Sunday, May 21, 2006
You Are What You Eat, Not What You Think You Eat
I confess that I’m an obsessive nutrition label reader. I despise being misled by packaging. How are people supposed to know what “eating healthy” means when they’re being actively deceived? I believe that a central factor in the obesity epidemic in this country is due to lack of information. Take peanut butter. It varies so much from one brand to the next. In one, ingredients read “peanuts”. In others “sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, peanuts, salt.” And don’t even get me started on cereal.
The general rule is to try to avoid eating anything with an ingredient you wouldn’t have in your pantry. Corn syrup, or, even worse, high fructose corn syrup is a good example. Or, fractioned palm kernel oil. (Did you know its fat is twice as saturated as lard? No wonder you’ve been eating “healthy” and still aren’t losing weight!) Stay away too from any hydrogenated oil.
Eating well is hard. You have to plan ahead. The most convenient food, one you can throw in your purse or gym bag, is the nutrition bar. But upon a bit more inspection, most are nothing more than candy bars, sometimes higher in sugar, calories and saturated fat.
I won’t bore you with this. If you’re interested in reading more about nutrition bars, check out www.cspinet.org/nah/12_00/barexam.html
And then there are Lara bars www.larabar.com Yum. (No, I don’t represent this company in any way, and yes, you’ve just got to try these bars.)
My favorite flavors are:
Cashew cookie. Ingredients? Cashews, dates. (Yes. That’s it.)
Pecan pie. Ingredients: dates, pecans, almonds.
Chocolate coconut chew. Ingredients: dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, unsweetened cocoa.
Bottom line? Read nutrition labels.
And throw a Lara bar in your gym bag.