Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

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Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by KMR on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:13 pm

All my life, I've had a complicated relationship with food, but it may not be the one you think. From childhood and well into adulthood, I have been a picky eater. Part of it is probably genetic: I seem to be a supertaster with a strong sensitivity to and aversion to certain flavors, such as bitterness and spiciness. I've also historically been reluctant to try new things (my logic being that if 99% of the new foods I try, I dislike, why put myself through it?). The latter is something I've started to overcome in the past year or so, but the former, combined with decades of well-established eating habits, means that my list of "foods I actually like" is still relatively limited.

As a result, the foods that I do like and eat tend to be pretty unhealthy: rich and fatty foods, fried foods, sweet and sugary foods. Nutritionally-healthy foods, such as vegetables, are much more difficult for me to enjoy. I worry about the impact this kind of diet may have on my long-term health. On the other hand, despite this kind of diet, my calorie intake is actually low and I have always been underweight. I eat small portions (usually because I feel like I physically can't eat larger amounts of food) and almost never want a snack between meals. So if I change my diet, I have to be careful not to do so in a way that would make me lose weight, because that would be very unhealthy for me as well. I want to, at a minimum, maintain my current weight; at best, I'd like to actually gain a few pounds.

The problem is, it seems that most of the foods that are considered "healthy" are also low-calorie (or are only called "healthy" because they're low calorie), because society seems to inextricably link the idea of being "healthy" with being thin and losing weight. So if I cut out the unhealthy fatty foods for more nutritious lower-calorie foods, doesn't that just mean I have to eat larger portions to get the calories I need just to maintain my weight? But I physically struggle to eat large-enough portions as it is, so how would that even work? I find it equally difficult to eat more frequently than the standard three meals a day, because I get full from a meal or snack very quickly and don't feel like eating again for a while. Finding healthy food options within my limited choice of "foods I actually like" is also tricky. I'm more willing to try new foods these days and to keep trying them in the hopes that they will grow on me, which some do, but there are still many foods I have strong aversions to that I don't believe I will ever be able to like.

There are two things I'm interested in with this thread:

[adv]: If anyone has any advice specific to my situation, I'd be happy to hear your input. What might be some foods that are nutritionally healthy but still calorie-dense enough that I won't lose weight if I substitute them in? How does one go about changing their diet with the added challenge of picky eating thrown in the mix? Are there any good resources out there for eating healthy that aren't so linked to the idea of weight loss?

[disc]: Also feel free to use this thread if you want to discuss the ways that society links the idea of healthy eating and thinness/weight loss, what the implications of that are, and how this can be problematic.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by reboot on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:27 pm

You can prepare some foods to keep the calories up but keep them healthier. For example, adding nuts to vegetables (if you like and can eat nuts) will give you a dose of omega-3 fatty acids which is great for heart health and they are calorie dense. Avocado is another thing you can add to get "good fat" and keep calories up. For fried foods, swap in olive oil when possible since it is healthier but still provides the calories. Sautéing/wok frying vegetables rather than eating them raw or steamed will also give you the nutrition without subtracting calories.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by UristMcBunny on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:54 pm

This might sound like odd advice, but have you considered looking into HAES resources for healthy eating? HAES is an approach to health that focuses on healthy behaviours and completely ignores weight - so it's about good nutrition, increasing diversity in your diet, finding sustainable ways to move your body and stuff like that. It's popular with folks like myself, but is also used sometimes by people who have history with eating disorders and other issues.

Maybe you could set yourself a personal challenge each week - pick a couple of different vegetables you normally don't like, and try to find ways to add them to your usual meals. That way, you're also not buying a sack of fresh veg and watching 2/3rds of it go off before it gets used, because you'll just buy, say, a couple heads of broccoli or a bag of sweet peppers, and use them every day.

Other than that, I'd suggest finding ways to help make veggies and similar more palatable to you. It is sometimes possible to retrain your palate by gently exposing yourself to something repeatedly over time, but in the meantime, try adding more veggies to dishes you already enjoy. Especially dishes that are spiced, come in a rich sauce or are smothered with cheese.

