This is another arena where the news confuses rather than educates. Or commentary attempts to expose how various organizations continue to steer the consumer into following the same old habits he has always followed. If we are going to change the way Americans eat, that doesn't mean we just rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. We have got to literally change the foods we eat. It's impossible to expect something to be different if we continue to do what we've always done.
Everyone has a different idea of what is and is not food. They never stop to think that for all of time fruit was highly seasonal. The same for nuts. They do not understand that modern fruit is far and away sweeter than the old fruits prior to man's invention of farming and plant and animal breeding. They have no idea that the only food for man and beasts that was around 365 days a year was either green leafy plants and animals. (Yes, grasses can even grow under the snow or are "preserved" under the snow and ice.)
Dr. Keith Roach, in his daily columnto a heart disease victim, recommended “a diet based mostly on plants, with the option of adding whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits and lean meat sources such as skinless chicken.” He did emphasize low sugar foods but then said “commercial red meat” should be limited to no more than two servings per week. He concluded that “this diet is likely to reduce risk of further events.”
For going on 55 years the science-based drum role for a proper diet has centered around several factors. A. Total Nutrients. B. Low Glycemic. C. Balanced Essential Fats.
I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Roach’s emphasis to restrict one’s diet to very low glycemic (low sugar) foods. That is a critically important step in everyone’s diet. In fact, no sugar at all is best. Unfortunately he did not mention that seeds, grains, potatoes, and many fruits are dangerously high glycemic.
It’s official, the Paleo Diet was dead on arrival in the U.S. News and World Report ( USNWR) February 2015 article ranking the popular diets. The magazine summed it up this way: The Paleo diet came out at or near the bottom in every category, and tied with the Dukan diet as dead last overall. Ratings above a 2 were rare; the experts were especially critical of its nutritional completeness, cost and its applicability for weight loss and for preventing or controlling diabetes and heart disease. Most seemed to agree with one panelist's summing up: "This diet should go back where it came from."
USNWR’s winning diet was the DASH Diet. The magazine summed this one up by saying: Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure. You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasize the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, Veggie, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voilà!
In other words what the magazine suggests is that everyone should eat the same foods they’ve been told to eat for the past 65 years. Changing is too hard, too expensive, entails the unknown, runs counter to the culture, and ignores the recommendations of the government and the medical community (which profits from chronic diseases).
The word "organic" does not always mean "nutritional superiority." Yes, there are times when organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than conventionally raised fruits and vegetables. But we must be fair here. In many cases the opposite is also true!
In food safety terms, "organic" never means safer food. That's because nearly all food borne illnesses have organic origins! Organic origins are bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi for starters. On top of those major food safety problems there is the mineral and chemical imbalances that can come naturally in nature.
Nearly all chronic diseases can be traced to eating grain, grain-based foods, and grain-fed livestock products. This doesn't mean just GMO grain, it means all grain whether it's organically raised or not. Grain, a natural organic substance common in nature, is a foreign food to all animal life. So, in effect, we can say that grain is "toxic" to animals yet it is not only natural but an organic substance.
Today CNN posted an article tilted “The grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef debate.” The article was written in consumer friendly mumbo jumbo and probably has as much misinformation as it does good information. For instance CNN’s cooking suggestions ranged from doing it correctly to totally destroying a meat cut. It cooked roasts low and slow and steaks quickly. As we all know, grass-fed steaks must be cooked low and slow too and anything past medium rare for a grass-fed steak is over cooked. For an absolute fact CNN’s nutritional message for grass-fed meats was lost by mixing comments from knowledgeable people with those of idiots with professional degrees. For instance I’ll quote three paragraphs. Grass-fed beef is lower in calories, contains more healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamins A and E, higher levels of antioxidants, and up to seven times the beta-carotene. Skeptics such as Chris Raines, a professor of meat science at Penn State, say the benefits of the different fat profiles are overblown:“Some people get very excited about the fatty-acid profile of grass-fed beef. Then, in the same breath, they’ll talk about how wonderfully lean it is. We’re talking up the good fats that aren’t really there.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which says it supports all forms of beef production, echoes this much-ado-about-not-much theme. Shalene McNeill, who has a Ph.D. in human nutrition and is executive director for human nutrition research at the association, acknowledges that “if you feed (cows) grass, you can slightly increase the omega-3 content, but if you look at it in terms of a whole diet, it’s not a significant advantage to human health.” The first sentence is correct. The rest of the verbiage is bald-faced illustrations of idiots in motion – or opinions from people who live and work in denial with obvious conflicts of interest. Those of us in the actual grass-fed meat industry do not emphasize lean for starters. We love the fat and eat it. Our ground beef products are 10% and 22% fat. We also sell packages of just fat! In addition, the all important essential fatty acids (EFAs) are in the membranes of cells not just in the visible fat on a carcass. To say that the EFAs do not exist because there is very little intramuscular fat is ignorance at best and deliberately misleading at its worst. It is correct to say that eating grass-fed meats (and even wild fish) in addition to the regular American grain-based foods will not improve one’s health. BUT, when one eats grass-fed meats and eliminates grains, concocted grain-based foods, grain-fed livestock products, nuts, and high glycemic foods one will improve body function by a huge degree. This is the point whenever nutrition is introduced into the food equation. If we want to eat foods that cure chronic disease and maintain good health, then we must eat The Real Diet of Man. Grass-fed meats are only one part of the solution. If we look at food as a form of entertainment, as CNN did in its article, then who cares what we eat? Why even think in terms of nutrients and such? Let’s just eat and let the health care costs soar. So once again a huge media business puts out information that does not inform. It had a chance to provide good solid nutritional information that could help millions of people. Instead, it painted the proponents of grass-fed meat and peer-reviewed nutritional science as con artists. Yes, CNN said: As for nutrition, we put fat-content claims to the test by sending some of our finest grass-fed steaks for nutritional analysis, along with supermarket and specialty grain-fed cuts. But it did not release those statistics. Why? And I’m sure if it did, it would not have indicated the importance of a balanced EFA profile. So once again a major media outfit reports on a simple topic and misses the mark by no less than hundreds of miles. It makes you shudder when you think we are relying on these same media outlets for information on other important topics such as economics, politics, and even on what’s going on down the street. As I close this comment, I want to emphasize that the only reason for anyone to have an interest in grass-fed meats is for improving one’s health and well being. But it will not work if one continues to eat the traditional American grain-based and high glycemic foods. Grass-fed meats are all about nutrition. They are all about following The Real Diet of Man. They are not about flavor, humane treatment of animals, the environment, cost, tradition, organic, or any of the other miscellaneous reasons given by members of the mob.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011