Colorful Real Food

December 9, 2009 in Antioxidants, Cooking & Baking Hints, Foodland Chronicles, Mediterranean, Nutrition by Joyce Bunderson

Yesterday I wrote about the antioxidants in ‘superfruit’, compared with real food – ordinary fruit.  I noticed what beautiful colors were in our morning bowl of oatmeal, lunch salad and dinner. We’re so fortunate to have a large variety of foods in the U.S.; I wish that we didn’t have so many ‘food-like substances,’ in addition.

Last night before bed, I got on the treadmill for a 45-minute walk (Remember I’m a native Southern Californian – not one those you find walking in 10 degrees F, on the lamp-lit icy walks of our neighborhood.) The funny thing is that I was thumbing through Costco’s December booklet. This is where the fun began.  On page 18 is a huge double page ad for two products from AGRO LABS – You guessed it! One is Naturally Pomegranate, the other, Acai Daily Cleanse, with the ORAC numbers slapped right on the cover. Now I know that real food is not as appealing as some miracle juice in a colorful bottle, but …..  I promised myself that today I would not spend more time on the poor choice this is over food. If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s blog, that’s where you can get the story.  I just found it so, amazing that it was in the Costco booklet. To be in Costco, you have to have huge demand. This is BIG business.

One thing that I didn’t write about yesterday is that these companies get their claims by studying what real food does, and then they transfer that information to their pharmaceutical product. For example,

  1. If it is known that a fruit contains resveratrol
  2. People consume a diet that includes fruits with resveratrol (i.e. grapes, pomegranates, blueberries, and blackberries)
  3. Those people have a lower risk of certain cancers, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, etc.
  4. So the companies promise if you use their products, you will benefit in the same way as those consuming the real foods.

The fact is that this is supplement science and the supplements have not been proven to do the same thing as the real food does.  We don’t know if the observed benefits are a combination of the entire food or just a fraction of that food or some combination of foods eaten together.

The companies are getting their juice from “pure organic pomegranate,” for example; why not just eat the pomegranate, instead of the expensive juice?

I took a picture of my bowl of cereal (see below) to show the beautiful colors.  Dr. Grandpa, my love, seems to be very partial to having milk poured over his cereal.  He was very worried that I did not show the milk.  I have my milk (nonfat) in a glass and drink it while I’m eating. It’s just a longtime preference.  Another option may be to serve it with our favorite, Greek Yogurt; we both like that, too.

During our breakfast milk discussion, I remembered that when I was a girl, we put butter on the top of our hot cereal. I wonder if all the butter that I was raised using was part of the early demise of my grandparents from heart disease. We’re trying to not use too much butter; so nix for butter on hot cereal, though I’m certain it would be tasty.

The last thing I thought of is the speed of the breakfast. We make little packets of hot cereal in Ziplock sandwich bags; they just take a few minutes to put together; but you only need to get the ingredients out once. We pack the amount for Dr. Grandpa’s and my breakfast. We can use Mountain Top Breakfast, or Oatmeal, or Rolled Wheat, or whatever we like. We put in the cinnamon and sweetener; it’s all measured out. So dump into the bowl add the water and pop into the microwave. It’s super fast that way.

All the colors in a day’s food may equal the benefits being repeatedly found in those eating an American Mediterranean diet. As my boss of years ago, Dr. Chris Lomax at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, used to say, "That's the Real Deal."

Colorful Kiwi and Blackberries with hot cereal

More Colors for Lunch

More Colors for Lunch

Top the Day's Colors Off with Yams, Appls, Peas and Shrimp

Top the Day's Colors Off with Yams, Appls, Peas and Shrimp