Make a hearty vegetable curry with diced squash, carrots, courgette and other vegetables and pack it with cashews or almonds or fish or chicken. Stuff sweet red peppers with a mixture of rice, beans and cheese and some tempting spices. Make chilli, burritos and fajitas with more vegetables in, or with beans instead of meat. Pour a cheese sauce over a deep pan of broccoli and cauliflower, and bake it until bubbling on top. Finely shred all kinds of raw vegetables and stir into a creamy sauce to make a variety of slaws - there's loads of slaw recipes out there, and they can be surprisingly nutrition-dense for what is essentially a pile of raw veg. When making mashed potato, add mashed carrot and/or mashed peas to the mix. Have a hearty lunch by dry-frying a smoked mackerel fillet, serving it with seedy bread on a bed of buttered, wilted spinach and topped with a runny egg.

And remember a salad doesn't have to be a sad, sorry plate of wilting lettuce. Salads can be hearty, rich and satisfying meals. You can make a warm pear, walnut and blue cheese salad with shredded green leafy things mixed in with the tasty stuff. Or roast a variety of sweet red, orange and yellow peppers and serve them with goats cheese and almonds on crusty bread. Or hollow out cucumber wedges and fill them with hummus, or cream cheese, and top with crumbled bacon. Or toss a bowl of chickpeas and mixed salad beans in olive oil with mint and generous chunks of feta, scooped up with a wedge of fluffy fresh bread.

Also, check out the vegetable recipes here: http://smittenkitchen.com/recipes/

(I may be slightly addicted to the smitten kitchen blog).

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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:16 pm

Something I learned from my Paleo days: screw calories. Don't focus on "low calories," because the idea that low calories = healthy is a lie. Focusing on how much nutritional "punch" a food has will serve you far better health-wise in the long run than focusing on the calories, especially if you're not looking to actually lose weight.

I'll lay out an example that I found when doing my Paleo stint. I grew up drinking skim milk. My mother choose it because it had lower calories than 2%/whole milk, and thus was "healthier." While researching Paleo, I started looking for ways to get carbs in my food that weren't grain-based. It turns out, whole milk is a fantastic source of carbs and lots of good nutrients (had some protein too for extra points!) It also had a creamier, more satisfying taste than skim milk. Drinking skim, I'd need to have an entire glass to feel fuller. With whole milk, half a glass felt substantial. (Favorite snack: whole milk plus blueberries and almonds. YUM.)

So while skim milk had less calories, it also had less nutrients, which meant the calories it did have ended up feeling emptier.

Similarly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fried food, if you're focusing on nutrients versus calories. One of my favorite Paleo recipes was fried chicken that substituted nut breading for the grains, and used olive or coconut oil instead of vegetable based oil. It was heavier in calories, but also filled me up and gave me lots of fantastic energy and nutrients.

I'm not a Paleo convert exactly, but I do think there is tremendous value in:
-Stepping away from counting calories to focus on what good, healthy nutrients a food has
-Reading the labels on foods (not just the calorie count) and tracking protein, carbs, sodium, and fat intake as opposed to just "it has X calories"
-Focusing on food made from "pure" ingredients as opposed to processed food.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by UristMcBunny on Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:21 pm

Also yes, RBS' comment on frying is very true. Adding fat to a meal does not cancel out the nutritional value. In some cases, you even need a little bit of fat in order to effectively absorb the nutrients from a food. So if you're not trying to restrict calories, frying things or adding butter or cheese or cream to them is a totally valid way to make them palatable to you.

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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by Caffeinated on Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:01 pm

I have strong feelings on the way our society connects ideas about health and food and morality. The main feeling is that the entire narrative is a load of crap.

I lived in LA for nearly a decade. LA is one of the epicenters of the food-morality-weirdness thing. Every single day that I was around other people there, I would hear at least one person talk about the food they were eating in terms of "goodness" "badness" "guilt" etc. It drove me nuts. I may have abandoned my Christian upbringing, but certain ideas have stuck with me, among them the teaching in Matthew 15:11, "What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them."

A second thought I have about food and health is that there is new research every few months that completely contradicts the old research. Coffee was good, then bad, then good again. Eggs were good, then bad, then good again. Milk was good, then bad, then good, then bad, then ??? It's impossible to keep up with the news just as reported in the press, and what's reported in the press is frequently very badly reported and misrepresents what the research actually says.

A third thought is that rich and fatty foods are absolutely not proven to be unhealthy. Lots of sugary sweets may have a bit better evidence against them, but even that's not a slam-dunk case. Nor is the case against fried food. Who knows, KMR, in another year they might announce that new research says everything you said you like is actually the new health food.

I eat by two rules of thumb. Rule one, if I like eating it, it's good for me, at least in moderation. Rule two, be grateful for the abundance of food available to me every day and remember that this is an anomaly in the history of the world.

