Gifts From Heartbeat

الحمد لله

<b>الحمد لله</b>

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Food Rules: an eater's manual

I'm out of ideas on what should I write, so today I'm sharing a few vital points I've extracted from a book I recently read, a few months back(considered recent? hmm..) Okay, it's a book by Michael Pollan, titled Food Rules: an eater's manual. And the truth is, I don't even know who this guy is, never heard of him what-so-ever but I found out there are a few other books published written by him, so I'm the one out-dated, it's not him unpopular or anything.
This book is quite interesting, and different from any other books I've read. It's on, well, as the title suggest, food, more precise is choosing the kind right of food and how to distinguish between what really can be classified under the label 'food' and what should be under the label 'plastic'. Though it isn't a lengthy read, I won't be sharing every single word as he wrote it, this would be a synopsis of it sort, this will be my edition of food rules, just as long as the message is delivered then I think we should be going on along just fine, right?

Let us begin...

Part 1: What should I eat?

  • Many of the food items on the market shelves are not food. Well, at least they don't deserve to be called as food. Here's why---> Highly processed(all nourishment are murdered in the process), ingredients derived from corn & soy with loads of chemicals and additives.
  • It's advisable to cut down on food items that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that no normal person would keep in his pantry (meaning made scientifically, totally unnatural)
  • Avoid food that lists sugar(or any of it's derivatives, e.g. fructose, things ending with -ose, usually) or sweetener amongst the top item of it's ingredients, Why?--> Labeled ingredients are according to it's weight and the when it's on top it's amount is not a little, and if sugar being the first listed=sugar content beats all the other ingredients. (Give this to your child and be prepared for a sugar rush.) This is applicable to barley malt, beet sugar, corn sweetener, brown rice syrup, cane sugar, dextrin and fruit juice concentrate.
  • Avoid food products containing MORE THAN 5 INGREDIENTS. Why?--->Well, the formula is, more ingredients, more processing is involved, doesn't sound good doesn't it? 
  •  Avoid food product with healthy claims. Whatever comes in a package, is usually processed or generally it's a product of modern science that boasts the boldest health claims. It's better to go for whole food, nothing beats what exists naturally.
  • Avoid these words--->LITE, LOW-FAT, NON-FAT(ironic?), well, when the fats are lost, flavor is lost, and according to protocol, sugar must be added to cover the tastelessness, choose, fat or sugar?
  • Avoid imposter food, yup, imposter. Here's an example--> If you're buying spreads, would you go for butter or margarine(considering which is healthier, to you..), many might opt for the imitation butter a.k.a. mr. margarine, but don't be deceived by the harmless looking plant-based produce, they might be much more destructive than butter. Here's why--->To produce something, like non-fat cream cheese contains neither cream nor cheese requires an EXTREME degree of processing, hence the end result is even worse than the regular fattening cream cheese. Same goes for margarine(pumping loads of hydrogen into plant oil to make it solid? trans-fat on the way baby, and if you think animal fats are bad, trans-fat are worse, they're like biodegradable plastic, they go into your body, stays there and accumulate, waiting to build up into a massive mess for you in the future, beware..) Same goes for soy-based mock meats, artificial sweeteners, fake fats and starches(all man-made, has men done anything perfect? I doubt it.)
  •  Eat foods that WILL ROT, yes the rotting are better, we will die, why shouldn't our food?. When a food has a long shelf-life, it's nutrients are taken out, e.g. omega 3 fatty acids are removed to delay rancidness, and the longer a shelf life is, the more processing it has to go through.
  • Eat food that are made from raw sources or grows naturally, can't find any? Then grow it yourself.
  • Buy snacks from farmer's market.
  • Eat foods cooked by humans, not cooperation, because they put in too much salt, sugar, fat, preservatives, coloring and whatever they can find to keep their cooking last as long as they live.
  • Where everyone is wearing a surgical cap, don't eat from that place.
  • If it arrives from your car window, it's not food.
Part II: What kind of food should I eat?
  • Plants-A diet high in veggies and fruits cuts down the risk of dying from western diseases, cancer rates and less in calories.
  • Minimize meat consumption-Too much may lead to cardiovascular problems, but it's essential to be taken once in a while for nourishing purposes.
*A chinese proverb: Eating what stands on one leg(plants, mushroom) is better than what stands on two legs(fowl) which is better than what stands on four legs(cows, etc)*. So, legless must be the best..Fish?
  • Have a colorful meal-A mix of everything offers a mix of nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, polyphenols, anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids.
  • Spinach water! No kidding, drink it up, it's rich in vitamins. If you can't swallow it down, save it for soups of sauces.
  • Eat animals that are fed well, it means free-range and free of any suspicious injections.
  • Be an omnivore? Once in a while is okay to go on mostly plant-based diet, the greater diversity of species you eat, the more likely you are to cover your nutritional bases.
  • Eat well grown from healthy soil,organic, and make sure it is organic, not claiming to be organic.
  • When can, eat wild foods-free of antibiotics, hormones and higher nutrition values.
  • Eat oily fish-Among the healthiest food, great for the brain, eyes and heart. These includes mackerel, sardines, salmon and anchovies. Avoid big fishes; tuna, swordfish and shark as they may have high levels of mercury due to a tainted ocean.
  • Eat some food that have been predigested by fungi or bacteria(it's not as bad as it sounds) E.g: Yogurt, sauerkraut, soy bean, kimchi and sourdough bread. These type of food contains vitamin B12 that comes form animal and bacterial sources.

