Monday, September 12, 2011

Principles of Lunch: Reduced Fat Foods are a Waste of Time

I have already discussed why I can't stand packing sandwiches in my lunch.  My rationale was mostly a matter of taste; sandwiches suffer from refrigerator storage more than most other lunch-appropriate foods.  Now I have to confess my other dark secret: I also despise "low fat" and "low sugar" foods, including yogurt cups.  Blasphemy!  Yogurt cups, that other lunchtime staple, accused of treason!

I'm not saying I don't like how yogurt tastes.  Yogurt is delicious, and even most low-fat and low-sugar yogurts taste pretty good.  I just think they're treacherous.  They're not filling.  Worse, they taste like something that is filling, which makes it even more disappointing not to be full after eating them.  Then you eat more of them, or of something else, and the whole intent of having your snack is thwarted.

I am also suspicious that tricking your body like this isn't healthy in the long run.  It probably trains you to eat fewer fruits and vegetables, for one.  Expecting calories when there are none to be had probably just makes your body hungrier, too.  Why not just have a little bit of the real thing, and actually be satisfied? 

So I scour the supermarket for full-fat yogurt cups and "whole milk" plain yogurt.  (Trader Joe's has some tasty greek yogurt cups, FYI.)  I drink whole milk too, and I cook with butter.  I don't drink soda often, but when I do it's the sugary kind.  When I eat dessert, I choose the richest and most satisfying one (I've got a soft spot for custards).  I look at it as the culinary equivalent of "quality over quantity."

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