Mayor Michael Bloomberg's advocacy of a ban on high-calorie beverages is a good start, but big sodas are hardly the only thing we should be cutting from our diets. In fact, Bloomberg's health food kick got me thinking. Here are five additional things that Americans need to stop eating ASAP; either that or we should be ready to suffer the consequences of big bellies and poor health.
1. Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing is essentially mayonnaise cut with buttermilk. The result is a calorie-intensive condiment that has grown far too pervasive in our society. Getting kids to eat their vegetables by slathering them in ranch is not a victory in the fight against obesity. If only that were the end of our creamy transgressions. Even worse than drowning otherwise healthy vegetables in the stuff, are the spectacularly unhealthy pairings found in current cuisine. Ranch has inserted itself as a counterpart to fried food of all varieties, and makes this already indulgent fried fare downright decadent. But, perhaps the most troubling duo is the wildly popular bacon n' ranch, which is now used on everything from sandwiches to pizza. This despicably delicious combination is the definition of unhealthy. Bacon is bad enough without being covered in buttery mayonnaise, which brings me to my next point ...
I'm not saying we need to ban bacon (lest I be run out of the country), but things have certainly gotten out of hand. The Cult of Bacon, which spread on the Internet over the past several years, started out as a tongue-in-cheek love letter to this most indulgent of foods. Yes, bacon is goddamn delicious, but it is also goddamn terrible for you. This duality has haunted man since the inventions of salt-cured meat and heart disease. Recently however, people like the guys at epicmealtime.com have taken to creating dishes that are monuments to poor nutrition. The problem with that type of sarcasm is that not everyone gets it, and we're left with people legitimately obsessed with bacon, inFATuated, if you will. We need to take a step back and enjoy bacon as it should be enjoyed: as a side dish.
With their wonderfully nutritious foundation of rice and beans, these con men of the fast food game present themselves as a healthy option to greasy burgers and fries. It seems impossible that something with so many vegetables would be anything but good for you, at least until it's stuffed with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and fatty cuts of steak. Burritos could in fact be as healthy as they appear on the surface, but only if we left out our favorite parts. Calorie concerns aside, your average burrito also packs a hefty dose of sodium. Even without cheese or sour cream, a single Chipotle chicken burrito still contains a day's worth of salt.
4. Anything but Black Coffee
I don't think I could possibly expound upon the virtues of coffee and caffeine more thoroughly or concisely than this video does:
Drinking anything but black coffee transforms “pure awesome” into very much adulterated awesome, and it can become very unhealthy very quickly. A little milk won't tip the scales, so to speak, but half n' half, whipped cream, mocha, etc. are ruining coffee's potential as the fuel for a second renaissance.
Just kidding. Pizza is the best.