- any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. Ex: Raspberries
- resembling food. Ex: Egg Beaters
- any edible substance historically unrecognized as food. Ex: Protein Bar
What percentage of your diet is actually food? Even though something is edible can we really consider it food? The better question might be how “healthy” are those foods? Which begs another inquiry into what is the definition of “healthy” in 2017. I guess it depends on who you ask it seems that “healthy” has become subjective. Like when aliens crashed at Roswell and when Elvis ate knoephla at Krolls fifty years after his death “healthy” has become another phenomenon where people take sides rather than consider the evidence and think critically.
Do you consider 100 calorie snack packs of cookies and low fat pretzels healthy? What about weight loss shakes, snack food-like bars, powdered liquefied meal replacements, protein isolate, extracts of this and that, or foodish products like egg beaters that market they are 100% egg whites but actually have 31 ingredients?
So what is healthy?
I have spent a lifetime sifting through a sea of information and misinformation on this issue and I have made it my mission to unravel the mess and search for what is the truth and what is totally bogus. I have come to many conclusions. Some startling that rebuke many mainstream philosophies on weight loss and “healthy” or “clean” eating. I would like to think my conclusions are rooted in the evidence; I’ll share them with you if you like. I also know, for whatever I say is healthy; there will certainly be a good argument against it as well. So I’ve given up and have decided to just EAT FOOD. Mostly plants. I drink wine and eat plants and I’m healthy. I think.
But not all food is healthy even if it’s actually real food. This is a much more complicated discussion where gloves might come off and spaghetti could be thrown. But I like spaghetti, sometimes, without meatballs, I prefer it made with lentils but if you could throw minestrone soup and salad from the Olive Garden at me instead, I would prefer that.
Now, if you see me at a local protein shake establishment or catch me wolfing down sweet potato fries and hefeweizen don’t throw tomatoes. I eat out of convenience when I have to just like you, and like to keep my food lifestyle real life-like. Nothing will ever be better than eating real food, mostly plants. That is what is going to give you the lowest possible risk of disease and keep you at a healthy weight forever. I think we all can agree on this one thing. Food is healthier than foodish or foodlike products.
So when you ask someone or yourself “Are those healthy?” begin by defining which category they fall into. Food or Foodish. If the answer is foodish, instead of powdered protein or a mysterious scoop of food-like something or other, consider going to a place that uses fresh blended fruit, spinach, flakes of coconut and a splash of fresh carrot juice. Now that sounds divine!
C.J. English is a Fargo native and the author of the Amazon Kindle Best Selling Weight Loss book, WTF am I Supposed to eat? She can be found at Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic where she offers private coaching for weight loss and wellness. She devotes the rest of her time to writing. C.J’s breakout memoir AFFAIRYTALE, debuted at #1 on Amazon Kindle in Diaries and Journals in 2015.