In the not-too-distant-past, a very large fast food provider came out with new French fries. In media interviews they proclaimed they now had the best-tasting French fries and they would soon claim the number one market share position from the current, world-wide, undisputed leader in the fast food industry.
Many say the new fries do taste better but the number one position hasn’t changed.
You may ask what this has to do with nutrition, and you’re right to be asking. It’s very simple: being number one in the food industry has almost nothing to do with being the best tasting, most filling, most nutritious or anything of the sort. It’s all about who’s the best at getting the most money from customers and spending the least amount of money to do it.
Can you make a better burger or salad than the drive-through spot down the road? I sure hope so. When you make your own food, you’re usually focused on how it’s going to taste or what ingredients you’re going to use, or the someone-special you’re cooking for. During this process, you never open a spreadsheet to calculate “earnings per food-unit. "
Do you even know what a unit of food is?
All of the fast food joints sure do.
So if taste isn’t the priority for the most successful “food" providers, do you think nutrition is at the top of the list either? To obtain good nutrition, you first need to be working with ingredients that are nutritious to begin with. If you were to take the top ten list of “superfoods" containing the highest amount of nutrition per bite, beef patties, white flour buns, potatoes, iceberg lettuce and soda would be no where in sight. There are also plenty of “interesting" chemicals found in these foods to keep them “fresh tasting" as well. These chemicals act as embalming chemicals for the foods. While they are not instantly toxic to your body, they are most certainly not good for you.
Unfortunately, we see so many people living under an assumption that eating well is expensive or that they don’t have time to eat well. What’s worse is that those who think they eat well, don’t have the ability to quantify what that means.
Some fast food places are now making fast salads. Most are made from very narrow selections of vegetables and fruits, but they are certainly a better choice that a hunk of meat on a bun, regardless of how it has been cooked. How much refined sugar is in that low-fat dressing though? Some salads can give you as many calories, from refined sugar, as you’ll find in the burger!
At this point, some people throw their hands in the air and exclaim that the only other solution is to eat nothing at all. This is complete nonsense. The reason why it is important to understand why some food choices are bad and why others are better is to empower you with the ability to make choices. Sometimes those choices are good for you. Sometimes those choices are not good for you, but at least when you know the difference you’re more likely to steer yourself towards better eating, better nutrition and better health.
Dave Saunders is a wellness coach and national speaker. Discover more vital truths about health and wellness at http://www.glycowellness.com and http://www.glycoblog.com .