How to make healthy food taste good

Does healthy food have to taste bland? No. In fact I’d argue that healthy food tastes better than non-healthy food. Let me show you how.

Have you ever watched MasterChef?

My wife is a big fan, so I’ve seen dozens of episodes.

Years ago, I was confused because I watched these cooks present their meals to the world’s top chefs, and their meals were very simple.

Did they taste better because of better technique when cooking? (For sure.)

But one reason their dishes were top-tier is because of ingredient quality.

In one episode, they had to fillet and cook wild Alaskan King Salmon.

It looked amazing.

Now, I’ve never had wild Alaskan King Salmon. But I have had wild pacific sockeye salmon, and I can tell you that it tastes 10x better than farmed Atlantic salmon.

It doesn’t matter what you do to that farmed salmon. You could add tons of oils, sugar, spices and pan-fry it with Michelin-star technique. It will never taste as simply cooked wild salmon.

Why?

Much higher nutrient density and nature’s optimal balance.

Higher Nutrients In Higher-Quality Foods

Check out this 2009 study on vitamin D content in fish.

Wild salmon had at least 400% more vitamin D than farmed salmon.

Wild salmon also has a 400% better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, which means less inflammation, lower blood pressure, etc.

And we haven’t even talked about the colour yet. Let me quote from a paper:

“Astaxanthin is the main carotenoid found in the flesh of wild Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon.

Wild salmon acquire their pink-red colour from the astaxanthin of their prey.

To obtain a flesh colour similar to that of wild salmon, [farmed] salmon are fed fish feed fortified with astaxanthin amongst other things. … (for example, Carophyll Pink®). These synthetic forms are commonly used in conventional fish farms.”

So even the colour of farmed salmon isn’t real. What you’re seeing is a synthetic supplement.

Now when I look at the store prices around me, it looks like wild sockeye salmon is around 50% more expensive than farmed.

But it has 400% more vitamin D (and I’m assuming other nutrients as well), nature’s balance of fats, etc. So in my head, it’s actually *cheaper* than farmed salmon. If you start considering the fact that farmed salmon is polluting the waters with pesticides and antibiotics and the fact that farming has led to the decrease of wild fish (and many other downsides, Stanford)—it’s a steal.

Now, I’m not an idiot.

On a strict calorie basis, the farmed salmon is a lot cheaper. Calories will prevent starvation (keep you alive) and fill you up a lot more per dollar.

And that is the crux of the problem we find ourselves in.

Researchers have dubbed it “high-calorie malnutrition.”

It’s when someone is getting too many calories while simultaneously becoming more and more malnourished because they aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals.

So most people find themselves in a catch-22.

  1. Do I eat less food (to burn off this annoying gut I have)
  2. Or do I eat more food to get the vitamins/nutrients I need (because I feel tired and low-energy.)

Or you can opt out with option 3… don’t eat less/more of the same food that caused the issue. Instead, eat differently.

How to make healthy food taste better

And to bring this back to our topic—how to make healthy food taste better—just buy better quality food, which has more nutrients and tastes way better naturally.

Food Swaps That Are Healthy That Taste Better

  • Crisco >>> grass-fed tallow
  • White bread >>> sourdough whole grain bread
  • Eggo’s >>> sourdough whole grain pancakes
  • Boxed and pastuerized orange juice >>> raw, freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Fake, diluted honey >>> raw, unheated local honey
  • Tap water >>> spring water
  • Steaks >>> grass-fed pasture-raised steaks
  • Farmed salmon >>> wild sockeye salmon
  • “Olive oil” >>> traceable one harvest extra-virgin olive oil
  • Conventional eggs >>> pasture-raised eggs
  • Pasteurized conventional dairy >>> grass-fed pasture-raised and tested raw dairy
  • Conventional >>> organic

Now that we’ve solved the problem of taste, we have a new problem.

Higher Quality Food Costs More

Real, nutritious food is more expensive in terms of money (in the short term.)

On this blog, I covered research that unhealthy people make less money than rich people due to taking more time off work, paying for expensive procedures, paying for medication, and sometimes even having a shorter career due to the inability to work.

And I am sympathetic to those who are on a strict budget (there are still ways to eat healthy while being prudent.)

But when I look around, I see people paying thousands for:

  • rent/mortgage for a nice place
  • nice furniture
  • nice cars on a lease
  • nice new phones with big data packages
  • nice Macbooks and nice iPads
  • nice new clothes
  • eat out often (sometimes daily)
  • order delivery often
  • buy supplements
  • have Netflix/HBO Max/cable
  • nice whiskey and nice tequila, etc.

For some reason, I don’t think really think the cost is the main problem for most people.

Sacrifice might be it.

Is it worth it to give up something nice that you already enjoy, to spend more on something boring like groceries?

Let’s reframe it—is it worth giving up something “nice to have” to finally feel good, lean out, muscle up, and get your fitness back—while eating delicious meals? Might be worth an experiment?

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