As a nutritionist I cannot believe the things people tell me. They think these things are true. You can’t really believe eating a banana a day will make you fat. Or baby carrots. Or avocado. Or eggs (but that’s a whole other can of worms)! I mean really.
Now, some people have just been misinformed and I get it. There is a LOT of information out there, some of it true, some of it trendy, some of it total malarkey. But fruits and vegetables? People, let’s get real.
Are these not the foods we feed our children? Are we trying to make them obese? Of course not. We are simply feeding our children food that will nourish them and help them to grow, physically and mentally. Why do we not do the same for us? Now, I’m not suggesting we all puree our food and avoid honey. All I’m saying is we should take a step back, take a deep breath and look at the food that we consume. I mean really look at it. FRUIT. Is this bad for you? NO. Are there sugars in it? SURE. Are they going to make you fat? NO. CARROTS. Seriously? Avocado. Yes, there are fats in it. They are delicious delicious fats that are good for you. Avocados literally grow on trees. Think about that.
Nuts are another one. Yes, eaten by the bagful…probably not going to do great things to your digestive system. Eating a handful if you’re hungry? Go for it!
Allow me to clear some things up. This may be shocking to some…fruits are good for you. Vegetables are good for you. All of them. Some, yes, better than others, but if it grows in the ground, or off a tree or bush…you will get some benefit from it. If it comes in a package and you can’t pronounce what the ingredients are, you should put it back on the shelf.
Then there are the people who go in the complete other direction. “I only eat what cavemen ate. It’s the way our bodies were designed to…” blah blah blah. There are reasons for evolution. We are able to eat foods that come from halfway around the world ALL YEAR LONG. And I’m not saying we should encourage that (I try my best to eat locally, although…come on, we live in Canada-it’s pretty hard in the winter) but sometimes you have to (and want to!) go out and eat with your friends and no one wants to be the wet blanket that can’t have sweet potatoes. There’s another thing. Sweet potatoes. They are SO FREAKING GOOD FOR YOU. Eat them.
There is a happy medium! I am a nutritionist but I am also a mother of three children. Crackers exist in my cupboard. I drink wine. I really, really like coffee. I am a real person. But I don’t have endless boxes of processed food in my freezer either.
An obese woman once told me that she found it hard to lose weight because there are foods you can give your kids that are healthy for them, but not for adults and she has trouble not eating it herself. Now, this made me incredibly curious. Food that is healthy for kids but not adults? What is this miraculous food? “Macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk. But you know, the homemade kind.” Oh-the HOMEMADE KIND…with white pasta, cream, tons of cheese and butter! Yes, you’re right. That is super duper healthy for children! And chocolate milk? Oh you mean SUGAR milk. Yes, that is good for kids. Come on.
Bananas may very well be a fruit that contains the one of the highest amounts of sugar BUT at about 100 calories a piece, they are an awesome hunger killer and look-already portion controlled! What more could you ask for? In addition to boosting energy levels (and sustaining them), they have a benficial effect on mental energy levels. They are a source of the building blocks of serotonin and dopamine! That’s going to make you feel good…and full all at once! Eat bananas.