‘NUTRITIONAL NUANCES’ + Why Processed Food isn't that ‘bad’
April 10, 2018
**** ALERT (this is an OLD PHOTO)
2 very different hospital meals (no panic this was taken over 10 weeks ago when i stayed as an inpatient, for a couple of days after an infection- + all is well now - no fear !)
First Meal :- breakfast provided for me without choice-. Likely what the #cleaneaters #lowcarb #organic crew would call ‘sugar ladened- heavily #processed #insulinspiking #food+ likely note as ‘bad for me’ or #unhealthy (******NB I was once in this #diet-focused ‘moralistic’ crew - I now have a completely more open + I would say ‘#healthful attitude’ to food!) -
The second image is lunch (same hospital- I chose this from the options available) - It is likely a more ‘acceptable’ #health viewpoint, for a generic #wellbeingblogger (ok that Slaw was no SuperSlaw but hey.....;)
Now I’m not passing excess judgement either way, on the #food served at hospitals - (*sure we can probably improve in this area but I also think we are a lot more blessed than we know sometimes - but that’s another debate!) -
Considerations + FOOD for THOUGHT:—-
-Its worth bearing in mind that this breakfast provided me with an instant and much needed energy supply, at a time when I was feeling extremely fatigued- and hence served a nutritional purpose) - it helped me feel ‘better’.
-The second meal also contributed to providing a nutritional need, but in a different way - (I also actually like the taste of salad with cheese - so it served my taste buds too!) -
-Both meals are widely different in terms of how we may judge ‘healthy #food’ - BUT both meals aided my recovery in some way - they also provided difference in nutrition -
Point being :-
-Nutrition isn’t always clear cut /black white /good or bad and moral labels are unhelpful
-Food is ultimately ‘energy’ - with macro + micro nutrient components (ultimately providing fuel for the body to grow, repair, maintain function) - If you focus more on this, and less on ‘good or bad’ you may see food in a less restrictive + more practical light for every day meals
-In my opinion processed foods have a ‘place’ in our eating plans - IF we are mindful of the above
-Balancing the above principles will look different for every individual. Had I had a serious wheat allergy, (which btw is not that common), then sure, maybe breakfast/image 1 may not have served me well - but I don’t - so it did. Knowing how your body responds to certain foods, or so called processed foods is vital. If you have a diet which impairs the way your gut works then food will have a different response on the body than someone who conversely has a ‘healthier gut’. This is just one example.
-Judging people or food for ‘processed food consumption’ is really quite ‘silly’ - as we all consume processed foods in some way - in fact much of the processing for the food we eat —makes it safe to eat - it can also make it MORE not less, nutritious (for more on this read some of James Wong’s material)
-Food labelling shapes our views on how we feel when we eat it - think about the image (a fairly cheap cereal) now think if that same packet appeared in an ‘organic wheat/grain cereal package’ (which I have seen in supermarkets before - same product different wording/package) - how would you feel about eating it then? We pay more for ‘labels’ that make us feel better about eating food due to the moral associations. Again this is really pretty silly when you think about it. Think about when you see the word ‘raw’ (even if its loaded with sugar- you may think it is ‘healthier’ than plainer cheaper sugar. It isn’t. Sugar is sugar. Its an energy source.
-Note the two varied reading sources with each meal - 2 fairly contrasting viewpoints on health - but also with some points of agreement - BOTH authors get a huge thumbs up from me for different ideas. There will always be different perspectives on nutrition health and well-being - thats ok- one size does not fit all.
-Being strict doesn't make you more healthful. Being ‘balanced (in my opinion), does.
Think about the clean eater who wont touch anything that contains sugar but lives a highly stressed, cortisol filled life due to their constant anxiety around food. Think about the ripped gym goer, who lives off chicken and broccoli - they may look lean fit and strong in person- but how are their omega 3/6 balances? (usually pretty poor). How well do they socialise with others when they eat. How comfortable are they really with their own bodies?
The key to any lifestyle - diet plan for me seems to be one that
-is sustainable for life
-works for you, your energy levels and your body type
-Does not impose feelings of guilt - shame or moral high ground when comparing it to how others eat - *****Eating salad doesn’t make you a good person and Vice-Versa, eating shop bought bread doesn’t make you a ‘baddie either’
-Contains DIVERSITY- So that can mean ‘heavily processed’ and ‘less processed foods’, foods we dig up from the ground and grow, and others that are made in a factory.