While I'm sure there's some arguable benefits to these things, I think it's paranoid or stupid to dismiss something just for being "processed". What the heck does that mean anyway? All our food is processed in one form or another and nothing about something being more processed necessitates any loss.
Maybe I just have no sense for quality, but I've tried paying double for "organic" products and similar - only to be repeatedly disappointed with products that taste worse or equal and spoil quicker - I'll never buy them again, it just doesn't make sense to pay more for it.
It mostly means, "a whole industry of greedy scum that added all kinds of useless and often harmful crap to the food it sells to make it last longer -- and increase their margins--, be more addictive --and increase their margins--, be prettier looking --and increase it's margins--, be more sugary and/or salty --and increase their margins. People that will outright lie about what they sell you all the time . People that would add melamine to infant milk if it made a profit and they could get away with it . People that would sponsor fake science .
Unfortunately a lot of people are so naive as to think that corporations are basically ethical and would never do those things, or that if something involves technology (e.g. food chemistry) it is necessarily good, even if said technology is used against them to pad profits.
 https://priceonomics.com/the-truffle-oil-shuffle/ ("Despite the name, most truffle oil does not contain even trace amounts of truffle; it is olive oil mixed with 2,4-dithiapentane").
I've never actually seen people like this, in fact I've only seen people who are the exact opposite - and you seem to give off such vibe - where something is "evil by default" because it's not "natural/organic/whatever buzzword here".
You can get crap from your "organic local natural farmer", just from the top of my head a few years back here in EU people were dying from ecoli caused kidney failure because the organic farm manure contained the bacteria.
Corporations will do unethical things for money but individuals will not ? Who do you think spends more on quality control - people who shipping millions of units of something and have billions invested in capital to produce said thing or some random farm ? Who do you think gets more regulatory oversight ?
And about the biased sponsored science - so we just discard science and go for something because of how it feels ?
I mean I'm all for eating quality and fresh stuff if you can get it but the arguments like this are just nonsense paranoia.
I don't speak for organic, Whole Foods etc BS. That's another racket. You can buy perfectly fine non-organic vegetables, meat, cheese in Walmart if you go and look for it.
But american popular mass produced food is of the worst standards compared to what people eat in Western Europe (and I presume Japan). And the food industry there is crappier than average. That said, it's pretty bad in Europe too: a packet of chips or some mass market ice-cream is the same shit everywhere.
>I mean I'm all for eating quality and fresh stuff if you can get it but the arguments like this are just nonsense paranoia.
What part of what I wrote looks like "paranoia" to you? That big manufactures like Nestle, etc. are greedy and would sell any kind of crap?
>Corporations will do unethical things for money but individuals will not ?
Individuals will too. But people don't buy much food from individuals, they buy it (most of it) from corporations. Plus individuals don't do mass production and the kind of food people buy from them (from some farmer's market for example) is not that amenable to adding all kinds of food chemistry crap.
So the distinction I made between individuals and corporations is not that individuals can't also be greedy, but that individuals don't manufacture mass produced food -- corporations do.
A piece of meat is a piece of meat (at worse it will be fed crap, given hormones). Vegetables the same. A bread bought on the supermarket on the other hand, can have all kinds of BS in, excessive sodium, tons of sugar, BS preservatives, etc. And there's all kinds of "microwave dishes" etc with the lowest quality of materials and tons of added flavorings, preservatives, things to give them specific texture, and other crap that doesn't occur or belong to a "Salisbury steak" for example.
>You can get crap from your "organic local natural farmer", just from the top of my head a few years back here in EU people were dying from ecoli caused kidney failure because the organic farm manure contained the bacteria.
Those things are orthogonal. You can also die from ecoli in food sold by large corporations, e.g:
Citing isolated instances in an industry that provides services to billions and saying you should be scared because of that is paranoia - on such a large scale you are guaranteed to have bad outcomes. Meanwhile most people eat processed food and are still walking around.
>excessive sodium, tons of sugar, BS preservatives
Preservatives have legally regulated ranges and there's nothing wrong with high sugar/salt if you're healthy and are within your calorie limit.
>Those things are orthogonal
Of course they are - that's kind of my point.
That would be relevant if I had said that they wouldn't be walking around (that they'd die immediately, etc.).
But what I said is that they are sold unhealthy crap to eat, not just openly but also misleadingly and covertly, because it makes production cheaper (not necessarily price, the margins are more often than not pocketed) and the product more addictive to consumers (more sugars, artificial coloring to entice the eye, etc).
Whether the industry "provides services to billions" is also irrelevant, as it is possible to sell crap to billions, or at least, millions. Billions consume corn syrup in all kinds of food stuff because it's cheaper than sugar and has all the subsidies, for example. It's still crap.
>there's nothing wrong with high sugar/salt if you're healthy and are within your calorie limit.
There's nothing wrong with anything if you don't eat it too. And yet a whole country, or half of it, is less than healthy, to the point of talking about an "obesity epidemic".
I don't think anyone is advertising cookies, potato chips or ice cream as healthy diet choices. McDonald's has some actually balanced things on their menus (from macro nutrient perspective) like their breakfast egg burger was ~25g of protein/carb/fat - but if you order 3 + 1/2 liter of cola and fries along with that then yeah it's not going to be good for you.
If so I see nothing wrong with it as long as it's listed on the ingredients. A lot of things aren't made exactly the way their name may make you think.
There's definitely some scummy stuff going on in the food industry, but I don't think a little fakery that saves the consumer money and creates a good flavor is that bad of a sin.
I disagree. I think a label should accurately describe it's contents, plain and simple. I much prefer to decide for myself what is in my own best interest thank you very much.
