The Meal Matters Most

What Makes Healthy Food Healthy: From a Stress Perspective


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The Clear Science on Fats is Really Fuzzy

“The main problem with the past decades’ low-fat trend is that it has been misinterpreted.”

That’s how the Los Angeles Times article begins (it reminds me of being on the playground with that know-it-all who is never wrong just misinterpreted). And then it is elaborated upon by Dr. David Heber, founding director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition:  “There is no real low-fat controversy, the problem wasn’t low fat; the problem was that when we lowered fat content, we increased carbohydrate and sugar content.”

Here’s the problem with that statement and they say it themselves: “If you cut back on saturated fat, you’re going to replace it with either unsaturated fat or carbohydrates. The type of replacement can have a major impact on health outcomes.” (at the time of the advice, they believed “fat was fat” btw) Continue reading


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Is Obesity a Disease? An Analogy to Autism

Rosie O’Donnell on a recent episode of “The View” shared her experience with a near fatal heart attack and its association with her obesity. Rosie has since had surgery to address her obesity, which she refers to as the disease that caused her heart problems, health problems and almost destroyed her life. However, is obesity a disease?

This is a tricky concept. The way Rosie and her doctor spoke about it on the show was a little off to me. That obesity causes heart disease and diabetes. I don’t think its quite that linear, direct or simple. And it begs the question what is causing obesity? Continue reading


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Is Cancer Random? Or can “bad luck” be defined by Stress Mechanisms?

Several articles have popped up in major News, Medical and University sites about Cancer with headlines such as “Random gene mutations primary cause of cancer” and “Bad luck, not genes or the environment, cause for many cancers, researchers find“.

The most provocative aspect of the study by Tomasetti and Vogelstein is not what is causing cancer, we know that certain environmental carcinogens like smoking can be responsible for cancer. Rather its that we just learned definitively that most cancers are not coming from direct and line Continue reading


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Can we start being as kind to Saturated Fat as we would an (unfairly) Jilted Lover?

My Sunday morning peruse of recipes and news led me to click on Jamie Oliver’s post “Dairy & gluten-free Chocolate Chip and Avocado Cookies”. It started off very politically correct and Jamie (correction: This was written by Bee Berrie of Bee’s Bakery) carefully skirting any political do’s or don’ts of agreement on removing such things as gluten and dairy and just discussing the joys of learning something new. This is the way many of us live our lives exploring options and respecting others curiosity and even issues. He does such a great job of expressing this until he gets to one sentence. “… butter is high in saturated fat – the bad type of fat that can increase the levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream”. I don’t blame Jamie Bee she is only repeating what she has heard. Replacing or getting larger variety of fats is healthy for us. But calling saturated fat “bad” is like yelling at your dog or your lover that he/she is bad when they misbehave. Continue reading


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How do you classify “good food”?

A recent question “What exactly is good food?”:

Here’s my reply…

For me I take the philosophy of a “stress approach” and systems (it depends on the system) approach to good food. So  fats/sugars can be physiologically stressful, so balance those main (high quality sourced) macronutrients (meat-carb-fat) with quality micronutrients (whole fruit, vegetables, herbs) or traditional sauce condiments that include fermented foods or dairy (probiotic source). This creates a “balanced” meal for our systems that is also delicious!

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“Are “Genes Are To Blame” Articles Really Leading the Public Astray?” The Epigenetics of Stress Mechanisms in Disease

 

MindHacks” writer Vaughan Bell’s tweet subsequently retweeted by “Not Exactly Rocket Science” Blogger Ed Yong states that the media turns “blame your genes” into attention-grabbing headlines. They worry the headlines are misleading the public into thinking they are no longer responsible for their problems. That the articles are for those who want to absolve themselves of responsibility for badly behaving toddlers or so they can blame their genes rather than themselves for being a lazy couch potato or binge eating. If we can blame our genes then we’re not responsible, right? But where does that thought process come from? Most likely from our instruction that genes are out of our control random things we inherent from our parents. Therefore if genes are to blame, then we, our environment, is not. Those were our choices, either our genes or our environment were to blame for such things.

In defense of the articles, that is not what the authors or researchers seem to be actually saying.  Continue reading


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Is drinking a Coca-Cola equivalent to drinking Apple Juice?

So I was out to lunch with a friend when he expressed to me that drinking a coke was no different than drinking an apple juice. That side-by-side the sugar content is similar (sugar, is sugar, is sugar) and therefore the potential negative impacts were equivalent. (*Note: My friend stated “no matter how fresh squeezed, cloudy or full of nutrients it was”).

apple juice

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Sugar vs fat: Twin Brothers

I find that I love this article about the Twins and the Sugar vs Diet experiment. However for me, what they miss is that a) sugar/fat are fuels that need to be cleaned up (and therefore eaten with nutritional powerhouses and clean-up antioxidant power spices, sauces, condiments etc), when sugar and fat are put together they are like super fuel and b) that process foods imitate healthy combinations of real foods (not choice between health food or “tasty” junk food), because the flavors imitate synergistic qualities of foods that would originally “buffer” the impact of the sugar and fat (ie acids “balance” fat, baking spices “buffer” sugar, tang from fermented foods all attenuate food-induced obesity or metabolic disturbance). Junk food is like an over-extreme source of energy, or jet fuel, a more intense version of energy, but because it’s all “flavoring” and not real foods, processed food is so incredibly damaging.

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