What Is Your Definition Of " Healthy Eating " ?

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Dancingfountain's picture

Things that drive me crazy :

1) A local donut shop, out of a blue has a huge flyer that reads " No Cholestrol, No Trans Fat, Healthy Donuts". Ok now are they thinking " Who will know about the saturated fat and sugar ? ... the foolish customers " ?

2) Any recipe that calls for a pound of butter or loads of cheese and claims it is " good for you " just beacuse of the trivial amount of veggies in the dish.

3) Any recipe that calls for instant noodles like the Top Ramen variety (if you are not aware, these contain very high amount of saturated fat as they are fried over and over again in the same oil!) and again gladly claims that it is heart healthy, just because you can spot that tiny broccolli floating.

4) When AHA ( American Heart Association) has given the permission to use their label on diet that just meets these standards - Low in Saturated fat and cholestrol plus high in fiber.

How can this label be applied if a cereal is high in fiber and low in cholestrol & saturated fat but contains High Fructose Corn Syrup and 17 grams of sugar per serving be, for God's sake heart healthy ?? Hello... diabetes... ringing a bell ? anybody ? Even a normal healthy person having such high amount of sugar every single day has increased probablity of diabetes . Excuse me if Iam terribly wrong. Iam not a nutritionist but I think Iam sane.

5) Resturant that uses vegetable shortening and plain enriched flour and calls " Healthy Whole Wheat Breads " !

6) Smother a bottle of Olive Oil in the pan and say it is good for your heart and skin. Skin may be but NO... it does have calories and any fat used in high amounts is certainly may not be the best.

Give me a break !

I keep telling myself that I need to calm down and just ignore such things that ticks me off. I say to myself - people are free to say what they want and free to choose what they eat. But when you know the most valuable thing on earth is human life and when humans themselves act so irresponsibly , I lose my sanity. I am not sure if it is my obessesion or passion for health. Call me crazy but please let us refrain from sending wrong signals !

When you don't know DON'T CALL IT HEALTHY. Of course Iam not saying that home cooks should start using some gadget to get the nutrition measured but if you are in doubt be a little conservative in what you claim.

And always remember the golden words that your mom taught you when you were young - Eat your veggies, Exercise, Go less on junk food. You will be fine. You need not depend on the media or the hoopla created around nutrition labels.

Eat Healthy ...Live Happy !

