Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Diet Food Gets a Bad Name

My little sister graduated from high school yesterday and to celebrate we went out to lunch after the ceremony. 

She picked a great pizza/pasta place in town but I knew the second I heard where we were going that I would not be able to eat much. Eating out is usually fun and most of the time I can find something to eat but when you go to a place that specializes in all things white flour it usually means that most of the menu will be off limits to me. 

Not a big deal really. I called the restaurant a few days before and checked with their chef to see if their soups were viable options for me. They were not as most had a flour base to them. So, that left me with the salad bar. It really was a pretty good salad bar considering. I piled my plate with all sorts of veggies and sunflower seeds and kidney beans and sprouts etc. The kicker is when you get to dressings. Between the sugar and the dairy in most dressings they are also not options for me. I did find some olive oil to dress the salad but it wasn't terribly flavorful. 

And that is where the kicker comes in when it comes to diet food. I was eating this pretty good salad with all these different tastes and textures and I still knew that I would have to go back to work and pull out my salmon and almonds. While the salad was good it didn't satisfy me. It didn't do good things to me all the way down to my toes. It didn't make me sigh with satisfaction. 

Those feelings of satisfaction and good taste often come from the good fats we are eating. It comes from the juicy chicken, the avocado dressing, the olive oil and ginger/lime dressing. Fat is what satiates us and makes us thrilled with a meal. Fat is often what makes food go from good to great. 

That is why diet food stinks. If I was on a "diet" and eating that food I would leave lunch feeling somewhat full but completely unsatisfied. This is why diets don't work either. They leave you mostly unsatisfied and craving all kinds of things because your body is not getting the nutrients and essential fatty acids that it needs to function beautifully each day. 

So, remember if you are having a large meal of veggies that you also pump up the raw nuts and the good fats like olive oil or fatty fish or avocados. Make sure there is some part of the meal so tantalizing and yummy that you can feel it all the way down to your toes. Then you will leave dinner not only full but satisfied. 

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