I ate a blueberry scone today. I normally don't eat sweets, but I've been walking about 5 hours a day seeing sights and temples, and I realized I was only eating like 1800 calories. So, that ain't good. The only high calorie item at Starbucks, so I got the scone. It tasted great.
And I thought about it. Why does the scone taste great, when healthier stuff doesn't?
Answer: Because our taste buds don't suit us well in the modern day. The reason junk food tastes good is because it was advantageous in the past. Sweet things, high density carbs, and fats were really efficient for surviving and not poisonous back then.
But now, they're not the best way. The taste buds evolved to help us survive, but now they're kind of not helping. It's like a broken speedometer in a car. Foods are supposed to taste good to let you know that they're safe and beneficial to eat. But now, we don't get poisoned from toxic plants... we get poisoned from too much refined sugar with diabetes and obesity and such.
It'd be like if you were watching the speedometer in the car and it said "65" on the freeway, but you were going 110 in reality. Eating off what your taste buds tell you is bad for your survival now.
And that sucks, because taste is a really, really powerful thing. But taste's original function - survival - has been subverted by the modern world.
Me? I want to eat 99% of the time for survival, which means fiber, complex carbs, lean protein, and good fats, and not too much junk. That scone sure did taste good though. It's like my body was saying "that's the perfect speed" whereas the car was actually heading at a wall at 110 miles an hour.
I like to think of it this way:
Some food has survived because it is really good for us.
Other food has survived because it is really tasty.
The gross unhealthy food... didn't survive.
So now, the healthy food's only competition is the food optimized purely for taste. So, relatively speaking, it's pretty much inevitable it loses the taste battle.
One of the most pleasant surprises about quitting sugar for me? Carrots. After a few weeks, they went from bland, flavorless ranch dressing delivery mechanism, to tasting like candy. Our brains are so contrast based, which may be one of the most under-appreciated sources of life improvement.
Hi, I used to think this but you can get healthy food that taste good... try dried fruits, nuts, seeds etc. I use graze.com myself - UK only I think but should give you some good ideas. You can get hold of things like goji berries in supermarkets now, they taste as good as any junk food.
This is a very interesting problem that frequently crosses my thoughts. The growing discrepancy between the modern civilized environment and the human animal little changed in fifty thousand years.
Short of using genetic engineering to realign our bodies with our newly created environment, there isn't much we can do physically - biological evolution is too slow a process. Our bodies need to be physically active, yet our society no longer requires us to be. Often we have to go out of our way to be active. Bad food tastes better than good food, since in developed countries at least, food is plentiful. Eating your fill of high energy density food is now a very bad thing to do, since you can now do that multiple times every day.
If physical evolution isn't an option, then mental adaptation is the only real alternative. Our minds have to be trained to be aware of our bodies limitations. I think that willpower is the dominant trait possessed by those who best adapt to modern society. You have to be willing to force your body to act against it's instincts.
I've been tracking everything I eat lately, and putting some calorie numbers on them.
6 November Indian food: Rice, chicken, curry, vegetables.. Small banana. 900 cal.
9 November Lunch: Big portion rice, curry sauce, chicken. 1000 cal.
12 November Lunch: Two kinds of vegetables (one in very light curry), piece of chicken. 400 cal.
This is kind of crazy. The only difference is, I ordered more vegetables and didn't get any curry on the chicken.
Refined flours and sugars are out. Meat is out. When people hear this, they often say, "wow... what's left?"
It's a sad statement on our current food system when that question is asked, because it shows how far from eating healthy we've gone. The two least healthy things a human can readily digest have become our bread and butter, so to speak.
What happened to beans, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits?