Want to change the way you look and be healthier? Limit your bread, pizza, pasta, cookies and cake. Last week I went and saw the documentary “Fed Up” and although the title of this post is taken directly from Dr. Harry Fisch, who has a radio show on a certain other radio host’s channel on SiriusXm, I think it’s a fine good guideline.
We have an obesity problem in America across age, gender and race. What needs to be done to fix it? Well, about a million different suggestions are probably valid. So many that it can easily be overwhelming. Since I’m a simple man, for me it boils down to education. Let me tell you why.
Much of the public has been led to believe that a low fat diet equates to healthy. Because of this there are many foods available that advertise the fact that they are low in fat or heart healthy for reasons such as it’s low in cholesterol. Well, I’m here to tell you that the majority of that food, which comes with some sort of label and packaging, as well as much of the other food and drink in your local supermarket is garbage. Outrageous, I know. Believe it. Think about it. When is the last time you saw some raw broccoli or a chicken breast with a label claiming how great it is for your heart? The fact is that cereals, bread, pasta, popcorn, any drink that’s not water, just doesn’t offer nutritional value and most people don’t understand that. Sure it fills you up so you aren’t as hungry, but not much else is to your benefit. And in fact, as the movie points out, many of the low fat foods have added sugar which is even worse because of the insulin spike that results. Unfortunately many of the families in the movie with obese children believe that they are making better decisions by choosing products such as low-fat crackers, diet drinks, “healthy” cereal and whole grain pasta. They believe that these options are better than Cheetos, Coca-Cola and Lucky Charms but they really aren’t. Sadly, the proof is in the low fat pudding. The problem is getting worse, not better.
Not cutting it!
In business, and the food industry is no different, the objective is to make money. That being said, I don’t believe for a second that any of the big name companies like Tyson, Kraft, Coca Cola, etc have our best interest in mind. They want to make money. I don’t blame them for that. That’s not really my main concern here as you can find various integrity issues in any industry. Questionable foods in moderation are ok. I’m not advocating a ban or anything like that. We just need to educate people as to what real food is and why it may not be ridiculous to think that large corporations might sell you something called food but really it’s just edible. Then it’s up to you to make an educated decision. Luckily there are people out there willing to make a movie like “Fed Up” and others willing to stand up for what’s right even when big money is on the table.The movie draws the comparison and I agree, that these companies aren’t too far off from where the tobacco companies were before smoking became demonized. Maybe we are starting to push in the right direction. Of course, if you’re the CEO of Coca Cola, the previous statement is a bold faced lie.
Lastly, I love writing about and teaching movement. Everyone should move their bodies with great frequency. There are a lot of different layers to that broad statement but movement of the joints keeps you moving better longer, moving your body can help you attain a leaner physique and or body composition. Move it or lose it. Thankfully several experts in “Fed Up” bring up the point that simply moving isn’t going to cure the obesity problem. Yes, it is quite possible that both kids and adults are living a much more sedentary lifestyle than in the past. Most people could move more often. However, in the world of training and performance many have said it, and I believe it to be true, you can’t out-train a poor diet. For those of you that are gym rats, you know that doing “extra conditioning/cardio” makes you feel better about yourself and probably can keep you in better shape to an extent when you’re feeling guilty about that ice cream you devoured last night or that extra booze you poured down your gullet this weekend. But let’s be real. If you continue to eat garbage on a regular basis, no amount of walking, jogging and pedaling away on that stationary bike is going to fix all of your health problems. And, believe me, I’m hardly one to talk. I struggle to eat quality food as much as anyone sometimes. The difference is that I can make an educated decision. Much more so than a lot of others out there. Many of us know that anything in moderation is probably ok. The issue is people actually having an understanding of what is true food and what I so scientifically refer to as garbage.
There are many ways to possibly determine what this “garbage” this. And, for a lot of people I think it’s just tough love. There are probably things on the list that you think are healthy for you. Sorry. Cut out the bread, pizza, pasta, cookies and cake. Certainly one of the central themes of Fed Up was that sugar is poison. It’s delicious, no question, but ultimately, in mass, a killer. Many have heard that you should shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Generally that’s a good choice. Finally, as is mentioned in the movie, cook your food. If you’re cooking often it’s far more likely that you’re eating quality food. I’ll say it again, cook more, worry less.
– Mike Baltren