpened and honed by the marketeers to the nth degree.

So here is the warning – Yes, I am about to tell you what you should be eating!

This process of influence has shot through the LowCarb community at an even faster rate than ever before.

The rise of ready meals and snacks has increased at a rate unseen in any other market.  With virtually all the manufacturers using questionable ingredients and successfully mopping up the new lowcarbers who don’t want to or can’t cook.  We have seen the results with proportionally more folk complaining that the diet is not as successful as they thought it was going to be.

To cut to the chase – just what should you eat?

Real food – from a source you can rely on – not the ready-made junk that pretends to be good nutrition.  Blankly, if that’s too hard for you, then don’t blame the diet when it’s not as effective for you as it has been for others who have gone before.

Don’t rely on the experts.  Many times they are just marketeers in white coats.  Take responsibility for what you eat and be rewarded with success and good health.

 

Most of all – continue to educate yourself for your own sake, and that of those you love.