OK, what do I mean by convenience-first foods? Well, these are all those foods that are made with convenience as the first priority. An obvious example is fast food.
Wow, this is getting tough… First I attack the great taste of empty calorie carbs and fats and now I attack convenience. But there are good reasons behind today’s post as well. Let’s take a look.
What’s so bad about convenience-first foods?
Foods that are made for convenience first generally prioritize taste second, budget third, and health dead last. This is a serious problem.
Like the empty calorie carbs and fats we discussed over the past two days, this prioritization creates a badly lopsided calorie/nutrient ratio. As a result, your body gets plenty of fuel, but no maintenance – perfect for contracting serious lifestyle diseases like heart attacks, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
But we’ve covered this problem in detail on Monday. The other big reason to avoid convenience-first food is that it makes overeating far too easy. A totally lopsided calorie/nutrient ratio is bad enough, but when this is combined with a calorie overload, it gets really scary.
Any food that does not place health first should have some friction built into the process of eating it. Because of our primitive cravings, this friction is critical for staying at a healthy weight. Convenience-first foods remove all this friction, driving the global obesity epidemic.
Lastly, the processing required to make convenience foods so convenient often destroys much of the remaining nutrients and/or introduces some potentially dangerous additives. Rapid cooking (frying and deep frying), typical of fast foods, also tends to destroy nutrients and add trans fats and other toxins.
Some examples of convenience-first foods
Anything that places convenience before health falls in this category. Here are some examples:
- Almost all fast food
- Many ready meals
- Frozen pizza
- Sandwich spreads
- Processed meats
- Anything fried in vegetable oil (olive oil is OK)
Yes, convenience is important in today’s world where everyone is so super-busy. But it just takes a little bit of thinking to make healthy eating super convenient. We’ll get to this next week…