Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Cause of Obesity in North America

I think it's time to let you in on a little secret.

I don't think fat causes obesity. I also don't think it sugar either. The same goes for high fructose corn syrup and soda pop.

In fact, when it comes to the being overweight I think all of these things are only the tools that make us heavy, they are not the cause.

In my opinion, the single leading cause of obesity is this - We have all been taught to not be discriminating when it comes to what we eat.

Think about it. If I offered you a watch for 2 bucks that was made by "Rolecks" would you buy it from me? Would you wear it and show it to all your friends? How about if I offered you a 10 dollar "Goochi" purse? You'd probably laugh at me and walk away, right?

We may turn our noses up at cheap imitation clothes and accessories, but we have no problems accepting cheap imitation food.

Seriously, a 99 cent burger? An 8.99 Lunch special steak that is tough and tasteless? Where did we learn this complete lack of eating class?

We have taste buds for a reason. Their purpose is to allow us to discriminate between good food and bad food. Fresh or Spoiled. Ripe or Rotten. Yet over the last 100 years, the food industry has figured out how to trick us into thinking bad things taste good.

The right pictures, the right colors, the right wrapper and the right massive levels of sweet and salt. That's all it takes to completely blind our taste buds.

If you have ever had a chocolate flavored protein shake ask yourself 'did it actually taste like a "rich and creamy" chocolate shake?'

I sampled a protein shake last night.

I went to the store and picked out the one brand that said it was the 5 time award winner for best tasting product.

I took it home, mixed it exactly as instructed. At first taste, it was fine. But when I really truly tasted it do you know what I tasted?

I tasted sweet. Sweet combined with aluminum, tin, and the unmistakable zing of artificial sweeteners.

It did not taste good at all.

My coffee this morning tasted exactly like it always does. When I stopped and actually TASTED my coffee I realized it was horrible. I can't even describe what it tasted like, but it wasn't coffee and it wasn't good. I drank it anyways. Why?

As I am writing this I am eating a "Caramelt" chocolate bar (In the name of research of course!). It doesn't taste like caramel, chocolate, or for that matter fresh.

It tastes sweet, waxy and preserved.

I have eaten good chocolate before, the kind that is rich and melts in your mouth. This was NOT good chocolate. It was artificial. It was imitation chocolate.

We eat this horrible imitation food on a daily basis. Worse, we eat way more of it than we want to.

This is why I beleive that our loss of ability to discriminate between good foods and bad foods is the root cause of obesity.

Forget inactivity, sugar or saturated fat. It is the simple fact that the food industry has figured out how to fool our taste buds into thinking that every piece of food that is made available to us
tastes good and is desirable - THIS is what is causing all of us to become heavier than we want to be.

But it's not just our taste buds that have been fooled.

Our brains have been tricked too. We now eat for 'nutrition'. We eat because we just finished our workout. We eat to get some protein, or vitamin C, or any other new and popular nutrient that just might save our life. And worse of all, we eat because some health expert told us if we don't eat, we'll get fat.

So we are actually guilt-tripped into eating bad tasting food. So we accept imitation food, because we are led to beleive that eating something is better than eating nothing.

The alternative, is to be a discriminating eater. Be a connoisseur of food. Be picky and only eat good tasting food. If good food isn't available, you don't have to eat (if you've read Eat Stop Eat, you know that we can easily go 24 hours without eating, with nothing but good consequences).

Pay good money for good food, but eat less often. Stop and think about just how fun that could be. By eating less, and eating less often, you can allow yourself to eat good foods. And not just dessert, but everything. Every single piece of food you put in your mouth could actually be full of rich flavor.

A well made creme brule will always, always taste better than any fast food treat. Real ice cream will always taste better than imitation frozen milk ingredients. A good steak is better than a cheap one. Fresh strawberries are better than frozen.

Sure it is more expensive, but you pay for quality. And, if you are eating less, you really won't be paying more for food in the long run.

Don't worry about the fat content or sugar content or how much phytochemicals are in the foods you eat. By being picky you will eat less, and eating less is far more important to your health then the percentage of a nutrient in your foods.

Plus, by eating better tasting foods, you will almost always be eating healthier foods.

By increasing your expectations of your food, and aiming for quality and flavor, overeating will never be an issue.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to eat less and eat less often, especially if the trade off is truly enjoying the foods you eat.


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Redlefty said...

Awesome post!

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Anonymous said...

Wow, great post. I agree and plan to reread it!

Andytidus said...

A good health blog for people to manage their weights. I am also writing a health blog to create awareness in obesity and other health problems. Do drop by if free to give me some advice. Thanks and see ya.

Mithii said...

Hey buddy, it is nice to hear about foods and fat. Thanks a lot for a great post, keep it up & Best of luck