FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The Blue Zone Solution

Strawberries provide lots of good nutrition and can be cancer fighters.

Strawberries provide lots of good nutrition and can be cancer fighters.

This is a great book. It is so much more than just a diet book. The people of these five global areas generally are some of the longest-living and healthiest seniors on the planet. The book, The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner has four parts:

 

  1. Discovering the Blue Zones
  2. Making an American Blue Zone
  3. Building Your Own Blue Zone
  4. Blue Zone Recipes

CLICK HERE.


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Low Carbohydrate and Real Food?

farmersmarketsign_tnWhen people “go on a diet” like low carbohydrate, the Paleo Diet,  gluten-free,  or wheat-free , they may lose weight but often say they say they “feel better.”  What do these diets have in common?   Most of these diets discourage the use of highly processed foods that are notoriously loaded with salt, fat, and sugar. Lately, there has been a lot of discussion on how the food industry contributes to the obesity problem and how  sugar affects our health. I  propose another diet approach – the “low processed food diet.”  This diet would help control our weight as well  contribute to the subtle effects of our overall sense of well being.

Observational studies of populations with low rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease either traditionally or presently consume diets low in refined  carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods.  Not all carbohydrates are equal. It’s important to understand that there are “good” carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – real foods, in other words. Perhaps it’s not just the amount of food,  its the type that counts. How do the  endless lists of ingredients on ultra-processed foods affect our general health?  The following article addresses this approach in the management of diabetes.

CLICK HERE.


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Sugar and Heart Disease?

heartdiseaseinfographicAnother nutrition bombshell thanks to the manipulation of nutrition research, this time by the sugar industry. This one dates back to the 1960’s. I  wonder how many lives could have been saved if this information had been available all these years. Now it will take years to determine if sugar consumption is related to heart disease based hopefully on independent research and not contamination by the food industry.

CLICK HERE.


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The Big Cheese Glut?

american cheese

The following article explains why we find cheese in almost everything we eat. It is now used as an “ingredient” in frozen entrees, snack foods, breakfast foods, fast foods while the cheese sections in the supermarket has exploded with every imaginable form of cheese – blocks, slices, dips, spreads, etc. etc. We put it in our stuffed pizza crusts, never mind all the cheese on the top. We pour it over our nachos. We pour it over pastas so that now  cheese is  our major source of saturated fat in the Standard American Diet.  A sizable amount of cheese in America is an ultra-processed product (referred to as cheese food) and cheese is a major ingredient  or topping in so many recipes. Granted, cheese is the perfect vehicle for the very characteristic we love – called “mouthfeel” that its high fat content provides.

Why do we have so much cheese? According to Michael Moss, writing in his excellent book, Salt, Sugar and Fat: How Food Giants Hooked Us: “To triple America’s intake in forty years, the food industry has also worked vigorously to change the way cheese is eaten.” p. 164.

CLICK HERE.


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Foods to Avoid for Food Safety

 

danger zoneFood safety is an often ignored topic since no one really wants to talk about food-borne illness. However, a bout of food poisoning can change a life or the health of the affected individual  for a lifetime.  When I was involved with teaching an infectious disease course, we found E.coli in some sprouts purchased from a local supermarket and a few times from a salad purchased from a local restaurant. Both of these foods are eaten raw which does not protect us from illness in contrast to cooking our food appropriately. I don’t know if these species of E. coli were the “bad” ones, but the mere presence of it indicates improper food handling practices.

For more on the long-lasting, often devastating effects of common “bugs”, click HERE.

CLICK HERE.

 


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Why We Get Fat?

The reasons for why we have an obesity crisis have 011abeen stated many times. However, this article shows it with some simple graphs. Why should we wonder why we have gained weight?  The answers are obvious when you look at the comparisons about our food intake now compared to back in 1950.

CLICK HERE.


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The Evolution of The Standard American Diet

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I recently found this excellent video by Mark Bittman, an American food journalist, author and former columnist at the New York Times.  He is currently a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

He succinctly describes the origin and evolution of the Standard American Diet (SAD) in a provocative and entertaining manner. If you eat, you should listen to his 20 minute description of the heart of what we eat and why. The video was filmed in 2007, but still remains true today.

CLICK HERE.