Archive for September 3rd, 2011

The right foods to eat

| September 3, 2011 | 5 Replies
The right foods to eat

Time Magazine has a long article on nutrition tips by TV host Dr. Oz (full article available online only to subscribers).  This article is notable due to its lack of any recommendation regarding fad-food or micro-management (There’s no advice like this: for breakfast on Monday, “Eat one egg, half a piece of toast and an apple.”). Here are two paragraphs that stood out for me:

This summer a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that it’s not just how much food you eat, but which kind, that influences weight gain. After adjusting for age, baseline body mass index and lifestyle factors such as exercise and sleep duration in 120,000 participants, the authors found that the foods most associated with adding pounds over a four-year period were french fries, potato chips, sugary drinks, meats, sweets and refined grains. The foods most associated with shedding pounds were yogurt, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. But there’s more than simple caloric arithmetic at work here.

When you sit down to a meal, your brain is looking for nutrients, not calories, and will prod you to eat until you’re satisfied. That’s one of the many reasons it’s harder to push away from a plate of fries or a bowl of ice cream than from a healthier meal of fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats. A simple matter of digestive mechanics is at work too. High-fiber foods expand in the stomach, slowing digestion and augmenting satiety. That’s the reason I try to eat fruit or a handful of nuts prior to a big meal. Consuming a controlled amount of calories from the right kind of food now helps avoid taking in many more calories from the wrong kind later.

Based on ebbs and flows of weight over the year, I will agree that I don’t gain weight when I’m eating the good foods listed above, and I DO gain weight when eating the bad foods, especially when combined with lack of sleep and lack of exercise. As I mentioned here, meat is on the defensive these day, problems being a correlation with cancer and diabetes. The following is from Scientific American:

Sugary soda and other sweet treats are likely not the only foods to blame for the surge in diabetes across the U.S. New research out of Harvard University supports the theory that regular red meat consumption increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

An average of just one 85-gram (three-ounce) serving of unprocessed red meat—such as a medium hamburger or a small pork chop—per day increased by 12 percent the chances a person would get type 2 diabetes over the course of a decade or two. And if the meat was processed—such as a hot dog or two slices of bacon—the risk increased to 32 percent, even though serving sizes were smaller.

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Dick Cheney’s crime stories

| September 3, 2011 | Reply
Dick Cheney’s crime stories

Medea Benjamin at Common Cause argues that Dick Cheney’s new book, In My; Time, should be sold in the “Crime” section of bookstores. Here’s her first two reasons (of ten):

1. Cheney lied; Iraqis and U.S. soldiers died. As Vice President, Cheney lied about (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s (nonexistent) ties to the 9/11 attack as a way to justify a war with a country that never attacked us. Thanks to Cheney and company, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and over 4,000 American soldiers perished in a war that should never have been fought.

2. Committing War Crimes in Iraq. During the course of the Iraq war, the Bush/Cheney administration violated the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.

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Small businesses: regulations are a GOOD thing

| September 3, 2011 | Reply
Small businesses:  regulations are a GOOD thing

McClatchy interviewed small businesses, and was suppressed to hear that they are not complaining about being overly-regulated.  Rather, they complain about the cost of insurance, the uncertainty of the market and, in the case of brick and mortar stores, the brutal competition caused by the internet.  McClatchy did not hear from small business owners that government regulations were killing jobs.

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What else don’t we know?

| September 3, 2011 | Reply
What else don’t we know?

It turns out that the American CIA had an ongoing relationship with the Libyan intelligence service and that we sent suspects to Libya for torture. It turns out that Colonel Kaddafi’s speech renouncing weapons in 2004 was written by Americans. What else is being kept secret from ordinary Americans, the people who supposedly run this country? What other unsavory relationships have American government official been maintaining with Middle East despots over the years, ever since the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953?

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