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20 Comments

shantihhh's picture
BTW  Noodle King puts out Fat Free ramen noodles in scallop, abalone, Chinese ham and chicken,etc. flavours.  $2.99 for a master pack of 5 pkgs. With veggies and meat a lkg feeds and has 0 grams of fat vs. the 28 to 25 grams of fat in all those other ramen that are deep fried.  They come in thin or thick size cuts.
ladybruinko15's picture
shantihhh, I am unfamiliar with BTW Noodle King. Is this a brand found in stores or is this a restaurant? Is there a website for Noodle King? I didn't find one doing a search.
Ganesh.Dutta's picture
great analysis about healthy diet.........really very good blog.and shanti,s feedback are also informative.thanks
Dancingfountain's picture
Hi Shanti and Ganesh - Thanks for dropping by . And thanks for your comments.
shantihhh's picture
It is important for all of us to help each other lead a more healthy life and also for our familes.  It is very important to limit fats in our diet and only use healthy fats.  I try to limit us to 2 tsp each of olive oil per day, eat many fresh organic veggies from our garden, and only hormone free meats, and fresh seafood, fat free dairy, and whole grains including brown rice, stay away from processed foods and horrible American fast food. I appreciated your points!
Dancingfountain's picture
Thats true Shanti - I love cooking healthy and tasty food for my family.  A little thought and a bit of effort goes a long way ! Hey can you tell me what brown rice variety you use ? I use Indian Red Rice called Rosematta available in Indian grocery store. I live in SF Bay area and they are in plenty !Thank you - Iam new to ifood and just getting aquainted with points stuff :)
shantihhh's picture
Brown Basmati and also Brown Jasmine (Thai Hom Mali) are great.  I do use Thai red rice, black rice, wild rice, and brown sticky rice.  I love Lundberg's Wild Blend of 5 of these-so tasty.  Safeway and Whole Foods carry them.
Dancingfountain's picture
Thanks Shanti. I am going to get it soon!It is very nice to meet people like you who share the same interests.
Petal's picture
Hi DF and Shanti,  I share the same sentiments ...I love food ...we were discussing yesterday ...is all indulgence bad ?!  I love Krispy Kreme donuts ..I am on average a healty person. Is it wrong for me to have something like that once in a while. I am trying to change our lifestyles as much towards a more healty life, you know little things like switching to olive oil, eating whole bread instead of white, getting low fat milk and cheese. But cutting these things out of my life is impossible.  So, I am very many times left confused and often guilty about the simple pleasure of enjoying food :-( what do you all think ?  
Dancingfountain's picture
Hey Petal - I can totally relate to what you are going through ! This is exactly what I felt when I was in the process of changing lifestyle thingy 2 years back.... But you know what - it is a process... you learn.. you experiment and sooner than you think you will love your new lifestyle... I have more tips for you soon. :)
joanne.cain's picture
It's natural to over-indulge occassionally. Try having a "treat" for yourself every now and then. I think everyone can eat practically anything in moderation, if you pair it with excercising daily. It's all about therapeutic lifestyle change.-Jojo
shantihhh's picture
A treat doesn't need to be totally bad for your health. I am not into sweets as I have always prefered savouries. Donuts have always made me cringe. LOL However things like lobster dipped in butter with a glass of champange is the ultimate treat for me. I think much of the cravings for sweets is a habit for our mind and bodies. On rare ocassionas I do enjoy a small piece of really good chocolate and I love realllly good ice cream-but the key is once in awhile. My in-laws have desserts every day sometimes 2 or 3 times. She bakes pies etc. My husband however, never cared for the sweets either, so it is easy for us as neither is into this type of foods. When our children were growing up they rarely ate sweets and they don't give them or fast foods to their children either. Fruits and veggies are wonderful snacks in place of chips and ookies. So I really think it is a "habit" meaning what you get used to eating and think you "need" it. If a person becomes diabetic or has high cholesterol they then must make a change, so why not do it and prevent these problems? So many children are obese today and also diabetic. It is their diet which often is so high in fats and processed foods. I don't mean to sound 'preachy' just encouraging that you can make a change if you decide to do it. Mind over matter. Tell yourself you don't need these things and soon you will loose the desire for them. Good luck and be strong!
Petal's picture
I agree. With some discipline I can probably stay away from them. But I still think there is a difference in obsession with healthy food and staying fit. I do think it is alright to have "treats" once in a while. The key should be exercise and no junk food [ i agree, no donuts :-) ]. If you eat a healthy diet and are physically active, I dont think eating something you love every once a while..like lobster in butter :), or a burger from in-and-out would kill you or make you a heart patient !! As they say, live a little ! My point in these ramblings is basically, that all your careful attention to health food is not complete if you dont lead a healthy lifestyle. One should exercise regularly, eat sensibly, change you lifestyle ..like eat at home more, eat fresh food ...but not give up on all food completely. To me going out to a nice place with my loved ones, and enjoying a evening full of fun and food is priceless, and i dont want to count calories all that time. Not that i am discounting anything you all are saying. I feel super guilty whenever I eat that scoop of ice cream or a plate of my fav cheese filled pasta ... and I am just reasoning with my self, what is enough ? I guess we come back to the original theme ...what do you define as healthy lifestyle !
