Food: Do you know what you’re eating?

I’ve been doing some research as of late to determine what type of diet would work best for me in the upcoming year. You see I diet for at least the first quarter of the year and then quit — another story and another blog.

Anyway, I discovered some things that made me really think about the places I eat and the entrée’s I order.

Without getting specific to any food chain, I’m wondering how many of you know that many sit-down restaurants have regular meals that far exceed 1,200 calories. I mean if you were to go to one of these chains and order  say a gourmet turkey burger with fries and a diet beverage, you would be consuming, in that one meal (even if you only eat half the fries), more than 1,000 calories!  On the other hand, if you ate a burger from one of the popular fast food restaurants, you would need some fries to equal the calorie count of the gourmet turkey burger.

I was shocked by this. I thought that eating in a sit-down restaurant was healthier than eating at a fast-food restaurant. It really depends on what you eat, but the fast-food chains have gotten much better with their menus than some of the sit-down places.

Another shocker was that some restaurants offer you a nice, thick, juicy steak, but they don’t tell you that their steak carries carbohydrates. Meat shouldn’t have carbs unless it’s breaded. I’ve never seen a breaded New York strip steak. This would be a nightmare for a diabetic. Say the diabetic is counting their carbs (as any good diabetic would do) and they didn’t want to go over 75 carbs. This diabetic would count the carbs in the baked potato or rice pilaf, but would not expect to have to count 22 carbs hidden in the meat!

The carbs in this meat would be the food additives allowed by that “food safety governing body” to preserve the meat for an extended period. They say it’s safe. Unfortunately, these restaurants are not required to submit nutritional information on the menu. The state of New York has made this mandatory for their restaurants. Every state should adopt this law.

I guess the gripe here is that you have lots of folks who sincerely want to lose weight and without accurate nutritional information, they are destined to over-eat.

Some might be thinking that if they knew the risks, some would still partake and that’s a fair assessment. However, if just 13 percent of the obese population would lose weight because they had nutritional information at their finger tips, would it be worth it?

Or even better, what if our insurance premiums were lowered as you lost weight. What a novel concept!

We need to know where our food comes from and how it’s processed. This should be common knowledge in our country.

As great a country as America is, we could solve the obesity problem. Unfortunately what’s happening is that too many industries are benefiting from the “fat” in America and once that happens, things never seem to get better.

Our food is not grown anymore, it’s engineered. And are we to believe that additives can’t be placed in our food to make us healthy, speed up our metabolism or burn fat? Sure it could. But look at all of the money that would be lost if we totally eliminated obesity: Some forms of hypertension, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, strokes and heart disease, to name a few. We won’t totally wipe out these diseases, but wow what a dent we could make.

I guess all we can hope for now is to buy organic and hope that the new heads of that “food safety governing body” get a conscience from somewhere and use their power for the good of us all and not just to line their own pockets. Here is the link to Food, Inc.’s website:

http://www.foodincmovie.com/index.php

I would also recommend the documentary, “Supersize Me.” Watch it for FREE at Hulu.com. Here is the link: http://www.hulu.com/watch/63283/super-size-me.

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