CARBS–bread, pasta, rice, just to name a few–are part of an ever-expanding hit list. By the way, let’s not forget about this either. Does anyone besides me, recall athletes and celebrities lining up to wear the milk mustache? You couldn’t open a magazine (especially health & fitness) and not see this ad. What about the “milk your diet,” commercials? They’re not that old.
In the quest to become fitter, thinner, and more svelte, seems we’ve lost a few friends (yes friends) along the way; not to mention more than a few nutrients.
Let me back up a minute first.
If you have celiac disease, gluten is definitely not your friend. If you are lactose intolerant, you know what too much dairy can do to you. Those who struggle with these issues–I am not making light of your symptoms, or your need to watch your intake.
That being said, let’s take a look at our dietary hit list.
If you are attempting to cut fat, but won’t give up real milk, maybe you’ve switched to skim. Realize then, you may be cutting back on some key nutrients as well. Vitamin D and calcium are two. However, if you are looking for a less caloric alternative, you can try almond milk. It contains more calcium, with fewer calories. Almond milk for me though, is an acquired taste. It is much thicker. I find myself drinking less of it, because of the density. Yes you can add H20 to it. But then, how much of the nutrients are you really obtaining? Who knows. Because of this, I’m not sure how much of an alternative to milk this really is; at least for me. An alternative (however healthy) has to be a substitution which fills or exceeds the expectation of what is being replaced. This means content, appearance, and in this case–taste. Vitamin content may be there. Less fat and calories sound great. If getting it down you or your family is questionable, how viable is this? You be the judge.
I am persistent though. I bought almond milk combined with coconut milk, and find it enjoyable in tea.
Our crusty friend seems to have fallen out of favor–except in private. He seems to be what one relishes in private, but publically–not so much. We say we’re cutting back. Or, “I don’t eat bread anymore. Pasta isn’t even in my house. Flour? I gave that up long ago–and I’ve lost so much weight!” Bread and pasta especially, seem to have taken on the persona some people may take in our lives. But that’s another discussion–one well outside my scope of practice.
Bread has been called the staff of life–and for good reason. It was and continues to be a staple in most households. True, our choices may have changed. We don’t buy the white bread our parents did. Our choice is usually grainier, lighter or thicker depending upon our tastes, and maybe gluten-free. If you wonder whether you need to be gluten-free, check out my post “Do I really need to be gluten-free?” It is dated 7/10/13.
My question as with any deprivation is this: what am I sacrificing? We all want weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. Most of us are willing to make the changes necessary to this end. Like milk, have you considered the vitamins you may be giving up? If cutting the fat and sugar is your goal, you may want to re-think your gluten-free choices. Something has to give that bread or pasta taste and texture.
As with exercise routines, before you jump on the latest trend, do your research. Side by side label comparisons in-store can be quite a revelation; especially if you’re trying to cut calories. On a budget? Then you definitely need to invest some homework time. If it’s not a fit for you or your family– however healthy, time-saving, or cost cutting it may be, it may not be your best bet. That being said, your family doesn’t get a pass from eating healthier. It just means you have to be a little more savvy and creative.
So tell your kids they probably won’t be getting a pass from eating their veggies. And just to clarify, neither will you.
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.