You'd be better off with a whole orange than a glass of orange juice. It has more fiber and more vitamin C. But I'm not a dietitian. The book is not about whether you should drink orange juice and whether it's healthy. It's about how little consumers know about how popular and - in the case of orange juice - seemingly straightforward foods are produced and the repercussions for agriculture.
I've never cared about what I eat. If I want something, I eat it. When I'm full, I stop. Over the last two years, my weight has stayed between 210lbs and 220lbs. I'm lucky. But I'm also a datapoint.
Since some people can simply not care about what they eat, and they don't get fat, then I'd bet money other people can watch what they eat and still get fat. And of course, for other people, watching what they eat will make them skinnier.
The point is, everyone is different, and no one can say with a straight face that we understand nutrition well enough to make broad claims like "the amount of sugar in a single cup of orange juice contributes to the obesity we're all facing".
They usually have terrible habits, are are in complete denial about how many calories those habits constitute.
Most people are arrogant and think they know more than they do. The truth is, we know very little about nutrition (in an absolute sense, like "I absolutely know that if I hit that ball with X force, it will move Y meters").
be patient bro you're on the right track
We know what you're consuming doesn't qualify as nutrition.
Dude, you eat garbage. This isn't a hippy-crunchy-vegan thing; the "food" you eat is trash.
If you want to sooth your sweet tooth, go to your grocery store and buy a metric fuckton of berries. They're in season. Leave your strawberries and blackberries in the fridge, and throw your raspberries (they don't keep) and blueberries (they're fantastic frozen) in the freezer. Grab some bananas and milk while you're there.
Make a smoothy like so: 1 banana, 4-5 strawberries, a bunch of blue-, black-, and raspberries, put 'em in the blender. Fill the cracks with milk. Blend. Drink. You'll have to balance the berries for taste, as raspberries and commercial blackberries are sour; strawberries, blueberries, wild (ripe) blackberries, and bananas are sweet.
Do that, and you can satisfy your sweet tooth and get loads of good vitamins and whatnot in you. It's also easier than walking to the store, and not terribly expensive.
Remember those blueberries you put in the freezer? Next time you want candy or chocolate or something, munch on them. They're delicious (big ones are better).
One last note: stop pretending that your diet is okay. It really, really isn't. Your body is operating in spite of what you're putting into it, not because of it.
Besides everything else, you are good to get periodontal disease and have false teeth early on. Nutrition is clear on several aspects. Eating horrible food is not some perceptual mystery. Eventually it will catch up to you. And it often makes you feel bad instantly.
Try changing your diet for 30-days, eat more fruits, vegetables, cut your sugar intake etc and see if you feel different.
And have you seen Tom Naughton's film Fat Head (the anti-Super Size Me doc)? Some bad logic in it but you sound like you could appreciate it. Good luck.
I'm merely saying science is harmed when people blatantly decide to overlook reality.
It seems very interesting to me that I can drink 88oz of soda every day for the past 6 months and still be at the same weight. Why is that?
And it raises other interesting questions, too. Like the meaning of "health". For example, I know my muscles haven't been impacted, because I just armwrestled my wife's father and won, and the dude builds pole barns for a living. Like, goes out and actually builds them himself.
So if soda is so terrible, why haven't I been affected? Or is the truth that I'm overlooking some aspect of my health? I'm interested in the answers, but I won't ever find out if arrogant scientists continue with the "soda is terrible!" mantra.
Edit: as pyre points out, if someone reads this and thinks "Gee, maybe I'll try suddenly drinking 88oz of soda every day too!"... don't. I was just pointing out what I do, not saying that it's safe.
* It couple possibly have something to do with the discovery that all of our digestive tracts can (possibly) be categorized into three different sets of bacterial fauna.
* I certainly hope that you aren't recommending that everyone should just drink nothing but soda because, "it works for me, so it should work for everyone."
The truth is your habits will catch up to you. Eventually.
If you think Chicken McNuggets have a lot to do with chicken, think again.
"As of October 9, 2010, the ingredients are as follows: Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with: bleached wheat flour, water, wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose, yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono -and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane made of silicone is added as an antifoaming agent. The list may be slightly different outside of the United States."
Chicken McNuggets are pure crap with much too much fat and very low nutritional value.
It's your problem in the end, but as some fellow HNers already pointed out you're in for a very bad surprise not too far from now.
Another tip would be to replace the soda with water. So much better for you and you get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Here's a fun fact: their "chicken" is actually, at most, 44 percent chicken. The rest is mostly corn, salt, preservatives, and a few other interesting nasties.
An 8 oz can of coke has 142 calories, all from sugar. That means you're consuming 1562, or 75% of your daily recommended caloric intake from sugar alone. That's fucking terrible, man. Stop doing that.
When I went to Shaolin to train, I was 174lbs, eating about 2,500-3,200 calories a day (estimate). During my 3 months there, I ate about 5,000-6,000 calories a day (estimate), and ended up 167 lbs. I'm 182 cm. The funny thing is, visually, there wasn't much of a difference other than my abs showing more, and more muscle.
I concluded even those of us who are "lucky" in metabolics, still have fat to lose.
Unless you are a bodybuilder, which I am guessing you are not since they most certainly do care about what they eat, you are likely considered overweight in every other country on earth.
I drink over half gallon of soda a day, and survive mostly on $1 McChickens.
So I'm either a freak of nature, or we don't know as much as we think we do about nature.
You don't look healthy either and with continuing your lifestyle like you do, You are a ticking timebomb of diabetes, cholesterol issues, gout and other nasty metabolic diseases.
Take an example of my mother, she is 70 and has developed both gout and diabetes. Now imagine what you are allowed to eat - to not have issues with your body (hint. For diabetes - sugars are verboten and for gout proteins are denied.). Now imagine that there is a very real risk, that you will be in same condition by your mid 40's.
Wake up. Now.
Edit: I understand that a lot of HNers with our geeky lifestyles deem OP completely "normal" and "healthy" - but this is simply not the truth. And thus everybody might be in a deep denial.