The title on many foods isn't an accurate description of their contents though - wasabi is dyed horse raddish, crab meat is often mashed up and cleverly rebuilt pollock, most fruit juices aren't what they list, but still get to use the name juice because they're mostly apple or pear juice, most bacon bits aren't bacon at all - they're vegan even.
If you want to get an accurate picture of what's in a product, you always have to read the ingredients. The title is mostly just a vague description of its taste.
The ingredients list is like the small print in contracts.
The title should also describe accurately what's inside, including any pictures on the packaging showing actual truffles etc.
And of course restaurants use the same "truffle oil" to serve $30 and $50 dishes with no "ingredients list" to tell you it's not actual truffle oil.
Just saying "That's the way it is", is not a good argument against "This is how it should be".
- Processing food, even in chemical ways does not necessarily mean it will be bad for your health.
- However, a lot of examples have shown that food that has been processed by the current realities of the food industry is often very bad for your health. Many times it's shown to be bad, many times they don't even check it.
- Basically if you process the food, the chances are very good that it is going to be bad. You have to be very careful when you do that (and back it with a lot of research) in order to do it safely.
- Food industry do not have a direct interest of doing it safely in the long run. They have an interest to make money and not get caught by existing regulations.
- For you as a consumer it's very hard to know whether specific processing is safe or not.
- Many times it's hard for the producer to even know. But they don't really care, as long as regulations are followed (sometimes not even that).
- This leads to you knowing that if the food has been processed, the chance is very good that it's bad for you. Not because "processing" is some weird satanic black magical non-christian sinful process. But because it's currently implemented in such a way that it lets through a lot of bad.
- There is no reliable way for you to distinguish between good processed and bad processed.
-> If you wanna eat healthy, in 2017 you should stay away from processed.
Even if we follow his guidelines most of the time, fewer exceptions means fewer dietary risks.
Preservatives, etc. also may be bad for you, depending. But processed foods are just plain bad for your stomach. Your stomach is better off eating things that need some digesting. (Veggies, fruits, etc.)
I hope it means something like:
Take a chicken and roast it, with potatoes and vegetables. Add some gravy.
Now take the same chicken. Remove most of the meat and sell it. Mechanically recover the rest of the meat, and form it into small popcorn size bites. Bread those, deep fry them, serve them with a sugar sauce.
The roast chicken is a good meal. It's healthy, it's slow to prepare and slow to eat.
The popcorn chicken? It's hyper-palatable. It's been engineered to be cheap to make, and to hit all the points of salt, fat, and sugar that humans seek out in food. It's not a satisfying meal because it lacks the fibre from the vegetables. And it's very easy to eat. It's a much worse choice, but it's a much easier, and more tempting, choice.
> products that taste worse or equal and spoil quicker
We see that (in the UK) with ketchup. People used to keep it, opened, in a cupboard and it would last for months. But now you're supposed to keep it in a fridge and use it within 8 weeks after you've opened it. The modern version has much less salt, and doesn't have sodium benzoate.
I had to cut anything but veggies for a while, and I have to say the lack of sugar and fat was pretty obvious. Processed food are like starring at the sun, it feels good because it's all bright, but you're blind to the world. Eating raw veggies makes you see all the subtleties of tastes and retriggers brain threshold you forgot long ago (sugar, salt, sauce they all make cover the nutrients, your brain just keep wanting to eat more, try eating 3 carrots in a row, you'll probably feel sick of it)
Here is another one: If you are buying from a supermarket and it was shipped a significant distance, the quality is probably mediocre regardless of organic labeling etc.
This one is hard to do much about for most people. If food is out of season and/or shipped significant distances the quality almost always suffers quite a bit. We have made significant technological and breeding advances on the shelf life, ship-ability, consistency and color of a lot of fresh foods, but most of those advances have had costs as well - typically in flavor and/or nutritional value.
"Organic" labeling isn't very helpful for food quality or taste these days. It can tell you something about pesticides etc. that you might care about (e.g. what might be in the lemon skins you are zesting into your cookies). It's largely a marketing exercise.
Which isn't to say this is right or wrong, exactly, after all people vote with their dollars. However you have to be aware: you can have fresh tomatoes all year long but the reality is that you can probably only have really good tomatoes for a few weeks.
Somewhat depressingly because of wholesale distribution contracts etc., you may not even be able to get those really good tomatoes at your usual store when they are available. Nothing sadder than a bunch of bright red watery tasteless tomatoes being all that is on offer in the middle of your local tomato season.
> but all of them are reliable markers for foods that have been highly processed.
It might be an ok rule of thumb.
Highly processed food can of course be good for you, but mostly isn't.
It's bad science but a working stereotype.
Organic is of course a marketing gimmick and as per the article
> you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.
Given that you don't need to eat processed and can easily feed yourself on unprocessed foods, a lot of people prefer the if its not broken don't fix it approach.
Now, in theory, nothing prevents a processed food from ending up being healthier then non processed, it's just people tend to believe that's the less likely gamble.
I read somewhere that its best to avoid any food that is sold in packaging. I try to stick to that within reason.
"Don’t buy any food you’ve ever seen advertised."
- peroxide bleaching of flour https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour_bleaching_agent
- acid-enzype process for HFCS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fructose_corn_syrup#Proce...
- de-oxygenation of orange juice for long term storage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_juice#Not_from_concentr...
(I'm sure these are nominally safe and possibly beneficial but I'd just rather not eat them)
"Once the juice is squeezed and stored in gigantic vats, they start removing oxygen. Why? Because removing oxygen from the juice allows the liquid to keep for up to a year without spoiling. But! Removing that oxygen also removes the natural flavors of oranges. Yeah, it's all backwards. So in order to have OJ actually taste like oranges, drink companies hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that make perfumes for Dior, to create these "flavor packs" to make juice taste like, well, juice again."
 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/100-percent-orange-...