I do have a suggestion, though, on the idea of introducing new foods to your repertoire as a picky eater (I too am a picky eater). If your budget allows, consider going to a nice restaurant every now and again and try some food you don't know if you like, counting on the chef's skill in preparing it and pairing it with other flavors to make it taste its best. If you like the food you taste that way, make some notes on what it was and what the other ingredients were and try to find recipes online to recreate that taste at home.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by Enail on Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:27 pm

Maybe if you give examples of specific foods you like or qualities you tend to enjoy in foods, we could try and think of some nutrient-rich foods that have similar qualities as likely ones to try?
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by trooper6 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:10 pm

I'm a supertaster, so I feel you.

And yeah, there are a bunch of vegetables that ping negative on my tastebuds...mostly those green leafies, but some others as well.

Yet I can still eat some vegetables. They tend to be quite specific: Lots of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, and a sort of generic salad with iceberg lettuce. Anyhow, you can certainly have a healthy diet as a super taster. I do understand not eating often enough...that happens to me too...especially on work days.

I went to a nutritionist. She gave me lots of tips. One is eat smaller meals, every 2-3 hours. And to work it out? Cook ahead of of time, put things in tupperware and carry things with me in lunch boxes. Maybe you can look into having a session with a nutritionist? I found mine through my bodybuilding gym.

Try out new foods. If you don't like it, you move on.

Anyway, you need to work out a nutrition plan. A nutritionist could help, but there are other ways to do it. I have done a few of the Beachbody workout routines and they often have good nutrition info. You could check out P90X3 and do their nutrition program that emphasizes adding weight rather than losing weight. the app MyFitnessPal can also track your calories and macros...so for example you see if your getting too much sodium and not enough healthy fats, or whatever. This post on the MyFitnessPal forums discusses BMR and TDEE which is good to look into:
http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/931670

You can look at Michi's Ladder and endeavor to eat more things on higher tiers than on lower tiers.
http://www.teambeachbody.com/en_US/eat-smart/michis-ladder

Now, I'll be upfront. When I cook my own food, it tends to get really repetitive...but I'm okay with that as well because I'm getting my macros.

Look into it...you can do it.

So maybe for breakfast I have:
Greek Yogurt, Blueberries, and some almonds.

Then my first snack? An apple and a hardboiled egg.

Lunch? A Sandwich or a salad. The sandwich? Turkey with sprouts, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Dinner is probably something like rice, peas, and chicken. Or Broccoli, Beans, and some sort of protein.

My stuff might be boring for others, but it works for me and it is healthy and I mostly get all my calories in.

Anyway, you want to get your calories, but also your protein/carb/fat ratios as well. This is doable. You just need to do a bit of re


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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:43 pm

Much will depend on your tastes and what you're picky about. Budget, need for convenience, etc. is also an important consideration.

For example, I like pizza, and eating an entire pizza spread out over "early dinner" and "late dinner" is an easy way for me to get 800+ calories, depending on the pizza. But if I order it from Pizza Hut it will end up costing around $20; if instead I get a frozen pizza that has some of the things I like on it, it's $5 for the pizza, plus a fraction of a jar of jalapenos that ends up being about $0.50 per pizza, plus other things if I feel like adding other toppings—but it still isn't anywhere near $10, let alone $20. It still ends up being too expensive to have as a staple dinner, but this does bring the cost down enough to make it a more-than-occasional treat, and I don't have to do all the work of rolling my own dough, shredding cheese (or making cheese, which I have tried out of curiosity but am insufficiently hardcore to keep doing), and so forth.

I find that things with cooked chicken in them tend to be pretty costly, but a few pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breast is not that bad depending on where I get it from. If I buy some raw chicken breast, then slice it up and grill it all at once in a sort of generic lime/sugar/water/garlic/shoyu sauce of my own design, I get several Tupperware containers full of flavored cooked chicken ready to be taken out of the refrigerator at any time and thrown into a sandwich, pasta, pizza, salad, or casserole. (One of the things that made me think of this is that I am currently getting started on a spinach&artichoke frozen pizza that I added jalapenos and green olives and grilled chicken to before baking. I will still be grazing on this an hour from now, and I will still be enjoying it.)

