Wednesday- whew… how are you here already? The past couple days have gone by in a blur. All those posts other people wrote about the organization seminar at HLS?… I need to go read them. Again. Like NOW.
I’ve realized since I’ve been focusing on In Defense of Food, I’ve been slacking on taking food pictures, which is a shame because I’ve had some yummy eats… homemade Mediterranean hummus veggie wraps, homemade veggie pizza with spinach salads, etc… delicious things that words don’t do justice to. So, sorry… I will begin picture taking again and have beautiful photos for you tomorrow!
Today’s Food for Thought from I.D.o.F. is:
Don’t Look for the Magic Bullet in the Traditional Diet
Pollan points out multiple times in his book that different cultures have flourished throughout history on very different diets. Examples: Eskimos traditionally ate lots of meat and whale blubber, and little food from plants. Hardly what we’d refer to as a healthy, balanced diet. Even the Greeks would be criticized for getting a majority of their calories (40%-45%) from fat, rather than the “recommended” 30%. And the French? Well, they eat too much saturated fat and drink too much wine. So instead of observing the dietary pattern as a whole, food scientists begin to look for the one factor that makes a diet like that work. In the example of the French, scientists research to try and discover if it’s the antioxidants in the red wine that help metabolize the excess of saturated fats.
Pollan believes they are looking too much into it, because just like a fruit or a vegetable, dietary patterns are more than just a sum of it’s nutritional parts.
Does that make sense to you? It sounds kind of deep, but it made a lot of sense to me. And personally, I feel it takes a lot of stress out of nutrient counting. Am I getting the recommended 700 mcgs of Vitmain A each day? What about biotin? Am I getting my 30 mcgs??
Basically Pollan states (and I agree) that if you eat a wide variety of fresh, whole foods, you’ll be fine. As people have been fine doing this for as long as we’ve been around.
That’s where he gets his mantra from:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.
Isn’t that a lot easier than doing calculus level math in your head to figure out it the crackers you are eating get less than 30% of their calories from fat?
Now for arguing the otherside…
I wholeheartedly agree with Pollan’s thoughts of food and how and what we should eat. It makes sense to me. However, if you would have told me these ideas in college, during my “this week I’ll try Atkins, and next week I’ll try South Beach” phase, I would have politely smiled, then rolled my eyes when you left.
I think he preaches about an evolved way of eating, that is intuitive. It is a wonderful end goal, but for many people that struggle with their weight and rely on fast food, it most likely isn’t realistic to go from binging and purging to listening to their bodies and eating ‘rabbit food’.
Because of this, I believe there needs to be some guidance and a healthy gateway into intuitive eating. That’s why I work with my clients on an exchange based program. It teaches portion control and healthy balance of foods in a manageable way, without extremes.
Carbs won’t make you fat, despite what she says:
and fat isn’t the devil nutrient.
Anytime we vilify a particular food or nutrient, we end up doing ourselves a disservice. We obsess over it, sometimes binge on it, then don’t end up seeing any of the results it promised us. Not to mention the damage it does on our psyche.
Have you ever cut out an entire food group before in attempts to obtain a desired result (ie: weight loss, etc)?
What do you think about Pollan’s Matra?
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.
I realize this has been more like a book club discussion than a blog, but I find a lot of his points very discussion-worthy. I’ll be back to regular scheduled blogging soon 😉 In the meantime, please take part in the discussion!