Basically, their flavor packs taste better to me than actual orange juice, something about the acidity I think is quite appealing to me.
Deoxygenation alone, without the flavor packs, make it taste worse.
Indeed, quinoa and acai - two super foods before they became Whole Foods staples would have met this criteria.
I would definitely avoid dihydrogen monoxide.
> In many cases, long familiarity between foods and their eaters leads to elaborate systems of communications up and down the food chain, so that a creature’s senses come to recognize foods as suitable by taste and smell and color, and our bodies learn what to do with these foods after they pass the test of the senses, producing in anticipation the chemicals necessary to break them down. Health depends on knowing how to read these biological signals: this smells spoiled; this looks ripe; that’s one good-looking cow. This is easier to do when a creature has long experience of a food, and much harder when a food has been designed expressly to deceive its senses — with artificial flavors, say, or synthetic sweeteners.
In fact, I recently read a book, The Dorito Effect which goes into this in much, much more detail, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. I bought it thinking it would be a light read, based on the title and cover, but it was more engaging, better researched, and more informative than I expected.
I doubt so.
If you stick to protein and vegetables with no carbs and sugars in general, you get lots of filling fiber, and fewer calories, unless they consume huge quantities of lard or bacon every day, or drink sugars (e.g. in juices or sodas), etc.
So those people are doing something wrong.
Unless you're eating something that's (almost) 100% cellulose, that's not correct. Most plants have carbs
That is, no carby foods, carbs like pasta, bread, et al.
I painfully know how many carbs are in each vegetable (and net cars, minus fiber etc), as I've followed some low-carb diets.
> Carbohydrates (also called saccharides) are molecular compounds made from just three elements: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Monosaccharides (e.g. glucose) and disaccharides (e.g. sucrose) are relatively small molecules. They are often called sugars. Other carbohydrate molecules are very large (polysaccharides such as starch and cellulose).
I wish people would stop hating on "carbs" and redirect their disdain to sugars / small carbohydrates.
This is the key point and it makes all the difference. You need to be able to stay on the diet for a sufficiently long time, and that's why different approaches are needed fro different people. If you eat carbs you need to measure carefully every meal and calculate the calories, which to many people very quickly gets extremely annoying. On low carb diets you don't have to. Also there are mood changes depending on the taste of the food that you eat. If you like eating meat and veggies, low-carb diets taste great, you enjoy every meal. It makes it much easier to abide the rules. Also general mental state is important, high stress and depression will sabotage your efforts.
Diets are not just about nutrition, that's one of the biggest misconceptions. Psychology and physical activities play equally, if not more important role in dieting.
This. With the addition that psychology is hugely affected human bodys tendency to defend agains weight loss. One good recent paper on the subject how much weight loss increased hunger: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21653/abstrac...
Loose weight just by counting calories will not take in consideration toxicity (see my other comment in this thread). Many people burn fat this way, which release toxins they can't process. Hence their body is thin but saturated with poison. From here 2 things happens:
- the person gains weight again to protect him/herself. Happens very often.
- the person manage to not gain weight at this expense of his/her health, sometime with terrible consequences you only see months or years later.
One of my friends is currently in the later category. She lost a lot of weight and his very hot. But her skin is degrading at an alarming pace. It's a very bad symptom when your are 30.
All in all, it's important when you loose weight to:
- do it progressively so your body can process the toxins at the same rate they are released.
- help the body to eliminated say toxins by alternating rest and exercise, drinking and if needed, consuming.
- provide the body with a sane diet to not only avoid adding more toxins to the current ones, but also bring minerals than can be used to bring the PH up and vitamins to keep organs running smoothly.
Basically, "sleep well, eat well and exercise". Thank you grand ma :)
It's precisely this sort of magical thinking that the OP is trying to counter.
Some molecules are things that have nothing to do in the body (Maillard reaction output, antibiotic in the meat, pesticide in fruits, etc). Some are just regular things we can process but in a greater concentration that is healthy. Some are just natural waste of our regular body processes, but in a greater quantity than we can manage in our current health.
Basically nothing is a poison, it's a matter of quantity you absorb and can process. I just labeled it "toxin" because I don't have the vocabulary for it.
There is no magic thinking about it.
E.G: the blood PH must be at 7.40 PH. The body has mechanisms to ensure it stays that way. If the body is saturated with things bringing the PH down, it will try to get rid of it (through poop, urine and the like). I called them toxin, it was a bad choice. Fair enough. But the fact remains, if your blood PH goes down to 7.36, you are good for the hospital, and your body will try to avoid it. If it can't get rid of the responsible molecules, it will find a way to compensate. One way is to throw minerals at it since they are mostly basic. Another one is to dilute them by holding water. A last one is to wrap the molecule into fat, store it, so it can be processed later.
Again, no magic thinking. My wording may not be perfect, but I don't see anything unreasonable in what I'm saying.
However, I can't help but notice than 3 peoples opposed my explanation by blatantly rejecting it without arguments while I'm taking the time to respectfully demonstrate it. And give references to studies and books in another comment.
Please don't be aggressive. If you know I'm wrong, just make your point with arguments.
There most definitely are such things as "toxins". There are neurotoxins produced by black widows, most scorpions, box jellyfish, many algae and cyanobacteria, among others. There are necrotoxins produced by the brown recluse, rattlesnakes, puff adders for example.
Heck, if there were no such thing as toxins, the "Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases" would have long ago dropped "and Toxins" from its name to save costs on ink :-). The Toxin and Toxin-Target database  would also have about 3700 less entries if toxins did not exist.
The word toxin is widely used in "wellness" circles, but the concept so described does not exist. The fact that there is a correct, jargon-specific, scientific usage of the same term notwithstanding.
Absorption and digestion can greatly vary between humans. (A Common example are algae).
