Ah the hidden dangers in everything. It seems that the more we know the more questions come up. Way back in the twenties, cigars were advertised as a treatment for asthma and hard drugs like cocaine were available at the corner pharmacy in all kinds of patent medicines. Take one of the biggest: the food we eat. Way back in the fifties we thought that it was healthy to eat a big steak and a baked potato. My parents told me that if you could afford to eat like that you would build big muscles by consuming lots of protein. Then we discovered things like cholesterol and saturated fat. Then carbohydrates became the enemy and now the big word on the street is to avoid trans fats at all costs. A few years ago organic became the big thing and still is. All those pesticides and antibiotics couldn’t be good for you. Then spirituality entered the picture. You didn’t want to picture in your mind where the food on your plate came from but you surely didn’t want the animal to suffer. No, more than that you wanted the animal to live a free and happy life, roaming out on the range or free from the cage, to assuage your guilt because it had to give its life so you could eat.
But even if the food you eat appears healthy, it may not be. Grilling meats take away a lot of the fat versus deep-frying, but the chemicals produced from excessive temperatures or an open fire may be why so many people are being diagnosed with colon cancer nowadays. And no one can argue that eating a diet heavy with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables isn’t good for you, that is unless it is contaminated with e-coli bacteria which could lead to bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.
Recently a group of writers from a health magazine researched the top ten restaurant chains in the country where you could eat healthy. As reported on CNN, (www.cnn.com) they included places like Uno’s Chicago Grill, Ruby Tuesday’s, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill among others. They lauded them for their choices of low fat menus and grilled foods. But is low fat the only hallmark of a healthy meal? The writers didn’t mention the fact that excessive grilling can lead to an increased risk of colon cancer. Nor did they mention the huge serving sizes of a lot of the entrées at these restaurants or the large amounts of sodium.
Fat has become the evil buzzword as far as diets go nowadays but we need to look a little more closely at what is considered a “healthy’ diet. There are other culprits besides fat. If you want to eat healthy the biggest thing that you can do is decrease the portions of what you eat. You don’t hear very much about eating a “balanced diet” these days, but I still think that it is the best way.