Monday, July 23, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

I love burgers.  Big, juicy burgers with melted cheese and greasy bacon. Fried chicken too. Pastrami sandwiches.  Ditto french fries, hot fudge sundaes, potato chips, cup cakes. 

I also love broccoli. Fresh fruit of any kind. Vegetables. Salmon. Whole grains. Natural peanut butter. Even tofu.

In short, there are few things I won't eat -- shredded coconut is one of them. Nothing ruins a good piece of cake quicker than some shredded coconut.

What I eat though, has never had any real consequence. I've never had to battle any real weight issues, never had cholesterol or high blood pressure or anything that made me changed my diet. But I've been reading a lot in the last few months about nutrition and cancer. The amount of information out there about food and its relationship to cancer is like an all-you-can-eat buffet on a cruise ship. It's free information and so the temptation to gorge on it can be hard to resist, but like the food itself, there's something to be said for moderation. 

Among the topics floating about are cancer and a plant-based diet, cancer and sugar, cancer and acid/alkaline diets, cancer and phytonutrients and antioxidants, cancer and grilling. 

For the most part, the effects of the information have been positive. I'm certainly more conscious of what I eat. I  count the servings of fruits and veggies I eat and try to hit 5-10 servings each day. I've made an effort in limiting how much sugar I consume. But I'm having a hard time this summer with the grilling ... and the burgers.

As I'm standing by the grill watching the flames kick up from the burger drippings, I can hear the voice of the nutritionist in my head. And as I bite into the juicy burger, on a fresh roll with some crispy lettuce and sweet red tomato, there's just a tiny bit of my brain that wonders if I should be eating this, and a tiny bit of joy drips away. 

In the scheme of things, it's not a big deal, but it's just one little way that cancer can saturate your thoughts.