John F. Kennedy’s words about our growing personal health ignorance and irresponsibility are prescient. It is time we listened.
This is a great example of why most Americans should tell the nutritionist/dietitian industry to go jump in a lake. Instead of offering common sense and clarity, we are treated to a debate between ostesnibly qualified writers publishing a summary scientific statement on consumption of “processed” foods and critics of the same. The critics include the smarmy and ubiquitous Robert Lustig and media favorites Marion Nestle and David Katz.
Here is the simple and clear reality you can get from both looking around you and reading the paper: all food is processed (unless you are hunting or growing it yourself), the intensity of the processing matters, and it is perfectly simple to eat a healthy diet from “processed” foods. To wit, in the last 48 hours, here is what I have eaten, nearly all of it “processed”:
- Rolled oats
- 100% whole wheat bread
- Organic, whole milk
- Organic, whole milk yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Cheddar cheese
- Apples, bananas, peaches, and grapes (I didn’t pick mine…do you pick yours?)
- Sugar (two teaspoons to be exact…take that Lustig)
- Unsweetened black coffee
- Unsweetened iced black tea
- Frozen brocolli
- Fresh romaine lettuce and tomatoes
- One TastyKake
- Two chunks of dark chocolate
- 1 beer
Everything on this list was purchased at: Walmart, Trader Joe’s, or Costco. In our pantry, we also have fortified cereals and pastas (including those with added fibers), some chips and pretzels, bottled water (no, it is none of your business whether or not I drink tap or bottled water), and both sugar sweetened and non-caloric soft drinks, which we consume infrequently. Not only is it smart and safe to eat many, many processed foods, it is critical that we invest in these technologies because not everyone is going to be able to meet the elitist, decadent standard of doing all their shopping at farmers’ markets and Whole Foods, that paragon of wasted money.
The published paper makes very clear that when you move from minimally processed to processed (which can be beneficial but sometimes isn’t as when fats, sugars, and salt are added) to restaurants you go down the quality ladder even as you go up the cost/unit ladder. The goal for Americans should be to just eat sensibly within the parameters of their household budgets and, for the vast majority of people who want to avoid both spoilage and waste, food processing (along with the distribution channels provided and maintained by big food companies) is crucially important. Oh, and stop listening to people who are interested mostly in reading their own press clippings.
American College of Cardiology Foundation | Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk
It’s based on self-reported data, which is always the weakest kind of dataset, but this study of the benefits of running might help to get some people moving.
The study would have been much more persuasive if it was based on accelerometer data and including stratfication by fitness level, which would have required actually fitness testing participants. But, it is a large cohort, followed for an average of 15 years, which is eons longer than any workplace wellness program in America follows its participants.
Funny thing about workplace wellness…a co-writer the AHA’s worthless workplace wellness guidelines is on this paper, too: Russell Pate. Wonder if he actually read this before he put his name on it, because it’s inconceivable that he read the workplace wellness guidelines.
Tremendous post by Nortin Hadler, at The Health Care Blog, on the fallacy of searching in our genes for answers to our most common health problems.
High fat low carb diets score best in studies, but food pyramid pushes low-fat http://ow.ly/2JRv6G
NHS to give patients cash to purchase their own healthcare http://ow.ly/2JRv6F
So glad to see this breaking news on the role inflammation may play in serious psychiatric disorders. Too late to help my dad who suffered so much, but not to late to help many others. By the way, exercise is a proven anti-inflammatory tool.
California Refuses $6 Million Donation to Keep People on Medicaid http://ow.ly/2JRv6B
Wonderful, whimsical essay on cycling and the midlife man, by my friend and colleague, Alan Cassells. Go ride!