The problem is that the common sense has to compete with a powerful trillion dollar food industry that bombards us with messages calculated to make us eat more and more of the worst possible food. Generally speaking, there is an inverse relationship between nutritional value and profit when it comes to food. the more profitable it becomes. The more processed it is, the less nutritional value it retains. They try to stuff some of the nutrients back in that they processed out. Packaged and processed food companies spare no expense to push more of their products on their target market. More than 90 percent of their product sales are made to less than 10 percent of their customers. “In the case of processed food, that coveted 10 percent consists largely of people weighing more than 200 pounds and earning less than $35,000 per year.”
In his book, The New Wellness Revolution, economist Paul Zane Pilzer observed:
No expense is spared to hit every psychological button that matters to the target market… Like a deer caught in the scope of a hunter at close range, the target never has chance.
At times, the ruthlessness of the process troubles the consciences of the $200,000-per-year marketing executives in charge of it they prefer to review transcripts in the safety of their offices.
Once the target actually tries the product and becomes a customer, company chemists ensure they will never be satisfied with eating just a healthy amount of it.
[They] have been altered to ensure that “nobody can eat just one” of them. This chemical alteration causes great overconsumption, promoting obesity and destroying the natural tendency of our taste buds to seek variety in what we eat.
Perhaps at this point you are beginning to feel a bit of righteous indignation. We have allowed ourselves to be led astray like pigs to the slaughter. I am reminded again of the words of Jesus, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. These things should not surprise us. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves so that we know good from bad. Which brings me back to this point. The single best thing you can do to ensure proper nutrition is to eat primarily unprocessed whole foods. Real food, not edible food-like substances. Real food meaning:
Legumes (beans, peas, etc)
If the majority of your diet consists of real food, you will get better nutrition and feel more satisfied while consuming fewer calories. A good way to make sure you are eating real food is to shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
You have probably noticed that most supermarkets are laid out the same way: For the most part, fresh food-produce, meat and fish, dairy-are on the outer edge, while processed foods dominate the center aisles. Also, many stores place the organic and whole foods sections on the periphery as well. If you keep to the outer edge of the store you are much more likely to wind up with real food in your shopping cart. This strategy is not entirely fool proof since HFCS, artificial sweeteners and other non-food ingredients have snuck into the dairy case and are hiding in flavored yogurts, pudding and some forms of cheese. Also, good foods, such as brown rice, dried beans, old-fashioned oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, etc. are usually found in one of the inner isles of the store. Still, the less time you spend in the center isles, the better off you are. Think of it as a baseball diamond-when you are running the bases it is best to stick as close to the baseline as possible. Deviate into the infield too much and you will find yourself back on the bench.
We have all heard the age-old adage, “you get what you pay for.” Food is no exception. Quality is more important than quantity. Not everyone can afford to eat well in America, which is a literal shame, but most of us can.”
As with everything else, there is also a cost trade-off. As food costs have declined, food quality has declined and we end up having to eat more food and in reality spending just as much money. You probably end up spending more on health care as well. We complain about range-free organic eggs being $3 a dozen but don’t blink at coke in our hands that cost $0.75. If you spend more for better food, you will probably eat less of it, it will probably taste better, and you will be more satisfied. So choose quality over quantity, nutrition over calories.
For a lot of us, probably most of us, eating often has very little to do with hunger. We eat when we get bored, or for entertainment, or to comfort or reward ourselves. Make a conscious effort to be aware of why you are eating, and only eat when you are truly hungry. One old wives’ test says “If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, than you’re not hungry.” Eating out of boredom or for comfort is a very costly antidepressant.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
This doesn’t mean don’t consume beverages that contain calories.
Okay, so we know that we should eat healthier, the way God intended for us to eat. We all know that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are bad for us and that fresh fruit is good for us. Knowing isn’t the problem: doing it is another story. Why? Because we are in the habit of eating bad. We have to create a new habit of eating healthy. Since this is a lifestyle, it has to be doable. For starters, it is important to be realistic. A good general plan is to use the 80/20 rule. If you eat clean 80% of the time, you can afford to cheat 20% of the time. Personally, I tend to lean towards 90/10. Part of that is because the longer you eat clean, the less you want to cheat, and the more your body will let you know when you cheat. Not just by an added pound or two but by the way you feel. Once your body gets used to running on the high octane fuel God intended, you will notice that it doesn’t run as well on the edible food-like stuff.