Filler foods are filling up our diet these days, these include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal and other processed carbohydrates.
The consumption of filler foods rapidly increased during the low fat diet era in the 1980s and 90s. During this time, people reduced their fat consumption to prevent heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure… as they were told. However, when fat is removed from the diet, something must replace it to provide us with satisfaction/fillingness. There is only so much protein we can eat, so what’s left? Carbs!
They don’t fill our nutritional needs, just the hole in our stomach. With the exception of Resistant Starch… the new fibre.
They have macronutrients, these are carbohydrate, fat and protein. However, they lack micronutrients, these are vitamins and minerals. Any nutrients that they may have, are fortified (synthetically added). One example of this is the addition of iodine to bread. Effectively, it is mass supplementation. Although, because it is a synthetic form of iodine that is not highly beneficial to our body, I call it mass medication. Often, the nutrients that are added back into foods are the ones that originally occurred in the whole food before it was processed e.g. B vitamins are often added back into cereals, when they were present in the whole grain. Another example, vitamin D is added back into pasteurised, homogenised milk, despite being present in raw milk.
This was my diet for years before developing leaky gut, food intolerances, and studying to be a Naturopath and Nutritionist (read more about what I think about this now ~ My dramatic diet change over the years).
Breakfast: 5 Weetbix, 1 cup of low fat milk, pottle of low fat yoghurt and fruit.
Morning tea: muesli bar and fruit.
Lunch: Vogel’s salad sandwich and fruit.
Afternoon tea: 2 slices of Vogel’s toast with Olivani and Marmite.
Dinner: meat and veges.
Every meal features filler foods. Weetbix, muesli bar, bread and potatoes. These filler foods would provide more calories than the other foods in my diet. This is what people call a ‘normal’ diet! Normal is not optimal or healthy.
For simple ideas of how to construct meals without filler foods, check out my blog ~ Healthy Meals and Snacks