Friday, October 05, 2007

Food Stuff

One of my goals is to eat healthy 80-90% of the time and allow a bit for special treats. But I also abhor food designed to make me think I'm eating healthier, when a reading of the label shows me they've replaced one unhealthy food for another unhealthy food and labeled it to make me think it's good for me. One example is "Fat-free mayonnaise". Read the label. The first ingredient is some type of sugar, probably high fructose corn syrup, but I don't have a jar around to double-check. How is that better for me? It's not.

I drive my husband crazy when I shop for food. I can spend serious time in the aisles reading labels and searching out foods made with healthy ingredients. They cost more, but not nearly as much as a doctor would charge to fix health problems caused by eating unhealthy junk. Like my youngest son said, "When I eat junk food, I eat GOOD junk food." He meant food like the Terra brand chips. Yes, they're fried chips. But they have some made from various veggies, as well as potato. And they're fried in healthy oil. My favorite to-die-for chips are cooked in olive oil and have a wonderful blend of herbs on them. They're a type of "junk food" I'd choose as part of that 10-20% treat food. I don't rationalize eating junk food made with healthy ingredients regularly by saying, "It's healthy. See--potatoes, olive oil, salt and herbs. No bad stuff." Just way too many calories if you eat a normal serving rather than the few chips they say is a serving on the label.

There is a point to all of this. I wrote a post about a very healthy fruit salad. Here's the link: Fruit Salad Post. At the bottom, I put a companion recipe that looks like it's a sabotage. Because it's totally healthy, except for the hollandaise on the top. This is how I'm learning to manage, because I don't have health problems that preclude doing it this way. I have the fruit salad, the roasted (or grilled veggies), the poached egg. All healthy, and prepared in a healthy way. Then, I put a small spoonful of hollandaise, enough to get the flavor in each bite--maybe a tablespoon or so. That's not too much in terms of calories and fat and stuff for a meal. The rest of the day, I'd avoid saturated fats and it works. It takes thinking ahead and planning, but I learned that the key to eating the foods I really love and don't want to completely get rid of is to change the way I prep them and not to pair high-calorie foods with high-calorie foods when I'm planning my menus.

2 comments:

FrenziedFeline said...

You're a better woman than I, MR!

It just so happens I have a jar of Kraft fat-free mayo. The first few ingredients are: water, modified food starch, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and vinegar. I use it because I have to worry more about my fat intake than sugars. So, if you don't use FF mayo, do you do without or do you have a substitute?

Your made up version of the fruit salad sounds good! You could put avocado with practically anything and I'd eat it.

They cost more, but not nearly as much as a doctor would charge to fix health problems caused by eating unhealthy junk.

That line of yours reminded me what my grandpa used to say, "I'd rather give my money to the grocer than the doctor." :)

Mama Rose said...

Interesting! The jar my mom had wasn't Kraft. I guess different companies have slightly different recipes--or they've changed the formula a bit since I looked at the label. It was a while ago.

I rarely eat mayo, but when I do, I use a roasted garlic aoli I found in one of the gourmet sections of a local store. (Aoli, in case someone dosen't know, is mayonnaise with other stuff mixed in.)It's made with ingredients I could get and make myself, if I had the time. I mix it with other stuff, because it's really strong and can overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.

Or, I make it myself. Homemade mayo is basically an olive oil and egg emulsion. And the only problem with making it myself is that it doesn't keep very long and it's hard to make a batch small enough that my hubby and I can eat it all before it spoils, especially since hubby doesn't really like mayo and barely tolerates the good stuff.