Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Panera’s No-No List?

English: The McDouble, a cheeseburger from McD...

English: The McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems that the restaurant industry is trying to outdo themselves in order to tell the public that their food is healthier than the other guys.  But they still don’t cut the calories on many of their menu items or cut down portion sizes to a reasonable level. And what will McDonald’s do next to entice back customers?  It will be interesting to watch.


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GMO Labeling?

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup

GM foods have been in the news a lot lately due to the global protests against them and  Monsanto this past weekend.  No one can conclusively say whether they are safe or not and most articles are biased one way or the other – so it’s hard to know the real truth.

In my opinion, GMO ingredients should be labeled.  We have sugar-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, preservative-free, high-fructose corn syrup-free.   Why not GMO-free?  GMO labelling is also a means to avoid glyphosate – a herbicide used in GMO farming that in some studies has been reported to be carcinogenic but the overall conclusions are inconclusive. Concerned consumers have a right to know what is in their food as it looks like this debate will continue for some time.


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Get Ready, Meat Industry – The DGs are Coming Soon

"Meat Market" sign, Kenner, Louisian...

“Meat Market” sign, Kenner, Louisiana, 1938 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The meat industry is not happy with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines planned to be released soon.  We shall see if the committee stands by their original recommendations after overwhelming interest via public comment and of course, influence from politics and the food industry.


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It’s Calories, Calories!

English: USA snack Nestlé Crunch美國原產雀巢公司巧克力 Ca...

English: USA snack Nestlé Crunch美國原產雀巢公司巧克力 Category:Nestlé Crunch Category:Plastic bags Category:Snack foods of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The myth of “Move More” for successful weight loss without calorie restriction is addressed in this excellent article. This simple explanation seems paltry compared to the complexities of weight loss from both internal and external factors like hormones and the food environment, respectively.

In my opinion, we seem to ignore our habit of snacking in this country (USA) and from the looks of the snack aisles in the supermarket, it becomes obvious. Do we include that bag of chips when we try to keep a food diary? – maybe no.  We have chips, cookies, snack bars, energy bars, crackers, etc., most with added sugar.  Some are made for portability (small packages) so we can take them wherever we go. Snacking leads to mindless eating habits and calories add up.

Again, we turn to the French population who traditionally did not snack or diet.  They have enjoyed one of the lower obesity rates in the world although that is changing due to infiltration of Western foods.   Isn’t there a message there?


Some of the traditions they practice include:

  • They do not formally diet – if they eat too much one day, they eat less or skip a meal the next day.
  • Meals are generally light and portions are small.
  • Although they are known for eating rich foods like pastries and cheeses, they enjoy these foods occasionally, maybe once in two weeks. Emphassis is placed on quality, not quantity.
  • They prefer the real stuff – butter and sugar in small amounts, of course.  Artificial sweeteners are not widely used.
  • They prefer walking to workouts for their exercise needs.


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Health Food Imposters?

English: Veggie burger

These foods are promoted as being healthy, but really do not measure up to their claims.  Most of these foods are over-processed, loaded with sugar or salt and ingredients one cannot pronounce.  Please note the healthier alternatives, many of which are cheaper.  Click on “Launch Gallery” for details.



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