Not sure if this will help you or not because it is highly dependent on actually wanting to eat the kinds of meals that can be turned into an assembly-line process.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by KMR on Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:17 pm

Thanks, everyone, for all the replies and suggestions so far. I've made some great strides in the past year or so with improving my picky eating habits, though I still have a long way to go and I know it's going to be a life-long and gradual process. I'm not very knowledgeable about food and cooking because, as a picky eater, I've not had a big interest in food and it was sometimes more a source of frustration than anything. This is giving me a lot to think about and helps give me some direction for how to proceed.

UristMcBunny wrote:
Other than that, I'd suggest finding ways to help make veggies and similar more palatable to you. It is sometimes possible to retrain your palate by gently exposing yourself to something repeatedly over time, but in the meantime, try adding more veggies to dishes you already enjoy.  Especially dishes that are spiced, come in a rich sauce or are smothered with cheese.

This is definitely a useful strategy, though I've had some mixed results with it. My tastes are pretty sensitive, so sometimes just the presence of one ingredient I didn't like could ruin the whole dish for me. For instance, I don't like most pizza because I dislike tomato sauce. Even when I like all the other ingredients on the pizza, I just can't get past the taste of the tomato sauce enough to truly enjoy it. Other times, though, it does help to "drown out" the food with other things in order to acclimate to it. I used to avoid nearly all seafood because I didn't like the "fishy" taste. But I discovered that I could eat some of the more mildly-flavored fish (e.g. tilapia) if they were fried and breaded, as this helped to dampen the fishy flavor. Maybe someday, I'll be able to eat those fish without frying them.

Using seasonings and sauces for this gets into a whole other issue for me, though, which is that I actually often have more trouble finding sauces and seasonings I like than anything else. I tend to default to eating a lot of food plain because I don't like herbs or can't handle spices or find a particular sauce, dressing, or condiment unpleasant or too strong. So using a sauce to cover up a food can often be counterproductive.

reboundstudent wrote:
Similarly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fried food, if you're focusing on nutrients versus calories. One of my favorite Paleo recipes was fried chicken that substituted nut breading for the grains, and used olive or coconut oil instead of vegetable based oil. It was heavier in calories, but also filled me up and gave me lots of fantastic energy and nutrients.

UristMcBunny wrote:Also yes, RBS' comment on frying is very true.  Adding fat to a meal does not cancel out the nutritional value.  In some cases, you even need a little bit of fat in order to effectively absorb the nutrients from a food.  So if you're not trying to restrict calories, frying things or adding butter or cheese or cream to them is a totally valid way to make them palatable to you.

Hm, I wonder if I might be thinking about this the wrong way, then. I had kind of assumed that I might want to remove or reduce some foods from my diet because they might be bad for me. But maybe the more useful approach in my case would be to just focus on adding more vegetables and other ingredients for more variety and balance.

Caffeinated wrote:
A second thought I have about food and health is that there is new research every few months that completely contradicts the old research. Coffee was good, then bad, then good again. Eggs were good, then bad, then good again. Milk was good, then bad, then good, then bad, then ??? It's impossible to keep up with the news just as reported in the press, and what's reported in the press is frequently very badly reported and misrepresents what the research actually says.

A third thought is that rich and fatty foods are absolutely not proven to be unhealthy. Lots of sugary sweets may have a bit better evidence against them, but even that's not a slam-dunk case. Nor is the case against fried food. Who knows, KMR, in another year they might announce that new research says everything you said you like is actually the new health food.

This also really frustrates me. It's so hard to find good information about nutrition because of all the poor reporting and dissemination, and it's hard to know what to believe when a lot of what's out there is so contradictory. And it seems like a lot of the information about what's bad for you comes in this form:
This food is bad for you because it has X number of calories/grams of fat/grams of sugar.
All those calories/fat/sugar will make you gain weight. (Or alternatively, sending the message that if you are overweight, it's because you eat stuff like this.)
Being overweight increases your risk for heart disease/diabetes/etc.

When it's framed like that, it's hard to determine whether the food is being labeled as bad for you because the food itself contributes to the aforementioned health risks or if it's just labeled bad for you because it has a lot of calories and calories are associated with weight gain and weight gain is automatically considered unhealthy.

Caffeinated wrote:
I do have a suggestion, though, on the idea of introducing new foods to your repertoire as a picky eater (I too am a picky eater). If your budget allows, consider going to a nice restaurant every now and again and try some food you don't know if you like, counting on the chef's skill in preparing it and pairing it with other flavors to make it taste its best. If you like the food you taste that way, make some notes on what it was and what the other ingredients were and try to find recipes online to recreate that taste at home.

