The New American Diet: Can We Do It?
The government's new diet guidelines may be hard to swallow.
Is a Hamburger and Fries So Bad?
"If you get half of your food intake from vegetables and fruits and
whole grains, the other half wouldn't be that bad for you unless you were
eating suet," Bittman says. "Even if you get 600 calories from a Big
Mac and 450 calories from a medium order of fries, if the rest of your day's
diet were broccoli and apples and bulgur, you wouldn't be that bad
Look on the positive side, Bittman says. It is satisfying to eat
beautiful vegetables. It is satisfying to eat rich whole grains.
"Use a strategy of seeing the big picture. Say, 'I am going to try to
eat two cups each of vegetables and fruit every day, and a cup or two of whole
grains every day,'" he advises. "I know that is going to leave me
hungry. But at least I have eaten the stuff that has the fiber, that has the
lack of fat, that has the omega-3 fatty acids. And then I am going to go ahead
and put my olive oil on it and eat my meat and fish. I can eat smaller
quantities. I just don't have the willpower to go in any other
Bittman remembers the old days, when he and three friends would devour a
four-pound pot roast. Last weekend, he cooked a 2 1/2 pound chuck roast for a
five-person Super Bowl party -- and there were leftovers.
"That never used to happen -- everybody took just a small piece of
meat," he says. "We wound up eating five or six ounces. That is
probably more than it should be, but I felt very restrained. It was a
pack-of-cards-sized piece of meat. Now if I have to feel guilty about that --
well, I don't know that I can go there."