FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The Ketogenic Diet: An Update

Confused about Keto and carbs?  Check out some sensible advice from Harvard School of Public Health. For healthy eating, try out their Healthy Eating Plate Model (See link at end of the article). See my previous post  on the Ketogenic Diet for weight loss.

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New Diet Fad : Carnivore Dieting?

With all the talk about plant-based diets, it should be no surprise that this diet would soon follow. After all, we have had the Twinkie Diet, The Potato Diet and the The Big Mac Man who ate two Big Macs every day since 1972, a total to date of 30,000.

The debate about meat vs. vegan has been going on  for many decades. In 1928, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, an Arctic explorer and anthropologist and Karsten Anderson, a Danish explorer became the subjects of a year long controlled diet of meat only to settle the long-held controversy.  Bottom Line: It was reported to be that “both men were in good physical condition at the end of the observation in 1930…. there was no subjective or objective evidence of any loss of physical or mental vigor. The researchers detected no evidence of kidney damage or diminished function, and vitamin deficiencies did not appear… nor did mineral deficiency, although the diet contained only a quarter of the calcium usually found in mixed diets.” Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. Gary Taubes ,2007, p.324.

My opinion: I am not promoting any of these diets, although I often lean more to the plant-based. I would think that simply any of these very restrictive diets obviously become monotonous and there are no clear-cut health or environmental advantages to any of them. In longer term studies, some vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies may become apparent depending on your diet choice.  For example, if meat centered, vitamin C or some beneficial phytochemicals may be lacking; for a plant-based diet, vitamin B12 or vitamin D could be in short supply.

More recent research although observational, indicates that nutrient-dense plant-based diets have been the mainstay of cultures that have a history of good health and longevity  (The Blue Zones, e.g.).  We are primarily omnivores which not only helped us survive our early origins, and gives us culinary choices ( best of both worlds – vegan and non-vegan).  Any extreme diet is doomed for failure and questionable in terms of health and simple sustainability (i.e. long-term adherence). The best diet for you is one you can live with.

 

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The Impossible Burger-Still Going Strong?

 

The sales of meatless burgers continues to rise. The Impossible Burger appears to be popular with those who have tried them. The taste of any  type of these meat substitutes will be the key to their acceptance.  Still, food industry continues  to invest in their production.  For a previous post, CLICK HERE.

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Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?

There are always new crops of weight loss supplements that all claim to be effective.  So far, most have only shown little effect when put to scientific scrutiny.  Supplements are generally relatively expensive, so save your money on these. That one magic pill that will melt off the pounds still has not yet arrived – unfortunately.

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Homeopathic Pseudoscience?

 

Homeopathic medicines have the unique quality of claiming they are formulated by the “idea that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness.”  (WebMD)

However, skeptics doubt that this “memory” occurs and there is little evidence that they have any therapeutic qualities and only rely on the power of the placebo effect. These products as well as dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA and consumers pay billions of dollars every year for these “magical” products.

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Fasting: What the Latest Research Says?

 

Fasting has lately become a weight loss fad and its proponents proclaim its weight loss and heath benefits. But what does the research tell us so far? One thing it tells us is that more studies are needed.

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