Sunday, September 17, 2006

How do You Judge if It's Healthy?

This blog from the contributors, producers and culinary correspondents at
TasteTV at

I find many, many people don't only want to eat really great food, they want to know that it's healthy. Problem is they're not sure how to define healthy any longer. The debate about appropriate diet versus junk has left them confused.

It's the same with wine, and wine will become more problematic to judge as climates get warmer (undue warmth is actually the enemy of wine).

With food we know, for example, that complex ingredients have a habit of fooling the senses into eating more - no one signal gets up and says: stop eating! And we know a meal biased towards the meat element as the crown jewel is putting easy cooking ahead of healthy cooking.

So what can you say to provide an easily acquired instinct for healthy food? You can ask what a chef's doing to create balance. Balance between meat and non-meat, balance between sweet and sour, balance between green vegetables and red, and purple and yellow, balance between using the frypan and using the oven or steam, balance between cooked and raw.

Chefs and restaurants with an eye on health will pay some dues to this principle not only within a meal but also across the menu. And it's a good guide for healthy eating. Can I tick off some of those balancing elements as I scan down the menu? If I can I can construct a healthy meal from it.

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