Everybody is confused about food. Dieticians are. Researchers are. Doctors are. The US government is. WE ALL ARE.
Are eggs good for you? Are carbs good or bad? What causes cancer now? What suppresses cancer: Red wine? Chocolates? Coffee?
Is margarine good, or is butter good now? Candy has lots of sugar, but so does low-fat yogurt. Chinese food has lots of vegetables, in lots of fat. Beans are good; but in Mexican food?
What’s the latest with pomegranates? What’s the latest research with tomatoes? When are potatoes good, and when are they bad?
Everyone is confused and we are not surprised. Dieticians say people see the plethora of healthy choices as way too much trouble.
Fortune magazine reports:
"We are in such a hurry, we're so busy multitasking that eating is no longer a solo event," says David Grotto, spokesperson for the Chicago-based American Dietetic Association. "It's an inconvenience. We have hunger, and we need to squash it. We need to wolf down some food. You're lucky if you remember what you ate the day before."
So do we blame restaurants? No, not yet.
A recent ACNielsen study said 82% of consumers blame themselves (the individual) for weight gain in America. Only 6% place the biggest blame on fast food joints and 2% on food companies.
Elisa Zied, author of So What Can I Eat?! says people are frustrated by the conflicting research studies and news reports about what can harm or benefit them. Typically, they just want practical advice on what to eat.
Zied says we unknowingly make bad choices. Most people know that soda and candy contain a lot of sugar. But they don't always realize that low-fat flavored yogurt, salad dressing and Chinese food (think chicken with broccoli), can too.
Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic, says one way we can start to change is by asking restaurants for more healthy options and smaller portion sizes. Define value by the quality of your food, not its "supersize."
"Small indiscretions can create bigger health issues," Nelson says. "The good news is that small attempts, the more we chip away at it--we can get big results, too."
We all need to chip away at the lack of responsibility being assigned to restaurants. Appropriate portions will lead to big results in all Americans.