Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Diet That Works

I'm a strong believer in the theory that diets don't work.

From a purely logical/common sense view, look at it this way: if any single diet was ever the panacea for our weight and health issues, would the multi-billion dollar dieting industry still exist? Probably not.

As I've written previously, I'm a supporter of eating real food. Real food is cheese derived from a cow that eats grass and that is cut from a wheel or block, not shrink-wrapped in plastic. Real food is a carrot with its greens attached, not “baby” carrots that come in a plastic bag. Real food is wild fish, not fish from a fish farm. Real food is mayonnaise, not “lite” mayonnaise. The list goes on and on and on.

Knowing the genesis of our food supply is paramount and understanding that processed, man-made foodstuffs are foreign to how we should be fueling our bodies is essential.

To reiterate some major points that I try to convey in my cooking lessons, demonstrations and lectures:

• For the most part, don’t eat food that comes in a box or plastic container.

• Read the ingredient list. If you can’t pronounce something or think the last time you saw it in writing was in high school chemistry class, don’t buy the food item. (The ingredient list is different from “Nutrition Facts.”)

• Don’t buy food items that have the words “lite” or “low-fat” or “sugar-free” on their labels. Some guy in a laboratory somewhere has done something to these items to make them different. Remember, nobody has ever gotten fat from eating real avocados, real salmon, real peanut butter and real cheese.

• Cooking isn’t that difficult and the rewards are great. It’s easier than you think to produce a well-balanced meal. And you’ll feel much better because of it.

Read a great article in this week’s Dining section of The New York Times about shunning diets in favor of eating real food.

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