I mean, I have no ego, and I'm not doing this out of narcissism or some silliness like that. I genuinely care about "the truth". So if the truth is I don't look healthy, then I'd like to know why.
I was just about run up to the local gas station and buy a $0.72 44oz Cherry Coke, then run up to McDonalds and grab a McChicken for $1.09, then head back and keep programming. Total time: 15min, total cost: $1.81. If you give me convenient alternatives, I guarantee I'll switch. And maybe this thread will help educate other people who are doing similar things as me.
"Fit" is another matter, and it implies "for a purpose" or toward some goal.
I'd start with a mix of body composition (your body fat percentage, nut just scale weight, and certainly not some crap bogus metric like BMI). You can come up with a pretty good estimate just by eyeballing, or you can take tape or caliper measures and run them through a model. A good online site for same: http://www.linear-software.com/online.html
If you want some fitness basics a good start is here: http://liamrosen.com/fitness.html
For books, "The New Rules of Lifting" is decent. You can do the workouts at home, though a gym helps: http://www.amazon.com/New-Rules-Lifting-Maximum-Muscle/dp/15...
I actually prefer a good 5x5 program for beginners (simpler, brutally effective). Check out http://stronglifts.com or look up Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength .
Fitness metrics: body fat, strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, heart rate, lipids, etc.
I've worked in tech for 20 years. I've contributed to some major open source projects and worked at some significant organizations. I've also taken fitness pretty seriously after letting it slide. I do lift weights, hike, bike, swim and row. What you do with it is up to you, but I've found that the investment pays off very high dividends.
I've eaten at a McDonalds once in the last 20 years. That's not food. Neither is Coke refreshment.
Put water in a pan, bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut one onion into small pieces. Put oil in a frying pan and heat, then add minced meat. Add pasta and a bit of salt to now boiling water. When it starts to be a bit brown, add the onion, stir. Add any spices, e.g. thyme and laurel leaf. Add 500ml pureed tomatoes (you can but this you don't have to do it yourself). Add a crushed broth cube, and a teaspoon of sugar. Add crushed, diced garlic. Let it stay on the heat for 4 minutes. Now your pasta should be ready. Eat with Parmesan cheese and some vegetables.
Total time: 10 minutes. Number of meals cooked: 2, so 5 minutes per meal. Total cost per meal less than $1.81.
You are not doing it the convenient way.
Edit: You could also buy 20 apples at once and keep them stored. This reduces your time overhead significantly.
Now I have to work doubly hard to get it back down.
Add chips if you need something extra. Dump them onto a plate to keep yourself from eating the entire bag, though.
While you're at the store, grab a romaine lettuce. rinse it off and just start munching. No need to chop it into a salad, that's a pain in the ass.
Shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the frozen and boxed stuff.
On convenience of healthy food. It's very subjective for me since I was raised on organic food (farmerboy here, it is quite interesting that our farm was organic waay before "organic" even existed. Industrial farming just didn't seem "right" to my parents) I have a general distaste for any kind industrial food (except various sweets :D). Thus you will not find any sodas and/or McStyle food on my menu - because I just don't like the taste of it. (Yes I will turn into a BK or MD every now and then - just to find out that I don't like it - over and over :))
But - being a geek I also have (or at least had) this problem of seeing food preparation as too mundane for me. However since I quit my corporate job I actually started liking to take care of our garden (40m2 in backyard) and orchard, and I have always liked cooking (I love nice tasty food). So now I have learned to treat it as a stabilizing factor in my life, to just you know - slow down for a while while doing gardening tasks it also provides a basic exercise. I know understand that producing your own food is not an option for you - I'd just like to point out that eating a meal that you produced from ground up is one of best experiences in life - right there with drugs, sex and programming. Just to let you know that if you ever get a chance at producing your own food - you should take it. It's not too much work either. A couple of weeks in spring and one in autumn - in between its mostly about basic maintenance and pest control - nature takes care of the rest. Like mentioned - this last paragraph may not do much for you and you might even see me as (rightly) bragging - but it's here just so you can understand what angle I am coming from.
Now about how you can make healthy food convenient and cheap. 1. Accept that it will take more time than junk-food (thats half of its point), but it will take less time than you expect - especially once you get used to it. 2. Stop consuming sodas and just divert "soda fund" into "food fund" - you are meant to drink water and should learn to do it ASAP. 3. Beans, Pasta, Potatoes, Full corn Bread, vegetables, nuts and dairy products should be the staple of your diet. 4. A lot of home cooking can be done fast or semi-absent (vegetable soup - cut vegetables, add water, put on an appropriate power setting - return after an hour or two - enjoy delicious vegetable soup). Pasta is fast and simple to prepare (also will keep you well fed for quite awhile). To maximise yield, learn to cook larger amounts - don't just cook a single meal worth of soup or pasta. Example: Cook a pound worth of beans (this is 4 days worth of protein) - meal 1: eat some beans with cracklings; meal 2: use some of the beans in salad; meal 3: cook some bean soup with pasta; You can also use your vegetable soup as basis for your pasta sauce, etc.
5. Salads are super fast to prepare. 6. Fruit meals require no preparation.
But you could also view your food preparation as a ritual that will help you stay balanced in your life - and thus not a waste of time.
Oh and to be honest - its perfectly possible to grow fat on healthy food. It's just not so easy and your organism will not have to endure so much stress.
Do you have any thoughts on using Crystal Light to make water taste less terrible?
Someday, when I have more than $1k of savings, I hope to live in a nice rental house with a garden in the back. What all foods do you grow?
As they say: cheers!
Water tastes fantastic. It's sweet. An all-soda-and-mcsquats' diet has killed your taste buds, so anything that isn't loaded with sugar and salt (never mind the Coke, your McChicken has a crazy amount of added sugar) will taste bland to you. Cut the crap out of your diet, and the good stuff will taste good again.
Now, all of this is modulo your local water supply. Here in Vancouver our water tastes great, but we're lucky. You might not be in the same boat. Try grabbing a brita water filter and keep it full, in the fridge.
