Thursday, August 08, 2002

Recently I've been involved in a discussion about diets. I hate the concept of "Diet" as it has evolved. The original meaning was - what a person ate was his/her diet. Now diet means a slimming regime.

Why are so many people focused on the magic pilll of Slim Fast, Atkins, grapefruit, etc? Haven't you noticed the vast amounts of diet food that people eat?

1. The Atkins diet has been proven to have caused the death by kidney
failure of several people. I think that overdoing ANYTHING is
by definition a poor diet for omnivores. And too much animal protein is very hard to digest - check your own body and see, if you have a lot of steak etc. for 2 days, you will need to drink a lot of water, you will FEEL your body
working to process the protein, and you will feel like shit (at least I do).

2. Refined sugars and carbohydrates have NO place in a healthy diet. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and unleavened whole wheat breads, like pita and puri (in
limited amounts) are necessary, I think.

3. A major note is portion size. American portions are HUGE, and a huge salad or a platter of brown rice will put on weight just like everything

As far as I can see, the major cause of obesity in the US is the "Supersize
it" portions. When I lived in the US, most times, when I got served food, I left at least 1/3 on the plate, or asked for a doggie bag. Even so, I lost 15 lbs almost as
soon as I got back to T&T. I put on weight in San Francisco, compared to DC, as I was eating out more, and it's definitely more difficult to control how much you
eat when you're out. Doesn't matter what you eat though, if you eat too much of it, and don't work it off, you will get fat.

Below are my musings on a healthy way to eat, and one that is manageable for a lifetime.

If you stop eating bread and white sugar, that alone
would improve your health in a major way. Then include the uncooked dark
green leafy veg, the unprocessed grains (brown rice, bulgur, etc). Lentils are GREAT, and I prefer them as a source of protein to most meat. Take
almost all red meat out of the diet and replace with beans, peas and lightly
steamed fish (no more than 3 oz) - lemon grass is a excellent seasoning for
steamed fish. My main thing is to have VERY few white foods on the plate - color is good, and food w/ lots of colors is good for getting all the vitamins & minerals, as long as you eat them mainly raw. What about beets w/ balsamic vinegar? Guacamole (good serving size is 2 spoonsful) - most people eat far too much. Kill the sour cream on everything. Replace with a yoghurt based sauce, if necessary. Kill the
sweets, chocolate, icecream, etc.
And most importantly - no "Diets".

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