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Portion Sizes In Diet Foods -- Calories Versus Taste

Is there a relationship between food flavor and portion sizes? Laura Moncur from believes there is, and she made some interesting observations about flavor and calorie content of processed foods.

She is convinced that if you get a larger portion you are either going to get food that tastes awful or you are going to get fat.

I’ve found in the world of processed food, you can only have two out of these three options: low in calories, large serving size or tastes good. If something is low in calories and tastes good, then it MUST be a small serving. If something is a large serving and tastes good, then it MUST be high in calories. If something is low in calories and a large serving, then it MUST taste like cardboard.

Now, she is talking about processed food.

The real question is, what is processed food? And why isn't it just food?

Processed food is, well, processed. Something has been done to it to fundamentally change it. Sometimes it is done to change the texture. Or the flavor. Or the calorie content. Or the nutrients.

How important is this? Let's take rice as an example.

Toward the end of the 19th century there were Chinese laborers in Malaysia, and they were becoming ill. But the native laborers working alongside them were fine.

It was eventually tracked down to the rice. The native laborers ate brown rice, but the Chinese laborers ate white rice. White rice has been "polished" -- the husks are removed -- and the husks contain the vital nutrient thiamine.

Without thiamine the Chinese workers developed beriberi, a serious disease that affects the heart and nervous system. In fact this was one of the early findings that led to the discovery of vitamins.

The more processed the food, the fewer natural nutrients remain. And efforts to "fortify" the food -- by adding vitamins or minerals -- are feeble at best. You can't remove the natural vitamins and minerals and other nutrients and then make up for it with the addition of simple chemicals.

So, you see, for your physical and mental health you should try to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. They have more nutrients with fewer calories, they taste better and they're better for you.


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