Monday, January 29, 2007

ultimate nutrition eating guide

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
That's it. Then Michael Pollan in the New York Times spends 12 pages explaining how it all got so complicated. Great stuff, including how the processed food industry, scientists, and journalists benefit from the confusing focus on nutrients instead of food. It all started in 1977, when a Senate Select Committee on Nutrition "drafted a straightforward set of dietary guidelines calling on Americans to cut down on red meat and dairy products." The food industry went nuts, so instead we get “Choose meats, poultry and fish that will reduce saturated-fat intake.” Nutrient information replaces food information. So you have the sad spectacle of people eating carb and protein bars instead of real food, or eating artificial chocolate cake and believing it's OK since "Now with Omega-3!"
Of course it’s also a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a potato or carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over, the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness.
[People in studies lie about what they eat], judging by the huge disparity between the total number of food calories produced every day for each American (3,900 calories) and the average number of those calories Americans own up to chomping: 2,000.
our bodies have a longstanding and sustainable relationship to corn that we do not have to high-fructose corn syrup
Medicine is learning how to keep alive the people whom the Western diet is making sick. It’s gotten good at extending the lives of people with heart disease, and now it’s working on obesity and diabetes.
Long but excellent.

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