Wednesday, February 29, 2012
If you are going to have an opinion about what causes obesity, kindly base that opinion in actual science or STFU.
Seriously. As someone who can go several days at a stretch eating 1500 calories a day and not lose a pound, I call B.S. on the whole gluttonous-fat-people mythological construct. As in, the notion that first a skinny person chooses to eat 15 Big Mac value meals a day, and then that person gets fat.
How many of you have kids? If one of them wasn't growing taller quickly enough for your taste, would you feed them tons of food to make them grow taller?
That's a dumb idea, right? You know it wouldn't work. Well, have you ever noticed that when they are ABOUT to grow taller, they start eating more, and then after they're done with their growth spurt, their eating rate and quantity goes back to normal?
Now what makes you think the exact same thing isn't happening to fat people?
Haven't you ever run across a skinny person who deliberately tried to gain weight and couldn't do it? Ate tons and tons of food every day and didn't gain an ounce? You hated that person, right? Admit it. You did.
Doesn't it ever occur to *anyone* that the reason you see fat people "overeating" is because the fat person's body already decided it wanted to store more fat, so it's nudging the fat person to eat more food toward that purpose?
You don't even see *200-pound* people eating fifteen Big Mac value meals a day. You only see that with 500-1000 pound people, right?
There's a reason for that.
Aren't you even slightly curious what that reason is? Doesn't it ever tug at you to wonder how that whole fat-storage thing works and why some people do more of it than others?
If your answer is "no" or you want to babble out at me, "I KNOW why people get fat--they eat too much and move too little," move along, because nothing I just said sunk through to you and I don't waste my time on hopeless cases.
But if your answer is "yes" and you feel like I just took your mind to places it's never been before, and now you want to learn more? Might I suggest you look up books by Gary Taubes at your local library.
More than a suggestion. More like a demand. The more of us figure out what the heck is going on here, the more of us can be supportive of folks with metabolic problems rather than continuing with the bigotry and the finger-pointing and the shame-inducing.
Because at the end of the day, if people KNEW how to lose weight, we would not have to shame them in order for them to work toward that goal. If you know how to change a tire, no one has to call you a dummy to get you to do it. If you know how to boil water, no one has to call you an idiot in the kitchen before you'll turn on the stove. Likewise, when people know how to fix their metabolic problems, they'll do it, and no one needs to call them fatty-fatty-two-by-four or cast aspersions on their character or eating habits.
All I'm sayin, world. Think about it.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
These sites can't ever make it simple. I don't know who decides what info goes into the database at the USDA but it's not updated nearly often enough unless, I guess, they want to put more crappy industrial foods in there. God forbid the government not kiss butt to the food corporations handing it all its campaign dollars. But the average person just trying to figure out what nutrition they are getting from real food? Forget it.
Case in point. The bacon (yes, a real food--shaddup, vegans) I get from Kroger has sixteen slices per pound. The USDA database doesn't have an entry for that. *SparkPeople* doesn't have an entry for that. OK, fine. One slice of the Kroger stuff when cooked is about 12 grams. But I can't set my bacon favorite to 12 grams. I have to remember, instead, that a slice is 12 grams and hope it's right when I enter it into the day's intake. GRR.
I can see why people resort to eating out of boxes. One of many reasons. Probably not one of the more common reasons. Never mind. If you're eating out of nothing but boxes and mixes then you don't care what's going into your mouth anyway. I certainly never thought about it when that was *my* life. I get it. Really.
Still. Is it so much to ask that this not be overcomplicated?
I have a workaround... and better that I do it now rather than trying to remember to check the bacon label later, considering I don't always eat the same brand.
(By the way, bacon's a good source of animal protein, a good source of monounsaturated fat--the same kind as in olive oil--and a decentish source of choline, which helps keep your liver healthy. NOT THAT SP TRACKS CHOLINE, thanks a lot guys. :P And I'm low-carbing, which means my kidneys like to let go of my sodium instead of hoarding it, which means I actually *do* need the salt or I get leg cramps. Go figure.)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I ran across a vegan who recently went off the wagon and had some meat and dairy in her diet. She felt like crap. Her husband, who's omnivorous, was understanding and told her that she needed to look out for her health. She blogged about it and people in the comments were saying things like, "This is proof there really is no perfect diet for everybody and some people really need to be vegan."
Beg to differ.
I do agree there is no perfect diet for everybody, mostly because the word "perfect" doesn't really mean anything. But there are basic nutritional needs that everyone must meet with their food. Because you can't just depend on popping pills to make up the difference. Supplements are expensive and what if the supply chain breaks down tomorrow and you can't get the pills anymore? You'd be screwed. I often say that veganism is only possible in an industrial food culture, for that reason.
Nutrients you need that a vegan diet will not provide:
Preformed vitamin A
Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol (you can make it under sun exposure but that's iffy)
Vitamin K2, analog mk-4 (not the mk-7 present in natto)
Vitamin B12 (and you need methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin)
Choline (the choline in animal foods is safer than from supplements)
Long-chain saturated fatty acids, at least not in large amounts (if you don't eat them, your body will make them from the sugar you do eat, while you eat your way to diabetes)
There is nothing in ethnic background, body chemistry, personal opinion, emotions, or political ideology that will prevent you needing these nutrients. The insidious part is that you can store all of them, so you can go for a while not needing them because your body just takes them from its personal stores. But the body's storage depots of these nutrients will not last forever.
This is why you can feel good at first going vegan--you've cut the Standard American Diet crap out of your meals.
The other reason, of course, being that a vegan diet is naturally higher in carbohydrate, and you're likely walking around with a sugar high for half your day.
Now mind you, I don't believe that everybody needs the exact same foods in the exact same ratios. We're omnivores, possibly even non-obligate ("facultative") carnivores, and this gives us the ability to exploit edibles wherever we live. So we have a tolerance for a wide range of edible stuff, assuming no allergies. And different people have different health statuses, ages, and developmental needs, not to mention the gender thing. I get it. Really, I do.
But again, that does not negate the fact that we all have roughly the same nutrient needs, assuming the same health status and age range and developmental needs. And if your diet is not meeting those needs, then it is not a correct diet for you to be eating.
And if a diet does not provide a certain nutrient AT ALL without supplementation--NOT just because you ate a certain food in too low a quantity--perhaps you should reconsider how "well" you are actually doing at it. Especially if I can look at your food record and find grain, starch, sugar, fruit, sugar, grain, starch, and starch. No, Virginia, that is not a balanced diet, no matter who you are. Sorry.
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