What kind of micro and macronutrients you eat will directly and indirectly affect your metabolism.
What you eat will affect your hunger.
Those and other complex interplays lead to things that are counterintuitive. For instance there recently was some study that drinking soda with artificial sweetener also leads to obesity, if I remember correctly.
This mantra annoys me, because it's like saying that to go to space, all you need to do is to burn rocket fuel and keep the nozzle pointed down (and then to the side).
It's technically true, but every single sane person know that it's true, and it doesn't really help you get to where you want.
It ignores how food affects motivation, digestion, metabolism etc. You can technically loose weight eating only sugar, but you'd find it impossibly hard due to the way the body is wired.
Generalizing to the obvious/trivial is not useful.
It's a fundamental part of our physiology that we have to consume a certain quantity of macronutrients to support our metabolic processes. If we don't, then our bodies utilize existing stores of macronutrients like fat and muscles, breaking them down and converting them to usable energy to meet the deficit. This causes you to lose weight, as you drink water, metabolize your fat and muscle tissue, and then exhale carbon dioxide, and excrete waste products. You're literally breathing the weight out.
You find motivation so that there's something preventing you from stuffing your face with cake every day. Then you spend a few months iterating while you figure out what you can build a diet out of that will leave you sated and allow you to cut calories. This is where your metabolism, psychology, etc. come in. Once you have that dialed in, and you may arrive at it without counting calories if you're careful, then you will start losing weight.
Weight loss requires a lot of self-awareness and attention to what you enjoy or don't enjoy about a variety of foods. Somehow, through some series of test meals, you figure out that you really like raw bell peppers, but only with salt, or that the only thing trail mix is actually good for is making you hungrier(this is something I struggle with).
This greatly describes why so many people have a problem with the blanket statement "Eat less calories than you burn and lose weight.", because it implicitly contains the crux of the matter.
There is no such thing as a single, straightforward "calorie goal that lets you lose weight without feeling like crap". It varies wildly depending on the composition of your diet (which is even different from person to person) and accompanying factors like amount of physical excercise, sleep patterns etc.
And those are the deciding factors. The calorie deficit is a prerequisite, but the difficult part is in finding a way to sustain it. (I mean, you go there yourself in the following paragraphs.)
But the statement alone is borderline useless and actually quite condescending to anyone with a modicum of diet expierience.
It's like saying "Answer enough questions correctly and you'll pass the test." Duh, No shit, sherlock.
For some people, their body will try to burn the extra calories - this in part may be due to the amount of brown fat, which is one of the mechanisms the body uses to generate heat. For others, their body will store as much energy as possible as fat, and they need to increase their activity level to compensate.
In addition, your body can become more efficient, using less energy based on the calories you consume. This is one reason that it can be very hard to keep weight off after you lose it.
Metabolism is an incredibly complex process, and while we understand a lot of the pieces, we do not yet have a full understanding of how those pieces fit together, and how to use that information to help people change their metabolism beyond more than very general advice (build muscle, be more active), and some things were sort of taken for granted - such as how it used to be thought that lactic acid was responsible for muscle soreness in the days after workouts, when more recent research has shown this isn't the case: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/health/nutrition/16run.htm....
Maybe in another 50 years we'll have people who can really understand this stuff.
I tested that on myself. The body does not blindnessly store excess in absorbed energy. It stores fat for many other reasons. One of them is to regulate the blood PH: if you saturate your organism with too much toxic food, you won't process it fast enough. To avoid crossing the unfamous 7.40 PH threshold, one strategy is to use fat to wrap toxic molecules and put them aside on your belly so you can deal with it later. Unfortunately with our current life style, this "later" never comes.
This my friend, is not true. Not true in like...completely false.
(source: Bodybuilding for a long long time...dieting 6 months every year...bulking up the other 6 months of the year...been counting every calorie for years)
- full prot diet;
- raw food diet;
- classic 'balanced diet';
- body-building diet where you weight your chicken;
- and of course the good old "student-fast-food" diet.
I usually take blood samples before and after and graph my weight and IMC.
It doesn't matter, it's still not true. And there are tons of ways the measuring can go wrong or be misleading.
Would you provide the resources to counter examples ? It's only fair to have literature to compare the 2 point of views.
You just provided general resources about food and nutrition (based on the links I'm familiar with -- others could be pseudo-science). Give some specific excerpts about "toxins" and we can discuss them.
All food has side effects (e.g. too much sugar and diabetes, micro-allergies, cured meat and cancer, etc). This is not the same as some unspecified BS "toxins".
It also has nothing to do with "I eat less calories and I get fatter compared to eating more" which was the original claim we disputed -- which is absolutely incorrect.
Well of course, why would I not ? They include the knowledge I'm using right now.
However I can't help but notice you provide blog posts with opinions, not studies or books.
Again I agree that using the word "toxin" was not a good choice. I'm not a native English speaker, I don't know any proper term for "things the body can't process, and that harms it".
> I eat less calories and I get fatter compared to eating more
Yes it has. A calorie is always in a context. It's extracted it and from this context. During this process, molecules that can harm the body can enter it, or be produced in it. Since using fat to wrap molecules is one of the ways the body cope with it, it has an impact on it.
I'm not saying eating only banana is healthy, but it has few chances of triggering the late mechanism.
No, the context only applies to health. You will always lose weight if you eat less calories, period.
>During this process, molecules that can harm the body can enter it, or be produced in it. Since using fat to wrap molecules is one of the ways the body cope with it, it has an impact on it.
That's not what happens. There is no such procedure that uses fat to "cope with it". Some substances just get accumulated in fat, with no bearing as to wether you can lose that weight by eating less calories. That's a common pseudo-scientific misconception on the "detox" circles.