As for grown foods: tomatoes are great and easy to grow. If you have sun, blackberries are literally weeds and will take care of themselves. Carrots and potatoes are the same way. You should always have some chives growing somewhere; they add delicious flavour to most things. Lettuces and cabbages are fairly easy, but you have to keep slugs and whatnot away or they'll eat them before you get the chance. Same deal with spinach. Peas and beans are pretty easy to grow, although you'll need a lattice. Cucumbers and zucchini are easy to grow, as well. Note, that is in no way an endorsement of zucchini. I don't advocate it's consumption; I'm just pointing out that it's easy to grow.
"Water tastes fantastic. It's sweet. An all-soda-and-mcsquats' diet has killed your taste buds, so anything that isn't loaded with sugar and salt (never mind the Coke, your McChicken has a crazy amount of added sugar) will taste bland to you. Cut the crap out of your diet, and the good stuff will taste good again."
This is _so_ true.
I'm still fighting a battle with my own brain which I've been fighting (on and off) for 5 or 10 years now.
I don't actually like french fries, but my brain keeps tricking me into eating them. I spent so much of my life eating them that the smell, their appearance on a menu, even sometimes just the idea of fries; triggers incredibly strong desires to buy and eat them.
If I resist those desires for 3 or 4 weeks, then "give in" and eat some, they're incredibly disappointing - they strike me as slimy/oily salty mush with an unappealing flavour and leave me with an unsatisfying heavy feeling in my gut. This (sometimes) makes it really easy for me to only eat a few, then not buy any again for quite a long time.
But for some reason, my brain retains the "OMG! Fries! I want some!" memories _way_ more strongly than the "Oh, actually they're not very nice..." ones. And it's _so_ easy (for me) to drop back into the habit of eating them, and once I've eaten just half a serve or so, the unpleasant oilyness and flavour somehow doesn't affect me any more. Then I need to struggle through the 3 or 4 weeks of denying myself something I'm strongly convinced I really want to eat again.
The same for sodas - though it's easier for me to (more or less healthily) work around the soda-desire by buying diet soda instead of sugar (of hfcs) laden soda... (which just leave me open to the problems with chemical sweeteners, but for now I'm writing that down as less of a concern than the sugar/calories of regular soda).
At a guess, I strongly suspect the "fast food industry"'s manipulation of fat, sugar, and salt levels; is very strongly targeted at manipulating our tastes and desires to make us think we enjoy their version of "food" over what food really tastes like.
On the positive side, over ~10 years I've managed to get from a high of ~130kg (285lb) down to a fairly consistent 92kg (202lb) - I'm still "overweight", but I've settled on a diet/lifestyle that's a lot healthier than I had a decade ago. I need to "get fit" now, if I can incorporate some proper exercise into my lifestyle, I'm pretty sure I will be able to drop the next 10-15kg to get down to the 75-80kg (165-175lb) that the health industry says is "normal" for my height... (This is also something I've had many more or less successful false-starts at, I manage to get into the habit of walking for 40min to an hour 3 or 4 times a week, and keep it up for a few weeks or months, but then something interrupts the habit and I have to struggle with myself to start it up again...)
My brain does want me to eat fries and salty stuff, too.
I managed to go down to about 200 lb which is still overweight (and in my country it IS considered overweight, like palish would be as well), I'd like to go down to 75-80 kg as well but I work 12 hs and study 4 (Master's degree, plus it kills my entire weekend). I managed to go down 10 kg in 2 months with a diet of about 1000 calories, but it was killing me (I've since regained 8 of the 10 kgs).
Food did start to taste better at the end of that diet, but I still love the sugary and salty unhealthy stuff.
Thanks for the post and the entire discussion.
Thus it should be used as something that adds volume and takes on flavor of other ingredients.
I used to dislike zucchinis too - since people putting them on my plate didn't have a proper idea of how to use them. But once you use it as Lord intended them to be used, they are THE fruit. Zucchinis are in fact my favorite fruit.
Courgette actually has flavour. But just like white mushrooms, they'll be (nearly) flavourless chunks if you just throw them in a sauce and practically boil them instead of frying.
You need to fry them, get them just slightly brown on the edges to get the flavour out.
I had some off the BBQ yesterday and I was amazed how delicious they were. Cut them in long strips, bit of olive oil, and grill them. Season with a tiny bit of pepper and salt.
Then, maybe your courgettes are flavourless, it can very well be. It's like that with tomatoes over here, and then I get to Italy and mmm
Regarding vegetables: Onions, garlic, potatoes (early variety), cucumber, cabbage, green beans (we buy dry beans in bulk), beet root, tomatoes and pumpkins. I grow various medicinal herbs and spices. Of fruit I have some grapes, apples, plums and raspberries. Its all just standard central European crops really.
With this capacity we are able to satisfy all vegetable requirements for a family of 5 from late April till late autumn. You should plant various strains of lettuce and green-beans so you have a constant supply over whole season.
Hope you will be able to grow your own food someday.
There are of course many variables- body builders are not necessarily healthy, and neither are people on speed- but when you are healthy, you feel bright and sharp, and you look bright and sharp, and your skin does not hide your muscles.
Look at the image I linked to. Consider yourself. Every place on your body you cannot see the crease formed by two muscles next to each other, is a deposit of fat. The key to this is, nowadays if your proportions are correct (no huge belly, etc) you are seen as "in good shape"- but in reality, many people "in good shape" are hiding a lot of fat on the surface of their body, and no-one realizes it because we have lost touch with what muscles really look like.
P.S. skin quality is another, lesser factor that falls in with hair quality. Truly healthy skin is smooth, supple and elastic, almost like velvet or thin high-quality well-oiled leather drawn tight over your frame. Skin products will not get you this, only regular exercise and a good diet.
I think most of us were invincible at one time, but we come to realize it is an illusion as we get older and your older self has to pay for it. Also, keep in mind that you really are what you eat, or from a programmer point of view, your results are only as good as your data(i.e. "Junk in, junk out"). Cokes and McChickens are just chemicals and preservatives.
It's basically massively filtered, recycled tap water that tastes better than bottled spring water, and at about $0.25 a gallon, it costs a few dollars a month per person for a much better taste.
