Society has a very skewed perspective on the importance of nutrition. People fear the most ridiculous things, and eat in ways that are completely unhealthy. It is actually shocking sometimes how food illiterate they are. As someone who tries to maintain a bodybuilding diet, high in protein, it is incredible to see the things that the majority of society values. It is also incredible to see what society fears the most, which is usually salt. If we were to look at the diet of the average person, it would probably be completely unbalanced due to a few very simple things that could be easily resolved. Things like, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. This is why Oreo’s are addictive. So why do we freak out about a tablespoon of salt? Are you watching your water retention? Does the majority of society know what water retention is? They are the same people who question why I drink 5L of water a day, after all.
Today I was checking out the healthy menu at Red Lobster, which is a restaurant that actually offers items I am able to consume (shocking in itself). I was blown away by what they chose to list in their nutrition information, even though I really shouldn’t have been at all. Of course, they start with calories, because the average person actually knows what a calorie really is right? WRONG. They have no idea what a calorie is. They don’t know the basics: 1 gram of Carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of Protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of Fat = 9 calories. But they watch this overall number as if eating 1000 calories of McDonald’s is the same as 1000 calories of broccoli. It is not. Moreover, these same people have no idea that they are drinking 600 calories at Starbucks in their precious lattes. Go figure. Anyway, next Red Lobster points out fat WHICH IS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE FISH HAS GOOD FATS THAT ARE HEALTHY! But people fear fat. Saturated fat, fine. Followed by Sodium, another not so terrifying number, and finally carbs. My question is, WHERE IS THE PROTEIN????
I base my entire diet off of the amount of protein I consume in a day. It is safe to pick a certain amount of protein, and shape the rest of your diet around that. So, if you weigh 125 lbs, and need to consume 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight, you need to consume 187 g of protein per day, or 750 calories of protein. If you are consuming 1800 calories a day as an active person, that leaves 1050 calories to be split between the rest. I could care less about carbs and fat content if I don’t know about the protein first. Sadly, this is a common misconception. People load their diets with carbs, or run away from them, without knowing why. They cut carbs and fat out of their diets without finding an adequate protein source to replace them with.
It is actually scary. It is scary how many girls I have spoken to who think that 70 g of protein is enough to consume in one day. I consume that before 12 p.m. every day. Hearing things like that leaves me jaw dropped, wondering where on earth they are getting the rest of their daily calories. That’s only 280 calories per day from protein! Mind…blown. These are the same girls who fill their diets with alcohol, which by the way, contains 7 empty calories per gram. These are also the same girls who eat white carbs, that turn straight to sugar, and wonder why they are hungry an hour later. This may work in College, but it can’t be maintained long term.
In reality, we can’t blame the restaurants. We have to blame the population, because they are the ones who are projecting the information they care to know about their food. They hear that something is bad and they automatically believe it without question. Do we need to be reminded of the house hippo who taught us not to believe everything we see on TV? It amazes me that people do not understand the purpose of the nutrients they consume, which is to fuel your body, and for athletes, to repair your muscle fibers. Your body really is not a garbage bin. We all go through phases where we eat awful foods, or binge, but living completely in the dark is just naive in this day and age where information on nutrition is readily available. Why read labels if you can’t understand what they are telling you?
Long story short, I would really like to see society start to recognize the importance of protein in our diets, because ignoring this group is more unhealthy than eating salt here and there. Thanks for listening to my rant of the day!
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