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Leonie
09-02-2008, 12:54 PM
Have a look at this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ei=5087&en=734349e3&oref=slogin

It's really very interesting to see how off the mark we are with our beliefs about food. How low fat, low carb, high in fibre and all those other "this 'food' is healthy, buy it!" slogans do nothing to make you healthier or fitter. Most all conclusions drawn about key-ingredients were taken completely out of context, and as such, have very little to do with how we process food, and what it does for us.

I love the basic conclusion: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants"; with as its wingman, "if your grandparents didn't eat it, don't eat it."

Just a random titbit from the article:

Here’s a list of just the antioxidants that have been identified in garden-variety thyme:

4-Terpineol, alanine, anethole, apigenin, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, caffeic acid, camphene, carvacrol, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, eriodictyol, eugenol, ferulic acid, gallic acid, gamma-terpinene isochlorogenic acid, isoeugenol, isothymonin, kaempferol, labiatic acid, lauric acid, linalyl acetate, luteolin, methionine, myrcene, myristic acid, naringenin, oleanolic acid, p-coumoric acid, p-hydroxy-benzoic acid, palmitic acid, rosmarinic acid, selenium, tannin, thymol, tryptophan, ursolic acid, vanillic acid.

This is what you’re ingesting when you eat food flavored with thyme. Some of these chemicals are broken down by your digestion, but others are going on to do undetermined things to your body: turning some gene’s expression on or off, perhaps, or heading off a free radical before it disturbs a strand of DNA deep in some cell. It would be great to know how this all works, but in the meantime we can enjoy thyme in the knowledge that it probably doesn’t do any harm (since people have been eating it forever) and that it may actually do some good (since people have been eating it forever) and that even if it does nothing, we like the way it tastes.

I realise it's a long, long article, but trust me, you really want to read it. And when you're done, you'll probably bypass the superfoods next time, and have some fruit or veg that grew on an actual plant instead.

hasselbrad
12-02-2008, 04:11 PM
Hammer meet nail.
This is particularly interesting because of the recent changes in my own diet. Marcia is allergic to soy and wheat, therefore she is unable to eat many processed foods. I, on the other hand, could eat pretty much anything and everything I wanted, and had ballooned (as Ranman has pointed out frequently) to over 300 pounds.
However, having started a new, medically supervised diet plan, I have had to have a full physical which revealed a perfectly normal ECG, blood pressure at or around 120/80 and an only slightly elevated cholesterol level (211). That would be a greater concern if my HDL level wasn't so good. HDL is the good cholesterol number, and while most males hover in the 40s, mine was almost off the charts at 59. One point higher and it would have literally been off the charts. The rest of my blood work came back perfect.
I've only been on the diet for one week and have lost roughly 15 pounds, but the blood work was done upon intake, so that would not have been affected. My only explanation for this is that the past year of eating more whole, unprocessed foods has undone a lot of the damage my previous diet had wrought. That, or the fact that I've never been much for fast food as a staple of my diet and that I always ate a pretty good bit of vegetables has prevented the kind of havoc that causes heart disease and/or Type II diabetes. Further, perhaps it's all down to good genes. My father has always been thin, and he has high cholesterol. My mother, on the other hand, has struggled with her weight since the onset of puberty, yet her cholesterol and blood pressure have always been strikingly low.
Whatever the case, we plan to make whole foods and farmer's markets a much larger part of our diet once we move to Alabama. Hell, we may even have a garden and grow our own vegetables.

Leonie
12-02-2008, 06:22 PM
Holy shit - careful with the weight loss, sir. As far as I know, losing more than half that a week isn't great for your health either. We just can't win, can we?

I think what you are describing further supports the idea that there is just so much we don't know about food and how our body processes it. As a consequence, I think it's safe to say our best bet is to go with real food our ancestors have been eating for decades if not centuries. As the article puts it, traditional diets can't be that unhealthy, or there'd be no people left to observe the tradition.

hasselbrad
12-02-2008, 06:36 PM
Holy shit - careful with the weight loss, sir. As far as I know, losing more than half that a week isn't great for your health either. We just can't win, can we?

I think what you are describing further supports the idea that there is just so much we don't know about food and how our body processes it. As a consequence, I think it's safe to say our best bet is to go with real food our ancestors have been eating for decades if not centuries. As the article puts it, traditional diets can't be that unhealthy, or there'd be no people left to observe the tradition.

It's medically supervised, so I'm not too worried. Most of that is aimed at normal sized (not 6' 5" - 300#) people and severe, crash diets.
As we speak, I'm eating a salad that resembles lawn clippings (good...according to the article) and thin slices of London broil that Marcia made last night.