The right foods to eat

September 3, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More

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.


Category: Food, Health

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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    • Erich Vieth says:

      Tony Mach: I’m curious. Do you know anything about Dr. Oz? I didn’t until a few months ago. I saw parts of a few of his shows and I was impressed by his explanations, his frankness and the fact that he seemed to be giving solid advice without trying to sell gimmicks or pills. He’s big on eating healthy food and good exercise. He’s also a highly regarded heart surgeon, who conducts 250 procedures per year. He has published 400 articles in medical journals.

      Your links have nothing to do with Dr. Oz or, as far as I can see, the topic discussed by Dr. Oz at Time. Because your links were almost entirely off-topic; I was tempted to delete them.

      Your comment seems infused with ignorance and ressentiment. What was your purpose in writing? To attack Dr. Oz because he reminds you of an uncle you didn’t like?

      Not all celebrities spout nonsense.

    • Tony Mach says:

      Ok something that has something to do with the good Dr. Oz (and not only healthy food):

    • Tony Mach says:

      One more, and then I stop:

      BTW: I have never seen Dr. Oz (besides maybe a clip on YouTube), as he is not broadcast here in Germany and I don’t watch TV since 2007 anyway. So that you think he reminds me of an uncle of mine is a transference on your side. I just read enough about his shows that I think he is a quack, and dangerous at that. And the cardiovascular profession (not only) in the US (and anybody promoting the USDA dietary advice) have such a lousy track record, that I think I can call them quacks as well – their diet advice simply isn’t working. If you look at the data, people have moved away from red meat, away from cholesterol, away from fat, and it has done diddly-squat to heart disease or obesity. No, these disease are still on the rise. So yeah, it works really swell. Go help yourself with some healthy food! And if your cholesterol is still high, take some Statins! And come back in 3 month for a follow up!

      Eating these types of food didn’t work for me and since I changed my diet away from grains and away from milk (and away from processed foods) my health improved, so I do get angry if people like you who repeat with a straight face the nonsense these quacks broadcast as regards to “healthy” eating. Eating these kinds of advised food cost me massive quality of life for over 3 decades so I think I have the right to be angry.

  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Every few weeks another study pops up claiming this food is bad or that food is bad , causing cancer, diabetes, or some other malady. I suspect a large part of these studies are skewed to manipulate public opinion and favor one section of food production over another.
    But what if, it’s not the type of food, but the way it’s produced. The chemical laden vegetable by products are the lions share of the “filler” used in livestock feeds, and are also a component of many non meat items, particularly in processed foods.
    The documentary “Food Inc” made the point that a large part of our modern diet is corn based, and corn is not considered a very nutritious food. Even with added vitamins, it is less nutritious than fresh foods.
    Poor nutrition has a major influence on susceptibility to disease, and it has been known for a long time that many cancers can be stopped by a healthy immune system. The problem is one of ubiquity.

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