I suggest tea. Herbal for when you don't want caffeine.
That's the zero calorie flavoured carbonized spring water, right? I'd guess it's definitely a step up from soda :) Artificial sweeteners may (or may not) be questionable, but my intuition (not research, sorry) says their health effects should be rather small in comparison to the huge effects of generally healthy eating and skipping sodas.
Additionally, water tastes terrible depending on where you are. I found that places such as Turkey, Spain or New York are horrible cause the water is heavily chlorinated. Other places may not be chlorinated (rare) or just well below the taste threshold. In addition there can be many other factors that can give tap water an "off" flavour.
I'm lucky that my tap water tastes great (can't tell a difference with bottled water--which I consequently only ever buy when I'm on the road and I need water, in a bottle :) ). One time when I was in the US though, somebody brought a decanter (?) with a built-in activated charcoal filter, and I was amazed, the previously slightly-off slightly-chlorinated tap water tasted great!! [additionally you keep the decanter in the fridge so it's chilled]
In case you find just water too boring, squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime in it. Or even better--and this is absolutely great--crush a few fresh mint leaves in your decanter (or bottle), sooo subtle, but definitely no longer "just water".
One thing, the other guy said beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, nuts, vegetables and dairy should be the staple of your food. That's correct, though I'd try to focus on the nuts vegetables and dairy, don't go overboard on the starches. And if possible, get whole-grain rice and whole-grain pasta. It does taste different, but it's a world of difference for your body, the "white" version is just simple starches that get converted to sugar very quickly (which is why athletes eat it), whereas the "whole" version is much slower, and the fibers are good for pooping. It's the difference between healthy food that probably still makes you gain some weight and food that doesn't.
Additionally, I read that dairy isn't particularly healthy or unhealthy and that skimmed versus whole-fat hardly makes any difference whatsoever. So if you like it, go ahead.
Oh except yoghurt. It's got those probiotic beasties in them, which is extra plus good for you. I suggest you try and find some nice 10%+ fat Greek yoghurt and try a few spoons just plain. The really fat stuff is actually pretty damn good.
And I think somebody already mentioned it, but in terms of sugar content, 100% fruit juices are nearly just as bad as sodas. Real shame, that, I used to think they were healthy :) I still like a glass of OJ before breakfast though.
It usually uses flat rice noodles (which just need to be soaked... not even cooked) and thousands of stirfries made possible with ready pastes and a few veggies/meat. I would bet that you can whip some up under 5 minutes.
And diet coke will not cause your body to have the same insulin response as sugar based drinks.
Also, go read fittit (/r/fitness)
This has recently been shown to be untrue.
Recent research on rats and humans shows that drinking diet drinks gives the body an expectation of calories that it then does not receive. Perhaps due to a Pavlovian response but physically real nonetheless, the digestive system switches on and gears up to digest. When no calories are received the body reacts by demanding the calories it missed out on: an effect very similar to to the 'insulin' response.
In lab tests: rats fed water + food kept a steady weight; sweeteners + food put on weight; sugar-water + food lost weight.
The "sugar-water + food = lost weight" bit is especially striking...
Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP,
Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially
sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain Obesity
(Silver Spring) 2008 Aug;16(8):1894-1900.
here's some pop-sci versions:
I'm still looking for the study on rats.
I'll keep looking. I'm sure I bookmarked it somewhere…
He found a source of said nutrients that works for him. Everybody else returned to a balanced diet.
I do understand that some people can function on purely vegan diet. However most do not.
P.S. I'm genuinely asking, most of my knowledge is borrowed from Leangains
This shows that what is going on here may be more complex than first thought. (Maybe it is just a Pavlovian response.) It doesn't change the evidence that people and rats put on weight when drinking diet drinks – it shows that the reason why is still unclear.
I do worry how many medical papers are based on tiny samples. 5 seems very small to me (when I was doing drug research 100 was a small sample).
This is interesting but on a different topic: calories:
This is about salt:
This on dairy products:
This is an interesting account of veganism:
And another interesting article on corn-syrup:
When I was 30 my weight ballooned into the overweight area, and this was even when I was doing plenty of exercise. I started experimenting with different diets, wanting to find something that I could actually enjoy, didn't leave me hungry and didn't require preparation. Some diets worked health-wise but was too complicated and too boring, I've finally managed to find a diet that suits me, it might not be the one that suits you but I thought I mention it anyway.
The first thing you need to do is to stop eating sugar and that includes any High fructose Cornsyrup. I stopped having sugars in my coffee and eventually got used to it. Soda's was harder, I've eventually learned to enjoy carbonated water with meals and drink coffee and tea for programming fuel (A habit I plan to experiment with dropping)
The next thing is to cut out any fried food. It's a no-brainer since it's easily one of the most unhealthy things you can eat. Not so much for the fat content (which weirdly isn't as unhealthy as you think) but because fried food is loaded with carbohydrates.
Next you need to find a plan for what you actually should eat. I tried to find fast food alternatives that I could enjoy but that was more healthy, things like wook, thai food and sushi. It'll be a bit more expensive but you'll save lots of money from not drinking soda/candy and other crappy snacks
Eating out all the time is boring and expensive however, and the food isn't always that good so you need something healthy you can cook at home. My rule is to build meals around a quality protein (fish/beef/chicken) and have that with a vegetable that provides carbohydrates. Lenses, spinach and beans are especially good. Mix that with some other vegetables, spices and a non-carb sauce (ie bernaise) and you have a very nice healthy meal for the same price as eating out that you can prepare in 3 minutes. Hamburger patties isn't as healthy but since they're easy and probably more healthy than the alternative feel free to endulge.
Yeah, and no bread, rice, pasta, grain, potates, candy, fruit juice, cereals either if you can manage.
Eat eggs for breakfast, like 3 eggs in an omelett with some sallad and an avocado
The really good thing about this diet in contrast to other I've tried is that I'm not hungry, the cravings for sweets and snacks has essentially dissappeared and I need less portions of stuff.
