Whole Versus Processed

I came across a great article in the Nutrition Action Health Letter this week, one of the reliable publications to which I subscribe. It’s an article about recent studies into the affects eating whole verus processed food has on our weight maintenance and weight gain. They took various ways of eating (don’t want to call them diets), from high complex carb not much protein, to tons of meat and fat products, all more or less unadulterated (unprocessed), and held it up against a diet that included mostly processed foods.

The results were interesting and perhaps not surprising, but people who ate processed food experienced a certain amount of weight gain, while others who ate whole foods, regardless of what whole food, as long as unprocessed, did not experience the weight gain or not as significantly as the processed group.

This all leads to my point and Movable Beast philosophy that the rules of weight loss are not complicated. It’s already done for you. Nature did it by growing stuff! Really tasty stuff that is packed with nutrition.

Me eating linguine made from 100% durum semolina!

Look. When we walk into a grocery store and stand in the checkout line waiting to pay, we are pretty much assaulted by “bars” you know, those things claiming to be healthy, with a picture of a guy scaling a cliff, or if not healthy then damn satisfying at that moment as the fat, salt, and sugar combination cleverly created by guys in white coats in a lab, years ago, when as a screaming brat at that very same checkout, you first tasted the forbidden fructose, screeches out to us, bite me bite me, once again.

They did not give a shitey shit about your health, your longevity, your chronic whatever and the chance you might get cancer or be afflicted with severe obesity in the coming years. They were interested in profits and if they had to shove poison down your throat to make money, they’d damn well do it.

Anyway to cut to the chase, there is another bar, it’s called a banana, you bought a bunch and you’ll take them home, they’ll over ripen and you throw them away or put them in the freezer to make banana bread (with sugar and white processed flour).

To cut closer to the chase, buy one of nature’s whole food bars, even individually, they come in various shapes some are called bananas, like “one banana,” or buy an orange, or an apple, like one of them that you are going to eat after you check out of the grocery line, and not stuff an energy bar down your cake hole. Or maybe even at the gas station; they often have a basket of fruit sitting somewhere for some “health conscious nut”.

I’m sure the price of one of these pieces of so called “fruit” can’t be close to what you’ll pay for a bar touting protein and some flavour unknown to man, that tastes like regurgitated dehydrated diaper.

When you get home with your groceries, take a look in your fridge. Be honest. Could you survive on a whole food way of eating? No processed salad dressing? 100% whole grain bread products? A snack of fruit? Nut butter without added icing sugar? (now that’s what I call malicious. Can you imagien being a peanut and winding up in a jar where you are underappeciated because icing sugar is grabbing all of the attention?) The money you save on another dietary program, you can spend on good food. How’s that for a trade off?

Published by: Andrew Binks

I am a writer living in rural Ontario, 2 hours east of Toronto. I was born and raised in Ottawa but spent the last 15 years in BC. Glad to be back. My first novel, The Summer Between, was published in 2009 by Nightwood Editions. My website is www.andrewbinks.ca My fiction and non-fiction have been published in Joyland, Galleon, Fugue, Prism International, Harrington Gay Men's Literary Quarterly (U.S.), Bent-magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Xtra, among others. I am a past honorable mention of the Writer's Union of Canada's short prose contest, Glimmertrain’s Family Matters contest, finalist in the Queen's University Alumni Review poetry contest, and This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt.” My poetry has also appeared in Quill's “Lust” issue and Velvet Avalanche Anthology. Harvard Square Editions will be publishing a chapter from one of my novels in their upcoming anthology "A Voice from the Planet," this fall. My satirical play, Reconciliation, about Native land claims, Japanese internment, and political corruption, was read this spring in Toronto as part of the Foundry play-reading series. My play Pink Blood received a public reading, from Screaming Weenie Productions in Vancouver this June. I spoke at the AWP conference in New York City in 2008 on the merits and challenges of multi-genre writing programs.


2 thoughts on “Whole Versus Processed”

  1. Ha Ha humorously and cleverly written!

    I remember running into a friend at the grocery shop, a lovely woman who always struggled with her weight. She looked into my cart and said “Oh.”…”I guess that’s why you are how you are and I am how I am”. (My cart was full of ingredients: fresh vegetables, porridge oats, fresh meat- in the pre-vegan days etc) and you can guess what was in hers (besides her sweet little toddler).

    Another friend who struggles with her weight stayed over after singing at a late-night gig. The next day she complained “You had NOTHING to eat in your cupboards!” (sorry, no bags of Cheetos or boxes of cookies for a midnight binge.)

    If I did as much weight-lifting as you do I’m sure I wouldn’t watch my weight either (ah well, I do have some sneaky all-butter ginger cookies hidden behind the Ryvita)

    Lots of love, xoxox G


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