North American Diet vs Plant Based Diet

Where is the Healthy Food?

Today was a beautiful day and I went to one of my favorite haunts, Granville Island. While the city of Vancouver in general is seen as a mecca for people who are health conscious and physically fit, there are many gaps. Vancouverites, without a doubt are on average more normal weight than other parts of Canada.

I do not follow a plant based diet, as in I am not a vegan, but I do eat vegan at least once a week and I eat more veggies and less meat than most North Americans.  When I am eating out, I make an effort to avoid fat laden foods as they proliferate the fast food eateries, food trucks and food courts.

ice creamAccording to Stats Canada parts of Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have obesity rates of 48 – 40%. Sadly in Canada we are as obese or more obese than Americans. Whereas Kelowna, British Columbia – 17.0%, Vancouver, British Columbia – 17.4%, Victoria, British Columbia, 19.6%. That is pretty is better than most other places in Canada or the US.  In the US West Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas have obesity rates over 35% (2014) and only California, Colorado, Washington DC, Vermont, and Massachusetts  are below 25%.

Nevertheless, I walked the entire Granville Island Market – probably the largest market of its kind west of Toronto, and for that matter I don’t know if Toronto has anything that matches it, and I did not find one place where there was a prepared food that qualified for whole plant, low fat. In the two food courts, there were a few vegetable, or bean dishes in the food court, but they were glowing with oil.

yellow tomatoAll the prepared food did not fit my criteria – plant based, low fat, and no added sugar. There were many kiosks selling fresh veggies and fruits – including veggies and fruits that you do not find elsewhere in fruit stands or grocery stores.

Then I decided to buy fresh fruit – which is in plentiful supply, and a large yellow beefsteak tomato. I bought several cups of green grapes, a one quart container of strawberries and a huge yellow tomato, and a pear for a total of $7.63. I also bought a small amount of mixed nuts for $2.68. Much more than anyone could eat in one sitting about the same price of a meal in the food court. I reminded myself a tomato is a fruit.  I sat and boldly ate my tomato and my nuts with hundreds of other people who were eating animal fats, fried foods, ice cream cones and sugar laden treats as we all enjoyed listening to buskers.