- eat a little protein and lots of fructose from an apple from your garden;
- eat the same amount of calories as proteins + fat in industrial meat.
The second amount will create vastly more waste, such as urea, to be processed by the body. It will also require more energy to processed because the fructose is almost usable as-is. Because the second source of calories brings less minerals, it will also bring your PH down, forcing the body to deal with it. Because it's industrial meat, it will contains synthetic products such as antibiotic than will make your livers works a lot more and impact your digestive system flora.
But will not trigger the same insulin response.
Same amount of calories, very different context, and impact on the body.
Again, I notice a trend in those responses: you are just saying I'm wrong harshly but don't make demonstrations. If you know I'm wrong, please use arguments.
You're being deliberately obtuse and omitting half of the facts to suit your narrative.
- The classic "Samson Wright's Applied Physiology, Thirteenth Edition". It's very broad, but a strong base is always nice : https://www.amazon.com/Wrights-Physiology-Thirteenth-Medicin...
- How not to die. A good balanced between scientific references and averge joe explanations: https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/d...
- The China Study. Live study on millions of people to correlate quality of food and health instead of just quantity : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study)
- "Constitution des organismes animaux et végétaux Causes des maladies qui les atteignent" is a fantastic complement but I don't know if it exists in english. Careful though, it has a controversial point of view on vaccines. Still worth it: https://www.amazon.fr/Constitution-organismes-bact%C3%A9rien...
If I eat high calorie food, why does that cause me to retain more of the mass of that food in my body, compared to the same quantity of low calorie food?
This is a genuine question which I've never found a good answer for.
It would make much more sense to me if you said "Eat fewer kg of food than you excrete, and loose weight".
1kg of ice cream has a much greater potential to change your long-term mass than 1kg of broccoli because your body has the ability to extract more energy from it, and thus build more fat or muscle.
But there is no mention of the parent-comments main point „When I eat carbs, I put on weight“ .... which might be an indirect effect of a higher blood glucose level (more hungry) ...but definitely not a direct effect.
They use the post-prandial glucose response (PPGR) as a surrogate marker for how the body absorbs and metabolises food. Spikes in glucose levels after a meal are considered 'bad' as they cause large excursions in insulin secretion, and are associated with diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
They found a wide range of inter-personal variability in how particular foods affect blood glucose levels after a meal. Some people could eat a pizza for example, and the PPGR would hardly budge, whereas for others it would surge. The gut microbiome seemed to be important to this response. I believe the scientists have formed a company which plans to make personalised nutrition suggestions based on microbiome analysis, among other things.
See also here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/11/a-personalized-diet...
You eat the wrong kind of carbs. The kind of carbs you eat have ZERO fiber...so of course you will be hungry. Eat a bowl of oatmeal (100g) with a banana and milk, add a little cinnamon, heat on the stove or in the microwave and you are set for the next 8 hours.
lowering fats would work as well since itd lower overall calories.
Lean protein sure, there is a limit to the number of chicken breasts I can eat, but fat? Bacon, Cheese, Fatty meats. I can easily eat 1000-1500kcal in a single meal without feeling really full.
I eat 4-5 eggs with bacon with a bit of butter, being around 750kcals for breakfast and then by lunch time, want to eat a bunch again. I easily eat a pound of meat/baby ribs that go over 1000kcals easily (black iberian pig baby back ribs are more fat than anything else) and after a few hours I will be hungry.
I'm a small guy so 2000kcal is about the food I need to keep my weight and I work out a lot.
finally, peoples bodies vary and some are full with fewer fats or carbs than others.
My favourite food is called "Secretos Porco Preto" (black iberian pig secrets) 
This is the most fatty meat I ever eaten. I eat up and iron skillet, I put the piece there, it renders so much fat that it then fries itself (not grilled/sauted, the fat renders, heats up and fries the meat). After I take the meat out I get about 1/2 cup of fat for about 1.5 pounds of meat. I honestly don't understand how people think this won't get me as fat as the Michellin man if I just ate what I wanted...
The best diet is to try some things(experiment) and do whatever works best, not what feels best. Too many of these diets read like they are the most fun thing to do in the world.
Also a lot of people have the tendency to get their goal and then stop the diet only to gain weight again (then dismiss the diet because it didn't work) And this gain shows how people can work differently inside. Some will not gain back the weight after a diet, others would need to diet for life.
Yes, there is a big variance in the way people process food. But people also usually exhibits common characteristics:
- they don't eat that much on average. While they may sometime eat a lot, if you what the quantity during one week, you'll see they eat less than most people.
- they eat slowly.
Those 2 things alone allow you to process a certain amount of unbalanced diet.
BTW, if anybody want to loose weight, the second one, eating slowing, on a table doing nothing else than eating, and chewing a lot, is a good starting point. You don't need to change your diet and you will loose quite some weight.
A 3rd thing is that indeed, somebody type will be able to eat a lot of things and not gain weight. But it's not a good thing.
Eating a bad diet will bring toxins in your body. The body usually process it with various organs. But if it can't because the amount is too important, it has 3 strategies:
- watering it down. Diluting toxins by holding a lot of water in the body. Typically the 4 pounds you take on Xmas. It's not fat, it's water.
- wrapping it in fat. Love handles are actually temporary storage for emergency that got a bit permanent. This is why people say it's the most toxic fat and the hardest to loose. Fat people fall into this category.
- using minerals to bring your blood PH up.
Thin people with a bad diet fall into this category. Now if you eat a lot of greens, you'll have the minerals to play this game and it's ok. But most people don't eat enough vegetable to allow that, so the body take minerals from various part of the body, including the bones. Instead of getting fat, you destroy your skeleton. It's not a good thing.
If you eat bad stuff you'll just bring empty calories and some crappy additives and such.
