Portion size and the way how I eat

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

I am preparing my demonstration and lecture materials for my appearance at World’s of Healthy Flavors conference held at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Greystone, CA, next week. The conference focus concerns..how volume foodservice operators can reduce sodium content in their preparations, how they can bring more whole grains-based dishes to their menus and other means of improving the nutritional content of their products. I have developed some delicious low-sodium recipes using Japanese cooking techniques and ingredients. Although these recipes use ingredients such as shoyu and miso, the high sodium content ingredient, the prepared dishes themselves have low total sodium content. When you use good quality shoyu and miso to flavor dishes, you need them in modest quantitits. But I have one concern about anything to do with “low-something” in this country. In the past several years there have been food-fad diets that have, one after another, become popular. However, the use, for example, of unsatisfying low or no-fat and low calorie substitutes in food preparations has made Americans eat larger amounts of food, ending up contributing to the obesity problem. Unbalanced diets such as no/low carbohydrate also pushed people to feel free to eat even larger portion of protein than normal. These approaches to a human diet are absurd to me. Limitation and conscious control of the intake of fat, sodium and processed carbohydraytes are necessary, but the most important and enjoyable approach to proper diet is to consume a large variety of seasonal natural offerings in moderation – produce, fruits, grains, meat, fish and poultry. I do understand some people have dietary restrictions because of personal philosophical, religious or physical reasons, and of course this is part of overall dietary planning as well. Let’s us keep in mind five things when we prepare our meals – varieties of ingredients, portion size, respect for the food sources, natural production limitations and those people who produce and bring our daily food to us.