This might sound extreme and I don't recommend you do everything at once. Start shifting parts of your diet and se what works, try having some of these meals and see if you like it.
Finding a diet that fits one taste and lifestyle is a continous process so take it one step at a time.
I think my diet pretty closely follows the Paleo Diet (though I don't really subscribe to all of it). A really good book to read is Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Steve Taub
Please note that we are not talking extreme measures here - there are plenty of carbohydrates in food. We're talking getting rid of the crap variety. Avoiding or completely skipping starchy foods (white bread, rice, potatoes) is the key to controlling blood sugar levels. It's not about avoiding sugar drops - its more about avoiding blood sugar spikes these foods cause.
Please note - that potatoes are not necessarily bad - if you eat them whole (much easier with young potatoes) and add extra fiber.
But sugar, white flour and rice are horrible, horrible foods.
BMI is weight in kg / height in m squared, 18.5 – 25 is normal. So for >200cm, even 100kg is in normal.
That doesn't mean he's bodybuilder lean, but that DOES mean his weight is in a reasonable range.
Now at the same time, he's eating total crap foods. I'm sure in a few years, he could be facing some weight gain, but the idea he's even a little overweight is off.
Given your weight of 220#, that means you're carrying about 55-66# of fat on you. Drop that to 10-15% (a pretty good athletic range) without losing muscle, and you'd be somewhere in the 170 - 190# range.
Be careful there - next thing you know he's going to post a photo in his underwear. All for science, of course ;)
Newbies always forget wheel shots.
That said, you're pretty young, and your awful diet has evidently not caught up with you yet. When it does, I predict a swift re-evaluation of your ideas about nutrition and self-exceptionalism.
Right now you're doing OK because you've got a relatively high metabolic rate. By the time you hit your mid-30s to early 40s, a natural drop in testosterone is going to slow that metabolic rate right down and you'll see a gradual buildup of belly fat. In fact, I can already see the beginnings of it in your photo right now. I can't see your jawline but your cheeks look a little full for a guy your age.
I used to be 140-150# and now I fight to stay at 180#. In all likelihood I'm never going to get back to where I once was. I've redirected my goals to minimizing bodyfat and building muscle. It's not easy but my health has improved markedly.
Top ten reasons the BMI is bogus
Do You Believe in Fairies, Unicorns, or the BMI?
Why doctors won't stop using an outdated measure for obesity
If you want to measure body fat, measure body fat.
While at Uni I was a semi professional MTB DH racer. I am 188cm tall and weighted 88kg when in best shape of my life - I weigh a lot since my build is super robust (I had <10% body fat at that point) and I do have big bones :) (really you should see my wrists). In December, that means off season for me (athletes tend to pick up some weight during that period), we had an physical exam for Uni - I weighted 94kg at that point. So at the end of all the tests I walk into the doctors office, who while peering into my file commands me to take off my shirt and sit down. She proceeds to comment the results along the lines of: "... everything is perfect, but you are overweight (BMI 26.6) - you absolutely have to loose some weight!" At this time she rises her eyes from the file and looks at me sitting in front of her, top naked. Blushes and says: " but only a kilo or two!".
BMI may work for average. But the sad fact is that people are rarely average. And as others have noted, recent findings indicate that some level of body fat - protects from diabetes and other diseases. Meaning that nutrition is not really that simple.
Calories in OJ: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-orange-juice-i14425
Calories in soda: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-carbonated-beverage-i...
Adjusted for the same volume, the soda has 109, while the orange juice has 122.
Not me. I'm actually trying to put on weight. And it's slow going.
The domain is owned by a copy writing firm called http://www.wonderworkingwords.com/ . I can't prove it but I am willing to wager that a juicer firm commissioned the article. The firms motto after all is 'words that sell'.
Modern scientific findings, properly analyzed, are an astonishingly better guide to human health than any traditional collection of folk wisdom.
And while you're not a shill, I find your site misguided, in overly relying on equating natural, traditional diets with healthy, leading you to some recommendations that are orthogonal to healthiness, like fermented veggies and sprouted grains, and some that are unhelpful to health, like red meat and butter. The people of Finland drastically improved their health metrics when they transitioned to a modern mainstream European diet away from their natural, traditional Finnish diet of lots of red meat and butter.
Additionally, how does a "modern mainstream European diet" compare to a traditional Finnish diet?
I've been reading Kristen's blog for a long time. I don't agree with everything I read, and I tend to be skeptical of strong opinions on either side of an equation. That said, I can't help but agree with the basic premise of the post: food producers are not entirely truthful about what's in the stuff they produce and we put into our bodies. And our health and producers' bottom lines do not always line up. For example, did you know that factory farmed chickens are fed arsenic, and that often ends in the meat you purchase from the supermarket? And this went on for many years before the FDA put a stop to it?
EDIT: Fixed italics.
The study I had remembered reading, which I'll track down this weekend sometime when I'm not on Hacker News while getting ready to go to work, was more recent and shows new improvements in Finnish health metrics as they have moved away from their traditional diet and begun eating a lot more food from the rest of Europe.
And I share your agreement with this particular post on Kristen's blog.
My sense, from following Kristen's blog, is that she might be a bit appalled by the traditional Finnish diet, too. She pushes a lot of grass-fed beef and butter produced from the milk of grass-fed cattle, but she also pushes lots of vegetables, among other things.
I can see that applying to deer, elk, rabbit, etc -- but moose? Furthermore, there's a considerable market for lean beef especially in the modern era, and I know that pigs have rather recently been selected for leanness. My current knowledge of the health effects of red meat as a whole is that the data are conflicting:
The fact that Finland's diet was confounded with lots of butter and other fatty things makes the whole thing rather unconvincing as a data point saying that red meat is any more unhealthy than ordinary nutrition labeling (x grams of fat, y grams of carb, z grams of protein) would lead you to believe. I can buy a pound of 90/10 beef at the store with 12 grams of fat, ~3 grams of carbohydrate, and 23 grams of protein "per serving", which really doesn't sound terribly unhealthy next to e.g. a bag of potato chips.
Worst community ever. The arrogance that comes with smarts.
