The Healthy “Alternative”

The Healthy “Alternative.”  What do I mean by that?

When you go through the line at a restaurant and coke or pepsi come with your meal, but water is considered the healthy “alternative.”

When you stand in front of the elevator at work, or home, and the stairs are considered the healthy “alternative.”

When you order that vegetable omelette, and it comes with white potatoes, yet, fruit is the healthy “alternative.”

Why is that we have to request a healthy “alternative?”  Why does health have to be the alternative?  

Shouldn’t health be the default?  Always?

I believe in changing the paradigm.  Make the healthy “alternative” into the healthy “default.”

I believe that when you order those whole-grain pancakes, they should automatically come with fruit on the side, or grilled tofu, or other good-for-you fare.  I believe that when you buy that sandwich at lunch, the default side should be a pear, pomegranate seeds, or a small bag of almonds.  The beverage should be water, or unsweetened iced tea, or other unsweetened beverage.

I know why healthy is the “alternative” option.

It (obviously) has to do with the bottom line, the bottom dollar, the dinero.  It is cheaper to give patrons white flour, white potato, or sugar, than it is to give fresh fruit, salad, or other “health-food.”

And…

We eat it up!  Even with calorie labels on the menus, we still eat the default sides.  Despite their detrimental-health properties.

We need to vote with our dollars.  We need to encourage restaurants, malls, hospitals, other business to change their defaults.  We need to make health, the default.

I’m not taking away your freedom to choose.  By all means, choose to have your fries and your coke.  But, choose it.  It’s not fair for me to always have to request the healthy item.  Why not put the burden on those who want the less healthy choice?

Would there be an uproar?  Probably.  Though, I suppose it would depend on the market.

Perhaps a little experiment is in order?!

I’m sure that I offer the unpopular choice.  But, for the sake of our health, our children’s health, our community’s health, isn’t it time to be healthy and make it so the unhealthy choice is a choice?

Food/beverage, and movement for thought.

Feel free to pose nutrition food-for-thought questions!

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