Monday, February 13, 2006

Nutrition Literacy

As with exercise, there are lots myths and just plain bad information about dietary habits. And there are gurus who make lots of money selling to the bad habits and desperation of millions of people. The information they sell and promote often has no real effect on health or could even be detrimental to health.

Nutrition science is no better. Every week a new study comes out that contradicts the magic bullet that was found last week.

I'm sure many of you have seen the headlines or heard of the recently released study that supposedly found that low fat diets have no effect on cardiovascular health or decreasing risk of cancer. Wow, what a waste of $415 million dollars to study basically the same diet in two groups of people who had already been eating the SAD (standard American diet) for over 50 years. No wonder it didn't show much of anything.

It is not about getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It is not about getting enough protein. It is not about counting calories or portions. It is simple: eat well. Just like we need to move well. Learn to move; learn to eat food that naturally contains the things that are good for us and reject the food that is not. It is not rocket science. It is behavioral science. We cannot reduce food to supplements or synthetic substitutes; just like we cannot reduce movement in the context of gravity to work on machines or 20 minutes of super-slow resistance training 2 days a week. One must attend to their health behaviors on a daily basis. Over time, it DOES matter.

Here are a few resources for anyone who would like to read/listen to some solid research and good advice on good eating habits.

Joel Fuhrman M.D. has a great blog.

Howard "The Mad Cowboy" Lyman has a great website and two very readable books that tell the tale of a cattle rancher who decided he needed to change to a plant-based diet. He was the guy sued (with Oprah) by the Texas Cattlemen for libel. Howard won. You can find his website here.

For the top-dog of research on nutrition and health, get T. Colin Campbell's "The China Study." This book will give you insight into the history of nutrition research and the fascinating data derived from the largest epidemiological study ever on nutrition and its impact on health.
You can see and listen to him here.

1 comment:

Natan said...

I have been looking for good health information so that I can finally start getting back into shape.
Thanks; Stretching and Flexibility