Note: Before reading this, please realize that the opinions I mention are personal to me. We each are allowed our own viewpoints when it comes to reduced sugar, reduced fat or “diet” products. I am by no means telling you that your outlook is wrong, or even that my thoughts are correct.Words that are in brackets are stereotypical terms that which I am not necessarily in favour of. I had difficulty publishing this post as I worried about it’s controversy. The fact of the matter is, it was designed to spark ideas and get people reflecting on if their diets are meeting their personal needs and goals.
My parents used to tell me that when they were kids, PB&J sandwiches not only consisted of peanut butter, but also a layer of butter underneath. My initial reaction was “Eww, gross”. I still think that it is unnecessary to have that additional layer, but was their method of making this classic lunchtime meal wrong? Definitely not. In fact there are probably numerous individuals out there who continue to eat this version of a PB&J sandwich.
My Nana would be appalled if she knew I altered her recipes into “Black Bean Brownies” (Chocolate Brownies) and “Chickpea Burgers” (Ground Beef). She baked from the heart and believed in using as much butter, sugar, and white flour as she wished.
I truly believe that there is a fine (but present) line between disordered and clean eating. While some individuals are great at maintaining a balance of healthy replacements in their life, some fall off the bandwagon into yo-yo dieting.
Since when is eating “Splenda Enriched Yogurt” a substitute for “0.0% – 4.0% MF Yogurt”? Is drinking “Diet Soda” better for you than “Sugar Laden Cola” as some call it? The reality is, to me, low-calorie foods will never be as filling as “the real deal”.
While simple substitutes such as applesauce/avocado for butter, whole grain flour instead of refined flour, skim in contrast to homogenized milk, agave nectar/stevia vs. sugar are okay (in my mind), is it necessary to deplete everything of it’s natural calories? Who said you can’t make a “Betty Crocker packaged cake mix” and eat it too? Not me!
While this is a touchy subject for many individuals, it is something that needs to be addressed. Don’t get me wrong, even I fall culprit of choosing aspartame flavoured substances from time to time. Trouble is, I instantly live in regret as I am left feeling unsatisfied and bloated as a result of ingesting chemicals that I can’t even pronounce. I wonder what society would be like today if low-calorie alternatives had not been made? Would we still be putting butter and peanut butter (Not powdered, 85% less fat PB2) on those tasty sandwiches? Probably… and that is perfectly fine. Back then, when diet products were not as readily available, people did not mind consuming higher caloric versions as they needed sustenance to perform daily tasks. Cars were not as common as they are today. It was okay to indulge in proper serving sizes of “unhealthy” treats because most individuals were active enough to stay fit. This could still be the case, but unfortunately variety amongst grocery shelves isn’t the only thing that has increased in quantities; portion sizes have too.
I am willing to bet that many individuals choose to eat higher volumes of imitation foods instead of proper serving sizes of the original product. Are calorie free foods empowering people to feel as though they can have more than the recommended amount of servings? Just because it is sugar, energy and fat free, is it okay to chug a litre of “Coca-cola zero”? Would you feed “Hollywood Bread” to a growing toddler?
We all have our likes and dislikes and I agree that it is okay to disagree on taste buds and preferences. While I am not afraid to drink 2% milk, I honestly find skim milk more thirst quenching. Contrastingly, I am partial to regular ice cream opposed to the less fat alternatives. Would you choose to eat whole wheat pasta or Shirataki noodles? If you were offered a slice of toast or three rice cakes, which would you be more likely to pick? There is really no right or wrong answer.
By no means am I suggesting that you should give up healthy substitutions when baking or cooking. The point I am trying to make is that we shouldn’t be afraid to go back to our roots and eat the foods our grandparents consumed. No foods should be completely off limits, everything in moderation. Just because you aren’t “clean eating”, does not mean that you are not taking care of your body. It get our brains thinking when we turn an occasional dessert into an acceptable everyday snack, but it isn’t always necessary. ♥ Molly
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” – Julia Childs
Note: If you are upset by anything that was mentioned in today’s post, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always open to hearing new ideas and perspectives.