Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Variability of "Bad"
I hate that food has, more often than not, been relegated into one of two categories: good or bad. Everyone has an opinion on what is "good" food and what is "bad" food, and everyone's opinion differs. It makes it difficult to share with people my goals sometimes, because everyone seems to want to monitor what I eat and lecture me on what I shouldn't be eating. Here's my opinion: as long as it is as natural as possible, it's all good in small doses. Do I eat crap sometimes? Yes. Yes, I do. I refuse to feel guilty about it. I am very conscious of my portion sizes and I compensate for eating something that is less than nutritious by either intensifying my workout or eating extra great over the next 24 hours. A big one people seem to take issue with is butter. I've heard "you use butter???" more than once. I use butter, not only because I prefer the taste, but also because it has less artificial crud in it. Seriously, look at the back of a margarine box just once and then look at the ingredient listing for butter. While margarine has a long, complicated list that is very difficult to pronounce, butter has two ingredients: sweet cream and salt. Is butter a significant source of saturated fats? Sure. Does that mean exchanging a natural solution for a complicated chemical one constitutes a healthful decision? Not so much. In general, when it pertains to ingredient listings I am of the opinion that simpler is better. I have taken to reading the ingredient listing on anything I purchase that isn't in a raw state (by that I mean it's already assembled in some form or fashion) and I've put a lot of things I previously enjoyed back on the shelf. I'll go with whatever has the simplest ingredients, even if it costs a little more. I feel better for it. It could just be that I have convinced myself that consuming a bunch of laboratory accidents couldn't possibly be good for you and I'm experiencing some kind of nutritional placebo effect. Even if that is the case, I'll take it.