Monday, March 16, 2015

oversimplifying till it's not true

This morning on twitter I saw this little statement:

Bill Lagakos (@CaloriesProper)
#1. you should follow the healthiest diet you enjoy.

#2.whoever said that is an asshole. QED.

It makes sense, depending on how you interpret it ... or it's malarkey.  ;-)  We've learned in recent nutrition discussions that it's possible to simplify complex concepts to the point that they're no longer "true."

As I see it, you SHOULD follow the healthiest diet you enjoy -- if you DON'T enjoy it, how can you stick with it?  The tricky part comes in defining "healthiest diet" -- the healthiest for the Bros is NOT the healthiest for me, because our needs are significantly different.

I can only assume that Bill's point of view is that of someone observing nutritionally-ignorant people eating the SAD -- cuz i'm inclined to agree with the notion that just adding in a couple of green vegetables and some "sugar-sack" fruits does NOT make a processed-food diet healthy.

To present an example of #1 that makes sense to me, here's my diet in a nutshell:
  • good-quality animal-based foods, cooked in such a way as to enhance their flavor and texture, without adding problematic ingredients or a damaging cooking style;
  • low-starch vegetables that don't screw up my gut;
  • low-sugar alcoholic beverages in moderation;
  • full-fat dairy products in moderation; 
  • sugary or starchy foods in very sparing quantities and frequency;
  • very VERY small quantities of grain-products which experience has shown do not damage my well-being significantly.
Those top two items are my personal "healthiest diet."  Including the other four lines make this the healthiest diet I CAN STICK TO.

Much experimentation has taught me what I can get away with.  People without such experience, and more importantly people who have "studied nutrition" only through tv ads and magazine articles, truly don't have the background to know what's healthy for them.  The latter is why some desperately-ill individuals think they're doing themselves a favor by living on salads and rice cakes....

Since my trigger-foods are defined simply by "too-carby" and I KNOW that I've reached that "too" limit when I start wanting more, I can put the brakes on before I start down the slippery slope -- vigilance is my safety mechanism.  Other "successful eaters" either don't have a danger-slope (these are the "everything in moderation" individuals who are in fact obesity-resistant), or they know it so well (like Karen, Lori, EB and Gwen) that they strictly eschew the triggers.

So is it idiotic to aim for the healthiest diet you can enjoy?  Hardly.  It's far more foolish to eat the unhealthiest diet your body can tolerate in the short term ... which seems to be what most first-world nations do.  Advocating the LATTER is an example of Bill's #2 statement.

21 comments:

  1. Yeah... I know my triggers. If I'm wanting to eat everything in the kitchen, I can promise you I've ingested something with MSG, an emulsifier- Xanthan or Guar Gum, or I've been glutened. The additives are more common now than the glutening.

    One bite, all it takes. No food Switzerland for me.

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    1. "no food Switzerland...." LOVE it! :-)

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  2. If I ate the unhealthiest diet I could tolerate in the short term (like, 15 minutes) I'd be face-down in the brownies.

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    1. I'd battle you for the crispy, chewy corners... ;) JK

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    2. you ladies are making me LOL -- thank you!!! :-D

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    3. Back in the day, you wouldn't have wanted to get between me and a pan of brownies (I like the gooey center pieces) or a pizza when my blood sugar was low.

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  3. Great post, and I agree. I especially love this line, "just adding in a couple of green vegetables and some "sugar-sack" fruits does NOT make a processed-food diet healthy."
    Dingdingdingdingding. Especially when people often only add the (sugar sack) fruits, because yeah, that's soooo healthy.
    Gotta admit, though, giving up the buying of the fruit? It's perhaps the final mental hurdle. I've just *always* done it, even over the past year that I've healthified my diet into low- to lower-carb and sometimes paleo-ish. The fruit, it's a hard habit to break. But I'm working on it - no fruit purchases today at either grocery store stop :)
    Wendy @ fitteratfortyish.wordpress.com

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    1. thank you, Wendy! yes, fruit IS awfully seductive -- i'm pretty safe with berries, but over the holidays I had some "cuties" around for the grandkids, and I WAS tempted to keep on eating them.... On the rare occasions I choose to treat myself, it's best to buy ONE grapefruit or ONE banana. :-)

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    2. great tip - just buy one! Why didn't I think of that?! I'll use it, thanks. :)

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  4. Knowing oneself if the first step to success. Even though I was ignoring certain things and hoping they would go away, I finally stopped deceiving myself and faced the truth. For me, even one single cheat, one piece of fruit, one cracker, one small Atkins bar, sets me down Lori's path into a pan of deep dish pizza (hate brownies), then Eatmore chocolate bars, then cinnamon buns and potato chips. I know the exact drill every time. Those people that can have a cheat meal or portion thereof and get right back up on the wagon make me sick and envious. Takes me weeks or months to get back to clean eating.

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    1. I salute you for knowing your truth and sticking to it! :-)

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    2. I hate brownies too, like the rest of my family . Is it a cultural thing? Now a "cheat" doesn't sent me for more somehow. Something changed for me.

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    3. isn't that interesting.... i've always loved brownies, but i haven't made them for us in a very long time. i just don't have the appetite for sweets that i used to ... thank heavens!

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  5. Am I going to be boring here? Eat real food for better health ....... but be aware of foods that you may be allergic too - and stay clear of food triggers.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I think that eating real food is the best choice we can all make! For some people, though, that isn't enough -- some people have to restrict vegetables, dairy and fruit, ... even meat. :-( I feel VERY sorry for them!

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    2. I do feel annoyed by the "real food" message. I think many artificial LC foods is way better than many real foods high in carbs like "ancestral starches" for a person who need to limit diet carbs.

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    3. I agree some of the 'real food' does contain higher carbs that do not suit all ..... but eating real food and knowing what does and doesn't suit you / your body is key. The unfortunate thing is most of us do not realise, or don't give this any thought until our body becomes unwell. By talking and raising awareness to this perhaps we can help the younger generation.

      Just a thought ........

      All the best Jan

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    4. May be the "real food" message is most suitable for the young metabolically healthy people who want to stay healthy. I remember how Wooo was criticized for reporting drinking green tea with a cool-aid and eating cream-cheese wrapped in a salami - totally not Paleo. While I cook my own food, I observe that many people struggle to do it.

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    5. definitely, if children are raised on a "real food" regimen, they'll be far less likely to succumb to metabolic problems!

      it's interesting to me that Wooo is so satisfied with her style of high-fat diet -- if i don't get my red meat on a regular basis, i just feel bad! she seems to crave chicken ... which is a thing that i enjoy occasionally, but which doesn't come close to satisfying me like lamb and beef do.

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    6. I am a real and a traditional food person, but observing others who are satisfied and feel well eating what I call an "easy food" gives me a pause when I think that I would rather eat something a main meal like than high-fat treats grabbed on a go when given a choice. It is important to remember about priorities like macro-nutrients composition and to be realistic. What is the point of fighting modern life-style options like McDonald's on every corner? Fast food is here to stay, as well as modern appliances and a capitalistic system, but we as customers have a lot of power to influence available food choices. LCarbing life-style should be more inclusive than the movement of food purists.

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    7. so many changes have come about already -- it's very heartening to see shops and restaurants offering more grass-fed, free-range, and organic choices all the time.... :-D

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