Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Everything That Tastes Good Is Bad For You

My last cholesterol test said I am in the "at risk" category, with a note from the RN saying that I "clearly need to be on some sort of cholesterol reducing therapy".

That was October 9th, 2009. Cholesterol was 263, LDL was 183. I started cholesterol reducing medication about a month or two later. I have yet to do another cholesterol test to see if it's made a dent.
Update: My cholesterol test from April 15, 2010 has my overall cholesterol at 208, down nearly 60 pts, and my LDL at 140, down 40 pts. So I guess the medication is making a dent.

So apparently my heart is pumping pudding.
You wouldn't know I have high cholesterol from looking at me. Sure, I could stand to lose 20-30 lbs., but I do not have a robust appearance.
I have no illusions. I realize that my diet could very well kill me someday. The men on my father's side of the family do have a history of heart disease (Grandfather had a quadruple bypass, Father died of a heart attack at age 52 at 210lbs). I am right around that same weight, but am taller and therefore more height-weight proportionate.

I am nothing short of addicted to caffeine, sugar, chocolate, red meat, and fast food. Cheeseburgers, pizza, sub sandwiches.
I've always been a bit of a junk food junkie.

I used to wake up early on Saturday mornings while my parents were still sleeping and sneak some junkfood to eat while watching Saturday Morning Cartoons. One time I was eating ice cream out of the carton and I made a last ditch effort to hide it behind a chair, and apparently I forgot about it because my parents found it all melted later on.
Once when I was a child, I rode my bicycle 37 city blocks to my grandparents house to eat cookies because my parents wouldn't allow me any junkfood on that particular day. They didn't know where I was off to, and when they found out that my grandparents unknowlingly gave me junkfood when I wasn't supposed to have any, my parents weren't too happy.

Funny thing is even today if I get strong hankering, a few times a year I'll find myself going to the 24 hour convenience store in the middle of the night for a big gulp and/or chocolate milk, and candy bar or donut if there's nothing in the house.

If there's anyone here who knew me when I was a child, or a teenager, and had me over for dinner, you probably have an inkling of how picky of an eater I was.
And really, nothing has changed since then. My taste buds didn't spontaneously grow immune. The only thing I'll eat now that I wouldn't back then are baked beans.

Don't get me wrong, my parents tried their darndest. My parents always had vegetables on their plate, and put vegetables on mine as well. I put up a fight. My parents tried the whole "you're not allowed to leave the table until you eat all your vegetables" thing. I remember sitting there for hours on a few occasions. I put up a strong fight, though maybe not as strong as this girl...

I do like some fruit. Apples, bananas and pears ...but that's about it.

Changing my diet is more of an obstacle to me than maintaining some sort of workout regimen. I was probably in the best shape when I was 24. I had a job that kept me physically active, and at one point I maintained a workout routine for 3-6 months (which is my personal best).

I tried to "eat healthy" a few years ago, and ended up losing more weight than I had anticipated. Funny thing is, it wasn't my intention to lose weight. All I ended up doing was eating less (which explains the weight loss), because I couldn't find healthy substitutes that I would be willing to eat.
I purchased a salad at a "fast food" place (Subway) and gave it my all. But I just couldn't do it. Every bite and my mouth and taste buds just go into shock. Everything my body tells me is that vegetables are poison to my system.

Everything that tastes good is bad for you, and everything that taste's bad is good for you.
I will never understand this as long as I live.
I mean, the other 4 senses work right. If you smell, hear, touch, or see something that is bad, it's probably bad for you. Same goes for the good.
I mean if you hold your hand under an open flame - OUCH! Your body immediately tells you that it hurts, therefore it isn't something that is good for you or your body.

Whether you believe in evolution or creationism, I think something went haywire. Something got lost in translation. Perhaps our taste buds evolved to perceive things that are bad for us to be good. You see, cavemen didn't have a grocery store. They ate what they could find and kill to survive. So maybe we are predetermined to crave red meat because our instincts tell us that it equals survival. But that still wouldn't account for vegetables tasting bad.

All things in moderation. Perhaps we as western society have come to lack self-discipline and simply gorge ourselves on the foods we enjoy most, while turning a blind eye to all the harmful effects they may have.

Perhaps processed foods "trick" our taste buds into thinking it's good when it's really bad, because the bad parts are disguised to form a good tasting whole. In other words, if a food product was compromised of nothing but the ingredients that are bad for us, it probably wouldn't taste good (would you drink a bottle of pure fructose corn syrup, or shovel spoonful after spoonful of sugar into your mouth?). But within a complex recipe things like salt & sugar enhance a products flavor.

In the end, I don't really want to change. I have a passion for eating bad. I wish that instead of slowly killing us, our human bodies would evolve to effectively process what's become of the western diet.

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