Cuisine Fiend https://www.cuisinefiend.com

Chewing over

CuisineFiend's edible news.

There's no such thing as healthy foods: it's all in the balance.

Mon, 3 September, 2018

Healthy and unhealthy food; this is good for you and that isn’t; you shouldn’t eat so much/should eat more of one damn thing or another. Spoken often enough to the point of being trivial, I’m getting tired of hearing things like that.

It gets worse: packed with goodness, packed full of nutrients, bursting with wellness. I’m positively allergic to the ‘packed with’ expression which is only second worst to ‘goodness’ as referring to food content. It suggests that the foodstuffs will perform magic on you: eat in front of a mirror and watch your skin more and more glowing, your flab disappearing, your lifespan visibly increasing, like a health meter in a game ratcheting up the green.

Image Source: Getty Images

I’m leaving allergies and intolerances aside – although an interesting research has been published about how children schooled in a meticulously nut-free environment were more prone to developing nut allergies – but this strict division of foods into healthy and unhealthy is just so much nonsense. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that if indeed some food products had incredibly beneficial effect healthwise and others pushed us towards an early grave, evolution would have made sure we digested only the good stuff? I know, I know – evolution doesn’t take into account Maccy D’s and sugary fizz which tickle the buds but will kill you in overload. But that is precisely the point: in overload.

If your diet consists exclusively of sugar, your teeth will soon fall out followed by further health calamities. But I honestly dread to think what would happen to someone who ate only kale? Humans are omnivores – OMNIVORES; as in EAT EVERYTHING. It doesn’t only mean that anything is comestible for us; it also means that we should get nutrition from various sources.

There are no healthy and unhealthy foods. Some, obviously, have more nutrients and others less; some will be rich in iron or Vitamin B and others not so much. Some will cause you to put on weight more than others, and the latter tend to taste not as good as the former. It is all about the balance, proportions and moderation. Good diet is a well-balanced diet with no excess of one type of nutrient over another, a sensible amounts and proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates for the demands of a given lifestyle.

Those beliefs in the ‘goodness’ of certain foodstuffs have spawned all the dangerous hocus-pocus: alleged cancer victims miraculously restored to wellness thanks to the diet based on chia seeds; incidentally promoting sales of their own very special chia elixir, or at least a wonder working cookbook.

No wonder snake oil has been selling well for centuries: people always expect a miraculous prescription to stave off death, old age and illness. Ethical convictions aside, is it worth tucking into cauliflower curry instead of ripe camembert and sip nettle smoothie instead of chilled Chablis? Of course, if it makes you happy to deprive yourself of the, arguably, second greatest pleasure in life, it’s all fine. If you enjoy quinoa more than creamy risotto and really love courgetti – fine again though I can’t help getting cross-eyed with wonder at people who do.

I know about allergies – I have friends who have to lead nutless lives and I’m allergic to oysters; it makes me very sad to have to forsake seafood platters. But why delude yourself that unjustified denial of some foods will be beneficial to you in any way? I guess people who shrink in terror at the sight of a glass of (full fat God forbid) cow’s milk are the same people who will not have plants in their bedrooms, for the idiotic reason that plants absorb oxygen*.

Extremism in the attitudes to food, health and weight reigns supreme.

*I couldn’t quite believe it, but there it is. An Internet scare of bedroom plants which admittedly consume oxygen during the night when photosynthesis can’t take place, and don’t release any back into the room. Your bedroom aspidistra is going to suffocate you? How about we think of the amounts of oxygen it breathes in?

 

Recent blog posts

Sat, 29 December, 2018 Cuisine Fiend's Christmas Collection

Sun, 4 November, 2018 We are so angry all the time - why not just chill? Cook something?

Thu, 4 October, 2018 Food comes from all over the world – but why so illogically sourced?

Mon, 3 September, 2018 There's no such thing as healthy foods: it's all in the balance.

Thu, 2 August, 2018 Diets – I do it my way.

Mon, 2 July, 2018 Cooking at home - why is it such a chore for so many?

Sun, 27 May, 2018 The number of obese people is terrifying - and that's just Home Counties.

Tue, 24 April, 2018 Food fads, or the impossible things to eat: our unhealthy health obsessions.