joanne.cain's picture
I think a healthy lifestyle is one that is tailored to each individual person. A diet pill company can't tell you what is healthy and what is not. Serving size is determined for people on average, regardless of exercise or fitness level. For me, a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just healthy eating. Of course, a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - and minimal amounts of red meat, seafood, etc - in order to maintain a low cholesterol and heart healthy diet, meat shouldn't be the main source of food for us. EXERCISE is important as well. You know we've heard it all before: diet & exercise. Get your heart going! Walk or run for about 30 minutes, do yoga or pilates, join a gym. It doesn't even have to cost you: take your dog out for a walk, push your baby's stroller around, take stairs instead of elevators. Be aware of every opportunity to be active. SLEEP is also important. In order to re-energize, you need a combination of food, exercise, and sleep. There are a lot of research studies that indicate a correlation between healthy lifestyle and sleep. Are you getting enough sleep at night? The average person needs at least 6 or 7 to maximize energy. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE goes beyond that (for me).. it also involves no smoking, no drugs, no alcohol (actually, a glass of wine here or there.) I don't believe in wasting calories on empty calories. Drink water instead of Diet cola - sure, diet cola has zero calories but it is also a dihuretic (makes you pee), thus dehydrating you. Awareness is key.. -Jojo
joanne.cain's picture
Guilt shouldn't run your life. You should own your own impulses, we all have them. Maybe instead of cheese filled pasta, try pasta with a little cheese on top? Or instead of ice cream, try non-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet? Your active part in creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself will benefit you in the long run. -Jojo
Petal's picture
Exactly Joanne. For me too, the healthy lifestyle goes beyond food. I dont want guilt to run my life, and hence I want to be healthy enough to enjoy things i want. Be healthy, live healthy ...enjoy life !
shantihhh's picture
And for each of us healthy means different things at different phases of our lives. We must always as I say splurge on special meals. We often go out to eat and sometimes it is a challenge to choose something healthy. Fortunately living in the SF Bay restaurants are quite health concious and offer many seasonal veggies and grilled items. Most will sub steamed veggies for that risotto. I think one of the biggest changes I have made is to eat healthy whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, frekah, and to stay away from the white stuff. We used to eat white rice daily, or a pasta. I always bought large bags of basmati and jasmine Thai Hom Mali, and my absolute favourite (which I now only have once in awhile) Kalijira from Bangladesh. Oh and Broken Jasmine another favourite we just have on ocassion.
Dancingfountain's picture
Shanti and Joanne - I agree with you TOTALLY ! I have come to a point where fatty / junk / processed stuff do not excite me. It is because of awareness of WHAT IS GOING INTO MY TUMMY and mind control. This does not mean I am a diet freak. We have special occasions when we indulge - no questions asked. It is just a matter of having a balance. Also I am convinced that healthy eating does not mean having to sacrifice taste. Petal dear - I have some stuff coming for you soon. :) This is exactly the kind of discussion I wanted to evoke from my post. Let us inspire each other towards a healthy LIFESTYLE change ! Glad to meet likeminded folks .
joanne.cain's picture
You're exactly right. Healthy food doesn't have to taste like cardboard! There are an abundance of things - spices, herbs, aromatics, etc that can be added to ANYTHING to make it taste good. Also, cooking methods are just as important. Reduction has a way of concentrating flavors by reducing the water content -- which makes a STRONGER taste. Fruits and vegetables can add sweetness or texture to dishes. Got a sweet tooth? Easy. Chill some fruits or have a sorbet. Want some sauce with that? Try a fruit coulis instead of chocolate syrup. Ripe fruits have enough sugars, so extra sugar is not necessary. I always stress this, but awareness is key. No matter what you're talking about! -Jojo
The health nut!!!'s picture
Hey there; I`ve been cooking with organic coocnut or avocado oil. Olive oil is really good for an omelet or baking but it goes bad without you realizing it. If you need to stir fry or cook something longer ,coconut oil is really the best and it is great for weight maintenance as well. These are good fats and your body will love it!!! A Mediterranean diet seems to have a great balance. Since, I`ve lost my weight close to 4 years ago this lifestyle has really helped me maintain my weightloss. If you eat every 3-4 hours, 6 times a day (3 meals and 3 snacks) with protein at every meal to keep you full...you should do well... We basically have to go back in our kitchens and live like our ancestors. They used to eat off the land, pure, pesticide and hormone-free vegetables, fruits and meat. Always keep a great mixture of raw nuts and dehydrated fruits with 85% dark chocolate handy and you will always have a great energy mix on hand. Thanks for your great info...