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FOOD IS FUEL? NOT QUITE

 FOOD IS FUEL? NOT QUITE

We often think of food as fuel. In many of our conversations, we refer to food as calories, and pretend that all calories are created equal. Say you’re at your workplace at lunchtime, and you’re tossing up options. A healthy protein-rich meal is the smart option, but it means a longer walk to the food joint down the street. The other option is to head down and have a sandwich and chips downstairs, or a cookie and an energy drink from the vending machine on your floor, two cubicles away.
Here you may think that the shorter option – one that gives you a quick energy fix – is a better one, because you’ve already eaten healthy in the morning, and you can always adjust by eating less of the energy-giving food. After all, calories are calories, right? Food is fuel.
As it turns out, it’s wrong. Food as fuel is an analogy that doesn’t travel very far. Think of two fuel-filling options. One is to fill at a BP a few streets down which will allow you to drive at 100 kph. The other is a petrol station next door to your house which will only allow your car to drive at 20 kph. Will you still use the shorter option?
Fruit and vegetables leave people feeling more content than any other food option, and they generally induce a broad range of mental experiences that signal flourishing. So the answer is to have a munching routine throughout the day of vegetable sticks or high-protein nuts so that you don’t feel that glucose deficiency anymore, which is the cause for bad eating in the first place.
So happy eating, and more importantly, healthy eating!

Deepak Gopalakrishnan

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