Bullshit. If you make your views publicly known, they are open to criticism. bfe was incisive but not uncivil. Your pious attitude and haughty implication that bfe's knowledge is only a result of an evening's browse through Wikipedia is far more offensive to me than anything he/she wrote.
> properly analyzed
First, I haven't made an assertion that folk wisdom relies on citations. My impression is that folk wisdom is generally broader than religion, but I won't bother you with a citation request for that assertion. "Modern scientific findings" appear to rely on citations and you provided one that says the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with some positive health outcomes; the Finnish one, not so much. Here's one for you about the negative health affects of a modern science-derived diet and lifestyle on folks migrating from a traditional diet and lifestyle to a modern one.
Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus, migration and westernisation: The Tokelau Island Migrant study
Summary. The migration of Tokelauans from a traditional atoll in the Pacific to urban New Zealand is associated with an increased prevalence and incidence of Type 2 (non-insulindependent) diabetes mellitus over the period 1968-1982. During the same period, a lesser but definite increase is seen among non-migrants in Tokelau. The age standardised prevalence rates rose from 7.5 and 11.7 to 10.8 and 19.9 per 100 respectively in the male and female migrants compared with an increase from 3.0 and 8.7 to 7.0 and 14.3 per 100 in the nonmigrant males and females respectively. The incidence of diabetes is shown to be consistently higher in the migrants compared to the non-migrants giving relative risks of 1.5 in males and 1.9 in females. The factors most likely contributing to this difference, are changes to a higher calorie, high protein diet, higher alcohol consumption, a greater weight gain and altered levels of physical activity in the migrants. A number of populations in the Pacific have been shown to have a low rate of diabetes in their traditional setting, but may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes which responds to factors in the urban industrialised environment and life-style. The social and economic changes taking place in Tokelau are also clearly increasing the risk of diabetes. To reverse these trends and prevent the development of complications of Type 2 diabetes, it will be important to institute preventive programmes and to follow up the population in both environments for long-term outcomes, including mortality.
The point I was making is that the scientific method is our best bet in trying to accurately learn about how the universe works, including as it comes to our health and how our diet affects that. That really doesn't have anything to do with Pacific islanders adopting Westernized habits of, averaged over a population, eating more and drinking more booze and exerting less physical activity and having negative health outcomes because of it...
...except that this study itself is also an exercise in the scientific method, and is part of the scientific method helping us learn better how to optimize our health.
Kristen's blog basically espouses the view that there are lots of new, awful health outcomes that have coincided with the rise of modern food industries and habits, so there are obviously major problems with those habits and the industries that are facilitating those awful health outcomes. So far so good. She has done some valid analysis on a terribly urgent problem.
But then she seems to have decided, well, everything in our traditional cuisine from before modern food industry, and that contrasts with today's modern food industry, must have been beneficial. For example, our ancestors seem to have consumed lots of beef and butter, but from free-grazing grass-fed cattle, which isn't how modern food industry prefers to operate today. So that must be part of what was healthy about our traditional diet, that has since been corrupted.
This represents a too-hasty conclusion to the analytical process. It willfully ignores lots of recent, rigorously performed research to the contrary. She bought into an analytical framework that had some partial validity -- modern industrial food processing has introduced some new deleterious health effects -- but then she was satisfied to stop there and not continue searching for further answers in all available avenues of skeptical and rigorous inquiry. She found a pattern that produced some obvious advantage over the status quo, but then fell into premature whole-hearted acceptance of that pattern and is content just to try to keep matching that pattern, instead of continuing to seek out the best evidence and refusing to stop trying to learn from ongoing research. Additionally, since her partial analysis has yielded a clear antagonist in the form of modern food processing industry, she has allowed her pride in rebelling against that antagonist sustain her faith in exactly her present beliefs, instead of continuing to accept ambiguity and an ongoing openness to even better evidence and better answers than the partially better ones she has already devoted herself to.
Her devotion to that insufficient pattern-matching has even become insidious enough that she refuses to consider overwhelming, rigorously obtained, scientific evidence that lots of red meat and full-fat dairy might also be deleterious to human health -- because she has devoted herself to simplistic pattern-matching based on the initial conjecture that modern food processing equals bad and anything from previous to modern food processing equals good, which includes red meat and full-fat dairy. Her devotion to her halfway-valid analysis has left her willfully defying the best knowledge that we are able to obtain.
(By the way I was even shocked to discover how badly everyone's misconceptions are about what the typical American diet was like previous to modern food processing. There wasn't nearly as much red meat and butter being consumed as most people might assume. Did you know that various beans and chili peppers were major diet staples in early 1800's America as far north as the Canadian border? The reality was actually a lot healthier than the Little House on the Prairie TV version.)
The scientific method as applied to nutrition has revealed that certain traditional cuisines were relatively quite healthy, such as traditional Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines. It doesn't by any means mean EVERY traditional cuisine was equally healthy, such as the Finnish lower boundary condition I mentioned above. The scientific method as applied to nutrition also continues to teach us new and better knowledge of healthy cuisine than any traditional cuisine from anywhere on Earth has ever had. Every traditional cuisine came about in an evolutionary process that depended partly on survivors' bias, partly on anecdote, partly on luck, etc. Like any evolutionary product, they are all imperfect, even the healthiest examples. We only even have the capability of evaluating which are the healthier ones and which the less healthy, through our modern methods of science. What does a traditional Japanese cuisine mean? Does it mean lots of white rice and udon noodles, or lots of seafood, soy products, and seaweed salad? Which are the healthiest? The Mediterranean Sea coast has a lot of surface area. What does a traditional Mediterranean diet mean? Paella? Fettucini Alfredo? Grilled fish and Greek vegetable salad with olive oil? Couscous and goat meat? Unleavened bread and hummus? Only the methods of science allow us to compare all the evidence in valid ways and distinguish among the patterns. If we ate largely traditional Japanese cuisine but with little to no white rice or simple carb noodles, or traditional Greek cuisine but without the feta cheese and substituting whole grain bread, could that be even healthier than any traditional cuisine humanity has yet known? There are no simple answers to anything. And only continuing to explore rigorously, with a sound understanding of the most foolproof methods of exploration, and an acceptance in the meantime that our knowledge remains tentative and must remain open to the best analysis of the best available evidence as we continue to search and discover, will yield the best knowledge and the best outcome. That is what I mean by relying on science.
