I’m not one to push one single diet to the masses. In fact, I think diet is more of an art than a science; people need to spend some time dabbling to discover what works for them.
But whether you’re a carnivore, a vegetarian, a vegan, or you follow Paleo, Zone, Adkins, or a low-fat diet, there’s at least one thing everyone agrees upon: There are three macro nutrients - carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
That’s it. After that, diet is a crapshoot.
Not to rip on our American neighbours, but a few instances in recent weeks have led me to wonder about dietary education of the average citizen. Not about their food choices. I understand giving in to food cravings as much as the next person. I’m talking about an understanding, or lack there of, about the building blocks that make up our food - carbs, proteins and fats.
3. Columbus, Ohio in February, 2015 in a hotel bar:
Random Dude in his 50s: “Are you an athlete?”
Me: “I go to the gym every now and again.”
Dude: “So you watch your diet? When was the last time you ate a big steak?”
Me: “I’m not a huge steak fan, but it’s because I don’t love the taste. Not because it’s not healthy. I think steak’s a pretty healthy choice.”
Dude: “My doctor said I need more protein in my diet so I’ve been trying to eat more leafy greens.”
Me: Confused look.
2. Tacoma, Washington in May, 2015
Ordering a smoothie in Panera Breads, it comes to our attention that they’re promoting low-fat yogurt smoothies.
Tom: “Can I have a high-fat smoothie? Can you use regular yogurt instead of the low-fat yogurt?”
Employee: “Jim, do we have anything other than low-fat yogurt? This guy wants some protein.”
Tom (under his breath): “Actually, I want fat.”
Other employee: “What about the spinach smoothie. Is there protein in spinach?”
1. Las Vegas in June, 2015
Overhead at a restaurant:
Overweight mother to disturbingly overweight child: “Eat your oatmeal. You’re a growing boy. Your body needs protein.”
Child: “What’s protein?”
Mother: “I don’t know exactly. It’s good for you, though. And oatmeal is full of it.”