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I will be the first to admit that I’ve spent a good chunk of my life on one diet after another. I’ve tried everything from low fat, low calorie, low carb, and low taste. And I have purchased more “diet” food in my life than any one person ever should have to. To me, I was eating plenty of healthy food. But it was all packaged and highly processed “diet foods”.
After years and years of dieting, and after meals filled with packaged foods that offered little real taste, I began believing what so many others believe….that healthy food just plain doesn’t taste good. As a matter of fact, some of it is downright disgusting!
But that belief was shaken off of its foundation when I discovered eating clean. I began doing away with almost all of the highly processed foods that are filled with artificial flavorings to make them taste better. The artificial colorings that make food look better. And chemical preservatives to give them a shelf life that no food should have to live.
The discovery? That real, unprocessed, healthy food tastes good…..really, really, really good! In fact, now when I eat a home-cooked, real food meal, it is not uncommon for me to make yummy sounds with almost every bite (much to the amusement of my little dog!). And the best part is that eating this way is incredibly satisfying! That is something that I rarely if ever experienced when eating a diet frozen dinner or low fat, low-calorie snack.
So why is there such a misconception that healthy food doesn’t taste so great?
Well, there is a mass marketing effort amongst the major food companies to produce inexpensive diet foods. Just walk down the aisles of your local grocery store and you will find an enormous selection of foods geared towards those trying to whittle their waists and reduce their dress size.
There’s even an entire section of my local grocery store that carries “healthy” frozen dinners! And I really used to believe that some of these dinners tasted great….until I experienced real food, that is.
What is it that the diet foods are missing? For one, real flavor. Because so many of them are highly processed, they have been enhanced with added flavors to make them more appealing to the palate. One of those added flavors is often salt (if you don’t believe me, just pick up a couple of frozen diet dinners and look at the sodium content). But saltiness does not add real flavor, just saltiness.
With a lot of low-fat desserts, they compensate for the lack of fat by adding sugar! So it’s even sweeter. But more sugar doesn’t add real flavor, just more sweetness.
Healthy food tastes bad?
Some processed healthy foods are pretty dull and tasteless. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when I say this is a rice cake. I’m not a fan, but no offense to the rice cake lovers out there. Now, however, the food companies are even adding flavor to the rice cakes to make them more palatable to the masses.
A couple of years ago, dinner for me would consist of a frozen low-fat dinner and maybe a 100 calorie pack of cookies for dessert. It was nothing special and did nothing to wake up my taste buds and thrill my senses. And to make matters worse, eating a meal like that would also often leave me feeling tired and like I needed a nap!
Tonight, for dinner I had a 3 oz. grass-fed filet mignon, grilled corn on the cob with a little bit of real organic butter, and a grilled peach topped with homemade vanilla yogurt sauce. My entire meal was relatively low in fat (except for the little bit of butter that I used) and checked in at around 400-450 calories! And that’s with the butter!!
The meal I ate this evening was so incredibly satisfying in a way that no processed “healthy” food ever could. The smell was intoxicating, the taste divine. My energy after? I was so energetic that not only did I clean the kitchen, but I got all kinds of other work done because I was energized by the good quality food.
I encourage you to take another look at good healthy food. Eating whole, clean foods does not mean only eating steamed chicken with no seasoning and salads with tasteless dressing.
Your taste buds and your body will thank you!