In April we had a nutrition workshop for clients and support staff. It seems that there is an endless number of questions when it comes to food and what is right/wrong or good/bad, for you.It’s great that we are all paying attention and making notes of the latest news worthy on health; with so many studies in the works we get a great wealth of information. The problem occurs when that information becomes conflicting. How can scientific studies prove something one minute, then disprove it the next?
Food isn’t the culprit here. Food preparation methods and volume, either too much or too little, are what determines the value of the foods we consume. Take the potato, for instance; baked and eaten with the skin provides more nutrients and fibre and less fat than if it is peeled, chemically treated, fried in hydrogenated oil and covered in gravy. Once baked the potato is still recognizable as a potato. Commercially, produced french fries are often treated with chemical brines that keep them from going brown, increase sodium content and keep them crispy; a little hydrogenated oil won’t kill you, will it? This is where volume comes in. When we make a habit of consuming too many processed foods that are high in unhealthy oils and sodium then it can become a problem. If loss of appetite is an issue and you are undereating, then it is very important to eat high quality foods. Under eating highly processed foods means little nutrition from poor quality. It’s impossible to feel good and have enough energy throughout your day with poor food choices.
Foods in their natural state, that don’t require ingredient labels are the best choices. Eg: eggs, chicken breast, dried beans or lentils, romaine lettuce, apples…none of these items require an ingredient list. When you are shopping make a habit of reading labels. Flip the package around. If you are reading a long list of ingredients and some are unpronounceable, it’s best to leave it on the shelf or make sure it is a food you don’t consume on a regular basis.
It’s easier said than done. There is nothing like the convenience of foods already prepared that we can just eat right away. Fortunately, there are a lot more choices in the salad and greens department as shredded mixed vegetables and greens are becoming more popular and available in all grocery stores. Salad kits make it easy to get fresh foods on the table with minimal work or thought. Precut vegetables are available fresh or frozen. They can be more expensive, but reduce your workload and possibly the amount of food wasted.
Just having the knowledge of what to eat and what not to eat isn’t enough. Get healthy prepared foods in an appropriate amount on your plate and into your body. It’s the only way.
By: Lisa Darchiville
Lisa is a Holistic Nutritionist and Caterer. Through consultation, cooking workshops and catering, she demonstrates that healthy food can be healing and delicious!