"Cooking is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your diet. What matters most is not any particular nutrient, or even any particular food: it’s the act of cooking itself. People who cook eat a healthier diet without giving it a thought. It’s the collapse of home cooking that led directly to the obesity epidemic."
"Someone consuming a Nutri-Grain bar in the morning, a Subway Chipotle Chicken and Cheese sandwich for lunch, and a DiGorno pepperoni pizza for dinner, for instance, will have ingested a total of sixty-eight nonfood additives (not including vitamins and minerals) that until recently no human being ate"
A large study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (say that five times fast) found that a Southern-diet leads to and increase risk of stroke. Increase intake of fried foods (fried chicken, fired fish, fried potatoes) and sugar (sweet tea, pop) are associated with increase risk for stroke.
Fried food = trans fats + added sodium
Sugar foods = glucose + easily digestible calories
The combination of these foods leads to inflammation, elevated insulin levels, increased triglycerides, obesity and a whole list of other things!
Of course it’s from the American Heart Association, who have pretty much come to the conclusion that all we should eat are vegetables and cardboard (“but it lowers your cholesterol!”). Granted I do think fried foods are not the way to go, you can still enjoy Southern-style foods. “But, if you cut out the butter, sugar, and frying then it’s not Southern anymore, is it?”
When scientists are able to make spinach taste like birthday cake, then we’ll be in business.
Video by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a Family Practice doctor and Assistant Professor in Ottawa. Here is his blog: Weighty Matters
This video is on the food industry—very interesting. Personally, I would have to agree with much of what Dr. Freedhoff says, especially when it comes to kid’s nutrition. Avoid the processed foods—in fact don’t even walk down the aisles at the g-store! It’s a trap!
Minding Your Mitochondria by Dr. Terry Wahls
A great talk about MS and the ability to cure (or at least slow) the process of disease through diet—functional foods!
“Made with real fruit”…because we won’t accept fake fruit, it tastes like plastic!
If a food makes claims like these, then I would not buy them or consider an alternative:
- “Fortified with..”
- ”____% less fat/sugar”
- “Fat-free; reduced-fat”
- “No added sugar”
- “Contains real fruit”
It’s funny that people listen to the food they buy for nutrition advice. In reality they are buying lower quality, highly processed crap that doesn’t make their situation any better!
In fact I wouldn’t even suggest buying foods that have claims like these on the box because most likely they are a processed food!
You throw your yolks away? Tis tis!
If you are ordering an “egg-white omelet” think again, those yolks actually hold a lot of nutritional vale. And NO the cholesterol won’t give you heart disease. EAT THE WHOLE EGG! Come on people!
Nutritional recommendations in the US date back to the late 1800’s when the USDA started making dietary recommendations to the population. Food guides like “Food for Young Children” and “How to Select Food” popped up around the great Depression, and during WWII “A Guide to Good Eating (Basic Seven)” [seen below] introduced daily servings and needs from seven food groups .
Figure 1: A Guide to Good Eating, which appeared in the 1940’s.
As the years went on more and more recommendations began to appear, like “Food for Fitness” in the 60’s and 70’s when exercise began to become popular, and the “Food Wheel: A Pattern of Daily Food Choices” in 1984. And of course the wonderful, easy to understand (cough, cough) “Food Guide Pyramid” showed it’s ugly little head in 1992. Since then it’s been changed two more times, into the “MyPyramid” and now “MyPlate.”
Figure 2: Food Guide Pyramid released in 1992. The worst pyramid ever constructed by man—the Egyptians are turning over in their tombs.
Looking back, did these recommendations make things easier? Are they making us sick? We are continuing to get sick, and die from Western diseases , like coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer, from our Western diet—high carbohydrate, high fructose, highly processed foods, low-fat, low-cholesterol. Currently, 34% of the US population (both male and female) are diagnosed obese , around 25.8 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes (7.0 million undiagnosed cases) and cancer rates are still high, declining at only a rate of 1.0% over the last decade . It seems as though these nutritional recommendations gave us more of a death sentence rather than any healthy outcomes.
