minimumwager (minimumwager) wrote,

Trying to Figure Out "Healthy"

Just read a click through article of 50 foods you should "Never Eat". A few of these were probably right, a few of them offered healthy alternatives, but several of them tried to turn people off of foods that are probably fine in moderation or with proper preparation. Main trouble with the article is most of them only cited one source, and while these articles quote food experts, they are not written by someone with an expert's level of understanding.

If you follow nutritional studies, a lot of them contradict each other. Or you need to read them carefully. Some foods do interact badly with certain conditions or medications, but if you don't have that condition or take that medicine, the food is perfectly fine.

Had a long debate with someone recently over whether bread and pasta were healthy. She called them "empty calories", and I pointed out that whole wheat bread contained protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. After some further back and forth, I found out she had been fed cheap ramen noodles for a significant portion of her childhood. Probably a cheap brand that was popular at my college and I dubbed as "slightly better than starving to death" due to it's lack of any nutrients beyond calories and salt.

Now, you do need salt and calories, but too much is bad for you. You get better bang for your buck if your calories carry other nutrients with them.

For bread and pasta, read labels. Some are nutritionally void, while others can be a healthy part of your diet. You don't have to buy the most expensive option on the shelf. I get most of my pasta from the markdown section at the grocery store. But do opt for something with some nutritional value: higher numbers than zero in protein, fiber, vitamin, and minerals.

Bread and pasta are things that you can learn to make at home if you want increased control over what goes into your food.

P.S. You don't have to cut ramen out of your diet entirely. But don't eat it all the time, opt for lower sodium, and do add vegetables and proteins like eggs or lean meat to give the meal some nutritional value.
Tags: food, health
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