Southern cuisine is famous for being both delicious and, well, fried. From ATL to Austin, BBQ competitions are hot, fried chicken is like mother’s milk, and the deep-fried Coke pours shamelessly in all its trans fatty glory (and this at a time when other regions are making trans fat illegal). Southern states have the highest rates of obesity, and Mobile isn’t exactly known for its sushi. To be blunt, Southern food takes the cake – and pours extra chocolate sauce all over it.
But are we giving southern foods a fair shake? Aren’t we being a little hard on the South? After all, New York is known for its hot dogs and Chicago its deep-dish pizza, and Detroit’s not winning any nutritional awards (they don’t even have real grocery stores). Is a regional food war of words (and diet books) just an Oprah episode away?
Enter the South Eats Diet (Sonoma and the Hamptons will be sooo jealous). The South Eats Diet focuses on loads of fresh veggies – and we’re not talking french fries or breaded okra. Spice and flavor are the key ingredients, along with fish, shrimp and other Cajun and Caribbean influences. The South Eats Diet does encourage the consumption of whole grains and legumes, but I think we can agree that’s a big step up from grits and Southern iced tea! Proponents say that many traditionally southern foods – seafood, okra, sturdy greens, sweet potatoes and peppers – are very nutritious and waistline-friendly. We happen to agree. What are your thoughts?