Monday, September 26, 2011

My name is Sallee and I.....

I don't know what it is but every time I see any kind of article that talks about health and diet I have to read it.  I'm the reason that yahoo headlines are littered with stories of people who lost lots of weight and why there is an article about the 10 best "insert food here" every time you turn you head.  Sorry. 

So last week at the dentist office when I saw the TIME magazine from Sept 12 with a cover of Dr Oz saying "What you should eat now" I latched onto it.  I started reading it as I was waiting for the receptionist and I carried it with me through the appointment and only finished while I was waiting for them to print up my bill. I did consider taking it with me but decided that would be dishonest.

TIME doesn't publish full articles online so here is a contraband link and here's a link to a good summary (do not read the comments--it turns into a vegetarian and vegan free for all).  The article didn't tell me anything new (they never do).

The main points are as follows.
  • It’s not necessary to restrict ourselves to low-fat foods.
  • It’s OK to eat eggs, whole milk, salt, fat, nuts, wine, chocolate and coffee — as long as we don’t overindulge.
  • The only fat accepted as “bad” is trans-fat, and that has been stripped out of most foods.
  • Dietary cholesterol is less important than we used to think and is irrelevant to some people who have good genes.
  • Excess salt is dangerous mainly for the minority of people with salt-sensitive high blood pressure.
  • Foods labeled “fat free” don’t taste as good, so manufacturers add more salt, sugar, and thickeners, and people tend to eat more calories.
  • Fad diets work by restricting food choices: they result in fluid loss and decreased calorie intake, and the weight lost comes right back when people stop the diet.
  • The low carb diets change nutritional balance in ways that may not be desirable (and they give you stinky breath)
  • The paleo diet?  Maybe not ideal as it is tailored to people who only lived to 40.  But they did look good.
  • Weight loss is hard. To maintain a healthy weight, calories consumed must equal calories burned.
  • High fiber foods augment satiety.
  • One study showed that the foods most associated with weight gain are French fries, potato chips, sugary drinks, meat, sweets and refined grains and the foods most associated with successful weight loss are yogurt, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • There are no elusive “superfoods.”
  • Exercise is important but it doesn't give make it so you can eat anything you want.
Wait.  Let me see if I've got this right. You're trying to tell me that people who eat French fries, potato chips, sugary drinks, meat, sweets and refined grains tend to gain weight and those that eat yogurt, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables lose it?


I never would have guessed.

TIME magazine, you dedicated a cover story and 8 pages to that?  Didn't Michael Pollen sum it up a little more concisely when he said, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants?"

But here's the kicker.  I ate it up.  I hoarded that magazine and read the whole dang 8 pages.Why do I keep searching and scouring the internet for articles about what to eat and the caloric content of things? I already know the answer:

Eat food (not food like substances.  Pollen says that if your great-grandmother wouldn't reconginze what you're eating you shouldn't be eating it--twinkies I'm looking at you), not too much, mostly plants.

So what are your internet pitfalls?  What articles can you just not pass up?


  1. So, does that mean Claire can eat Twinkies because I know what they are?

    I agree that we are always searching for answers to the complexities we face...about fashion, our homes, beauty tips, health, and food....however, the answers are usually right inside us before we read.

  2. Yahoo gets me every time with their Charlie Sheen articles...not gonna lie.

    I read the "Secrets to Eating/Food/Losing Weight" articles too, only to find that they all say what I already know. Guess there aren't any secrets. Bumski.

  3. I have to respond to this post because I picked up the SAME magazine at my grandma's house and read the SAME article it while the rest of my family was engaging in conversation...I am laughing because I had the same reaction you did, but I still read it all and made a conscious effort to stop buying fat free sour cream after reading the article. I also read all those articles and cannot pass them up.

    My other guilty internet pleasure is Teen Mom. Don't ask me why. I am hooked on that show. If I see a tabloid with an article about one of the teen moms, I have to pick it up and read it. I just can't pass up an article about those dang Teen Moms. Dan and I watch teen mom on the internet each and every Wednesday...kind of sad.

  4. The problem is...people aren't following that advice. So they have to keep publishing it in an attempt to curb our insane obesity epidemic. Once we all lose weight maybe the demand will go down and then we can read about something new! But probably not going to happen. Also, I constantly have to remind myself that as an educated American who grew up in a healthy-eating home in hippie California, I may have a fallacious view of the dietary know-how and level of health that most of the nation possesses.

  5. I have a copy of "Twinkie, Deconstructed" that you would just eat up.

  6. I love your blog cuz, I read every post! I'm of the opinion that if you get your butt up early and work it hard and sweat like mad for hour you wake up all the 'crap-you-can-get fighting power' and you win. When you work out like a warrior, or kinda think you are, you don't pick up the garbage food that we all know we needn't eat. Thus we eat better and most likely lose weight because we can burn more than we take in everyday. Maybe I'm a simpleton but it keeps me thin and active and I play with my family until we fall asleep every night, so it works!

    Now for my true addiction online, everything Apple. I'm a gadget nerd to the nth degree and have an insatiable appetite for everything glass and aluminum that originates in Cupertino California! Can't wait to see Amazon's new gadget release tomorrow, and Apple's new phone next week. (I write and read this from my iPad with sweat dripping from my nose and elbows befor 6 am as I am 50 minutes into a workout, thus completely backing up everything I just wrote!)

  7. I can't seem to pass up an article on organizing. 90% of them are the same old, same old basic info. But once in a blue moon...Bazinga! There's a gorgeous new idea that I can't wait to incorporate! And that fuels the addiction to read the other 6000 worthless articles.

  8. Diet, exercise (and I even ate up your SUMMARY of the article!). I'm also addicted to and I used to be addicted to blogs, but I now limit myself to a small number that don't make me feel bad about myself. Yours made the cut ;-)

    Oh...I also read too much about obscure symptoms that I might have, that would mean that I have some kind of deadly illness. But I'm working on limiting those, too.

  9. Oh man, this speaks to most of what I work on as an academic! I love a good food article...and the popularity of Dr. Oz and Micheal Pollan really reflects our American psyche right now. We *know* what we ought to do when it comes to food, we just tend to not do it. Health = eating decent food in decent amounts, moving our bodies around regularly, and getting enough sleep. It should be easy, but it's usually not. Seeing as how I'm writing a dissertation on some of this, I'm going to stop now before I start to sound totally eggheaded. :)

    My internet addiction? pinterest. It is ridiculous.