THE NUTRITION DILEMMA OF 2019 – COMMON GROUND

If you read the previous paper on the dilemma for us normal people then you will appreciate that there are not only differences but also there is some common ground accepted by most if not all. Even within the common ground there are specific differences for example in the type of vegetables or the specific fruits, nuts, fats and proteins and we will investigate these today. I feel also that calorie intake should be a subject of great interest, to all of us! Essentially we eat too much and often do not count liquid calories such as beer, wine, spirits and soda. Although I do not drink soda as it contains nothing of value except possibly caffeine! 

COMMON GROUND

There is I think some common ground. 

“However, a large body of evidence now shows that healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout all stages of the lifespan. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflects this evidence through its recommendations.” https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/executive-summary/

CG1. Eat less processed foods and consume less processed drinks – but what does processed mean and we will address this specific topic later.

CG2. Avoid trans-fatsno disagreement there.

CG3. Less added sugarin the lifetime of an “average” western person, an industrial waste skip of added sugar will be consumed! 

CG4. Less alcoholalthough levels seem to differ depending on where you look.

CG5. Nutrient dense foods and drinksalthough the specific macro-nutrients cant be agreed, there is some common ground on micro-nutrients. 

CG7. Protein intakes seem to be similarsources clearly differ but the amount of protein seems consistent around 10% of caloric intake.

What do we need to understand about processed food and drinks? 

Almost everything we consume is processed even raw foods, some food such as some fruits, some vegetables and some sushi could be considered less processed! Of course you might consider water unprocessed but in reality for most of us, water is highly processed but essential for us. How much we need is again subject to experts opinion, best advice I have seen is to drink water when you feel thirsty! Amounts vary but that is not the question here, what is the question is defining “processed”. Clean tap water is highly processed for our benefit and it is cheap for us even though we drink a lot of flouride with it, well I dont as we filter it out. But you see the point, processed doesnt have to be canned and down the center aisles of grocery stores. Almost everything is processed to some extent for good or bad effects on our health. So choosing less processed foods is not an easy option. If you want to get clarity then using the caveat – “whole food & least processed” #WFLP might be a good shopping mantra. An apple picked from a tree, stored then eaten at home is very lightly processed, an apple that has travelled 5000 miles, been coated in a waxy substance is processed but perhaps necessarily so, still we then have to further process by washing or peeling. Apple sauce in a plastic jar I suggest is highly processed when you consider the ingredients (Apples, HFCS and some acid to keep it from going bad in the plastic package made from BPA  plastic). So perhaps the ideal is to make a “process measurement” and have this indicated on the label, so consumers can decide just how processed is this item I am about to eat or drink. I think this would certainly persuade people simply to pick healthier options.  How about PM 1-10 where 1 is the apple from a local farmers market and 10 the apple sauce? 

All drinks are processed, from freshly squeezed oranges to an aluminium can of soda or beer or coffee or tea, so how we do we decide what to drink? As we said earlier, even our water is highly processed unless you get pure mountain stream water from a non-polluted source and drink it there or bottle to take home perhaps. So which drinks should we opt for and I think there are good arguments that clean healthy or what we call “good water” is the most essential and should form the basis of our response to thirst. Including salts for the “body electric”  is most certainly essential for healthy body, heart, brain, muscle and nerve functions. But where do we get salts? More of that later, for now just make sure to get enough salts/electrolytes. 

Alcohol and health. We all have seen the effects of alcohol either first hand or by personal experience and as societies I suggest that the world is probably split down the middle on consumption of alcohol from fermented, distilled and brewed drinks. Are there any health benefits, well some claim there are to drinking red wines, dark beers for the bioflavanoids and other plant based micro-nutrients and bacterials found in these drinks. Ethyl alcohol doesn’t really do us physically any good so the one thing that is sure is we do over indulge and certainly in the western societies, the pub, bar, restaurant could be considered the centre of our social lives and that would be a BLOG all of it’s own later. 

