January 9, 2013

How does your food make you feel?

Probably the biggest bit of nutrition-related news in the last week or two has been the news that being overweight (but not obese) was associated with a lower risk of death from all causes than being "normal" weight. It made me ponder the fact that many people strive to eat healthfully only when they're trying to lower the number on the scale or fit into their skinny jeans.

But if it's OK to be overweight, does that mean the need for good nutrition and physical activity go out the window. No, it doesn't. Nutritious food and regular (but not excessive) exercise keep us healthy in too many ways to count, even when you remove weight from the equation.

What if, instead of making food choices based on the answer to the question, "Will this food make me thin or fat?" we choose foods that:
  • Make us feel satisfied, but not stuffed.
  • Don't make us feel bloated or give us heartburn.
  • Give us steady energy, instead of a sugar rush followed by a crash.
  • Include a variety of appealing textures, colors and flavors.
  • Give us pleasure, but do not serve as our only source of pleasure.
  • Make us feel productive, not sleepy.
Yeah, about that last one...