May 2008

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Comments

Francesca

The principle of different body types dictating ideal nutrition for an individual is one of the foundations of ancient Indian medicine - Ayurveda. A person's body type - Vata, Pitta, Kapha (or a combination thereof) - is a necessary consideration in determining diet.

D. Mented

Susan,
unless your bread and pasta are whole grain, they are simple carbs.
Simple carbs include sugars and processed starches, and heavily cooked vegetables (cooking breaks down a lot of complex carbs into simple carbs)
D. Mented

D. Mented

You might already know which diet works best for you!
(Scott, you've figured yours out)
If meat sits in your stomach like a lump of greasy clay you probably will do better never to eat it again.
If it vaporises and turns to rocket fuel as it hits your stomach and gives you plenty of energy and strength, you probably need some at least three times a week, if not more.
If you're somewhere between these extremes, you will probably do best with some meat now and then, especially when you've been exerting yourself, but not a lot and not all the time.
As for non-meat, the closer to raw and unprocessed you can get, the better for you in most cases, and anything you wash and cook yourself is better than anything you buy pre-finished at the store.
Artificial sugar substitutes are bad for you no matter who you are and what your genetic map is. It's just a matter of how bad. Some studies even suggest diet sodas with Aspartame can make you gain weight...They do this the same way alcohol does; you don't store them, but you store everything else that's in your bloodstream while the sugar substitutes are there. This would be more of a problem if you drink them with meals than instead of meals.
The harmful product in Aspartame is the breakdown product formaldehyde. This forms even in refrigerated sodas, but the breakdown happens faster the warmer the product gets.
No particular link to cancer, but yes, nerve damage. This is the same formaldehyde that they use as embalming fluid. Don't take my word for it...please look it up.
One of the Gulf War syndromes may be Aspartame poisoning; the military brought in vast supplies of diet soda, and left it to reach desert heat. They chilled it down later, but that does not reverse the process and return the formaldehyde to Aspartame. The soldiers mentioned it had a strange, unsweet taste, and the ones who drank the most of it suffered blurred vision, headaches, and other nerve problems.
The study that said sugar doesn't affect children's behavior was cooked. They set it up so the pre schoolers that hadn't been fed sugar were running around with the ones who had, so the no-sugar kids went along with the sugar kids' wild behavior and everybody acted the same.
D. Mented
(I've seen things presented as latest news that had been widely broadcast a decade or more earlier.)

Drone74B

-drew, I can answer your last question to some extent:

Family history is a decent guidline when looking at things like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, but don't rely on raw stats to determine your own risk. You also have to consider lifestyle. A study was done recently in the US, where researches looked at the diet, lifestyle and overall health of people in Amish country compared to their mainstream neighbors. They gave them pedometers, and monitored their fitness and overall health at regular intervals. They found that despite the fact that their diet was horrible (heavy servings of red meat, butter, starch and other fatty and cholesterol-filled foods), these people were fitter and had a longer life expectancy than the average person. But, they were very physically active, has less stress and a greater sense of satisfaction with their lives.

My point is that if you've got family history of a condition, or even if you don't, you can't simply live the same way your anscestors lived and expect the same result. If your grandfather was a farmer, ate meat and potatoes every day and lived to be 100, it doesn't mean that you as an office worker can expect the same longevity with the same diet. On the flip side, if your dad died at 45 of a heart attack, was a smoker who worked in a factory and ate fried food every day, you might expect a different fate if you're physically active, have low stress and eat a decent diet.

Effen

"...we’ll know enough about nutrition to create diets for specific individuals."

Give this a look.

"The Metabolic Typing Diet" by Dr. William Wolcott and Trish Fahey

Penethra

It's important to do a lot of research and use common sense, and to listen to the little voice once this research has been done to a reasonable extent. The little voice that tells you to go buy potato chips cooked in lard, is not your intuition-- it's just Satan. LOL!

Drone74B

Very good food for thought, pardon my pun. Your diet should reflect and compliment your lifestyle. If you're a marathon runner, the Atkins diet will kill you. If you're a bodybuilder, you need more protein than most. If you're an overweight office worker who gets winded tying his shoes, you may want to think about cutting the carbs and sugar. I think the point Scott is making here is that people need to recognize the importance of a proper diet that fits them. He's not saying that we should all be vegetarians, period.

The comment Dennis made about eating for your blood type was interesting. Never head of that before. I'd like to read more. I'm a personal trainer, so it would be nice to pass some of that info along to my clients.

Of course, Charlotte makes an interesting point as well. There are way too many people on this planet. I heard once that there are more people alive today, at this moment, than have ever lived in the combined total of recorded human history. I often wonder if some of the diet-related diseases are nature's way of culling the population. It's kind of like how stupid people die more often doing stupid things. Natural selection.

Of course, unhealthy people keep me in business, so I'm not really complaining...

danette

As a teacher, I am often shocked at how many parents put their kids on ADHD medication, and then send them off to school with a backpack full of sugary snacks and energy drinks to have during the day.