Count me envious/jealous of your financial success with your blog. :-) You have what I once wanted and never got (in terms of lifestyle -- I still hope to work out the online income thing, though my kids are grown now).
Well, for context: this is a news-aggregator site run by a venture capital / incubator company, and inhabited by a bunch of really serious techies.
Who would have a rather more diverse range of experiences on health and fitness than your initial prejudices might lead you to believe.
Enjoy your visit.
"Juice removed from the fruit is just concentrated fructose without any of the naturally-occurring fiber, pectin, and other goodies that make eating a whole fruit good for you [...] So, my first piece of advice is to get out of the juice habit altogether. It’s expensive, and it’s not worth it."
Why would a juice machine company want people buying juice from shops?
I've mentioned on here before but the best book I read in grade school was Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders about how PR and advertising people manipulate public opinion. Sorry to say this fifty year old book is out of print, check your library and you won't be sorry.
Organic farming is not financially sustainable at scale because the costs of production are far too high. There is a very low ceiling, relatively speaking, to the amount of crops that can be produced. Therefore in order to stay profitable organic food has to be sold at very significant premium. Buyers will not pay this premium unless they're convinced that the cheaper, non-organic alternative is an inferior product regardless of whether it actually is or not.
Technically speaking, the author is right: we're better off only eating foods for which we can establish provenance. But for most folks that idea is completely unrealistic...unless you subscribe to the organic concept, where food has a pedigree of sorts, or is at least marketed as such.
Full disclosure: I live in Nebraska and grew up surrounded by agriculture. I worked farming corn/soybeans/milo from the age of thirteen through college. My wife's family is a fifth-generation farm family.
Every step of the industrial food production process involves fossil fuels, which have a limited production flow, more or less flat since 2005. Large and growing countries like China and India will demand and are receiving increasing amounts of global oil production. This forces prices to rise, and smaller, poorer players are priced out, reducing demand.
Google for Export Land Model, to read about this and other topics.
An example of this predicament is the UK who fairly transparently did a deal with Libya in return for securing gas supplies. Odious, but they had very little choice in order to secure energy.
And as the oil price rises, food costs rise too.
I don't know why you want to damn billions of people to a life of manual toil when you yourself have access to labour saving machines (you are on a computer). The problem isn't mechanization, the problem is scale.
As for sustainability, I've seen farmers in Papua New Guinea running tractors on coconut oil before biofuels were in vogue. Fuel prices are high, fuel is a significant cost to agriculture. No one in their right mind wants to use more fuel than they must.
In any sort of farming operation, soil nutrients MUST be replenished. A huge industrial farm can practice crop rotation at least as well as a small farmer, if not better, and of course can afford to have employees devoted specifically to managing and planning fertilizer application when needed.
Farming can be an expensive proposition--it is not cost-effective to apply pesticides/herbicides/fertilizer when not needed!
Believe me, farmers think about that subject far more than you can imagine. They do everything they can to reduce the number of passes they have to make through each row of crops.
Farms like my in-laws leverage technology to the maximum. For example, they have GPS units on their tractors that are integrated with meters that track how much fertilizer is being distributed and they've been tracking this for almost a decade. When they harvest, they have GPS units on the combines and sensors that are tracking yields. At the end of every season they use 2D and sometimes 3D modeling to determine the optimum distribution of fertilizer down to a few feet. The off-season is dedicated to crunching these numbers, plus a mountain of other data that is collected. The goal is to absolutely maximize the efficiency of resource use: fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
When it comes to the question of sustainability you've got to remember that many if not most farms are generational. Fathers passed the farm to the current generation, they hope to pass it to their sons or daughters. They are far more invested in the economic and environmental sustainability of their operations than the folks that have made sustainability a trendy buzzword.
And understand that I am talking about industrial farms. There is no true distinction between the "industrial farm" and the "family farm." They are one and the same, but there is a lobby out there that has it out for agriculture. You sound like a real jerkoff if you're attacking the "family" farm, but if you use the word "industrial", you conjure images of smokestacks belching pollution and fat white guys in suits lighting Cubans with the money they stole from the pocket of the janitor. It's totally cool to attack those guys.
Think about it this way. Where I live it takes about 1,500 acres to support a family. Let's say you have three families working a farm, a father and his two married sons and their kids. That's three families that need about 4,500 acres to make a living. That is a lot of land and it requires an industrial, in the dictionary sense of the word, operation to farm.
Edit: The author has posted here and claims only selling ad space, so it may not necessarily be this author, but it's still aimed at getting viewers and ad revenue. Follow the money trail is indeed good advice, of course just because money's involved doesn't mean there's a problem.
That said, the addition of chemical flavoring agents is completely irrelevant to health. Again I know more about process design than health science, but I do know that the flavoring chemicals that get removed and added are in such trace amounts that they likely have no health consequence, whether present or absent. In fact, many of the compounds are actually toxic at high concentrations.
And towards the "don't drink juice at all" argument, I feel like the world would be in a far better place health-wise if everyone drank juice instead of soda. At least juice is a fair representation of fruit, while soda is basically fructose dissolved in phosphoric acid. (The article mentions pectin and fiber as missing fruit components in juice - this is true as both are solids likely removed by juicing, but pectin is just a sugar polymer like starch, and fiber is just indigestible solids...nothing special health-wise). The argument reminds me of the people telling everyone not to go to college, just because in their specific case they didn't need it. Potentially decent advice for a small, already advantaged subset of the population, but horrible advice for everyone else.
Juice is not as good for you as whole fruit. Fine. 20 ounces of any fruit has too much sugar (and would make you shit sideways) anyway. Everything in moderation.
