Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wheat Thins

So it turns out that it's godawful hard to find crackers that actually have fiber in them. They go on and on about how they're "whole grain" and "multi-grain" and "made with seven seeds and nuts" but as far as I can tell if the box itself doesn't say "Fiber" it's all useless. Wheat Thins Fiber Selects are pretty good, though. 6 grams of dietary fiber per 13 piece serving doesn't make them a nutritional powerhouse by any means, but they're easy and keep well, which makes them a good work lunch option, and they beat out a lot of the contenders in that category.

I eat them with cashew butter, which I just discovered, and is delicious. I always hated peanut butter as a kid, and still do, but I wanted to add another source of vegetable protein to my diet, above and beyond legumes and grains. That means nuts. Me being me, that means wandering around the grocery aisles where nuts be and picking out some random things that I have some vague notion will be delicious or am otherwise curious about. Curiosity, in this case, very much rewarded.

All talk of grams and servings aside, I actually try not to pay too much attention to nutritional information. I do, somewhat obsessively-- I'm the only person I know who regularly reads nutritional labels and ingredient lists-- but I try. Compulsions notwithstanding, I don't think it's that useful. I've only flipped through In Defense of Food, but the idea, from there, that food is about more than its parts, and that we don't fully understand what's in food or why we need it, has stuck with me.

In particular, I suspect that modern nutrition's attitude towards fat and towards types of fat is deeply misguided. Odds are good that the sodium scare is problematic as well. To the degree that increased fat content makes food more calorie dense, and proportionately less nutrient dense, well, obviously that's problematic. But I'm still interested in cooking with lard-- because I suspect it's not any "worse" than the mechanical concoction that is vegetable shortening, and on the occasions that I eat fried food, or pastry, why not?

So I try not to obsess over the numbers. Eating food that's as colorful, plant-based, and unprocessed as I can is more important. (Nutritionally, anyway. Tastiness is, as ever, key.) I don't always succeed, because numbers are so dang fun. And fiber is important. It's only recently that I've realized how big a difference getting enough fiber makes to the way I feel, and just how much fiber is "enough." So when I'm going to be eating crackers or pasta or otherwise boxed, packaged grain type food anyway, I do check that number.

No comments:

Post a Comment