Food Fights and Diet Wars

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet”- Fran Liebowitz

Nutrition fads declaring the latest weight loss or magic cure-all diet dominate the media. The internet too spreads its share of less than accurate information. It all adds up to dietary confusion.

Most of what we thought we knew about nutritional evils turns out to be wrong. Every five years the United States updates its Dietary Guidelines and recently dropped its recommendation to restrict cholesterol. Scientific evidence shows only a weak link between dietary cholesterol & cholesterol levels in the blood. Eggs and shrimp are now back on the menu.

bigfatThe Big Fat Surprise explores the science behind why butter, meat, and cheese were once vilified and why they now belong in a healthy diet.

vitamaniaVitamania suggests that vitamin supplements are not the health enhancers we might wish. The reason is synergy,  the way in which substances work together. Vitamin C in a capsule, for example, may not act in the same way as it does when its surrounded by an apple’s other compounds.  Synthetically produced vitamins may actually cause more harm than good.

fedupAll studies agree that we’d  benefit from less sugar. Fed Up is a 2014 documentary that explores the fact that for the first time in history more people die of obesity than starvation. The food industry is at the heart of the problem. The U.S.  government issued regulations to lower the fat content in food. To make food more palatable, the industry added sugar. Now almost 80% of processed food has added sugar. As a result, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes rates are soaring.

What diets should one follow to ensure proper nutrition? Taste Buds Cookbook Club wanted to find out. Here are some cook books that were awarded the Taste Buds “seal of approval”:

detox3Beet Avocado and Arugula Salad from Clean Slate which emphasizes eating clean, whole, unprocessed food as part of a primarily plant-based diet.

berrycobbler

3 Berry Cobbler from Super Foods is a delicious way to eat a variety of berries. Berries may slow memory decline, reduce heart attack risk and provide anti-aging benefits.

Chicken Soup with KaleChicken Soup with Kale from Kale, Glorious Kale.  A superfood that packs a punch, kale has high levels of Vitamin A, lutein, calcium and antioxidants including Omega 3 as well as 9 essential amino acids.

whitebeankalamatahummus

White Bean, Kalamata and Basil Hummus from Eat Less Salt by the American Heart Association helps you to recognize “hidden salt”, include more  low sodium meals and stock your pantry wisely.

captain'scurry Captain’s Curry from 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes which encourages us to eat like our ancient ancestors.  The pros of this diet include more fiber, protein and omega 3. The danger is the lack of  grains, legumes and dairy.

The Tastebuds concluded that a one size fits all diet probably doesn’t work for most people. Incorporate what makes sense for you and ignore the rest. The current dietary recommendations to control sodium, enjoy low fat dairy and dairy substitutes, choose more nuts, fish, legumes and lentils and eat less meat will help to reduce your risk of disease and even increase your longevity.

Bon Appetit!

Jane

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