My friend and I have been discussing the plight of the American diet lately and it has been such an eye opening experience for me. I enjoy food just like the next person but lately I have been doing a lot of reading and researching to try to figure out a) why people in other parts of the world live longer than Americans and b)why so many people are developing such chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, etc. and c) what I can do to change my own eating habits and live a healthier lifestyle.
What I have found is not anything new. I discovered that the healthiest countries in the world such as Iceland, Sweden, Japan, etc. live longer because they eat “clean”. This means that their foods are organically grown and purchased directly from farmers and prepared fresh in their homes. The healthiest countries also seem to eat a lot of fresh seafood as well. This is the major difference that I see in the American diet. Most of the foods on the market today have so many preservatives and unnatural ingredients that it could probably last 25 years without ever rotting.
Take canned vegetables for instance. How can vegetables sitting in water in a can last for up to a yr or so without spoiling?? It’s because of all these unhealthy chemicals that are used to “preserve” this food for ages. How could this possibly be healthy? What nutrients can we possibly get from something that has been sitting in a chemical solution that long? Luckily I have been using frozen vegetables forever but now I want to take it a step further and buy fresh produce only. This way when I buy an apple I am getting just that-an apple. Not an apple with high fructose corn syrup or stearic acid or anything else.
I am also planning to implement more seafood in my diet. Fish is high in Omega 3 acids which are great for the heart. Of course as a woman in America my chance for developing heart disease is much greater than many. So I want to start combating this early on in my life.
I also am giving up fried foods altogether! The only thing that I was eating fried at all would be chicken tenders or shrimp every once and a while when I didn’t bring my lunch. But I have decided that I like my arteries 🙂 Since I can’t control what fast food joints use to fry their products then I will just choose to not eat any of it. As I was researching, I came across a video that was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” per se. It was a video that showed how Crisco could be used as a candle. It burns for hours and then hardens back to wax! For years I have seen people fry food in Crisco-heck some people still do!
I just can’t believe how some of these things that I personally think should have never been able to reach the consumer market as a cooking agent get approved by the FDA all the time with them knowing full well that these things are not healthy at ALL!! It just blows my mind. So since the FDA will not monitor what these companies put out on the market, then I will hold myself accountable for what I consume on a daily basis. I will not continue to follow the trend in America of killing myself through my diet. This is not to say that I will be a calorie counter or anything like that. However this means I will opt for fresh foods without preservatives whenever I have the choice. I want to get all the nutritional value that I can from my foods. I also plan to pack my lunch so that I don’t have to stop at fast food joints to get an unhealthy meal. I am calling this my healthy eating journey. It’s all about eating better one day at a time. I know there will be days that I am tempted to eat McDonalds or go to Cinnabon but my goal right now is to rid my life of those bad habits. So if you guys have any tips or comments to help me keep this journey going or if you want to join in, please let me know. I think its awesome to have a support system when trying something new (especially such a drastic lifestyle change!) I know it may be hard at first but I also know that it will be for the best in the end.