Husband and I found ourselves discussing whether or not bananas are evil. This came following announcements that rather than aiming for five pieces of fruit and veg a day we should be aiming for seven. Seven?! I’m usually lucky if I can get three portions a day in. Husband, on the other hand reckoned that seven was small-fry.
Husband: I reckon I normally eat eight.
Me: Eight?! Are you sure you know what they actually mean by fruit and veg? Strawberry cheesecake and Starburst don’t count you know?
Husband: No. I usually have a smoothie for breakfast. That’s two portions. Then I’ll take an apple and banana to work…
Me: What, the fruit you leave behind on the bread bin every day?
Husband: That’s four.
Me: You have to actually eat them for it to count.
Husband: Then I’ll have vegetable soup or something for lunch…
Me: ‘Something’ being a sandwich with a bit of lettuce in it – that wouldn’t even count as a whole portion.
Husband: And then a couple more portions for dinner.
Me: Even if I do something vegetarian I doubt it counts for more than three. Chips don’t count either.
Husband: And I could have a banana for pudding.
Me: Or ice cream. More often you have ice cream. Besides which, aren’t bananas evil?
Husband: What?! Since when are bananas evil?
Me: Well, they’re fruit. I thought all fruit was evil now, since sugar is what’s killing us all.
Husband: But bananas are full of potassium…
Me: …And sugar. The mum in the Observer Food Monthly article wouldn’t feed them to her kids. Because they’re evil. (The bananas, not the kids.)
Husband: I think you’re bananas.
Me: I’m quite possibly evil too.
I’m also confused. I have food confusion. Confoodsion, if you will.
I love food. From my shape it’s clear I love food. I love trying new recipes, pouring over cookbooks. I trawl Pinterest and drool over magazines. I think about lunch over breakfast, find myself planning dinner straight after lunch. Part of me thinks that there are obviously food that’s better for you than other stuff (usually, if it tastes bad its good for you) but if it’s edible it can’t be that off-limits. If you were to start eating the table on which the food was served, that would be weird. But the food on it, that’s fine.
I don’t truly believe that bananas are evil. Even though they mush into Noodles’ hands and thus my clothes far too easily. And they can come with accompanying spider, proving that nature is more vindictive than a Happy Meal. But as a foodstuff I have no issue. I just like to argue with Husband.
But all the reading and articles has made my head spin. So our fruit and vegetable aspirations should go up. But at the same time we’re being encouraged to limit the fruit (even if bananas aren’t evil orange juice definitely is). So ideally that should be seven portions of vegetables a day?
Except then there’s the juice-brigade, where to exist only on liquidised food is positively amazingly healthy. Like I said, I’m confused. But I like to chew, so will pass on it anyway until the day I’m so infirm that it’s the only way to keep me alive.
And I see the caveats and provisos where Husband doesn’t. The only way I can eat kale is to smother it in butter and salt. At what point does that negate the benefits of the kale? Apples are best if they’re served in a pie. With custard. Trifle might feature fruit, but is more about the custard and cream. I’m sure reaching five-a-day my way is doing me more harm than good. Getting to seven, I’m likely to die all the more quickly of coronary heart disease. There’s clearly a difference between ‘fruit and veg’ as the experts recommend and how it features in my diet. I mean, chocolate-covered raisins aren’t high on the recommended list, despite being based around fruit and even though cocoa is surely also a bean.
Talking of which, chocolate isn’t necessarily all bad. It stops me from going psycho for a start. That’s got to be good for society, if not my waistline. But we’re only meant to have a couple of squares a day. I don’t suppose by ‘squares’ they mean ‘entire giant bars’. No, I didn’t think so. But some squares are bigger than others. I prefer Green & Black’s…but Lindt’s squares are bigger.
It used to be that we were recommended only to eat two eggs a week, due to their cholesterol, yet now it transpires that there is such a thing as a good egg and we can eat them with a side-serving of smug. Will it only be time before chocolate and wine (my preferred food staples) will similarly be announced as health saviours and need no longer be rationed. Or is that just pie-in-the-sky thinking?
A recent edition of Horizon followed (very yummy) twin doctors as they embarked upon high carb and high fat diets. We’re being steered away from starchy food, yet to eliminate carbs had a disastrous effect on Dr Xand (or was it Dr Chris? The trouble them being identical twins was that it took most of the programme to work out who was who, let alone take on board the messages they were conveying).
Carbs were necessary, but so was fat. But (and here’s the head-scratcher) worst of all was a balance of 50:50 fat to sugar. It’s not bananas that are evil. Dunkin’ Donuts takes that honour. When I think back to the programme, though, I just come away with a desire for a tray of glazed donuts. Mmmmm.
Perhaps now isn’t the time to be worrying about such matters. This weekend with consist largely of me sticking my face into an awful lot of chocolate. The roast lamb might pass new dietary guidelines, but I’m not so sure about the goose-fat roast potatoes or the honey-glazed carrots.
I do know that Husband’s going to have to eat his own body weight in hot-cross buns to reach seven-a-day in raisins alone and I’m not sure it’s going to be particularly good for him. Still, by the crumbs scattered over the toaster and on the breadboard it’s a mission he seems intent to accomplish. Anything to prove me wrong.