Scoot Blog: Do we have to fry EVERYTHING we eat?
A new government survey shows that Mississippi is #1 and Louisiana is #2 on the list of states with the most obese citizens. West Virginia was 3rd on the list and Alabama was #4. I don’t know much about the cuisine of West Virginia, but I know in the South we eat too much fried food and food prepared with large amounts of butter.
When I occasionally go out for a bite to eat, it’s nearly impossible to find any appetizer that isn’t fried! With the exception of raw oysters on many local menus, it’s hard to find appetizers and even entrees that are healthy.
I will never be critical of those who weigh more because there are a myriad of reasons why some people are heavier than others and it’s not fair to jump to the immediate conclusion that they are lazy and overeat. But we should admit that as a state and a region, we eat too much fried and buttery foods. When I watch cooks on local shows I am amazed by the large amounts of butter used in local recipes. Any cook can make almost anything taste good with a lot of butter!
It would be nice to see more restaurants offer more healthy choices, but until that happens, it’s up to us to exercise good judgment and not consume a regular diet of fried and buttery food. Eating certain local favorites should be more the exception than a regular diet. And there are so many things you can do at home to eat healthier – cut the skin of the chicken, use light butter and water for cooking and sauté or bake, don’t fry.
The other night I overheard a waitress who had recently moved from California telling a customer that in a month she has gained about 15 lbs. from eating New Orleans food.
The other thing we need to do is move more! People in New Orleans generally don’t like to walk. I live about 7 blocks from the grocery store and as I got in the elevator in my apartment building a guy asked me if I “walked all the way to the store,” as if that was a rare feat. No one should deprive themselves of the things they love to eat, but some of the food we love in this part of the country is not healthy food. God knows we have enough fresh seafood that IS healthy to eat.
I don’t pretend to be a nutrition or exercise expert, but I do try to limit fried and buttery foods and I do walk almost everywhere. And establishing healthy eating habits will also set a good example for your children.
Western influence is changing eating habits in Asian nations. We should be changing our eating habits to be more like Asian nations. Sushi, anyone?