It seems the US government, since they obviously have nothing better to do like nudge health care toward affordability or invade Denmark, has yet again told us what to eat and how much to weigh. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like these guidelines change bi-weekly. I often imagine I hear someone snickering behind the Kroger dairy case as I grab for that essential milk that was bad for me back in June.
"Hahahaha!! They're going for it!!! They're doing what we say!!!" the FDA dweebs say as they slap their bony little knees.
Of course, some things are in everyone's regimen. I mean even Star Jones endorses the need for minimal exercise, though four plodding laps through Steak Country Buffet might not be the ticket. And the administration's rigorous "Go Dick Cheney Yourself Workout" requires most people to stretch and bend in ways they really shouldn't. But the point is that we all need to get off the couch. That's a given.
There is dissension, though, over so much. Is red meat good or bad? Can you eat too many bran muffins before mass? Are those eggs filled with good cholesterol, bad cholesterol or cholesterol that initially comes off as mostly good but turns out to be borderline psychotic once your really start dating each other?
Yet nothing comes close to being as dietetically controversial as carbs. On the one hand, millions of folks degrade carbs like they were Hillary Clinton's North Korean housekeeper guest hosting the Rush Limbaugh show. Restaurants bend over backwards to accommodate these folks who are ...well too chunky to bend over backwards.
Then there are you running types - acting like you're part of some South
American carb boosting gang. If they had carb malls, they'd be filled with
runners stuffing the things down the front of their pants while they thought
nobody was looking. You're obsessed.
Is it possible for both sides to be right? Jeez, I hope not, or it would defeat the whole purpose of this column.
Let's think about it. Runners load up on carbs so they can burn them off
while running. Deep breath. Stay with me. If you simply stopped running,
you wouldn't need all the carbs.
Your logic is something like: "I really need to fill up with gas so I can drive to the gas station across town."
That's why my sympathies lie firmly in the high fat camp. It's instinctual if you really think about it. Millions of pre-school kids eat only the lunchmeat out of their sandwich, but did you ever see a single one scarf down the stale Wonder Bread and throw away the ham? Of course, not. Humankind craves meat!
So with that settled, we've decided to go with the low-carb version of the pyramid, but our choices don't end there. You've got to figure out which diet? Atkins? South Beach? Zone? This unstarchy bandwagon is getting pretty darn crowded.
And like most other things American, it seems to be driven by that same vice that brought you Enron, Martha Stewart, $3.25 gas, and seven dollar ballpark beers. In other words - greed.
With so many people trying to make a buck off us losing a few lbs, can
it be long before we're inundated by celebrities piling onto the low-carb
craze a la Richard Simmons and Deal-a Meal? It's happened before, even Monica
Lewinsky got TV diet time, though I secretly suspect she might have been
working off her pizza in alternative ways.
Here are a few things my shady, unreliable sources tell me to watch out for:
Home cooking it ain't. Neither my mom nor June Cleaver would ever countenance anything other than a good old American food pyramid. And though they might let the government into their neighbor's bedroom, they sure as heck wouldn't let them near the refrigerator between meals.
So I say to you: Stop the madness! Eat what you want, and enjoy your food. Have that steak, savor that bacon cheeseburger, and slurp down that last bite of lasagna. And toss in a small dinner salad once a month. What the heck.