If you're going to drink a glass of Oj, which would you rather have, one they deoxygenate or dehydrate? Wholly or partially? I'll personally take deoxygenation over dehydrations. And the fruit juice industry's method for deoxygenation is not, to my knowledge, done via a full nitrogen sparge (bubbling nitrogen or other inert gas through the liquid to lower dissolved oxygen) or via a membrane contactor deaeration system (used in my field, drug dev, and semiconductor applications - check out http://liqui-cel.com, I've built these systems in a cGMP facility, they're awesome). It's simply vacuuming down the head space in a vat, and maybe replacing it with an inert gas (or just leaving it at negative pressure to reduce soluble oxygen as stated above. I'll take that over an OJ that has more in common with Tang than the fruit that bears it's name, anyway. So what if they tweak the flavor with a bit of ground orange to keep flavor consistent?
That's possibly the most wrong statement in this entire discussion. Fibre is a critical part of your diet; without enough of the stuff, pooping sucks.
This is like talking about the chemicals they put into Coke... Yeah, they're in there, and maybe they shouldn't be, but that's not why you drink it and that's not why it's bad for you.
Edit: Downvote why? Sugars in 10oz Coca-Cola classic: 33g. Sugars in 10oz Tropicana Pure Premium original orange juice: 28.1g.
The blog mentions a ~trick~ to recreate a well-known and stable flavor by adding orange-derived chemicals - but you still cannot add 'sugar water'.
Yes, that stuff contains a lot of sugar. But so does an orange from your own garden (still healthier if you eat the whole fruit, not just the 'sugar water' aka fruit juice).
You make a great point about raw fruit— Sugars in a whole orange: 12g. That is to say, a glass of orange juice has the sugar water from two oranges, without the fiber that blocks absorption and sends satiety signals after an orange and a half. Clearly these are comparable things.
Now you're asking 'Who cares if it's 100% juice or not': Well - that's what this article was about. It wasn't about how healthy fruit juice is (as I said before, we agree that it's not a good idea), it was about labeling something 100% (which is interpreted as 'natural' and 'pure' by customers) fruit juice while doing weird and counter intuitive things to the substance in question.
So - this article is exactly for all the people that care about whether it's 100% juice they are consuming.
Or you can run around screaming about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.
I for one would not be the slightest bit bothered if somebody added orange juice to my orange juice.
Me neither but the deoxygenated-reflavored juice just tastes crappy, so I'm all for a law obligating the producers to disclose this practice and stop misleading people with the "100% natural juice not from concentrate" bullshit.
You might further be shocked to learn that all-natural organic farm fresh-squeezed juice might have actually been pressed out of the fruit by a mechanical juicer that ruins the test, and not squeezed out by loving hands.
What's wrong with a product label that calls things what they actually are, instead redefining all nice sounding words to be "stuff that tastes good to praptak"?
It's quite expensive, however.
Although I don't put this below the food industry to do, it is peculiar that the sources listed are all other blogs. Looking through the blog links I found a NYT article sourced but it said nothing about chemically processed orange products being added to 100% orange juice.
Any one have any better sources?
They shouldn't be able to say its 100% juice. WTF.
If the natural flavor they add is made of juice (orange or not), and they add it to juice, is the result no longer juice?
And you may not be correct about the pasteurization of milk. There are many who feel that natural unpasteurized milk is healthier. Pasteurization is perhaps more necessary in a mass production environment, but it is not necessarily better for our bodies.
This story adds more proof for me that we should consume nothing that "comes in a box", so to speak.
It's sure as heck not worse. If boiling things is unhealthy, we've been dreadfully unhealthy for tens of thousands of years.
Speaking of which, can anyone provide a good (comprehensive) source for information on the subject from a legal perspective?
Does anyone know if this applies within the EU, and more specifically, the UK? I believe our labelling laws are stricter than this.
I'm crazy about cheeses, but the only orange cheeses I've ever seen were all very poor brands, unless I'm forgetting something.
I (and I suspect most Americans) would never associate something like this with Cheddar Cheese: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Somerset-Cheddar.jpg (or any other pic on the page for that matter, except for "#19": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddar_cheese )
I'll have to try some VT cheddar sometime. I stopped defending cheddar's taste (which is none, though I still eat it) ever since I was exposed to real cheeses in my junior high French class.
In VT and NH if you buy any cheddar at all from a farm it is the color of the image you posted and must of it is very fragrant.
The gourmet cheese section/island is different! And I agree there's rarely coloured cheese. I suspect few shoppers who go straight to the Cheese Aisle (which is dominated by yellow cheddar/cheddar varieties) even know of its existence, even if they walk by it, let alone dare sample anything new/different/highly priced.
This is coming from a guy who counted his calories, and still logs his weight every morning, and freaks out if he's not unhealthily skinny. I just ate an apple and now I'm obese (in my mind anyway) and I weigh 79 kg. I used to feel skinny when I weighed 95kg but ran 6.5 miles. Funny, isn't it?
Before that commercial, I was one of those people who thought Sunny D was OJ.
Call it bad advertising: I looked at Sunny D as "Orange Stuff" after that ad and no longer wanted it.
EDIT: I guess I'm not the only one who remembers the commercials, there's a spoof on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiOaBTpKqnk&NR=1&feat... (and of course the real thing is on YouTube if you care to find it)
What I want to know is, why should I pay $4.29 for a carton of old flavorless juice enhanced with a flavoring cocktail, rather than $5.99 for fresh squeezed? I personally don't see the value proposition in the Tropicana any more, and while I have been buying the fresh squeezed kind (that they make from the oranges in the store) I definitely won't be buying the Tropicana/Florida's Natural again. I think if this was more well known there would be a lot fewer people willing to plonk down premium money for a fake premium product in the future.
There is also a response from the Florida dept. of Citrus there.
My own practice to try and avoid extremely fabricated foods: buy the in-house brand. While it will never be 100% pure orange juice squeezed yesterday, they don't have a brand identity to defend, so they seem to engage in fewer food-processing antics.
I stopped buying orange juice entirely because of it. "Perfume packs"... gross.
Can Make massive batches at home.
Add any fruit.
The bacteria eats majority of the sugar.