Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Common Sense About Eating Meat?

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be...

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Beef, pork, chicken.) Source: (via Public domain declaration: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry for the repetition, but this excellent assessment  of eating meat and its emphasis on MODERATION in our diets.  And again, the important thing is the total diet, not individual nutrients  that are important.  The article avoids any obvious bias and offers some common sense about whether to eat meat or not.  Check out a previous post on processed meats HERE.

The bigger picture also involves the awareness of where our meat comes from and awareness of the horrors of factory farming as well as its impact on the environment.


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Food and Culture: A Global Perspective

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditional diets of many cultures have in the past have been associated with positive health statistics, e.g. lower heart disease and cancer rates.  But this is changing as more countries increase their consumption of processed foods loaded with salt, fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.  Check out a previous post HERE for more on this topic.


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Eating Healthy?

Back in the days of the low-fat craze, people began to think of foods they ate as to how many fat grams it contained.  Now we have a larger issue called Orthorexia,  the new eating disorder stemming from an overemphasis by some people to eat gluten-free, lactose-free, low sodium, low carbohydrate,  low something, etc. etc. I guess it will only be a matter of time before we have kale-eating contests or how many kale chips can you eat?

Americans tend to go to extremes with foods – either it’s too much or too little.  We can bed lipophobic or carbophobic or sometimes both.  Michael Pollan writes in his article, “Our National Eating Disorder”, that Americans are the most “anxious eaters”compared to other cultures.  He uses the example of when presented with the food “chocolate cake”, Americans will often say “guilt” while the French say “celebration”.  So now it appears that almost any food is viewed by some Americans as “suspect”.  That may be partly the fault of nutritionists (me included) that far too often refer to the American diet or Standard American Diet as the SAD diet. We do need to improve our diets considerably but we also  need an attitude change. Our Dietary Guidelines include a list of do’s and don’ts but never seem to mention food as a source of pleasure.

Another culture with an appreciation of foods is Japan.  According to Naomi Moriyama, co-athor of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of my Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen, “The magic of Japan-style eating is a healthier balance of filling, delicious lower-calorie foods, presented with beautiful portion control in pretty little dishes and plates,”  This way of dining encourages you to “eat with your eyes” by enjoying the beauty of your food.  What a contrast to the American way of eating on the run or in the car and relying on a bag of chips and a soda for lunch and then going to the extremes of orthorexia to alleviate the guilt for our bad eating habits.


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Take a Stick of Butter??

Butter and a butter knife

Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This phrase is often heard on the Food Network.  Interesting discussion about butter, in this case grass-fed.  Some studies back it up, but moderation still may be warranted and a word of caution in my opinion is wise.   Still can’t shake that saturated fat problem.  As is often said, one diet does not fit all – check with your physician and get your lipid profile (LDL, etc.) before you begin to use butter with abandon.



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