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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pet Peeve: Healthier

As we roll into the thick of the "festive" season, not only are people eating with greater abandon, but the backlash with regards to nutrition is building. And this question of "healthier" eating picks out pariahs and saints of food.

I've witnessed parents pick out Gatorade(TM) and other "sports drinks" as "healthier" to drink for their children over soda. But this stuff was formulated for athletes under high exertion. Many who quaff the artificially colored salty sugar water is doing sports mostly through TV console avatars. 
But what's missing here is the issue of amount and circumstance. Very few things are universally "healthy" - the question of nutrition and how it affects health is a dynamic one, and can be influenced strongly by lifestyle choices.

Packaged pre-sliced apples. Healthier? Depends. More expensive? Absolutely.
In general, though, omnivorism, encouraging inclusion of a diverse definition of food, maximizes the options of what are available to the diner, depending on the particular circumstance. A self-imposed restriction, particularly if it subscribes to a community, outsources the responsibility to choose.

Canned vegetarian "choplets". 

Science proceeds apace. We know now that a little bit of sugar helps establish dietary satiety, and some fats provide cardiovascular protective effects. And at the end of the day, whether something is healthier for you is a question of taking personal responsibility, to take the item in context with your life.

But sodas, most supplements, alkalized water, and "organic"? Waste of money.

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