I actually had a great experience with this just a few weeks ago, when I went on a cruise. Usually, when I go to a restaurant, I tend to play it safe and order food plain and remove any ingredients or seasonings I may not like because I don't want to pay for a meal I won't be able to eat. But on a cruise, everything is prepaid, so I can order as much of whatever I want. So I would order most of the meals exactly off the menu, only asking for an ingredient removed when I explicitly knew I wouldn't like it and couldn't separate it out myself. I think this only worked as well as it did because it was a fancy restaurant where they use good ingredients and don't rely on heavy seasoning, so I did end up enjoying most of the food I ordered.

Another thing I like to do is when I go to a restaurant with someone who is not picky about what they want to eat there and is willing to help me out, I can order something safe off the menu for myself, then pick something I'd be curious to try and have the other person order it so I can taste some of it. Then I know if I like it enough to order it for myself the next time. But in the meantime, I already have a meal I can eat and enjoy.

Enail wrote:Maybe if you give examples of specific foods you like or qualities you tend to enjoy in foods, we could try and think of some nutrient-rich foods that have similar qualities as likely ones to try?

In very broad terms, the flavors I tend to enjoy are savory, sweet, and salty (though not too salty). Flavors I tend to dislike are bitter, sour, and spicy (actually, it's not the flavor of spices I dislike, I just can't tolerate the heat). I'm pretty much a big carnivore, so I like most of my meals to have at least some meat in them. Some specific foods I like are chicken, steak, potatoes, bread, pasta/rice, some soups (hot, clear soups, especially those with a meat-based broth). Pretty much the basic staples. I used to not eat vegetables at all outside of a soup, except cucumber. But recently, I've started to eat and enjoy some cooked vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage... For raw vegetables, I like coleslaw sometimes (depends on the dressing) and can tolerate lettuce. As I said earlier, seasonings and sauces are tricky for me, because many of them include spicy or tangy or otherwise strong flavors and cannot be removed from the food once it's integrated. I can sample sauces by asking for them on the side, but it's harder to play around with seasonings or marinades without risking that it will ruin the meal for me.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by UristMcBunny on Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:04 pm

It sounds like you've already done a good job of incorporating some veggies into your diet. Now, I speak as someone who LOVES vegetables, but I get that some of them - especially bitter, leafy green things - can be difficult for some people to like. I've you've manage to find ways to enjoy cabbage and cauliflower though, you're onto a good start.

From cabbage you can branch into brussel sprouts (the purple ones are sweeter and less bitter), pak choi/bok choi, and maybe kale at some point (although I still haven't managed to make kale seem like more than a slightly-disappointing and oversized brussel, personally). For sprouts, one of my favourite ways to cook them is to quarter them and sautee in butter until soft on the inside and a little charred on the outside. We had a really decadent sprout dish over Christmas - brussel sprouts sauteed in butter with chopped bacon and blanched, halved, peeled chestnuts. All in the one pan. It was amazing. And with the intersection of cabbage and lettuce, you could try some other salad greens - baby spinach has a sweet, mild flavour and is less watery than lettuce, and if you find you like spinach - cooked or raw - you might find that swiss chard suits you.

Oh! A cabbage recipe - now, I love me some stuffed vine leaves (grape vine leaves that have been soaked and preserved, wrapped around little bundles of rice, ground meat and garlic, then boiled until the contents are cooked, then drained). You can also stuff cabbage leaves similarly, and the results are very tasty.

For sauces, it might help you to make some simple ones of your own, if you have the time for it. It'd give you more control over the specific flavours used, the heat, the spice level and similar. Especially if certain flavours - even when subtle - overwhelm your palate.

For example - you can make tangy or sweet or creamy mild curry sauces that make use of the exciting and complex flavours of spices such as cardamom, coriander and cumin, loaded with either coconut milk or yoghurt, but without the addition of heat from chilies.

Re: tomatoes - how are you with sweet (not spicy) red peppers? You can buy a red cooking paste made from them that makes a great substitute for sauces that would usually involve pureed tomato (be careful though - there is also hot red pepper paste - be sure to get the right one!). You could make your own pizza at home, layered with vegetables you like and a goodly amount of meat and cheese, and smear the base with a tablespoon of sweet pepper paste mixed with olive oil and garlic, instead of tomato.

