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Healthy and unhealthy foods – Science or speculation?

 

“Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtime …. There’s far more to life than the food you put in your stomach.” (Jesus Christ – The Message Bible Translation)

FOUNDING FATHERS PERSPECTIVE

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies would soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” (Thomas Jefferson)

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

FACTS

“There’s more to health than food.” (Chris Kresser, Top 100 People in Health and Fitness)


Drinking 8 glasses of water per day is NOT recommended to keep you healthy. In 1945, the US Food and Nutrition Board recommended that people consume 85 ounces of water per day. Most readers didn’t continue reading the second sentence of the recommendation which said, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”
University of Michigan Health System, 2015. “Myth of 8 glasses of water per day”


Eating sugar has NEVER had any proven connection  to causing hyperactivity in children. In 1973, the author of the popular Feingold Diet advocated for not giving children any foods with additives. He did not mention sugar. Parents, however, took this to include processed sugar … and the unsubstantiated assumption became accepted by many as fact.
New England Journal of Medicine, 1994. Wolraich, Mark et al. “Effects of diets high in sucrose or aspartame on the behavior and cognitive performance of children”
Web M.D. “Busting the Sugar Hyperactivity Myth”


Kale has less nutritional benefit than 14 other vegetables, including leaf lettuce, spinach, and Romaine.
Eco-Watch, 1/3/15. Pantsios, Anastasia. “14 Superfood salad greens more nutritious than kale”


Detox diets or body cleanses do not flush extra toxins from your body. No matter what you eat, your body naturally gets rid of toxins.
Web M.D. Zellman, Kathleen, M.D. “The truth about detox diets”


Low-salt diets are not only unnecessary, they can be dangerous. A growing number of medical studies show that up to 2.5 teaspoonful of salt per day can be consumed by the average healthy person without any significant health risk, whereas a low sodium diet can actually cause health problems. The debate centers between the federal government’s longstanding anti-salt campaign versus the growing body of evidence to the contrary from the medical community.
Washington Post, 4/6/15. Whoriskey, Peter. “Is the American diet too salty? Scientists challenge the long-standing government warning”


◊ Fried foods can not only be good for you, they can be better than non-fried foods. Frying potatoes and other vegetables gives them a greater antioxidant content than vegetables that were boiled or sautéed. Giving vegetables a hot oil bath unlocks the nutrients in them and infuses them with more nutrients than they started with.
Prevention Magazine, 2/12/16. Taylor, Marygrace. “The surprising new reason why fried foods may be good for you”
PubMed.gov/US National Institutes of Health, April 2009. Jiminez-Monreal. “Influence of cooking methods on antioxidant activity of vegetables” 


There’s no proof that organic foods are healthier. The fact that they have less pesticide residue than the small amount found on traditionally grown foods had no effect on the health of the people tested in numerous scientific studies. Organic foods did not reduce the amount of allergic reactions in children, nor did they reduce the incidence of various types of food-related diseases.
National Public Radio, 9/4/12. Aubrey, Allison. “Why organic food may not be healthier for you” 


A gluten-free diet, except for the 1% of the population diagnosed with a specific medical disorder, is neither recommended by medical studies, nor considered healthy. Gluten-free diets are imbalanced, lacking many of the desired daily nutrients. Most people who eat gluten-free do so by choice, not because of medical necessity.
Web M.D. “The truth about gluten” 


Drinking most fruit juices is not any healthier than drinking sodas. Sodas often have less calories and about the same or less amount of sugar in them as apple juice, lemonade, grape juice, orange juice, cranberry, or pineapple juice.
Spoon, 8/29/16. Limcaoco, Danielle (Stanford). “6 fruit juices worse for you than soda” 


◊ Medical reports now encourage young children to be fed peanuts. The theory originating in the 1990’s that all children should avoid peanut products because of possible allergic reactions has been reversed. Current medical theory now holds that regular exposure to peanut products is more healthy for children than avoiding them altogether.
NBC Health News, 1/5/17. Fox, Maggie. “New peanut allergy guidance: most kids should try peanuts”
Science. Mic, 9/29/15. Levine, Jon. “When the hell did everyone become allergic to peanuts?” 


◊ Most wheat bread is not significantly better for you than white bread. Both kinds of bread have a similar number of calories. Wheat bread has a slightly larger number of nutrients, but that is offset by the fact that white bread usually is enriched with whatever nutrients it might be missing.
Examine.com, 2017. “The top 17 nutrition myths of 2017” 


Eating just before bedtime does not make you gain more weight. Your metabolism does not slow down at night. You gain weight from what – and how much – you eat, not when you eat it.
LiveStrong, 1/31/16. Cespedes, Andrea. “Eating before bed and gaining weight”


There is no such thing as fat-burning foods. No food actually burns fat – including grapefruit, etc.
West Virginia University Student Center of Health “10 Dieting Myths”


Agave sweetener is less nutritious than sugar. When agave liquid is processed, it loses nutrients, and becomes just a processed syrup, far inferior to sugar.
Authority Nutrition. “Agave Nectar – A sweetener even worse than sugar”


25 other countries are less fat, less sick, and live longer than Americans. 66% of Americans are overweight or obese, compared to 37% of the rest of the world population.
NBC – Healthcare, 11/21/13. Fox, Maggie .“We’re number 26! US below average on most health measures”
Everyday Health, 6/3/14. Matthews, Susan. “Are we as fat as we think?”

SUMMARY

“If there’s one thing we do know, it’s that being terrified of life is not good for you.” (James Hamblin).

Americans seem to be unjustifiably terrified of what they eat, and what it will – or will not do to them. Theories about healthy and harmful foods are always changing. Americans are far less healthy than numerous other countries who do not share the US obsession with what is eaten, but focus more on moderate portions and a balanced lifestyle.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

From the insightful words of Jesus at the beginning of this article, to the following quotes from nutrition experts of today, wise individuals have always encouraged people to look beyond the food on their plates if they want to find lasting health (wholeness) in their lives.

“It’s a mistake to assume that food is the only consideration that matters when it comes to health, and that all health problems can be solved simply by making dietary changes. Unfortunately, this seems like an increasingly common assumption… (Chris Kresser – Top 100 People in Health & Fitness)

“It’s entirely possible that the person with the perfect diet but the rest of their life in shambles is less healthy than the person who doesn’t eat that well but takes care of himself or herself in other ways.” (Moshe Feldenkrais, founder of the Feldenkrais Method for improving human functioning)

Brief 25A – January 26, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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