Some Great Points Countering Conventional Thinking On Food And Nutrition
I just came across Karen De Coster's review of Mark Sisson's book, The Primal Blueprint (which I have not read). But, I think in these excerpts, she -- and he -- are right on:
A Couple of Real Pyramids to Live By
The Primal Blueprint food pyramid, unlike the government's fraudulent apparatus, is not influenced by food subsidies, profiteering politics, special interests, or payoffs from powerful players in the food industry. You won't see a primal pyramid recommending 6--11 servings daily of bread, pasta, and cereal. Low-fat diets that emphasize grains have made people fat, and not just here in America. In Sisson's view, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, fowl, and eggs should sit at the bottom portion of the food pyramid. He includes a primer on fats and oils -- I especially note his wicked defense of healthy-yet-demonized fats and oils (coconut oil, unprocessed palm oil, lard, tallow, butter, etc.) that became politically unpopular because of the drive to promote the subsidized oils (think corn and soybean) that are heavily refined and genetically engineered. In keeping with the 80% Rule, even dark chocolate -- with 70% or more cocoa -- and alcohol make the grade when consumed moderately, in Sisson's primal world.
...Since he discovered that too much exercise is detrimental rather than beneficial, he has worked hard to convince others that chronic cardio or endurance sports lead to sickness, burnout, hormone problems, injuries, and the acceleration of aging and disease. I often note that professional endurance athletes often look like aging skeletons at a young age. Most triathletes and marathoners look aged beyond their years, and even my favorite athlete, Tour de France cycling champ Lance Armstrong, looked like an old man at the young age of thirty-four.
...My burning question has always been this: what makes a medical doctor -- even if he is a great doctor -- an automatic "expert" on food and nutrition, let alone exercise? Answer: nothing at all. People make the mistake of automatically granting expertise to their (often overweight) family medical doctor who had very little in the way of basic nutrition training way back in those medical school days. Unless an MD has a burning passion for deeper knowledge on food and nutrition science, or has actually gone into the field professionally, he's not sitting around reading the food and nutrition science journals and following the hot and debated issues of the day. So, in my mind, you need to forget your family doctor's uninformed, pharmaceutical-influenced advice and learn to control your own destiny through a process of self-education.
Tomorrow night, there's a great place to start -- my rebroadcast of my show with Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, talking about how wheat is the worst thing you can eat, and how there's no such thing as "healthy whole grains."
The show will air from 7-8pm Pacific, 10-11pm Eastern, at this link:
(I'm in Paris this week and my boyfriend has insisted I have an actual vacation.)
Oh, and a bit more from De Coster -- some food rules she lives by:
- Avoid all sweeteners, most sugar (unless it is cane sugar in the occasional homemade good), and even minimize natural fructose. I've never been much of a fruit eater.
- Avoid all industrial oils because of their rancidity, poor fatty acids profile, and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated properties.
- Use lard (home rendered or bought from those who render it and sell at the market); raw butter; Kerrygold Irish butter; olive oils; sesame oil; macadamia oil; coconut oil; tallow (beef and lamb).
- Avoid grains, except for occasional rice and, yes, beer in the warm months.
- Eat quality meat: pastured or grass-fed (lamb, pork, beef, chicken, turkey) stored in my large freezer, and eat only wild caught fish. See a photo of my freezer. I deal directly with all of my farmers via email and do pickups at their farms.
- Eat a high-fat diet with moderate protein.
- Don't focus on the macronutrient content (fats, protein, carbs). I keep it simple and eat real food and don't turn eating into rocket science. I don't have time for the tracking or logistics. By way of my real-food principles, my diet is naturally low in carbs.
- Utilize farmer's markets for obtaining the majority of my food (farmers and artisanal makers). I live right by the largest and most glorious market in North America, so I am fortunate: Detroit Eastern Market. During the off-season, I buy from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and local specialty/produce markets. The Detroit metro area has a gazillion of these wonderful markets.
UPDATE: In reply to Storm's comment that this way of eating is out-of-range pricey. See my comment below on my frugal low-carb diet.
The results: Body by bacon. (Okay, to be completely fair, I do 12 minutes of slow-burn exercise every five days or so -- when I'm not too overwhelmed by book and column deadlines.)
Photo of Amy Alkon's 48-year-old ass by Gregg Sutter: