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March 2004 Issue
HOW to Eat Right.
by Michael Fick
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For six years now we’ve badgered you about WHAT – and what not -- to eat for longer, healthier lives without sacrificing the pleasure of food. Many of those articles on WHAT to eat include tips on how to buy and prepare healthy, delicious food, but most of the HOW advice is hidden and scattered under WHAT titles. It’s time to bring the HOWS out of their scattered closets, give them the title role, and assemble them into a coherent plan. This plan will help you move many things from the forbidden foods list to at least the rare treat list, often even to the everyday good foods list.

Many people can burn their diet books if they follow these principles of healthy eating, implied often in this column’s archives at the ISSUES tab to your left:

  1. Stop buying crap.
  2. Stop cooking good ingredients in crappy ways.
If you find the word “crap” offensive, good. If your kids read it, good. We should all learn from an early age to regard inherently harmful foods and cooking methods as offensive. Your kids can have a lot of fun being the family Crap Police (OK, Fat Police in public).

As a refresher, here’s a brief list of crap we should avoid:

  • Chips.
  • Dips.
  • Most sauces and dressings, including the ones in so many packaged foods.
  • Butter.
  • Margarine.
  • Any form of bread or cereal with less than 3 grams of fiber per 50 gram serving.
  • Ice cream.
  • Bacon.
  • Donuts.
  • Cookies.
  • Crackers.
  • Pastries.
  • Frozen breakfast crap.
  • Candy.
  • Pre-packaged commercial lunch meat.
  • Poultry skin or dark meat.
  • Corn dogs, Twinkies, and almost all similar man-made products.
  • Hamburgers.
  • Almost all fast food.
  • Shakes.
  • Fries.
  • Deep fried or breaded anything.
  • Anything Alfredo.
  • Alcohol beyond a shot or two per day.
  • Whole milk (1% tastes great after a week on the milk wagon).
  • Cream.
  • Long-term, low-carb diets*.
  • Canned soups, stews, chili, ravioli, etc. with double-digit fats per can (not just per serving).
  • Solid shortenings.
  • Chowder.
  • Crap helper (hamburger helper, etc.).
  • Store-bought granolas, trail mix, etc.
  • Most power/energy/health bars.
  • Fried (tempura) oriental foods.
  • Almost any “food”, especially the countertop crap, at a gas station.
  • Pizza.
  • Most packaged meals, especially upscale TV dinners.

* The Atkins conglomerate recently admitted their followers eat too much saturated fat. Their updated diet is a little bit safer, but still not even close to the far superior South Beach diet. It would not be surprising if The Atkin$ Machine i$$ue$ another book just for this slight improvement.

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