February 8, 2015
I was in the book store the other day and was blown away by how many diet books were on the shelves. Each book proclaimed its plan’s ability to help you lose weight and become healthy. Most of the books turned certain food into villains, banning you from eating some essential nutrient and proclaiming that “medical research” has determined that fat/carbohydrates/protein/gluten/ etc. is bad for you.
My patients, looking for rapid weight loss, eliminate whichever essential nutrient has been vilified and, in fact lose weight. Unfortunately, they gain their weight back (plus some) later. I don’t believe that G-d made bad foods. I believe that we take good foods and turn them into villains in our never ending quest for culinary satisfaction.
As an example of what mankind does with nature, let’s look at a cucumber. Cucumbers are low in calories (15 cal/100 g) and sodium and high in fiber, vitamins C, A, and K. Cucumbers also are a good source of beta-carotene, one of nature’s beneficial antioxidants; and they contain lutein (recommended by ophthalmologists for ocular health). In addition, cucumbers have diuretic properties beneficial for weight loss and in hypertension.
Now, let’s take a healthy cucumber and soak it in brine and spices, add some sugar and turn it into a spicy sweet pickle. While it tastes great, it’s now full of salt and sugar and no longer a healthy vegetable. Let’s go one step further, coating it in flour and frying it the way they do in the south.
I was just in Atlanta and can attest to how great fried pickles, dipped in a mayo based spicy pickle sauce, taste. Fried pickles are addictive! Fried pickles are also lethal. Greasy and rich in salt and sugar certainly fulfills our culinary needs by tantalizing our taste buds. The cucumber, which once served as a diuretic and lowered our blood pressure, when converted to fried pickles, raises our pressure and increases our weight.
Foods are not inherently bad for you! What you do with them is the real problem. Read “Diets and Other Unnatural Acts” (available on Amazon) and refine your own diet. Learn how to make a healthy cucumber taste great without dowsing it in salt, sugar and grease.