Skinny Daily Post


Recent science has suggested that “higher” protein levels are related to increased muscle mass and improved weight control, especially among middle aged women. This makes sense to me, and fits right in with my usual eating plan – chicken, fish, protein supplements, beef, cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc.

But it seems as if the marketing people have taken this concept and run with it. High protein versions of meal substitutes – shakes and bars – are appearing in commercials.

Why have we – as a society – allowed marketers to define ‘food’ for us? As the food industry evolved from providing frozen and canned food to the farthest reaches, they added convenience foods to their lines, introducing a manufacturing process. They’re a big help to all of us.

But now there are so many manufactured foods on the market that we’re getting confused over real and fake foods. How many of us have talked with fellow dieters and heard that they’re buying all sorts of manufactured foods so they can ‘do the diet’?

No wonder the diet industry is reaping such enormous profits.

Bottom line: unprocessed, whole foods are the best way to go, no matter what program you’re using. Organic is something to consider as well. Convenience foods are just that, convenient. Not evil, but the processing often strips the food of nutrients, taste, and that ‘stick to your ribs’ quality that’s found in real food.

Sorry for this bit of a rant. It distresses me to think that people who want to incorporate more protein into their diets will buy into these protein supplements as THE source.

7 thoughts on “Food Spinning

  1. Sandra says:

    Jane, right on with your comments! People are getting brain-washed and marketed to death into thinking all of the processed foods are good for them. Whole foods not only make sense nutritionally, but are the most cost effective way of getting the most out of your food dollar. People are losing their food skills in knowing what to do with a whole squash or brocolli or some other great fresh food…. we need to trust ourselves and nature. Buy locally grown food.. buy organic when possible, support our farmers!

  2. Kery says:

    I find this pretty ridiculous, too. There are all these raw versiosn of proteins and other nutrients around in, well, “natural” food, and people will go buy the supplements/bars—that are often MORE expensive, comparatively, to the meat and fish themselves!

    The human mind works in very weird ways sometimes…

  3. jonquil says:

    Jane, what do they mean by “higher” protein levels? Higher than RDA, even?

    And ditto on the organic aspect– my PCOS is almost “in remission” since I starting eating that way. I live in the Oregon countryside so it’s pretty cheap here, especially since I cut way back on animal protein.

  4. jane says:

    The most recent study, in the August 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, reported that the high-protein group ate 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of weight per day, and the normal protein group ate 0.8 gram per kilogram per day. Twice as much. So if the RDA is 30 grams per day, subjects were eating 60 grams per day.

    At roughly 7 grams of protein per ounce of meat/fish/chicken, that ends up at about 8-9 ounces of meat/fish/chicken.

  5. Jane W says:

    People also have a strange idea of what is and isn’t “convenient”. One of my favourite protein rich small meals is a tub of non fat cottage cheese with pineapple. 210 calories, 50% protein 40% carbs, and not very highly processed- I buy it at the corner store, keep it in the office refrigerator and all have I do is pop the lid and eat at my desk. It’s also pretty easy to open a ring pull 3oz can of tuna and peel a banana…

  6. Debbi says:

    Interesting … when I was a young bride, my mother-in-law told me whenever she needed to lose a few pounds, she ate meat and salad. I joined Weight Watchers soon after its inception, and the protein requirements were *very* generous, especially compared to today’s Food Pyramid. Lunch was 4 oz. of meat, fish or chicken; dinner was 6 oz. I lost weight easily. Certainly more easily than I have in the last five years. I keep blaming my lack of success on metabolism and the aging process, as I’m doing all the “right” things. I’m going to look into this protein issue, and keep experimenting.

  7. Shelly says:

    I totally agree with this. I did weight watchers a few years ago, and lost a lot of weight. I remember people on the boards asking me questions, and getting shocked when I said I use real butter to cook with. They all went into the “save the butter for good days” or something, and they insisted I use fake butter to cook with, as it’s “healthier”.

    Now, I know there are issues with butter – cholesterol and high fat content and all that – but there are issues with fake butter as well. And honestly, I’m a firm believer in “staying as real as you can” mixed with “everything in moderation”. The idea that margarine is “helathier” than real butter amazes me – I totally don’t believe it. How can *anything* that’s processed as much as cheese spread and margarine is be healthier than the real thing?

    Besides, “real” food tasted a kajillion times better than “fake” food. It still amazes me to think about it to this day – all of those people flipping out because I cooked with real butter, and didn’t buy fat-free cheese or use Splenda in my coffee.

    I don’t know – maybe this mentality came form the fact that, by profession, I’m a classically-trained french chef. “Real” ingredients are better, period. Perhaps if I didn’t like cooking so much, I could see the fascination in “convenience foods”. But I love to cook…and I actually have the time to do it. So maybe that’s a big factor in this. But it still doesn’t change the fact that “convenient to cook” isn’t very convenient for your health.

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