Rethink the foods you like!

Soya Life proudly presents you with a series on plant-based lifestyles

Ask yourself the following question: WHAT is/are your favourite food / foods?

And a second question: WHY are these your favourite foods?

So often we eat foods we THINK we like due to the POSITIVE ASSOCIATION linked with that food. Certain foods make us FEEL GOOD. Other foods traditionally served at special occasions are linked with the feeling of BELONGING to a family / special social-friendship group / a specific religious group or festival or event / other events such as school reunions… and so the list goes on. The foods we choose and eat often have an emotional attachment to that need to feel good – especially when the going gets tough!

Other reasons we like certain foods include obvious factors such as DELICIOUS TASTE and wonderful flavour combinations. These are all individual dependent on our social, cultural, and personal preferences. But for some, a sense of adventure in exploring and sampling new tastes, flavours and textures provides real enjoyment.

For others, there are definite preferences for certain food groups, and dislikes of other food groups, for ethical, emotional, religious, perceived health reasons (fad / media pressures), environmental and humane reasons. Our core belief systems play an enormous role here. For example, people choose to be vegetarian for humane reasons of not believing in animal slaughter for human benefit. While others choose to eat substantial amounts of animal proteins due to perceived health benefits promoted by the latest health fad. Others choose to be vegan due to an acute awareness of the negative environmental impact on our planet of animal farming.

And let’s be honest here – sometimes we eat certain foods at certain times just because we’re hungry!

These are some of the reasons WHY we choose and LIKE certain foods.

Let’s analyse this further:

WHAT makes food tasty?
WHEN are certain foods more appealing?
WHERE are certain foods craved / enjoyed?

What makes food tasty: (personal preferences play a key role)

  • Sugar
  • Fat
  • Salt
  • Condiments
  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Cooking methods
  • Colour!
  • Flavour enhancers such as MSG, coffee, caramel, honey
  • Texture (crunchy, smooth, crispy)

When are certain foods more appealing? Personal / cultural / religious beliefs / tradition. Some classic examples include but are not limited to:

  • Ethnic traditional weddings: excess meat
  • Christmas: gammon / turkey / trifle
  • Diwali: sweet meats such as halwa, laddoo, barfi, gulab jamun, kheer etc.
  • Ramadan: suhoor, iftar
  • Eid: sheer khuma, biryani, korma, kheer
  • Chinese New Year: dumplings, spring rolls, sweet rice balls, noodles, fish, steamed chicken, niangao
  • So many more…. think of and write down your “happy” and “traditional” foods

Where are certain foods enjoyed more? Once again personal, but here are some examples:

  • Ice-cream on the beach
  • Roast chicken at Mom’s house for Sunday lunch
  • Pizza night at friendship gatherings
  • Foods at favourite restaurants

FACT:    Certain lifestyle diseases are caused when we consume excessive amounts of certain foods:

  • Inflammation                                                     (excess refined starch, animal protein, saturated fats)
  • Obesity                                                                (excess sugar, refined starch, fat)
  • Insulin Resistance / Prediabetes                  (excess sugar, refined starch, fat, animal protein)
  • Heart disease                                                    (excess saturated fat, salt)
  • Colon disorders                                                (inadequate fibre, fruits, and vegetables)
  • Diabetes                                                              (excess sugar, refined starch, saturated fats0
  • Kidney disease                                                  (excess protein, salt; inadequate vegetables and fruits)
  • And others…

As we progress through this series, we will teach you exactly HOW certain foods/ingredients (such as fats and salt) trigger / aggravate / cause / worsen these chronic diseases of lifestyle.

But we also need to understand that there are an equal or greater number of foods / ingredients (such as herbs / spices / fruits / vegetables) that provide health BENEFITS, are also tasty, and are easily incorporated into daily diets and dishes.

Those with genetic predispositions to certain health conditions can manipulate, to a certain extent, the severity of the outcome of health conditions (e.g., familial raised cholesterol levels) by choosing certain / foods / ingredients over others, and by adding in supplementary nutrients if necessary. Lots to learn!

In addition, certain food choices do indeed benefit our precious ENVIRONMENT and PLANET – something that we, as a human race in general, need to take greater cognisance of now more than ever.

This understanding of what and why we like certain foods could be a useful tool in motivating us to make subtle changes to favourite foods, or slightly different food choices, to become healthier!
The following chapters will discuss food / ingredient influences on the body, whether GOOD or BAD!

We will also show you how traditional / favourite foods, dishes and meals can be made tasty, delicious, and enjoyable without the addition of excessive unhealthy ingredients, and with the inclusion of tasty, healthy ones. Foods MUST be tasty and enjoyable otherwise we are missing one of life’s few pleasures. We need to eat daily: let us learn how to do this right without compromising on taste and pleasure!

 

A taste of things to come:           

NOTE: this is NOT a fully inclusive list (please refer to each chapter for extra detail)

HEALTH CONDITION GOOD FOODS BAD FOODS
High blood pressure / hypertension Soy
Flaxseed
Beetroot
Greens
Wholegrains
Sodium
Heart disease Soy
Fish oil
Soy oil
Plant-based foods
Trans fats (processed foods)
Saturated fats (junk foods, animal foods)
Red meat
Inflammatory disorders such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Fibromyalgia
Soy
Plant-based proteins
Vegetables
Fruits
Wholegrains
Refined starch foods
Sugars
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Soy
Wholegrains
Fruits
Vegetables
Refined starches
All fats
Sugars
Colon disorders: IBS and others Soy
Legumes and beans
Vegetables
Fruits
Wholegrains
Prebiotic foods: yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut
Refined starches
Colon cancers Soy
Beans
Berries
Turmeric
Red meat
Fats
Liver diseases Soy
Oats porridge
Cranberries
Coffee
Refined starches
Sugar and high sugar Coldrinks
Saturated fats
Alcohol
Obesity Soy
Beans and legumes
Plant-based meals
Refined starches
Sugars
Fats
Insulin resistance Soy
Beans and legumes
Plant-based meals
Refined starches
Sugars
Fats
Diabetes Soy
Beans and legumes
Plant-based meals
Refined starches
Sugars
Fats
Chronic Kidney Disease Soy
Beans and legumes
Plant-based meals
Refined starches
Sugars
Fats
Depression Soy
Plant-based diets
Greens
Seeds
Saffron
Coffee
Antioxidants
Folate
Exercise!
Arachidonic acid (found in eggs and chicken)
Brain diseases:
Stroke

 

 

Dementia

Soy
Fibre (plants and wholegrains!)
Potassium (plants)
Citrus
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables
Antioxidants in herbs and spices

Plant-based diets (grains, beans, vegetables, soy, fruits)
Saffron
Exercise

Saturated fats
Salt
Refined foods

 

 

Meats, cheese, highly processed foods

Breast cancer Soya has a major benefit!
Melatonin
≥5 servings vegetable and fruit/day
ALL green vegetables
Lignans (berries, wholegrains, dark leafy greens)
Flaxseeds
Exercise (30min/day)
Alcohol
Cholesterol
Inadequate fibre
Excessive meat
Prostate cancer Soy
Plant-based diet and exercise combined
Eggs
Poultry
Lung disease Soy
Broccoli
Kale
Turmeric
Fruits and vegetables
Fried / smoked foods

 

To be continued….

Plant-based lifestyles (80% plant foods, 20% animal foods) are an ideal lifestyle to follow for healthier bodies and a healthier planet.

Join us on a journey of discovery as to why this is the healthier option, and how to make it an inherent part of our day-today living, without compromising on taste and food enjoyment.

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