Do you label YOUR food lifestyle?
There are food labels for people. I don’t use one for myself, but there are MANY folks who think I am “something” in particular. News flash – I’m not. As my health and my nutritional needs change, so does my diet. That’s how I roll, but most choose their own path.
We are hearing more and more about people who are declaring their food lifestyle by labeling themselves as vegan, vegetarian, pescaterian, paleo, etc. Here is a quick overview of what you need to know about each of these labels.
Vegan – Vegans do not eat animals or products from animals. This means no dairy, no eggs, no honey. My barometer for how committed a vegan is to ask if they eat honey. Hardcore vegans don’t eat honey. This is the most popular plant-based diet.
Generally speaking there are two varieties of vegans. Those who do it for health (lifestyle) reasons and those who do it for ethical or religious reasons. There can be two VASTLY different camps on this.
Vegetarians – Vegetarians generally eat products from animals, but not animals themselves. So cheese, eggs, honey, dairy are generally included here.
Pescatarians– are basically vegetarians who eat fish but not foul, pork or beef.
Paleo – This is how people ate during the time when “men” hunted and gathered food for consumption. Basically a paleo diet encompasses – veggies, fruits, animal protein (fish included), eggs, nuts and a handful of oils. That’s it. No grains, no legumes, no corn…
Keep this very important thought in the front of your mind. None of these labels mean anything about the quality of the food that any of these people eat. I remember when I got my first real wake-up call about the vegan/vegetarian lifestyles and it was jaw dropping. It was at a “Veggie Fest” and I was shocked, S-H-O-C-K-E-D, at how many overweight people I saw at this event. Many of us have these preconceived notions in our mind that people who label themselves with any of the above monikers are healthy and thin. NOTHING could be further from the truth.
There is a TON of crappy processed foods available for any food lifestyle to enjoy. I have also found that the vegetarian lifestyle in particular to be loaded with lots of carbs and cheese, two food items that will kill any waistline if abused regularly.
Here is a big problem.
With processed foods, when they take one product out to satisfy the needs of that segment of the market, they have to substitute it with something else in order to either stabilize it or make it taste good.
Dairy- free? I was in love with a coconut based ice cream until I left a pint of it out on the counter one day and when I got home and grabbed it, it was warm. I picked it up expecting to “POUR” it into the sink and rinse the container and when I did I almost threw up. Out came a pint-sized shape gelatinous blob of goo. That’s right. So much filler and “cellulose” that it kept its shape at room temperature. Seriously?!?!?
Gluten free? No problem, right? This market is expanding at a crazy rate. There are some incredibly delicious gluten free options on the market these days but READ THE LABELS. The amount of sugar in most of them is criminal.
Processed junk food is just that…processed junk food. Sure, there are some better options if you are feeling compelled to treat yourself occasionally, but in general, just because it’s organic or GMO free does not automatically make it BETTER for you.
It only makes it a better quality but it’s still junk food, not matter how you slice it up.
We can talk ourselves into believing anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Yes, I live in a real world.
Yes, I too imbibe in not so great choices every now and then. But substituting an entire diet of unhealthy processed foods with an entire diet of (perceived) healthier processed foods means you are still eating a ton of crap.
It’s just better quality crap.