Diet and Nutrition 101: Part 3 What isn’t food?

Food and Processing

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In this 3rd post in the series ‘diet and nutrition 101’ You can find out what food is, what food isn’t and how to make good decisions about food. Making a diet that works for you is the goal. Read here and find out more now.

How much do we need to know about our food?

woman making a decision about food

In the last two posts we looked at separating ‘food’ from ‘food like products‘, and providing a food scale to make more sense of how we know how foods might affect us. In this post we’ll take the defining of ‘food like products’ that little bit further.

Well, by definition, it’s anything that passes below the 0 level on the food scale.

As I’ve been working this program out, I’ve been testing out the components on a friend who’d asked me to help him out with his diet (he wants to lose a little fat around the middle).
We were talking through the last section on ‘what is food?’ and one thing became apparent;
Knowing what food is, as opposed to a ‘food like product’ takes some degree of knowledge about the food processing, err, process!

Secondly, how do we know what the effects are from preparing food at home?

These are big questions that need answering, as getting the right answers will go a long way toward knowing how to create a diet that works. They are answers that we can only have when we have knowledge. And knowledge takes time to acquire. I’ll come back to this.

Take the bread issue again as an example.
Essentially there are four things you can do with bread making that take the food higher up the food scale.
First, you can go from regular to organic flour.
Second, you can go from white to ‘wholemeal’ (although commercial wholemeal is not quite ‘whole’, if you remember from the previous section on ‘what is food’ and the preparation of commercial flour).
Third you can grind your own flour (I believe this is the most effective step you can take to take bread from ‘food like product’ to ‘food’).
And lastly, fourth, you can partially pre-digest the bread (making it more bio-available, easier for you to digest and absorb nutrients from, although this is actually debatable!) by adding a fermented or cultured ingredient (like Buttermilk, Creme Fraiche or Yoghurt) to the flour during mixing, and leaving it for over 6 hours to give the culture time to digest or activate the flour.

Now, how many amongst you knew about the last two steps above?

Not many, I’d wager. And that’s fine, to a degree. But what degree?

I think this comes back to the point raised above, ‘how much do we need to know about our food’?

And this is also where you have a choice; stick with what you know (the amount of knowledge you have), and marry it with a good decision making process (which we’ll come to). Or, choose to learn as much as you can about your food, AND marry it with a good decision making process.

What’s the commonality?

Have a good decision making process!

You see, you can carry on with the amount you know about food, but unless you have a good strategy for deciding what to eat, you will always be groping in the dark, guessing,  when it comes to creating a diet that works. What we need to do (and what those who are ‘naturally thin’ have found out ‘naturally’) is that is have a backup system that allows us to know what works for us.

That’s what we’re going to look at in the  next post.

Happy Eating.

George