Our challenging eating journey begins early in life and is often deeply rooted in tradition. Consequently, Indiana is the 41st unhealthiest state because inactive Hoosiers eat a dysfunctional diet full of processed white foods. We can do better, friends.
Recently, I saw an overweight man of the cloth zealously eating a double portion of biscuits and sausage gravy with hash browns asphyxiated in psychedelic yellow grease. He was blissfully unaware (or in denial) that he was inflicting damage upon his body. It reminded me of growing up as a PGK (preacher’s grandkid). After Sunday services, lacey buffet tables seemed to be moaning under the mass amounts of fried chicken cooked in pork fat, skillet gravy, carbo-licious dumplings, mac and cheese, smashed and au gratin potatoes, mayonnaise potato salad, white rice, white bread, white pasta, white cakes, and iced cookies.
It is time to say goodbye to French fries, lard or shortening, marshmallows, instant hot cereals, Alfredo sauce, full-fat ice cream, half-and-half, Brie cheese and ranch style salad dressings full of mayonnaise.
Say hello to smart carbs like brown rice, Steele cut oats, quinoa, grits and barley. Reduced-fat dairy products, probiotic Kefir and fortified rice milk are cool. Add white beans, white-fleshed fish, skinless chicken, turkey breast, and more raw fruits and vegetables.
More than fifty percent of deaths in North America are the result of cardiovascular disease mostly related to daily food choices. My advice doesn’t suggest cutting back on just white flour, instant rice and oatmeal, dairy, sugar, salt and potatoes, but the colossal constellation of foods mechanically contrived from these ‘wholesome’, traditional kitchen staples.
Plus, Alloxan, the chemical that turns white flour “clean and beautiful,” destroys beta cells in the pancreas welcoming type 2 diabetes. White bread is pillaged of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. An intense carb, white bread lacks essential nutrients even after “enrichment.” The toxic effect of alloxan is common scientific knowledge but the FDA allows companies to use it. Sigh.
The exterior layers removed to make rice ‘instant’ are groovy sources of minerals and vitamins. Try California or Indian Basmati Rice. Addicted to soft drinks? High fructose corn syrup and sugar fertilize cancer, raise cholesterol, cause obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sugary soft drinks weaken your immune system by thirty-three percent. Salt overload increases risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, cataracts, brittle bones, asthma, dementia and early death. The American Heart Association says one teaspoon a day is fine.
Reducing white food consumption will improve the health of your body. You can’t totally dodge a ‘white out’ but you’ll feel better by concentrating on a whole foods diet.
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