Did anyone see the Harvard study which was published, and widely reported on, this week?
After 20 years of monitoring which foods seemed to be most associated with weight gain, the study revealed the following list of baddies:
- french fries!
- potato chips
- sugar-sweetened soda
- unprocessed red meat
- processed meats . . . like bacon
- trans fats
- sweets and desserts
- refined grains
- fried foods
- fruit juices
The main conclusion of the study is that we should all be eating food that is as minimally processed as possible . . . and with the odd exception, Julochka and I have already been preaching (and eating) that gospel. I may need to rethink my loved of baked goods, but in my defense, we hardly ever eat any dessert/sweets that aren't homemade with good-quality ingredients.
One of the most helpful aspects of the study was its revelation of the five foods most associated with weight loss -- and the fab five are:
- whole grains
I think that smoothies are going to be the answer -- at least for me. This summer, I finally broke down and bought a blender -- despite my lack of counter space -- and now my children and I are obsessed with it. With all of the great fresh fruit that's around these days, it is such simple work to drink several servings of the good stuff. I never make the same smoothie twice, but my basic blueprint is to throw in a banana, a handful of strawberries and/or raspberries, blueberries, pineapple or peaches, between 4 and 6 ounces of yogurt and a handful of ice. You will need some liquid to get things going, and I add either orange juice or skim milk -- depending on whether I am the mood for something creamy or juicy. You may also need a squirt of honey, depending on your sweet tooth.
Sadly, there's nothing more American than french fries and a Coke -- and America has the obesity rates to prove it. Julochka and I were laughing about an article about the fried foods which will be offered up at State Fairs around the country this summer. Doesn't that just sum up some of the most dreadful (and wonderful, of course) aspects of American eating? I love the creativity and the sense of humour, but the sheer decadence and gluttony isn't as admirable. Does anyone really need to be eating Fried Kool-Aid? Who even dreams this stuff up?
As for my summer eating, I'm thinking more along the lines of a yogurt smoothie and a handful of raw almonds every day . . .