“Salads have lots of vitamins in them, but if you put dressing on it then your body converts the whole thing to fat and the vitamins lose their nutrition.”
Um no. World of no. Galaxy of no. Big flaming sack of no. Your body does not convert broccoli to fat in the presence of ranch dressing. It just doesn’t. Vitamins don’t lose their nutrition because they are consumed in concert with vinaigrette. In fact vitamins A, E, and K (found or converted from vegetables) are fat soluble – they require dietary fat for absorption.
I don’t know who this person was talking to but I feel bad for them that someone is feeding them (see what I did there) this crap. I did not say anything – I am adamantly against people giving me unsolicited advice about nutrition so I’m not about to do that to anyone else, but it’s definitely not the first time that I’ve heard something like this.
I think that this kind of thinking is an extension of the all-or-nothing, never-enough messages that get attached to the idea of food in our weight loss obsessed society. It is in this way that a meal with chicken, roasted vegetables, salad, and a brownie becomes a minefield. Is that white meat only? Was that chicken cooked with the skin on? It wasn’t cooked with added fat was it? Were the vegetables roasted in olive oil? Is it possible to just get them steamed. with no salt? Is that cheese on that salad? Oh god is that ranch dressing?! Do you have a lemon I can squeeze on it instead? And do you have some fruit instead of the brownie, actually the fruit probably has too much sugar. Screw it, I’ll just have a glass of warm water for dessert.
The overarching, overwhelming discussion about food as a weight loss tool overshadows discussions about food in any other context, including important discussions about accessibility to food. Health is not an obligation or barometer of worthiness, it is not entirely within our control, and is not guaranteed under any circumstances. Nobody is obligated to eat “healthy” by any definition, but we should all have access to accurate unbiased information from people who don’t lose all sense of objectivity and common sense at the sight of a fat person, and because our society inextricably links food with body size, that unbiased information can be almost impossible to obtain and people end up being scared of food and sincerely believing that salad dressing makes vegetables lose their nutritional value, and passing that information on.
The diet industry gives us questionable information and, many people who choose to leave diet culture find that it has taught them things that aren’t evidence based, and that it has created a troubled relationship with food that is difficult to repair. Dressing isn’t ruining our vegetables, diet culture is.
Let’s Hang Out!
Schools are back in session and I’m booking talks for Spring and Fall of this year. If you want me to come to your school, business, or organization (even if you’re not sure how to get it done), just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org and we’ll talk about the options. If you want to bring me to your community but don’t have funding or an organizational affiliation, I can help you with that too – e-mail me and we can talk about the possibilities. See you soon!
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