Mon, 26 March, 2018 Kitchen disasters, or how I blowtorched the turkey.

Mon, 12 March, 2018 They know a thing or two about food in Shropshire.

Wed, 17 January, 2018 Deadly avocados, flying knives and golfer's elbow: kitchen is a dangerous place.

Tue, 19 December, 2017 Diets on hold: time for twinkling lights and brandy butter.

Fri, 24 November, 2017 Eating nose-to-tail - make mine a steak.

Thu, 2 November, 2017 Eat yourself to sleep - or not, actually.

Fri, 15 September, 2017 Everything in moderation - damn hard to achieve where food is concerned.

Sun, 13 August, 2017 Food on screen: they never eat properly on TV.

Wed, 5 July, 2017 Summer gluttony: does food always taste better when we're on holidays?

Thu, 18 May, 2017 Taste, likes and dislikes - unique to first world?

Wed, 19 April, 2017 Spring is here and so is spring food.

Mon, 3 April, 2017 Signature dish? I want to cook everything well!

Fri, 3 March, 2017 British strawberries in March? I think I'll wait till May.

Fri, 17 February, 2017 Making birthday cakes is fun, unless it all goes terribly wrong.

Fri, 3 February, 2017 Munching, grazing - why do we stuff our faces while watching telly?

Fri, 27 January, 2017 Winter warmers: what's the best comfort food when the weather's cold?

Fri, 20 January, 2017 Sugar is the public enemy now. But should we go cold turkey?

Fri, 6 January, 2017 What's really good and bad for us, nutrition-wise?

Sat, 29 December, 2018 Post-Christmas, or how to lose weight on leftovers.

Thu, 15 December, 2016 Post-truth, let's put up more twinkling Christmas lights!

Fri, 9 December, 2016 A cook's block, or how induction is a toy hob.

Fri, 2 December, 2016 Fasting is good, every now and then. It makes us appreciate taste and flavours.

Thu, 24 November, 2016 Boringly tidy or artistically messy in the kitchen? It might be boring, but order helps you focus.

Fri, 11 November, 2016 Gas or electrics - I'm trying hard not to hate my new induction hob.

Fri, 4 November, 2016 New kitchen - caveat emptor, and don't expect a dream come true.

Fri, 28 October, 2016 The rise of the hipster salad.

Fri, 21 October, 2016 No kitchen for two months - what shall I cook first in the new one?

Fri, 14 October, 2016 Cooking is easier, cheaper and more varied than eating out.

Wed, 5 October, 2016 Kitchen designers - my own Great Kitchen Design Off.

Tue, 27 September, 2016 Life without kitchen. Or bathroom, most of the time.

Wed, 21 September, 2016 British cakes - let's not forget the classics.

Thu, 15 September, 2016 Going out for breakfast? Just don't order scrambled eggs.

Wed, 7 September, 2016 Great British Bake Off - now I know why I'd never watched it.

Wed, 31 August, 2016 Eating out: posh nosh or good & simple? I go for value these days.

Thu, 10 August, 2017 Eat food. Not too much. Some of it raw.

Thu, 11 August, 2016 Is a steam oven THE must-have appliance? I'll stick to my stock pot with a steamer insert.

Thu, 4 August, 2016 How to lose weight: the Food Fascist and I

Thu, 28 July, 2016 Eating whilst sprawled on the sofa? Not for me.

Thu, 21 July, 2016 How to live and what to eat on a building site.

Thu, 14 July, 2016 Weird dietary trends - the pseudo-nutritional nonsense

Fri, 8 July, 2016 What are the most useful tools in cooking and baking life?

Thu, 30 June, 2016 The aftermath of the referendum - time to cook some bacon.

Thu, 23 June, 2016 'Easy recipe' - it's an oxymoron!

Fri, 17 June, 2016 Common currency? Don't know, but I know about Common Food!

Fri, 10 June, 2016 How to NOT EAT - totally non-expert advice on weight loss

Thu, 2 June, 2016 Rain, thunder and floods, but summer berries are arriving

Thu, 26 May, 2016 Pancakes are the nation's favourite food

Tue, 17 May, 2016 Spring is here

Fri, 13 May, 2016 It's a hard life being a food blogger

fiendishly...