“Whole Foods= Good Health”, I know it is shocking! If you can’t tell, I am being a little sarcastic. My sarcasm comes from how I spent my week discussing with clients the recent NY Times Articles “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat”.
The gist of the article is ” The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead.” Appalling, YES! But as I discussed with my clients the horrific implications this had on our food guidelines, public health and the perception of nutrition research, there was a theme that emerged from each conversation. Whole Foods = Good Health.
No matter where the research points low fat, high carb, no sugar, high protein, the list goes on and on. There seems to one stance that you can’t argue against, eat whole foods! Fill your fridge and cabinets with items that have minimal packaging, foods free from additives or other artificial substances. As Michael Pollen likes to say “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
Based off this recent publication, I am disgusted with the manipulation that can go on with food lobbies, researchers, government etc. Not to sound like a cynic but when money is involved, often all bets are off. But would all of this had mattered, if we just stuck to the basics? Our downfall some say is when we started to manipulate foods, adding and/or taking away various nutrients to met various health goals. When our go to foods became packaged foods.
The conclusions from this disturbing news, is NOT all hope is lost! But rather we have always had the answers to good health right in front of us, we just had to learn for ourselves and come back to cooking meals in the kitchen and eating whole foods at a table. I so proud that the whole food message is ring true from my fellow dietitians, Family medicine doctors I work with and yes even to the Dietary Guidelines that were release this year. We are no were near perfect but we are on the right road!
I encourage you to eat with your eyes wide open and know there is not a perfect food out there or a fountain of youth that is going to change your health with one bite. But encourage you to start small, make one meal from scratch, throw out that packaged snack item and pick up an apple to munch on. Small steps and whole foods, will get us back to good health!
Looking for a yummy meal to cook scratch… try my cashew ginger chicken lettuce wraps!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1.25 lbs ground chicken
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1.5 inches of freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
Juice from 1 lime
3/4 cup bean sprouts
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Butter lettuce leaves for serving
1. Chop/dice onions, zucchini, bell pepper and carrots.
2. Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add in ground chicken, zucchini, carrot, and bell peppers.
3. While the meat is cooking, stir all ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl.
4. Once chicken is thoroughly cooked, pour in sauce and cover to simmer 5-7 minutes.
5. Right before serving, stir in bean sprouts, scallions, cashews and cilantro.
6. Serve in butter lettuce cups.