How many times have you read recently that you should eat more fruits and vegetables?
It's today's fad mantra. Want to lose weight? Eat more fruits and vegetables. Feeling sad? Eat more fruits and vegetables. Credit card maxed out? Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes I think we should just make it one word: fruitsandvegetables.
When I read one article that claimed that people in previous centuries ate lots of fruitsandvegetables my tolerance limit was reached.
Sure, there wasn't as much junk food in past centuries. But then, as now, poor people couldn't afford expensive fruits, or even vegetables unless they grew their own. Oranges were considered a rare luxury. Then, as now, poor people had to eat a lot of starches like bread and potatoes to get sufficient calories.
Even rich people didn't feast on lots of fruitsandvegetables. Here's a menu from Queen Victoria's household on her 80th birthday. I don't see a lot of fruits there. A few vegetables, but mostly meat and fish and eggs.
Here's an article describing what people ate in Boston restaurants in the 19th century. Like Queen Victoria's household menu, the restaurants seemed heavy on lots of meat courses, thick sauces, and pastry. Certainly not what today's nutritionists would recommend. Not a lot of emphasis on salads. Fruit was offered at the end, but only after a pastry course.
Here's another 19th century menu so heavy on meats that it makes me slightly nauseous to read it . . . and I'm on a low-carb diet! They do offer some fruit at the end, but by that time you'd probably be so stuffed with meat, game birds, lobster, and fish that you wouldn't have much room to stuff yourself with fruit.
I have nothing against eating more vegetables, limiting them to the low-carb ones like greens and other above-ground vegetables except peas and corn if you have diabetes. But fruits are full of sugar. If you have diabetes, it's not a good idea to eat a lot of fruit.
It's time we came to our senses and got rid of the fruitsandvegetables mantra. It's time we stopped thinking of some past Golden Age when everyone ate lots of lean meat (people in the 19th century would have guffawed at the idea of lean meat; they added bacon or lard to meat to make it juicier) and fruitsandvegetables and low-fat dairy and had glowing skin and never got fat.
Let's separate fruits from vegetables and eat less of the former and more of the latter. Let's focus on the carb counts of foods rather than whether they're fruitsandvegetables or other things.
Let's control our diabetes by finding out what foods make our blood glucose levels go up instead of listening to idiotic fad mantras.
We're smarter than fruitsandvegetables, right?