Responding to “7 Bad Foods…”


July 6, 2013 by Darlene McC

Not to call out my dad, but he’s having a banner year in his health.  After beating cancer a few years ago he’s had trouble with his weight, largely due to the hormonal therapy they had him on post-chemo.  We’ve been working together to find a nutrition program that works for him, and every once in awhile he sends me an email with questions about some nutritional concept he’s read on the internets.  I finally got around to replying to the email he sent me 2 days ago, and though I’d share some of this useful information with the rest of you.

First, some good new:

BTW – I saw the number “xxx” on my scales earlier this week, first time since I can’t remember when.  Can’t wait to get the “official” number off my doctor’s scales next week.

Good job dad!  I’m proud of you!

Next, the article he’s asking about in his email:

Some more dietary “insight”.  Your thoughts?

This is one of those “list” articles I’m ever wary of.  You know the ones.  “7 things to change right now to make you more healthy!”  “10 ways to drop 10 lbs in 10 days!”  They catch your eye, but often grossly oversimplify concepts.  Here are some of my replies to my dad’s email this morning regarding “7 Bad Foods You Should Be Eating“.  (Read through to the last one where I really lose my temper.)

Let’s get the things I agree with out of the way off the bat:

I love eggs.  They’re right on that.

I love fruit.

Alcohol – duh. (To clarify: I was agreeing with these points – “decades’ worth of research shows that moderate alcohol consumption “can reduce deaths from most causes, particularly heart disease, and that it raises HDL (good) cholesterol,” the USDA’s David Baer said. Wine may have additional benefits because its grapes are filled with nutrients called polyphenols, which reduce blood clotting, inflammation and oxidation.

The key is to drink alcohol moderately and with meals.”  Now… why not just eat the grapes?  But, of course, everything in moderation.

Now, for the others… probably the ones you’ll find more interesting.

Gluten & wheat:

As far as gluten or wheat – most people are probably fine as far as intolerance go; but need to lose weight and currently eat primarily carb-based diets without exercising enough to justify all those carbs.  If a person isn’t gluten intolerant, wheat is fine… in moderation.  Like everything else.  But people who are very sensitive to weight gain with carb ingestion need to limit them (carbs).  And right now that’s most people.  Grr.


The potato section pissed me off

  “It’s an easy food to attack, but the meal pattern may be the culprit,” said David Baer, a research leader at the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture. “Other epidemiological studies have not verified a connection between potatoes and weight gain or any diseases, and no clinical studies have shown a connection.”.

Potatoes are a great source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber that many cultures — Scandinavians, Russians, Irish and Peruvians — relied on as a nutritious staple for centuries. And they were not fat.

For the same reasons as wheat above, people are eating too many carbs.  Potatoes are the #1 “vegetable” consumed in the US – as chips and fries.  When they’re mashed or bakes people cover them in creams and butters.  Sure, the northern European ancestors weren’t fat – but they were FARMERS.  We’re a sedentary society!  And I’d hardly say that those peasant populations had optimal nutrition.  What a stupid argument!


My issues with soy are with high concentrations of processed soy in processed foods.  They’re using it to replace corn processing in foods where people are reacting with “Oh my god too much corn!” by replacing it with soy.  There are estrogen-like compounds in soy & we don’t know how the human body reacts to those compounds in very high concentrations.  I avoid soy protein supplements and too much tofu – but I love endamame and I think your soy milk is fine.

 And finally… here’s where I really lost my temper with this article.  Fried food:

Fried food – you have to be fucking kidding me!  Yes, people need fat… HEALTHY FAT!  High quality animal products or fatty fruit like avocado or coconut.  Not fucking fried foods!  No conscientious health and wellness coach would EVER tell a client to eat fucking fried food.

the unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids [e.g., canola, safflower and olive oils] have significant metabolic benefits and are health promoting,

Yeah… and all those oils have a very low smoke point.  Meaning you don’t cook with them at high temperatures because the fatty chains break down and create carcinogenic compounds.  You know what you do with them when you fry with them.  You BOIL them.  Which is WAY ABOVE THE SMOKE POINT.  UUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Have a good weekend, Amazons.

2 thoughts on “Responding to “7 Bad Foods…”

  1. xdhaas says:

    As with anything, a person’s tolerance is really up to their biology. Take soy, for instance. I have borderline hypothyroidism. My numbers are lower than they should be, but not really low enough for me to have any symptoms I can point out. Well, I used to drink a single cup of soy milk almost every day. Until, almost out of no where, my hormones started going absolutely nuts. My doc and I thought my thyroid was completely crashing, until she mentioned soy consumption. As soon as I stopped drinking it everything went back to normal, almost instantly. Now I won’t touch the stuff.

    • Darlene McC says:

      Excellent anecdote, Xdhaas; and spot on for my point. My dad was having allergy trouble and was drinking an entire carton of milk a day. I suggested he taper off to soy milk and, voila!, his stuffy sinus cleared right up. Got to find what works for you.

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