Painlessly Healthier in 2015!

Repeat After Me:  Reduce the Amount of Salt, Sugar, and Fat!

Written by Gayle

Some time ago I read and reviewed the Book, Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss (click here to read the summary and review).  Since then I have been so aware of how much of those three ingredients are packed into so much of our food, especially the packaged, prepared, restaurant, and fast foods that are so easily available today.  Right after I read that book I would walk through grocery stores or drive past fast food joints and think, "Poison, poison, poison!"

But I have also been thinking about how easy it is to be harming ourselves with the way we cook.  It's true that when I cook at home we're not eating chemical convenience foods--especially when we choose organics--but I might be adding just as much salt, sugar, and fat as what is in those convenience foods.

roasted+vegetables
How-to on Roasting Vegetables, click here
So I have been doing a little research and experimenting to reduce those three ingredients in many of my recipes.  Here's what I've found:

Salt

Salt is a flavor-enhancer, so when you start reducing the amount of salt, things just start to taste bland.  But as I learned from the book, a taste for salty food is acquired.  Babies do not like salty foods, and we can reduce our desire for salt.  People who have been forced to reduce their salt intake soon find that they don't like the food salty anymore.  Zero salt is not the goal, since we do need some sodium in our diet--it helps regulate our heart rhythm, helps our muscles to contract, and regulates our blood--but there is little doubt that the vast majority of us consume too much salt.  

Solutions:  

healthy+salad, fruit+salad, farro+salad
Recipe for Fruit Salad with Farro click here

Sugar

Sugar is the culprit in so many health problems.  This Huffington Post article outlines ten ways that sugar is adversely effecting our health.  Heart damage, cancer production, belly fat, leptin resistance, liver damage, memory deficiency--the list goes on and on.  There is never a good argument for increasing our sugar consumption.  And remember that a taste for overly sugary foods is acquired as well.  A nephew of ours spent two years in Korea, and came home not liking sweet candy at all.  When we stop eating so much sugar, the cravings will go away.  (Unfortunately, once we start eating sugar again, the desire returns!)

Solutions:

unsweetened+applesauce
Recipe for unsweetened applesauce found here

Fat

Now, fat is an interesting case.  Salt, Sugar, Fat taught me that our bodies are wired to eat as much fat as possible--there is no "bliss point" for fat.  Our bodies never get to a point where we say, "That has too much fat in it."  So we can't count on our taste buds to tell us, like they do with salt and sugar, that a certain food has too much.  But it is clear that we do eat too much fat.  Again, zero fat is not the goal--we need fats for good health--so let's make better fat choices.

Solutions:

healthy+breakfast+bars
Saundra's Banana Date Breakfast Bar Recipe found here

Live in Abundance

With all of the talk of reducing, I don't want to let go of the attitude of abundance.  There are SO many delicious and healthy options.  So while we are about reducing, let's also add!

Solutions:

nectarine+smoothie
Nectarine Smoothie recipe found here

Healthier Attitude!

It's a challenge to live in a world that has so many unhealthy foods right in our faces all of the time. It does take a little more awareness and care to make healthy choices.  But let's go into 2015 mindfully and make this a healthier, happier year!

Love,

Lassen's