Eating right in the real world

We all live in the "real world".   We are exposed to ads for unhealthy food day and night.  And, let's face it, it usually tastes very good and is fun to eat.  And on top of that, it is fast and readily available.  So how can you or me stay fit and trim and eat right, especially; on the go?

The first thing you can do is eat at home as much as possible.  At home you control the amount of the Big Three that you add to your food.  The Big Three are sugar, fat, and salt.  Two out of the three are nutrients our bodies must have in order to be health.  One is a dangerous drug that is responsible for much of the sickness and obesity in at least American society.  Fat and salt are the two required nutrients for a healthy diet.  All of our body's cells, including muscle cells, are surrounded by a cell membrane made of fat.  So, fat is a necessary nutrient.  Our nervous system operates by transmitting electrical signals between nerve cells using sodium and choride ions.  These ions are the result of the breakup of the ionic salt compound, sodium chloride.  

It is refined sugar that is the useless nutrient to our bodies.  But  I must explain that statement.  Dietary refined sugar is a useless, harmful drug that has no place in our diets.  However, every cell in our bodies runs on sugar!  So what is the problem with eating sugar?  The problem is our digestive systems are set up to expend energy to extract sugar from our foods.  It takes energy to extract simple sugars from complex carbohydrates and put it into our bloodstream.  And this energy consumption process is bypassed when we eat refined sugar.  Ironically again, the fuel our body's cells run on is a simple sugar, glucose.  But our bodies prefer to obtain this sugar from more complex molecules.  

Sugar is a drug that was discovered by Europe after Columbus discovered the Caribbean islands.  Europeans already knew about the so-called East Indies, the islands of Indonesia and New Guinea.  This is where sugar cane is from.  When Europeans started their colonization (dare I say rape?) of the Caribbean islands, it was for the purpose of turning them into plantations to grow sugar cane and refine it into sugar.  This drug was then exported and sold in Europe.  And we got addicted to sugar.  It is time to kick the habit!

Sugar is in many foods.  Ketchup is a prime example of  a sugar-rich food.  Look in your refrigerator.  Look at the jars on the door.  Read the ingredients.  The closer sugar is to the first of the list, the more percentage of sugar the product contains, and the worse it is for you.  Even the olive-oil mayonnaise in my fridge has sugar in the middle of the ingredients list.

Let's move on to fat.  There are good fats and bad fats.  The worst fat is hydrogenated oil.   This is the fat found in Crisco and other shortenings.  It is also found in cookies and crackers.  Avoid it at all costs.  But let me talk about a good oil.  Olive oil in moderation is good for you.  So use it when you can instead of other oils.  Fry with it.  Just keep the temperature down.  The next best oil is canola oil.  It is better for hotter cooking.

As for salt, you really should not put any on your food.  That is because there is more salt added to our prepared foods than we need.  So, we get plenty of salt without adding any.

So, how do we eat out?   Today I had a hunger for a burger.  Here is how I did it and kept the damage to a minimum.  I had a burger only.   I declined the pusher-girl's offer of free french fries.  That's right.  Have a burger, without fries.  Also, no mayonnaise, just mustard.  And no cheese.  

So, no french fries, added salt, and bad fat.  Again, do not try to be perfect.   Just try to keep it reasonable.  Also, eat fruit for dessert instead of sugary desserts.  Once a week cheat and have something bad for lunch.   I do it on Sunday, when everybody else is doing it.

Here's to your health and fitness!  There is some good eating right advice on the bottom of our training page.

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