"Some molecules are things that have nothing to do in the body (Maillard reaction output, antibiotic in the meat, pesticide in fruits, etc). Some are just regular things we can process but in a greater concentration that is healthy. Some are just natural waste of our regular body processes, but in a greater quantity than we can manage in our current health."
I gave references on studies in another comment.
It isn't high on my priority list so I have not tried many things. I just go around life and enjoy the food I want to enjoy, but my concious is there telling me "don't eat too much bad stuff, you want to stay healthy"
Because even though I don't gain weight it is still bad to eat lots of fats etc.
So yes I do eat plenty of green, and other variations of things.
(also earlier I said "what feels good" I meant psychologically not physically)
If it ever changes for me I know ill have it hard because I eat a lot of snacks and delicious sandwiches.
We do not have the predictive power at this time to make authoritative recommendations about what each and every person should eat, except for fairly straightforward things like "eat vitamin C or you will get scurvy".
Check again 50 years or so. Maybe by then you can walk into a medical clinic, get a DNA and gut ecosystem analysis, and walk out with a useful dietary recommendation.
You are not remembering correctly.
> I think as a whole, nutritionists have always been on the same page,
No, they certainly haven't. "Best practices" change all the time. This happened quite recently; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/1...
> but the edict "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" doesn't concern itself with those
It also contradicts the recently popularized "keto" diet, which has roughly as much evidence behind it as any other popular dietary recommendation (i.e. not much).
Really the only things we can say authoritatively is "if you miss out on certain nutrients, you get sick". Beyond that, we're not really very sure.
> The problem is separating the wheat from the chaff
Your mistake is in thinking that there's a definitive difference. Almost ever piece of nutritional research available today has an extremely low predictive power. Where you draw the wheat/chaff line is more or less arbitrary. Even what should, ideally, be the most staunchly scientific food-related organizations, the FDA and FNS, change the recommendations all the time because they're not actually using hard science.
Keto recommends avoiding plants? I suppose you're right about fruit, but those are disallowed because of the sugar content, not because they're plant based.
EDIT: I suppose while I'm at it I should take exception with the notion "if there is no evidence, then therefore it is wrong" line of thought. Which you may note you didn't say explicitly, so then I would ask well what did you really mean. :)
I'm not sure we can say that at any point in time the FDA recommendations were bad, but simply that as more and more knowledge is acquired, old models are showed not to fit the data as well, so we come up with new models that do.
I know, but when is the last time you saw a diet recommendation article of the form "Our Bayes factor on kale doing such and such is..."?
The only things 99.9% of people pay attention to (or know how to interpret) are authoritative-sounding recommendations, so that's what diet writers write.
> science's job is to attempt to give us a best guess at what the most likely answer to a question is.
No, I think you actually misunderstand what science can do for us here. Science can give us confidence intervals that let us maximize expected utility given what we know. We don't just assume that the most likely hypothesis is true.
> advice like Pollan's is a good balance between simple and as effective as we can hope for at this pt
Much of the advice in the article is too specific and based on weak evidence. For example, the suggestion not to eat much meat; there are huge amounts of research suggesting that eating mostly meat is a very good approach. I'm not going to claim this is true, because as I said, it's actually pretty weak evidence, but there's certainly no good justification to authoritatively claim the opposite.
Attacking writers (to no disagreement from me) is a pretty odd response to a defense of science's role in society. Science coverage is garbage, but that has approximately nothing to do with your point, nor my response to it.
> No, I think you actually misunderstand what science can do for us here. Science can give us confidence intervals that let us maximize expected utility given what we know. We don't just assume that the most likely hypothesis is true.
Oh for the love of God, this is a masterpiece of pedantry. You're mistaking "I assume everyone here is intelligent enough to understand what I'm getting at despite my lack of precision in a brief three-sentence comment" for "I don't understand what I'm talking about". Just because you don't fit the former statement doesn't mean I fit the latter.
Is this possible in the field of diet, considering the long timespan needed for experimentation, the numerous contributing factors, and the fact that study participants are very often not telling the truth?
I think it's a pretty important concept for people to keep in mind that if you're not verifying your guesses with experimentation, you're fundamentally not doing science.
Some diets don't do that. They're sometimes based on a type of "that makes sense" intuition, like, our ancestors used to eat mostly meat, so we should eat like them. Or, this substance is known to absorb toxins, so obviously eating it will clear your bloodstream of them. These I admit aren't scientific. Though often those intuitive catch phrases are thrown on top of scientific dietary ideas as a way to convince people to it and sell a bunch of books and products.
However, there are reasonable diets that don't make the news, for example the "Mediterranean Diet". While it doesn't come with any extraordinary claims, it seems to have endured with a good reputation from the onset (it was invented in the 70s and first gained popularity in the 90s) (also note that this article awkwardly mentions it in a way that seems to ignore most studies on it, but that's not the point). Look at the boring diets, that's where the good stuff is.
The irony here is delicious. You've gotten sucked into yet another evidence-free fad diet, but you're lecturing me on only listening to fad diets.
And no, it's not a matter of "only looking at stuff that hits the news"; the FDA and FNS, which should be following strong scientific principles, change their dietary recommendations and rules all the time, without particularly strong evidence for doing so.
> Look at the boring diets, that's where the good stuff is.
Do you make this claim based on strong evidence, or does this just sound like good Common Sense (tm) to you?
"Boring" diets, yes, because these long-term studies are necessary in order to convincingly support the idea that a diet is healthy, which necessarily implies that the diet is pretty old and probably won't hit the news all that much.
Finally, and as an edit, don't worry: I haven't gotten sucked into the diet that I'm using as an example. I don't follow or endorse it, in part because it relies too much on unsustainable fisheries.
