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Give me brown sugarnot

Published: 
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Now, don’t call me racist, but “white foods” are bad for you. I’ve wanted to use that phrase for a long while but held back because of the racism that we all experience in T&T. Not that it’s widespread or blatant, but, despite encouraging signs among young people, there’s still too much in this society struggling to come to terms with its past, and one has to know the Trinidadianisms, spoken—facial or otherwise—to understand this.

So what has changed? Well, when the director of nutrition, Kathleen M Zelman, of a conservative American medical publication like WebMD, believes it is possible to write an article entitled “The Truth about White Foods”, who is me?

This is how she started her article, published this year: “White foods — essentially, “bad carbs” like sugar, and baked goods made with white flour, have been fingered as a culprit in America’s obesity epidemic.”

That’s because the body absorbs simple sugars and prepackaged foods quickly, resulting in high blood sugar which triggers a release of insulin, blood sugar drops, and, in an hour or two, hunger returns and the cycle repeats. Overeating!

White food refers to any foods that are white in colour and that have been processed out of their skins. They include flour, rice, sugar, salt, milk and potato. Almost anything made from these foods is bad for your health.

Processed foods often contain additives, artificial flavourings and other chemical ingredients. Any packaged food has been processed but the best way to find out how much a food has been processed, is to look at the ingredient list.

Flour products include bread, roti, doubles, pasta, crackers and noodles. The wheat that we eat today is not the same as the wheat we ate 200 years or even a generation ago. Ditto for rice, sugar and salt. White rice basically has had all its nutrients ironed out. Brown rice is the thing.

Enough has been written about granulated sugar. Forget the stale jokes. Brown sugar is the thing. No one thinks of table salt as a processed, refined food but it is. Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water usually with little processing. Depending on the water source, this leaves behind certain trace minerals and elements. The minerals add flavour and colour to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels adding another level to its tastiness. Sea salt is the thing.

I have written enough about why milk is bad for children and for adults. I tired. Real yogurt, not the sweetie dessert thing, is the exception. As for potato, it could get a pass but is inferior in all ingredients to any “blue” food. Once you fry it, is death.

There are healthy white foods, those which are tan or brown on the outside and white on the inside: ginger and cassava and fruits like soursop or its relative, sugar-apple. Other good whitey, white foods include cauliflower, cabbage, beans, onions, garlic and white corn, although the latter is too sweet and soft for me and simply cannot compare with the yellow corn roasted or boiled from around the Savannah in the old days. Don’t even mention anything made with high-fructose corn syrup.

So, back to the race thing, coloured food is the in thing. Think it was Archbishop Tutu from South Africa who called us a “rainbow” nation. He was mamaguying us of course, South Africa is the real “rainbow nation” but we will take a “rainbow island”.

Eat the rainbow, avoid white foods.

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