Insurance Companies Are Ridiculous.
I am sitting here looking at an article from a magazine that Bobby got from his insurance company. It states (I am paraphrasing):
- (1) “Food choices are responsible for a third of your rate of aging.”
- (2) “Eat 13 ounces of fish per week to keep your arteries healthy.”
- (3) “Consume 10 tablespoons of cooked tomato-based products per week to get the benefits of lycopene. Lycopene may reduce the risk of cancers or heart disease.”
- (4) “Eat peanuts – an unsaturated fat – because unsaturated fat lowers cholesterol.”
- (5) “Low-fat and nonfat dairy products are good sources of calcium.”
There is more but I will not go into it because that is enough.
This is all crap.
Here is what I think:
(1) Food choices affect your health, but your mental health is what really matters. Mental health manifests itself physically, you know! Some studies have shown that if you eat “crap” (what is “crap”, really?) but you are happy, your medical indicators (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc…) will be better than those of someone who eats “healthy” (ugh, these classifications) but is depressed. If we eat intuitively (meaning we don’t think about eating too much) you will probably be happier than if you worry about what you are eating.
(2) You don’t have to eat fish to be healthy. You don’t have to not eat fish to be healthy. Fish (or any other food) is not some magical solution that will solve all of our health problems. In fact, if you stress out over eating fish, you will probably start to be stressed, which will lead to poor health… (See #1 above.) Eat fish if you crave it (there’s that intuitive eating thing again) and don’t if you don’t.
(3) 10 tablespoons of cooked tomatoes? Really? How about FOOD. Real food. Not too much. Not too much thinking. Just eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Trying to get veggies but not stressing about it. Eating fats. Eating carbs. Just eating without thinking. (But not eating mindlessly.) Intuitive eating.
(4) First, the assumption that saturated fat is not healthy is completely bogus. It was based on a study that eliminated the outliers (countries that didn’t fit the theory that saturated fat clogs your arteries). More on that at Mark’s Daily Apple. I eat lots of butter and moderate amounts of red meat, and my numbers are fabulous. I feel great. Fat is your friend! Even saturated fat. Second, why focus on peanuts? Lots of nuts are good. So are things like avocados and olives. There is no magic food. Just eat real food most of the time and you will be fine.
(5) Nonfat and low-fat dairy – ugh. If you have lactose issues, full fat might be easier to digest; it also has (healthy) saturated fats. Some good ways to incorporate full-fat dairy into your diet (if you want) is cream in your coffee or maybe some whipped cream over berries. The idea that dairy gives you calcium is not really true either – dairy probably leeches more calcium from your bones than it contributes to them (this is because of the high protein content – our bodies leech calcium to digest animal protein). A better way to strengthen your bones is to get enough vitamin D and to eat other foods high in calcium (like kale!). Weight bearing activity is good too. But remember, don’t stress about it (see #1 again). Eat it if you want it. Don’t if you don’t.
Eat Food. Preferably Real Food. Stop Thinking. Start Living.
I think #1 above is the most important point that I will make today: mental health manifests itself physically – if you are genuinely happy, you will probably be genuinely healthy. Happiness does not mean stuffing your face with burgers – if that makes you happy you have issues. Happiness also does not mean only eating salads – you have issues if you do that as well. Neither of those are examples of intuitive eating.Happiness is enjoying most of your days (but not all). It’s not being stressed continually. It’s feeling relaxed. At times you will be stressed but it will pass. Some days you will have a salad and others you may have a steak. But it all balances out as long as you are not thinking too much about it!