18 February 2010

Something Completely Different

If there were two things you could do today to improve your overall health, moderate your weight, and protect you from such potentially debilitating diseases as cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes, would you do them?

What if I told you they were relatively simple and easy, and didn't really involve much sacrifice on your part?

Fact is, there are. And what are those two things, you ask?
1) Cut out ALL trans fatty acids (trans fats, margarine, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.) from your diet.

2) Cut out ALL high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from your diet.
Truthfully, it's that simple. Read the list of ingredients of the foods you buy. If either of these two things are on the list, don't eat them. And over time, as you begin to figure out which foods usually contain these things, you'll be able to figure out which foods to avoid when you go out to a restaurant. (Hint: salad dressings and breads are often prominent offenders in both categories.)

The science on this is unassailable. And for advice like this you could pay hundreds of dollars to a diet plan or weight-loss guru. If you want to read well-written (popularized) articles on the topic, start here: Trans fats; HFCS.

You can research the science on the web if you choose. It's there. Both these products are the result of the corporatization of our food stream: they are cheaper to manufacture and store and, thus, add to the bottom lines of such entities as King Corn.

Perhaps the wisest dietary advice I ever heard was this adage from Micael Pollan: "Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Also, here.

I realize this post doesn't really fit into the usual WoW categories. It's just a little late winter food love from your host as you try to figure out how you're going to fit into that Spring Break bikini. Of course, if you can't live without your daily 'margarine float', well eat, drink, & be merry for tomorrow we die!


Steven Augustine said...

"1) Cut out ALL trans fatty acids (trans fats, margarine, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.) from your diet.

2) Cut out ALL high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from your diet."

Spot-on, Jim! My friends equate this health-mantra of mine with my "conspiracy theories" but I'm confident that I'll be seeming less and less nutty (even as I grow more senile in the years that it will take for the proof to go mainstream, paradoxically). Now ask yourself this: if *you and I* know this stuff is sickening-and-killing millions, surely the people who profit enormously, by selling it, know? And surely the FDA knows? I mean, what... is it a *conspiracy*...? Larf.

Jim H. said...


Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

Problem is: scarcity. Population continues to grow; arable land to not. How to feed the multitudes? We've got to find ways to make what we produce go farther. But how? Maybe screwing around with GM corn is not the right answer—though it is, as you say, highly profitable.

Profitability and nutrition are not perfectly consistent, but profitability will always have to be a part of the solution at some level.

Sustainability seems to offer some answers.

Jim H.