I am another one who feels 100% healthier and more energetic if I don't eat meat or dairy. Once I cut out dairy and my stomach problems stopped, I couldn't believe it took me so long to figure it out. I haven't decided if my lost notoriety as a legendary farter is a plus or minus yet. I totally agree with the personalized diet, and find die-hard vegans AND die-hard meat eaters who think their reasons for selecting their food should apply to everyone unbelievably ignorant and annoying to boot. Humans evolved to be able to subsist on a variety of diets, and what's healthiest for one person is, in my opinion, not necessarily healthiest for the next.

One more comment- those of you who say that eating healthy equates to eating bland, disgusting food: all this says to me is that you are lousy or uncreative cooks.

Charles

"Then I stopped eating carbs until dinner time and discovered that I can go all day on six hours of sleep."

Please expound.

standgale

Scott, please post more information on diets so that I can try them all and eventually come up with the food choices that stop me needing at least 9 hours sleep to avoid feeling terrible, still being tired, and being miserable all the time :(
These are the options I've thought of so far, unfortunately I don't know which ones will work for me, or, even worse, what combination:
no caffeine
no wheat
no gluten
no milk products
no carbs until dinner
being vegetarian
maybe I'm hypoglycaemic so follow an appropriate diet

That's a lot of combinations.

niCk(MemBeth)

Serious comment. You say you drink Diet Coke or something like that every morning. Please go investigate the effect of artificial sweeteners on your health.

I won't tell you, because it will sound like preaching,please research it yourself.

If you want something to wake you up in the morning, green tea or coffee, unsweetened, are the best choices. Better yet, get off the caffeine and just start drinking water.

It isn't about living longer, but living and feeling better.

Nobuddy

"I stopped eating carbs until dinner time"

Didn't you post a photo of yourself eating a banana soon after you get up in the morning? Bananas, like ALL fruits and veggies, contain carbs.

Zach

Being a parent of an ADHD kid I feel somewhat qualified to make comments, the link was interesting. Over the last 10+ years I have tried various alternatives such as regulating the diet, including vegetarian. From my experience the diet had no affect.

Whereas the ADHD medication has made a significant difference. However I do not medicate on weekend or holidays because one of the side affects of the medication is appetite suppression and keeping the kid awake late at night.

In an ideal world I would not need to medicate however it makes such a big difference to what is achieved academically that not medicating, in this case, would be tantamount to abuse.

adora

So one of the comments above says Adolf Hitler turned evil after being vegetarian eh? Interesting...

The China study doesn't really say that one must eat all vegetables but one should consume majority of calories from vegetables for optimum health. The world harvest will be less stressed as well.

My family is Chinese. Our meal is usually 40% rice/grains, 25% veggies, 10% meat, 25% fruits (in volume). I was shocked to see how Panda-Express uses the large slot on the plate for meat in America. Everyone in China has the common understanding that it is for rice. The smaller ones are for veggies and meat/beans/tofu.

All 4 of my grandparents lived to be 96-103, even the one who was obese with diabetics. Strong genes? Sometimes I feel I may never die.

My father tried vegetarian diet to treat hay fever. It improved a little, but he became irritated all the time. He's half deaf and gave us hell every 3 days. He also suffered from iron & protein deficiency. Sleepiness, weakness, painful gum... He was so proud of giving up meat that he nag us to "his side". I-am-your-father... Come-join-me... He has given up gradually, and returned to my normal Dad.

I think you're right. Some people can spread pork fat on toast(my grandpa) and be healthy, some people are better off being vegetarians. We just don't have enough data to customize our diets right now. People should be more open-minded in order to find what's best for themselves.

Nobuddy

"I became a vegetarian. The daily stomach aches stopped and never came back"

I had the exact opposite experience; when I stopped eating my mother's meals, and thus stopped eating vegetables, my intestinal distress, which I'd had forever, went away and never came back.

If I eat more than a tiny amount of vegetables, I get nauseous; when I had a meatless meal a few months ago that was manly veggies, I had horrible bloating and cramps for 3 DAYS.

I love red onion, but a single bite will make me ill... unless I take a big bite of meat along with it.

My husband, who's mostly vegetarian, has always suffered from major constipation and flatulence; I, with my animal-products diet, have neither. He has hemorrhoids, both internal and external, and irritable bowel syndrome; I don't.

He also had high cholesterol; I don't.

When anyone suggests to US that vegetarianism is best for everyone, we scream with laughter.

standgale

drew said: "The food industry will continue to protect its food and package sugar into everything so that we buy it, as moist robots find sugars pleasurable."

Mostly true, but most of my family now no longer buys some things because they are too sugary, so I wonder how long this will last. Sugary things are nice but things that are too sweet can be sickening, including soft drinks, muesli bars, cereal as examples of things some of us choose carefully to avoid the ones that are too sweet.

Krissy

They have discovered a way to tell whether or not you would do better on a vegetarian diet - it's a few simple questions. Do you wear glasses? Do you "get" math jokes? Do you spend your free time reading books? Do you enjoy it? If you answered yes, you may be a vegetarian.