So, what’s the issue with nutritional recommendations or these dietary guidelines?
- They are too general. We need specific recommendations for age, gender and activity levels. People need more education and background information on what foods to look for, where to find them and how to spot “crap” foods (i.e. processed foods). Granted this is easier said than done.
- They are not in the best interest of our health. What are the essential nutrients of the body? Well, we need fats, and proteins—those are essential because our body does not make all fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are not essential—the liver can make carbohydrates (gluconeogenesis). Therefore, meats/eggs/fish/oils (i.e. coconut, olive)/nuts are important sources of fats. Dairy to a certain extent, but for some strange reason we recommend low-fat diary because, why—it has less calories? Come on! This might be the dumbest reason to not eat full-fat diary. Especially recommending it to young children—WHO NEED DIETARY FAT TO GROW! We also need vitamins and minerals, therefore vegetables and fruits are important. People forget that whole vegetables and fruits provide a crap ton of fiber as well. They also provide low-glycemic carbohydrates.
- They don’t make any recommendations on what to drink. One-half of the population aged 2 or older consumes sugar drinks on any given day . That’s roughly 150,000,000 (that’s million if you didn’t recognize all those zeros and commas). Fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks—the list goes on. No real recommendations on the MyPlate for beverages, except dairy. What happen to drinking water? Or tea? Coffee has loads of benefits—people just abuse them by getting whipped cream, sugar and adding artificial sweeteners to them (like this—which is crap).
I do think its hard to make nutritional recommendations because so many people have interpretations of their diet and what they are/aren’t suppose to eat. But, what we have been recommending now is not working, we need a more radical change. I think people need to be eating more low-carbohydrate, high fat (ketogenic) diets. They are safe, and effective at weight loss [6,7,8]. Eating Paleo, while limited studies provide evidence as to the “newness” of the diet, does show promise as being a healthy diet [here].
It’s also important to understand that what you eat (and don’t eat) has the greatest impact on your health. We continue to abuse our bodies with harmful, toxic-rich foods that offer little nutritional density, and value.
1. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion “A brief history of the USDA Food Guides.” June 2011.
2. Carrera-Bastos et al. “The Western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization.” Reseae Repor Clin Cardio.2011; 2:15-35.
3. Zhang et al. Abdonminal Obesity and the Risk of All-Cause, cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality: Sixteen Years of Follow-Up in US Women. Circulation. 2008;117:1658-1667.
4. Ogden C. et al. “Consumption of Sugar Drinks in the United States, 2005 - 2008.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2011.
5. Cancer Statistics 2012. National Institute of Health. cancer.gov.
6. Yancy et al. “A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia.” Ann inter Med. 2004, 140:769-777.
7. Krauss et al. “Separate effects of reduced carbohydrate intake and weight loss on atherogenic dyslipidemia.”Am J Clin Nutr. 2006, 83(5): 1025-1031.
8. Gardner et al. “Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women.” JAMA. 2007: 297:969-977.
A must read for everyone: Illustrated History of Heart Disease from 1825-2015.
I think everyone’s view on heart disease is different, therefore, this little timeline helps set a lot of the facts straight. Popular belief does not always mean that it’s true!
Stumbled upon this site called PaleoTrack, and it allows your to track your daily food intake. You can enter in specific quantities and types of foods, and it gives you both a macronutrient breakdown (pie chart) and a micronutrient breakdown. Very cool, and it’s free! It also allows you to enter the nutrition facts of special or specific foods like grass-fed whey protein and coconut milk.
If you want to see how your Paleo diet is looking—then definitely worth checking out!
Paleo-ish Diet focused on a balance of meats, and vegetables, limited fruits and nuts with some dairy (not Paleo). It’s about toxic avoidance!
Food supports your body—but it’s main job is to decrease risk for disease by supporting every system of your body, i.e. immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, etc.