*Fermented food also contains probiotics, that are beneficial in improving the digestive system, immune system and may alleviate allergies and inflammations.*
  • Sweeten & salt food yourself-Anything, food, soups or drinks. Because when it's prepared for you, it's normally overdone. unnecessarily overdone.
  • Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature. Naturally existing sugar usually comes with naturally existing fiber, which slows down sugar absorption and gives a sense of satiety before you ingested way, too many calories.
*It's better to eat fruit in it's true form rather than the juice, and  there is no such thing as a healthy soda!*
  • White bread, no good. (In Pollan's word; whiter bread, sooner dead). Eating white bread is just like eating sugar, absent of nutrient. Whole grain bread provides fiber, vitamin Band even healthy fats.
* Large spikes of glucose are inflammatory and wreak havoc on our insulin metabolism*
  • Eat it as it's been stone-ground.Grains comes with vitamins, healthy oils, fiber and germ(you won't find this in modern-processed flour), and oil extracted by modern techniques have higher additives and lower fatty acids.
  • Junk food? Make your own, why?--->Since you'll have a lot of work to just prepare french fries, you won't be making too many and you won't be eating as much either.
  • Take & skip supplements, supplements are not the most vital part in a healthy you, without a balanced diet, exercises and a healthy living, supplementation are a waste.
  • Eating soy, soy is also tempeh, tofu, soy sauce and IT IS NOT soy protein isolate or soy isoflavones or textured veggie protein.
  • Eating traditional is safer.
Part III:How should I eat?
  • Pay more, eat less.Nutritious food costs more, as it is less produced and eating cheaper stuff may eventually bring a big tide on your hospital bill.Eating less, but eating good food will reduce the cost of health care as well as slows down aging.
  • Stop eating before you're full-Eating is to ease hunger, not to burden your gut.
  • Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Try to not go back for seconds.
  • Cut snacking, eat meals,if snacking is a tough habit to break, substitute with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds or salad.
  • Don't buy food and fuel at the same place. They just don't belong together, but when they do it's better no to take your chances.
  • Eat with someone at the table. Don't eat alone, and don't bring food up to your bedroom.
  • Once in a while, you deserve treats! Break the rules and indulge yourself, rules are, after all, amde to be broken.
  • Plant your own veggies.
  • Cook! studies have shown that the decline in house cooking is related to the increasing number of obesity.
That's it. Hope you find it useful. Thanks for the read, and sorry if any of you find my writing offensive. Have a goodnight sleep all. Salam.


    Anonymous said...

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts

    Fikri Rais said...

    it's time to start healthy eating :)

    ... said...


    you must be a very healthy eater yourself! your family's indeed lucky to have you as their house chef/cook!


    thanks for sharing!!


    Mak anak tiga said...

    @Fikri Rais: yup.. definitely~

    @Liana:salam dear, not all the time do I hv the opportunity to feed my family healthily but i do wish to do so in the future~~muehehe~

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