Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Carb Confusion

So I get the Atkins craze. I get why this idea appeals to people; however, I don't think this type of mentality is the sort of diet guidance our populace needs. I was reading a blog recently at the Slow Cook. Essentially, it was not wrong. America binge-eats on comfort food. We have this collective belief that food tastes better if only you put it between two pieces of bread. Moreover, rather than eating healthy whole-grains in our bread and pastas, we opt for white. Because, as I've mentioned in a previous blog, foods that are white are comforting in and of themselves, even if all the nutritional value has been bleached out of that food to make it white.

The article in question calls for America to put down the hamburger bun, and this is probably a good idea. That hamburger bun is assuredly made from bleached flour and is far more bread than a hamburger needs anyway (why do buns have to be so... thick?). However, then it extends to all carbs, and I think this is the sort of eat-something-to-the-exclusion-of-all-others-attitude that has obesity on the rise. The reality is: the human body needs all sorts of nutrients from all different places. It's not enough to eat meat, our body needs carbs. Carbs = energy. It's not enough to eat green vegetables; you need the red ones too. And the purple ones. And the yellow ones. Nothing should be consumed to the exclusion of all others. What does need to happen is a better version of eating. Do eat less high fructose. Do eat more whole grains, and if you can afford it, some good, free-range meats. This vegetarian can't, but all power to you if you can eat meat and eat it from a healthy, happy cow/pig/chicken/etc.

But we need a lot less meat than American culture seems to believe we need. Meat used to be a luxury. Good meat still is. Whole grains, however, are a healthy way of getting high-quality energy, and there's not a person on the planet that doesn't need energy. The key is to not overeat, and to eat the best quality of ingredients that you can. As for me, I'd take the bun over the burger any day, as long as the bun is whole wheat, perhaps with some flax seed for good measure.

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