And how many nutrition researchers and students do you think there are? How many do you think choose to do a study about a popular diet? Do you think everyone who fails to reject the null hypothesis with whatever mediocre p-value criteria their supervising professor decided on publishes their paper anyway? Do you think most journals would accept such a paper?
> however, if a study found the diet had any relatively negative health effects
That's the thing. Almost any semi-reasonable diet isn't going to kill you or make you horribly sick. Every dietary recommendation you find online will probably keep you alive and healthy. Then, by the nature of having lots of scientific papers and the way publishing works, you can find as many papers as you like claiming that your favorite dietary recommendation is slightly better than the other ones.
Did you read anything I wrote? Every single fad diet in the world has multiple scientific papers showing how great it is. (p = 0.05. Nevermind that there were 1000 research projects about this fad diet that didn't get published because they didn't reject the null hypothesis, so who cares. Nevermind that nutrition scientists don't practice good behavior to mitigate the effect of the base rate fallacy on popular subjects.)
Almost no scientific fields practice enough discipline to have very high predictive power. Particle physics mitigates base-rate failures by having an extremely high confidence requirement (5 sigma). Even with absolute best practices, it's sometimes not enough. http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/04/28/the-control-group-is-ou...
Nutrition science is nowhere near best practices.
There are many equally likely explanations that don't involve whatever those people happen to be eating. Regional genetic tendencies, slightly elevated levels of background radiation leading to radiation hormesis, a social tendency towards exercise, etc. It could be all in their diet, but then again, we don't have any really good evidence that it is.
If you do, then some diets have better odds, like the Mediterranean diet.
It seems to me you don't care enough, or believe a random diet or one selected by the food industry will give you better odds.
Sure, diets are not miracle life extenders or cure for disease. At least none of the known diets have been able to confidently show they are. But a diet is not like sending someone to the moon where you need very close to 100% confidence in your technique. A diet just needs to beat the odds of your current diet. In that sense, most diets, even fad ones, probably beats the average American diet odds.
Even that's a myth, funnily enough. You don't need ascorbic acid per se, you just need.. ascorbate. With the acid we can synthesize the ascorbate our cells can work with. But we can also eat it directly pre-formed by other herbivores, contained in medium-rare meats or not-cremated-for-hours livers, or soft-boiled egg yolks etc.
To shit all over nutritionists because you don't understand the science or don't think the science is moving fast enough for your liking isn't helpful. Science is science. We scoff at the shamans of last centuries, and in a few centuries from now we'll be scoffed at too.
What makes you think A) that's my motivation or B) I don't understand the science? I'm not a nutritionist, but I'm well-versed in statistics and hypothesis testing, so I am at least equipped to make general observations about the predictive power of the field.
> or don't think the science is moving fast enough
When did I ever say anything to that effect? The hard biological sciences are moving extremely quickly, and soon nutrition will be subsumed into computational chemistry like the rest.
> Science is science.
And some fields of science have very low predictive power, like current nutrition. Do you really put psychology on the same ground as particle physics?
> We scoff at the shamans of last centuries, and in a few centuries from now we'll be scoffed at too.
This is pretty much exactly what I'm saying about nutritionists, but for some reason you appear to be mad at me about it.
Your analogy fails to make it's point in a comparison between nutrition science and medical science nutrition science comes out way way behind. If medical science did change as often as nutrition science and had as adverse an effect overall as nutrition science has had we'd probably all still be going to our local shaman instead.
"You would not have read this far into this article if your food culture were intact and healthy; you would simply eat the way your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents taught you to eat. The question is, Are we better off with these new authorities than we were with the traditional authorities they supplanted? The answer by now should be clear."
Ha, I'd love to hear what the soylent folks would say about this passage.
What a joke, the only thing that's known for sure about "polyphenols" (and practically all non-vitamin "antioxidants", that was the previous hype) is that a healthy human body rapidly excretes them, as well it should.
The rest is hype, speculation, and the everlasting quest for the next "superfood"..
Carotenoids, okay, anything that's in egg yolks gets my stamp of approval. Of course the much-loved beta-carotin is drastically useless and pales in comparison to any source of (nonsynthetic) preformed Vitamin A from non-carnivore sources.. (and who the heck eats carnivores!)
What about fish? Tuna, salmon, shark - they all eat meat.
Crocodile and alligator I can imagine that that's a thing.
Really? Seems to me there are a ton of theories but precious few facts.
Atkins, low carb, high carb, gluten free, etc. Theories everywhere. But science simply cannot tell us what foods to eat and what to avoid. It's very frustrating to me how limited our knowledge of the human body is.
You're right, though, it is frustrating! My personal opinion is that it is the way we use food for pleasure and comfort that it is to blame. We are literally getting high on what we eat, which is deleterious for health if performed without break for long periods. But there's no obvious way for a scientist to address this idea at present; it would be considered too subjective and thus ignored by the majority.
Telling carboholics they need to eat less food is like telling alcoholics they need to drink less liquid. It doesn't work - you've got to be more specific.
And are you sure about protein? Personally I experience a strong desire for meat if I haven't had any for a few days. The fulfillment of that desire creates a visceral pleasure. Furthermore I can't imagine giving up apparently innocuous items like tomatoes, either. For a few months perhaps but after a few years I'm sure I would pine at the memory of fresh juicy tomatoes.
My father loves to talk about how he can eat the same thing every day, but whenever I visit, he's very quick to suggest going out to eat. He obviously gets tired of eating the same thing over and over, but he doesn't want to deviate too much from his routine since it helps keep him from regaining weight.
I know I'm starting to crave a steak - it's been a few weeks, and normally I would have steak and potatoes on Sundays as a treat after an extra-long workout.