Zany Ninja

Hey Scott, please enlighten us - how on earth can you avoid carbs on a vegetarian diet? Can you give us an example of what you would eat on a typical day? Would be real helpful.

Its real hard to get a protein-based diet being a vegetarian I reckon, as almost all veg foods are carbs! I used to be veg, but am occasionally non-veg now, coz I need the protein to build muscle, as I work out at the gym.

Tom Foster

Two weeks ago I went from three cans of redbull and god alone know how much coffee a day, to no redbull, one coffee in the morning and only Earl Grey tea in the afternoon. I couldn't believe the difference it made.

I've always vaguely thought that non-chemical varations in diet (ie anything less than chemically constructed drinks like Redbull) made so little difference that it couldn't really be noticed in the general ups and downs of life. Oh boy was I wrong. I replaced my red-bull with natural fruit smoothies and I get as much of a kick out of that one cup of coffee as I used to out of three cans of Red Bull.

From next week (next time I have a chance to go shopping) I'm going to overhaul my diet.

I'm just so glad I discovered this when I was 25 not ten years later, let alone twenty.

Any suggestions for easy, simple, ideally cheap carb-free lunches much appreciated.

Penethra

Um- I eat beans almost exclusively and in all honesty, I NEVER fart. Neither do the kids. But I eat beans cooked from scratch, and always the ones with the thin husks such as navy or turtle beans. Just in case anyone is curious. The canned ones are so filled with sodium, they'll give you kidney stones.

I think farting means your digestive system is out of whack.

However, flatulence, gas and digestive cramping is easily remedied with a nice, carminative cup of fennel seed tea.

passerby

re>Saying that vegetarianism is healthy won't do anything to change people's food choices. Saying "Vegetarians get laid by hot chicks all the time" would probably do the trick. But then you'd have to find or make up data to convince people of the statement.

There was a survey that showed men became vegetarian to get laid. i.e. they became vegetarian because they started going out with a vegetarian woman. In nearly every case when they split from that women they reverted to meat. Conclusion in article was 'men will do anything to get laid'.

Crimson_Sky

Very true! Although I never had actual health problems, my mom found a defanite co-relation to my diet and my behavior as a child. At times, I would become very bossy and mean to my friends all of a sudden. She learned to call me in and give me a simple peice of cheese..and within 15 minutes I was fine again, as nice as anything. My protein leve was too low. I can still get testy today from that. It's very interesting.

A friend of ours has a kid who has ADHD and the medication he is on makes him constantly hungry..so he's always snacking. Problem is, most of said snacking is junk food. He flies through the roof every time I see him and can't stop moving. They think it's the health problem, but to be honest..I believe it's 90% diet. It's sad to see, because it's an endless circle. Hopefully as the child gets older it might change because healthier food choices might be a bit easier to feed him. Still, it's all a lack of control if you can't get your kid to eat something.

Sarah

VermontGal

It's really a pity Americans just eat so BADLY, considering that so many of us (with the exception perhaps of inner city, those on food stamps, and the like) have so much access to excellent quality, low-priced (relatively speaking) food.

We tend to gobble on really mediocre foods, like fast food burgers, "juice" that's only 15% real juice, and potato chips that aren't even all that good.

Homemakers protest they don't have time to make a decent meal, say a baked potato with lowfat sour cream, fresh (when in season) string beans, and a nice grilled chicken cutlet or vegetarian kabobs--when in fact it takes about the same time as greasy fried chicken or hamburger.

Although I am not apologetic about being a meat-eater (my husband's a hunter), Americans also tend to eat just TOO MUCH period. Some people can hardly consider a lunch or dinner meal that doesn't have it. In most of history and in most periods, meat was an occasional addition to everyday food, and stretched as much as possible.

VJ

I have a daugter who was diagnosed with severe autism a couple of years back. I dont want to gripe about what she was and what she is now. But I know that her improvement has been phenomenal. We still have a very long way to go. but it is just phenomenal after we changed her diet to be Gluten Free and Diary Free. We are vegetarians anyways. But to be free of wheat and diary helped her so very much. We also supplement her with nutrients and we know how bad she becomes if she has Gluten or Dairy or if she skips her nutrients.

It is more than that. Now I am trying to understand the science behind all this and it is amazing how much is discovered about the diet, the human digestive system, its effect on the immune system etc and things fall in place pretty well.

This whole process has put a lot of things in perspective. It makes me think that we are slowly learning how things work. We probably do not know why things work this way but we know what happens. I have been thinking that there is this infinitely small things that happen in the whole universe every second and they are have an impact on how we think, how we live. I am always "listening" to the universe as if looking for a miraculous secret that will be a key to understanding.....I do not even know what I am trying to understand. But I know I have got to listen. Just like an antenna tuned to pick up signals....but I should be tuned in all frequencies, to pick "it" up.

I remember a comic of yours where Dilbert wonders that if everything is a chemical reaction in the brain, does freewill really exist?

I will emit the signal when I discover it....If you are tuned....you will catch it too....I know Scott, you are part of the answer....

landowner75

Serious question. As a vegetarian how do you not eat carbs till dinner? My wife is one and having a tough time getting enough protein.

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