My other half is a tomato-hater, so I use red pepper paste in LOADS of stuff. I make a sort-of lamb tagine-type-thing. Chunks of lamb, wilted spinach, onion, garlic, some chopped veggies, almonds and dates, sprinkled with a little cinammon and slow-cooked in a red pepper based sauce, topped with rice. It's ridiculously rich. I use it as a pasta sauce substitute as well, mixed with water, as a base for curry, and blend it with yoghurt, honey and aniseed-type spices (sometimes I use tahini instead of yoghurt) to make a dipping sauce for chicken.

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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by KMR on Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:37 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. This gives me a lot to think about. And there are still a ton of foods that I haven't even tried yet, so that's one of my main goals for now.

One thing that would be helpful to me would be to have a list somewhere with descriptions of what various foods taste like. Which vegetables are more bitter than I would probably be able to tolerate? Which sauces and dressings are primarily sweet or savory as opposed to tangy and spicy? What types of fish have the mildest flavors? There's so much food out there, and it'd be nice to know in advance which foods are more likely to fit with my tastes so that I can seek those out. Are there any good resources for that out there?
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:25 pm

I don't know if there's a list like you want (there must be, I'm sure of it, but I don't know of one) but I'm happy to see if I can find one.  I'll let you know if I find anything! ...One thing that might make it more difficult, is some foods genuinely taste different to different people. There are, for example, people for whom coriander tastes like soap, or like bleach, while others (like me) find it fresh, herbal and fragrant.

Oh hey!  I had another thought.  How are you with grains?  Because wholegrain, wholemeal and seeded breads, pasta etc are higher in calories generally, but also high in nutrients, so an easy way to add good oils and stuff to your diet.

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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by KMR on Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:06 pm

I haven't tried wholegrain breads because I've grown up with and absolutely love white breads (Italian bread and French bread). I'm not so sure I'd be willing to give those up in favor of something else. Wink But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try some and see how I feel about the taste. My guess is that I wouldn't dislike the flavor, as I generally don't have a problem with grains, it'd just be a matter of whether I'd like it enough.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by Caffeinated on Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:19 pm

KMR wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions. This gives me a lot to think about. And there are still a ton of foods that I haven't even tried yet, so that's one of my main goals for now.

One thing that would be helpful to me would be to have a list somewhere with descriptions of what various foods taste like. Which vegetables are more bitter than I would probably be able to tolerate? Which sauces and dressings are primarily sweet or savory as opposed to tangy and spicy? What types of fish have the mildest flavors? There's so much food out there, and it'd be nice to know in advance which foods are more likely to fit with my tastes so that I can seek those out. Are there any good resources for that out there?

I don't have a list, but I will say this: Hollandaise sauce. It's creamy and savory and has a pleasantly mild flavor, and makes almost any vegetable it's on taste better.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by InkAndComb on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:11 pm

KMR, late to the game here! Suggestion for flavoring; make friends at the grocery store! Specifically, if you have a whole foods or a hy-vee or anything that's a step up from walmart in the training department (I was trained for 30 hours to know what specific cheeses tasted like what. I am THRILLED if you ask me about cheese Grin). They will know most flavors and can give you suggestions (often times they have chefs and nutritionists too, who can point you towards palatable and healthy food options).

Second note! Besides food, it's good to know what spices you can handle. If you have some at home, smell them/taste them (small amts on the back of the hand should suffice, like not even half a teaspoon); find out what the flavor is on its own, which things you're sensitive to (had a roommate who couldn't eat pepper but found out she loved paprika and cumin). Obviously use your better judgement for spicy things, but knowing what spices taste like is a vastly underrated skillset for discovering new dressings and sauces and recipes you'll like.
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Re: Healthy eating as distinct from weight loss [adv/disc]

Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:02 pm

If you're going to consume full-fat dairy and can afford the higher price tag, I recommend buying organic. Organic dairy is higher in heart-healthy fats like Conjugated Linoleic Acid, and any pesticides that were used on the feed of non-organic dairy will end up in the fat of the milk.

A caveat: don't fry with organic butter unless it's just cooking briefly. CLA turns into trans fats very easily when cooked, so use other fats for frying.

Now, all that being said... I'd just like to say it's a big pet peeve of mine when people talk about whole milk tasting better like it's something objective instead of their personal preference. I don't think it tastes better at all. I think it's way too thick to be a beverage. Like, imagine drinking a glass of olive oil. That's how I feel about whole milk.

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