Monday, April 16, 2007

Please, not the potato chips!

I'm just putting this out there. The source is the Disease Proof blog:

Worst Seven Foods for Health and Longevity
1. Butter
2. Cheese
3. Potato Chips and French Fries
4. Doughnuts
5. Salt
6. Sausage, hot dogs
7. Pickled, smoked or barbequed meat

Top Seven Foods for Good Health and Longevity
1. Black raspberries
2. Strawberries
3. Blueberries
4. Flax Seeds
5. Green Leafy Vegetables
6. Tomatoes
7. Broccoli sprouts

As blog readers know, I struggle with cheese cravings. I don't keep potato chips or fries in my house but it's awfully hard for me to resist them when they are in front of me. Bad foods 4-7 are not a problem for me.

Hey, the top 7 foods sound pretty good! I don't buy too many berries as they tend to be expensive, but I've now decided I'm worth it. I've never had broccoli sprouts--has anyone else?


Fin De Fichier said...

Well, most sources have agendas. I think that should be remembered.

There are cultures that consume dairy that have very great longevity. I just don't think the preponderance of real, unbiased evidence suggests that it makes you fat or unhealthy. I know too many people who ruin the curve. I knew a Dutch woman in the south of France who ate nothing but pate, fish, cheese, and wine, and was thin as a rail and gorgeous looking in her late 50s. Movie star beauty. She also walked everywhere of course. I DO think there are tons of Americans (no pun intended) who eat dairy WITH all of the attendant crap in the american diet - think milk with Krispy Kreme hydrogenated donuts of death - and are quite sickly. Human bodies vary and I'm convinced some people can eat almost whatever they want and stay healthy, and some have to be very careful. Some bodies do better on high carb/low protein/low fat, and some do better on the opposite pattern. It's all very complicated which is why I don't like these "10 most deadly" list things. Deadly for who? Japanese have some of the longest life spans and yet their food is filled with enough sodium I think I'd have a heart attack after my first meal there.

Of course, outlook on life helps too, and incredibly wealthy with a house overlooking St. Paul de Vence and the Mediterranean probably wasn't hurting her emotional health. I think your struggle with cheese might be emotionally unhealthy. You should be able to have an indulgence once in a while, at least.

Fin De Fichier said...

BTW I would agree about 3-7 on the "worst" list. Salt, I would say, depends on the person, but obviously way too prevalent in food.

I would add that there are many issues with peanut butter - not on either list, but many think it's healthy. They can never completely prevent it from being aflatoxin contaminated. It contains lectins that aggultinate the blood and promote unnatural cell division. It's fat profile, though superficially non-threating, contains esterification patterns that tend to be atherosclerosis promoting! Again, none of these issues are as simple as food writers would like to make them. There are so many factors with fat...NOT just saturated vs. unsaturated. It took the lame American health media over 20 years to wake up to "trans". But there's EVEN MORE to the story. Some saturated fats are more dangerous, some are more benign. Some unsaturated fats may be unhealthy! Some esterification patterns - the actually arrangement of saturated vs. unsaturated on the glyceryl anchor - are more dangerous than others! I admit it was my cheese - it took me years to wean myself from the stuff. And I still question whether it was worth it.

Fin De Fichier said...

Oh BTW pt 2. - Broccoli sprouts are amazing. This list does have its good points. They are about the only health food I think I can say actually make me feel and look healthier, like I'd had a full night sleep even though I hadn't. (sleep is, of course, incredibly important too.)

Alfalfa sprouts, on the other hand, are legumes like peanuts and contain lectins and anti-nutritive compounds, so I avoid them if possible.

Amy said...

I see your points, but the reason I am trying to severely limit my dairy intake is because I do think there is overwhelming scientific evidence that animal protein promotes cancer growth, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other diseases. If you want to know more, read The China Study by Campbell. But here is a taste. It comes from a laboratory study with rats, but the results were backed up in a study of 6500 adults in 65 counties in China.

“In one group, they administered the cancer-causing aflatoxin, then fed a diet that was composed of 20% protein, a level near what many of us consume in the West. In the other group, they administered the same amount of aflatoxin, but then fed a diet that was only composed of 5% protein. Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided liver cancer…we found that not all proteins had this effect. What protein consistently and strongly promoted cancer? Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein…what type of protein did not promote cancer, even at high levels of intake? The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy.”

The China study also showed strong correlation between animal protein intake and breast cancer (plant protein intake vs. breast cancer is not strongly correlated) and animal protein/osteoporosis, which seems counterintuitive.

I agree that individual systems vary, but the important thing for me is the results of these large studies. I also think that being thin does not mean someone is healthy. Avoiding toxins is key, as are a low stress level and lots of sleep, of course. As to bias, I just consider the resources of the dairy/meat and pharmaceutical industries, versus the, uh, fruit, vegetable, and whole grain lobbyists.

Fin De Fichier said...

That's an interesting study, and it's mildly ironic they had to use aflatoxin as the tumor activator considering I'd gone on a screed about peanut butter.

"The safe proteins were from plants, including wheat and soy."

I think people with an allergy to soy or celiac disease would take exception to this.

"I just consider the resources of the dairy/meat and pharmaceutical industries, versus the, uh, fruit, vegetable, and whole grain lobbyists."

Well, please be aware the soy lobby is gigantic and suppressed the dangers of trans fats for over twenty years. Never underestimate any lobby.

This study certainly has some merit but extrapolation from rats fed aflatoxin to human beings who hopefully are not being fed aflatoxin, is a large one. Also there are many ways studies can be ill-designed, or not consider co-founding factors.
Aflatoxin is one of the most powerful natural carcinogens, if not the most powerful.
I once accidently ate some slightly moldy chestnuts and my liver went into overdrive...I looked like a crack smoking supermodel - taunt cheeks and all! I still worry I'm going to die from that incident hahaha.