Just give me a really juicy steak and I'll show you how to do that.
synonyms: craze, vogue, trend, fashion, mode, enthusiasm, passion, obsession, mania, rage, compulsion, fixation, fetish, fancy, whim, fascination "when I was a kid, no fad was more apparent than the coonskin cap"
I disagree calling all diets fads, just because the theories haven't been definitely proven or disproven, if they are accurate at making predictions it suggests there's something to the theory does it not?
The thinking "if you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight" is also called into question every time I go through a cycle of this diet. It is most definitely not as simple as calories consumed(!) minus calories burned. If that was the case, I would be gaining a LOT of weight when I am not on this diet, yet I do not.
>And at the end of it all, the answer to the question "Can we say what diet is best for health?" and by health, we mean longevity, vitality, weight control. All the good stuff that we all want. The answer is absolutely no, if what we mean is a very specific, prescriptive — my diet can beat your diet. So, you know, can we say whether the best Mediterranean diet is better than the best vegan diet or that’s better than the best paleo diet for human health? The answer is no. If what we mean, though, by "Can we say what diet is best for health?" is a basic theme of optimal living. Then the answer is a categorical yes. It’s incredibly clear from incredibly voluminous, incredibly consistent literature all around the world, diverse populations, diverse methods, observational epidemiology where you just watch and see what happens. Intervention trials where you assign people to diets. Randomized control trials and real-world experience with large populations like The Blue Zones. And frankly Michael Pollan pretty much nailed this one. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. That really captures the essence of all of the world’s diets that are associated with good health outcomes.
His "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." mantra is about the easiest diet to follow in the real world.
Eat food: duh
Not too much: again, thanks?
Mostly plants: Oh you mean like, sugars and starches - the most toxic constituents of the modern diet.
Pollan is the prototypical Bay-Area insufferable foodie. His documentary was a cringe-fest of pseudo-spiritual fawning.
Rene Girard talks about how food has become a new status symbol as people compete for bragging rights about how good they eat; Pollan is their patron saint.
You jump pretty readily to a conclusion that isn't in what's said. "Plants" covers a diverse group of foods, some of which are the most nutrient rich available to us.
You can eat nothing but potatoes, which are filled with starch, but a diet filled with plants is much more likely to involve a rich variety of very healthy foods. Some of these foods would be things like spinach, kale, carrots, beetroot, beans, sweet potatoes, blueberries, apples, bananas, strawberries, buckwheat, avocados, courgettes, onions and peppers.
There's definitely starch and sugars in these, but you'd be hard pressed to eat them to anything like a toxic degree. To get them to a toxic degree, you'd need to eat processed food in quantity, which isn't what the maxim, which is undoubtably glib, is suggesting you do.
I agree with your comment about food being used as yet another status symbol, and I generally find that a particularly unpleasant and tiresome way to treat something as essential as eating. I'd disagree that Pollan is the patron saint of foodies, though. He's perhaps the patron saint of plant-eating, slightly ascetic or vegan foodies. He's certainly not the patron saint of the paleo or keto crowd, both of which are very vocal and often produce very obnoxious members of the "food as status symbol" group.
Out of interest, what would you recommend as a good, healthful diet? As you can probably guess from my reply, I think Pollan's maxim, which is certainly glib, offers a good working basis for a healthy diet.
That's some meme. Which ones exactly? The most nutrient-dense foods (per gram / per kcal) available to us are livers, other organs, eggs and ruminant meat --- even before accounting for the latters' vastly superior digestability and bio-availability, and even before accounting for the formers' countless antinutrients. Fresh not processed/salted/cured/etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpxqGa1PQc8
The widespread micro-nutrient-power fantasies about vegetation come mostly from back when they discovered ascorbic acid (aka "vitamin C") and how meat doesn't have it but plants do. Quite the feast for marketers! By the time they found out we don't need ascorbic acid per-se, just generally "a sufficient source of ascorbate" (which fresh meat is but preserved isn't --- hence the frequent scurvy back in the day with the 'limeys'/sailors/arctic explorers who insisted on their biscuits and canned meats rather than the game/fish around them), nobody cared for such pesky details..
Since you asked, here are some nutrient rich plants from memory: kale, spinach, blueberries, garlic, lead, raspberries, asparagus, lentils.
All of these make great additions to any diet, aren't loaded with toxic levels of sugar and starch. They go great with liver, eggs, fish, or meat. I don't really understand where your hostility comes from, or why you simultaneously try to downplay the nutrients available in plants as some kind of conspiracy against other forms of food.
To be honest, that's not what you said. You clearly stated that the most nutrient rich foods are plants, which is false.
> "Plants" covers a diverse group of foods, some of which are the most nutrient rich available to us.
Yet the ones he recommends for us to eat -- grains -- are toxic and not suitable for human digestion.
He's perhaps the patron saint of plant-eating, slightly ascetic or vegan foodies.
Vegans are precisely the people who ascribe a lofty moral status to their dietary choices, in my observation.
He's certainly not the patron saint of the paleo or keto crowd, both of which are very vocal and often produce very obnoxious members of the "food as status symbol" group.
I don't share that experience; the discourse of paleo and keto, in my perception, is people seeking personal results in their health. Keto people may "brag" about the results they've gotten, but not their high moral status, like vegans, or how people who disagree with them are to blame for all the world's problems, like vegans.
I'm not. His argument is very simply that we should eat less meat and more grains. From TFA:
it might be wise to eat more plants and less meat.
most of the plants we have come to rely on are grains
Vegetarians are healthier than carnivores
All of this is garbage. Grains (eaten to the scale we do in the industrialized world, which is as the bulk of our calories) are poison. Yes, he does say a few things that are not false, such as "eating leaves is good". However I think you'd get better dietary advice by saying "eat things that begin with letter S".
"Eat fruit and vegetables" has been the suggestion every doctor I've seen gives, and until now I assumed everyone interpreted that to also include leafy greens and legumes.