We’ve done quite a bit of ranting and issued endless criticisms of the FDA and the food pyramid. There, I said it. We did it here, and here, and talked about what you should be eating here. I’ve even offered up my own food pyramid (for carbs).
But whose food pyramid is it, anyway?
Though I regularly rail against the government’s grain-based, dairy-laden, sugar-rich recommendations, I have to wonder if anybody’s really following it anyway. Does the food pyramid make a hill of beans in the nutrition wars? We know the standard American diet is high in grain, dairy and sugar, but is this because those things are on the pyramid refrigerator magnet? Seems the other way around to me: Big Agra has an express interest in promoting cheap, unhealthy foods such as cereal and bread, and the government is simply the acquiescent mouthpiece. Marketing and advertising overwhelm the average American; the food pyramid merely reinforces the barrage.
Eating fresh, whole, nutritious fare without breaking the bank can be done. We’ve posted tips before, and at your request, here are 3 more great tricks for adding value to your diet without adding dollars to your grocery tab.
1. Cut meat protein with vegetable protein.
Mark is anti-grain and doesn’t espouse eating much in the way of starch. However, you can cut recipes calling for pricey grass-fed beef or free-range chicken with legumes that cost mere pennies per bag. This is a great way to make your meals – and dollars – stretch further without adding in very many carbs. Especially great, high-protein beans include lentils and black soy beans.
Inflammation is a natural bodily response to stress, infection, or injury. However, prolonged inflammation caused by a self-destructive lifestyle is a harmful response that affects your musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular system, vision, and hormone balance. It’s crucial to control inflammation (there are medications, of course) but it’s even smarter to prevent inflammation. You can do this through daily exercise, stress management, and avoidance of smoking and drinking. But there are many foods that help control inflammation, too. (Chicken nuggets – or rings – do not.) These foods are known as vegetables. Yes – vegetables can help your inflammation just like drugs can. But don’t tell anyone.
In defense of the Twinkie (wait, haven’t we heard that one before?), the Important People at Hostess explain exasperatedly that trying to understand what the Twinkie is made of is just like trying to understand the entire universe. Look, this miniature sticky cake of chemicals is as mysterious and magical as the very cosmos in which we exist. Duh. Don’t you feel silly now?
Unfortunately, the Important People are not delusional in the slightest. Twinkies are made of dozens of chemicals and at least 5 different rocks, so in truth, these little loaves of limestone really kinda are the universe. It appears you can manufacture irony, and it requires only 39 ingredients. I feel the welling up of an existential crisis of the sort not experienced since I watched my landlord wear a Dolce & Gabbana jacket to fix the toilet. There are some things money can’t buy, but for everything else, there’s rent.
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