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When I was at school, our teacher told the class 'You are what you eat.' My friends and I would laugh and call each other ‘hamburger’ and ‘biscuits’. Our teacher was trying to show us the importance of eating the right food to stay healthy.
This was a few decades ago when there were big campaigns to make British people healthier. We decided to throw out our chip pan which we had used until then to make chips every day for dinner. We replaced our chips with boiled potatoes. We also started using semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk in our cups of tea and bowls of cornflakes. At first I felt like I was eating my cornflakes in water and my potatoes had no taste at all. But after a while I started to prefer healthier food because I felt stronger and I didn’t get sick so often.
Japanese people are reputed to be the healthiest in the world because of the food they eat. The healthiest Japanese people eat rice and fish and vegetables every day. They drink green tea or water when they’re thirsty, and snack on dried fish, fruit or gingko nuts. The traditional Japanese diet is famous for helping you to live a longer and healthier life.
So we have proof that you become what you eat. Can you tell what your friends eat just by looking at them? When you know the effects of different types of food, you can use your knowledge well and eat what you want to become.
Food has an impact on our physical and emotional health. Have you ever heard any of the following advice?
Lettuce or milk can make you sleepy.
To stop feeling sleepy you should eat peanuts or dried fish.
To keep your teeth clean you should eat apples often.
Garlic helps you not to catch a cold.
Everyone has their own advice to give, which they have read about or have been told by older relatives. Some of these pieces of advice seem to contradict each other.
Eating chocolate makes you fat and gives you spots.
Chocolate contains the essential minerals iron and magnesium
What we need to figure out is what type of chocolate to eat to get the benefits and how much of it to eat. We can do this by reading the list of ingredients on the chocolate bar wrapper. Exactly how much real chocolate is in there? And how much of that do we need to eat to get the benefits of the minerals it contains?
Future restaurants might be named after the physical or emotional state they hope to create. Their menus will list the benefits of each dish and drink. Some restaurants have already started this concept, and list the nutritional content of their dishes on the menus.
Let’s take the restaurant Winners as an example. Their menu would list dishes specifically designed to help you win sports competitions. There would be 'Night-before Vegetable Lasagne', a pasta dish with extra layers of spinach pasta for slow-burning energy, rich tomato sauce full of vitamin C and soft, easy-to-digest vegetables. All this would be topped with a little fresh cheese – just enough to help you get a good night’s sleep, but not enough to give you nightmares!
Or you could choose the 'Go-faster Salad', which is a large bowl of mixed raw vegetables in a light salad dressing, giving you energy without making you gain weight. The vegetables are carefully chosen to include plenty of natural vitamins and minerals.
What kind of dishes do you think would be on the menu at the Clever Café (which sells food that’s good for your brain)?
So what’s going to happen to hamburgers and biscuits? Will the concept of eating food because it’s tasty go out of fashion? Of course not! Junk food is also changing. If ice cream is not good for children, can’t we give them fat-free, sugar-free tofu ice cream? Unhealthy food is going out of fashion, so brands are changing. We are told not to drink cola because of the sugar and caffeine content so cola companies are making sugar-free and caffeine-free drinks. We are told dried fruit is a healthier snack than biscuits, so some biscuit companies are making biscuits with added vitamins. Snacks might soon be changing their names to 'Skinglow' and 'Chocomineral'! So in the future you might be able to eat your way to your idea of perfection!