Nutrient density and food groups

Possibly we can agree that nutrient dense foods are more beneficial than so called “empty calories” but what might be nutrient dense and allowed within #LCHF might not be allowed on #WFPB but on our #WFLP we can take the best from both dietary prescriptions. But what nutrients need to be dense to make food superior and that are common? Seeds are acceptable to both camps, green leafy vegetables are a common ground as are berries and that actually might be it. Dr Campbell suggested that meat(s) contain no vitamins, antioxidants or other useful micro-nutrients and if he is right then meats confer no nutrient dense benefits, especially considering a 10% protein intake which seems to be common to all good diets. So how about FATS, can fats be nutrient dense? Can we possibly come to agreement here, ha-ha unlikely as the animal vs plant based diets would seem to be diametrically opposed or are they? I think everyone agrees there should be some unsaturated fats but 10% – 80% is a big gap, in fact for the 1800 KCal folks that is either 20 grams or 160 grams, which is what in reality? It is 1 1/2 tbsp or 11 tbsp if you just use butter, but our fats are supposed to be primarily unsaturated types if you buy the cholesterol hypothesis which is increasingly coming under fire. But fats like #PUFA & #MUFA – avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax, soybeans. Coconut oil and #MCT oils are much loved of late, with ideas like adding them to coffee; hmmm! Tried that yet? I suggest that you do as it is deliciously fatty and satisfying but after a couple of morning mugs of #Illy espresso with added butter and MCT I am not so sure and think i will stick with my dark roast clean and unadulterated. So fats can be considered nutrient dense with different types of fat being essential to health and that is agreed even if the sources are not. 

Nutrients are often “washed out” of otherwise healthy foods, rendering them less densely nutritious! So one major aspect of nutrient density is SOURCE and handling and time spent packaged in transit. The affect of micro-nutrients, growth of mould, bacteria and other challengers to good health cannot be calculated so the advice is usually to eat local, grow your own, rear your own and this minimal processed, packaged, transported food does seem to be a common theme between all diets.  

PROTEIN COMMONALITY – hmmm  UNLIKELY

Protein intake a common ground with it seems agreement of about 10% of calories from protein. So for an 1800 KCal intake daily, this would be 180 KCal or about 45 grams of pure protein. Lets check some examples of this from each side of the church:     All these foods contain about 20-25 grams of protein – 100grams  turkey breast  or salmon or pinto beans or almonds or cheese.   Surprisingly even a common food source such as vegetables can help here as even broccoli has protein about a 1/10th of that from the other sources but in any daily intake you might want to take it into account to avoid over eating or drinking protein. 

We have missed one vital type of intake and I hope that you picked up on this essential and common food type for health and vitality, yep it’s fibre from plants and  is considered essential to good health. But there is some controversy over how much and the source, but we all seem to agree that some is good! So let’s leave it there as our final common ground. 

Oh yes that brings me to more common grounds 😉 , yep coffee seems to be commonly accepted but one side of the church will take it without added dairy and the other with added butter but both sides and the aisle agrees, no added sugars or god forbid added sweeteners! #coffee #caffeine #flavanoids 

Ok here are some references: and as we head for our third and final BLOG on this topic where maybe we can piece together a way of eating that can provide the nutrients through lower processed, nutritionally dense, less packaged highly nutritious foods and drinks, you might see the term #VOGON or #Vogon and that we will explore later and let us hope so as it needs explaining.  Bis nächste zeit, schöne abend.

A. https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01743-8/fulltext

B. Your gut thanks you – http://humanfoodproject.com/americangut/

C. Dr Barnard – https://nutritionstudies.org/

D. Esselstyn https://www.mdedge.com/jfponline/article/83345/cardiology/way-reverse-cad

Post script: I saw an article today that talked about why the #LCHF diet was wrong and the basis of their argument was that eating deli meat, barbequed meats, sausages and other highly processed foods as you “need to on this diet”  people would probably get sick. I think that this is not the intent of the #LCHF recommended diet. Refer to the CG statements above. 

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