Slow down your food
Our waistlines, bums and thighs might be expanding, but our taste buds appear to be shrinking. The lack of variety in our diets means we are eating more fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates - like white bread and white pasta than ever before. Unfortunately this love of all things stodgy and sweet means our life expectancies are getting shorter and the variety of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease higher. But, guess what, you don’t need to guzzle a magic potion to get healthier; you just have to slow down and put some thought into what you are eating instead of scoffing the easy stuff. We’ll get to that in a moment, first the facts!
You’ve probably heard of the Eatwell plate, it is a graphical representation of the foods we should all be eating. But, shockingly only 1% of the population in the UK are achieving the full recommendations. Just 12% of the UK population are managing to achieve healthy eating targets set for total fat, saturated fat and 5-a-day, by choosing more lean meats, lower fat dairy and more fruit and veg. Now many of us know the essentials, we need to eat 5 fruit and veg per day, plenty of wholegrains and 3 dairy per day, but excuses stop us – I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I don’t have enough money. Well guess what, healthy eating isn’t exhausting or expensive if you are just a bit savvy about your choices.
A lot of the food we are eating is fast food, it’s easy and convenient. It fits in with our careers and busier lives. Unlike the French we aren’t putting thought into our foods and meals. We simply eat for convenience – we don’t think about getting fruit and vegetables are choosing brown rice over white. Instead we focus on convenience. Our priorities when it comes to eating are haywire.
Everything about food has gotten lazier. Family meals are few and far between. We are more likely to scoff a take away in front of the TV than sit down for an hour with the rest of the family. We will munch on a bar of choc at our break in work rather than taking a five minute break to make some toast.
Slow food sounds like some type of mad movement and in some parts of the world it has taken on a life of its own; however it can also just stand for taking your time with food! Don’t gulp your food; spend time choosing your ingredients. No eating in front of the television or computer…sit at the table. Enjoy your food, take your time with meals and try preparing some new recipes. Focus on including new ingredients into your recipes. It doesn’t matter whether you are a great cook or not exactly an aspiring Jamie Oliver – some of the simplest recipes are the best...stir-fries, casseroles and salads spring to mind.
If we think more about our food and actually make an effort to eat more fruit and veggies we will see improvements to our health and weight.
Let’s start our own personal Slow Food movements in the home – choose to prepare your foods from scratch and you will reap the benefits.
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