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Old 05-31-2018, 12:39 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,523 posts, read 15,421,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
I wouldn't say that they are rare in nature. From the early days mankind has enjoyed sweets, fat, and salt. Chocolate was gold to the Aztecs.
You're pretty smart to know that little known fact. 99 of 100 people would not be able to tell you where chocolate came from!

There have been many good points made above, and rather than refer to them I'll just add a few thoughts.

#1 most important thing is that humans evolved as hunt and gatherers in times of food scarcity (this was before agriculture) and our bodies evolved to process frequent small meals from nutritionally poor food. We also evolved in times where it was feast and famine, and those who couldn't endure famine died out, producing humans who would eat and get fat when there was food, and then use the stored fat to get them through times of no food.

Modern agriculture was invented. Modern transportation was invented. Factories were invented. HFCS was invented. Our bodies cannot handle this stuff unless we keep a hand on the throttle and stop ourselves from eating everything we can, because we evolved eating everything we could when we had access to food.

We also have a problem that before recent centuries work was more manual. Transportation was ships and we domesticated horses. Most occupations involved physical labor. Now jobs involve standing at a workstation screwing bolts on a car, or sitting at a desk typing at a PC. We are getting far less exercise now than before.

So we got two things: some of us cannot handle unlimited access to food. Some of us haven't learned that if you type at a PC all day you have to have a hobby sport like softball or bowling, or join a gym.

You are going to be fat unless you are lucky (got born with an inefficient metabolism), or you must curb what you eat and find a way to put exercise into your life.

Finally, some people self-medicate with alcohol. Some people self-medicate with food. Some people both, and alcohol is empty calories.

Last edited by Lovehound; 05-31-2018 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,382 posts, read 9,908,775 times
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Yes, in the past there were sweet, salty, and fat things. But do keep in mind there is a world of difference in eating a peach or a dab of honey and drinking a half gallon of a soft drink saturated with high sucrose corn syrup.

Salt was highly valued and traded and carried in caravans across huge expanses. People weren't consuming big bags of potato chips or highly salted canned chili.

Reasonable amounts of salt, and healthy fats (such as in salmon or an avocado) are not terrible. But the standard American diet is way, way out of balance--

--Too few whole grains, fruits, vegetable, and healthy fats.

--Way too much super-size me garbage meals and snacks of food-like substances with high calories and low nutrients.

--And we're much too sedentary to boot.

The result?

A super-sized population filled with disease.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
32,131 posts, read 20,241,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
I wouldn't say that they are rare in nature. From the early days mankind has enjoyed sweets, fat, and salt. Chocolate was gold to the Aztecs.
But they didn't eat it with sugar, that wasn't added until later in Europe. IIRC.

We've always had access to those things, but not in quantities, and things like salt were pretty much only afforded by the rich, and fruit was very seasonal.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,523 posts, read 15,421,627 times
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Refined sugar was a technological advance. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was a means of dealing with a useless byproduct by repurposing it as a sweetener. If sugar were opium, HFCS would be the heroin. It also turned out to be the cheapest sweetener for many foods. Manufacturers don't care about our health unless they are violating laws, e.g. liability. That HFCS makes us fat, we are voluntarily eating it and the FDA has no rules against it. The solution to the HFCS problem is simple: don't eat it.

About salt, just noting the root word for salary and the saying, "He's worth his salt."

The problem with salt and the food industry is that highly processed foods lose their natural taste ("zing") and need additives to make the product more tasty. Manufacturing trends have come to rely on salt as adding more taste, and again from our evolution in food deprived times, salty tastes good (to many, including me).

Asians have taken a different step with MSG (monosodium glutamate) where you will note two things, (1) sodium as in table salt, and (2) glutamate, the salt of a non-essential amino acid. We humans actually have 5 types of taste, although the 5th type "umami" is not perceived by many, and that is genetically determined. (The ordinary 4 types are sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.) MSG is popular with Asians as a flavor enhancer and umami enhancer, Asians are more likely to be able to taste umami, and evidently less likely to suffer allergic reactions that some westerners experience.

Both salt and MSG have sodium, consuming sodium increases sodium levels in our blood stream. Our bodies react by absorbing more water which leads to swelling and in many to increased blood pressure, sometimes causing or exacerbating hypertension: high blood pressure. MSG also causes allergic reactions in some as I already said. Both substances are overused in processed foods. MSG is labeled by the FDA as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) but I'm pretty sure its use has declined in American made products.

I have hypertension but my antihypertensive Rx gives me normal blood pressure, and salt does not affect me when consumed in reasonable quantity. Oddly, I've been instructed to not consume "lite" potassium salt, it will cause a sodium-potassium imbalance in my blood with the antihypertensive I'm taking. I'm able to taste all 5 flavors including umami, but I add umami by means other than MSG. Note that due to enough westerners being allergic to MSG (just a few is too many) in the present day MSG is not in common use in Asian restaurants, so you probably don't need to specify "no MSG" when you order. OTOH I have seen 5- and 10Kg bags of MSG for sale at Asian markets, they obviously use it at home. 10Kg is a lot of MSG, 22 pounds! Asians follow the big family living in one house model (like Latinos) and buy food in huge quantities. They have big families and a great home life, both Asians and Latinos. In some ways I envy them.

I didn't research my comments above, they were off the top of my head, and I hope I got it right. Some of it may be my opinion.
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,382 posts, read 9,908,775 times
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Enjoyed your post, LoveHound...very informative and interesting.

I'm one of the Westerners sensitive to MSG -- gives me a hyper feeling that keeps me up all night -- like a big dose of caffeine...

Being salt sensitive and hypertensive also, I've found other ways to spice up food without adding salt. Lemon or lime juice, garlic, basil, cilantro, and olive oil are often used in my cooking...

Once, I was so diligent about eliminating salt from my diet that my lab work showed I was deficient in sodium. But the diuretic I was on and the large amt. of water I was drinking likely played a role...

But back to the obesity epidemic...changes in our processed food consumption from whole foods and the huge amts. of salt and HFCS and unhealthy fats we ingest (not to mention portion sizes and lack of exercise) all contribute to our growing girth...

From what I've read and observed, I think an Asian style diet = such as Thai, Vietnemese or Cambodian seem ideal. Small amounts of animal protein, heavy on vegetables.

Our typical American palate -- a big slab of meat or fried chicken, or a big pile of greasy chicken wings, or gooey pizza, French fries, mashed potatoes swimming in butter and gravy, and all washed down with a giant, sugary soft drink -- not so healthy...

Please don't shoot the messenger...I like pizza!
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:24 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,655 posts, read 2,443,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
From what I've read and observed, I think an Asian style diet = such as Thai, Vietnemese or Cambodian seem ideal. Small amounts of animal protein, heavy on vegetables.

Our typical American palate -- a big slab of meat or fried chicken, or a big pile of greasy chicken wings, or gooey pizza, French fries, mashed potatoes swimming in butter and gravy, and all washed down with a giant, sugary soft drink -- not so healthy...

Please don't shoot the messenger...I like pizza!
Most of the foods you mention for the American palate combine carbs and fats. I've always said that the context matters a LOT and is a big factor in how healthy or not a meal is.

Fried Chicken is protein, carbs (breading) AND it's deep fried in terribly unhealthy fats. Actually anything deep fried is terrible for us. It may taste good but it's not healthy at all. The same chicken, grilled and with no breading would be much better.

Chicken wings are very often breaded and deep fried as well and then dipped in Ranch dressing, another terrible combination of unhealthy oils. Oh and they are served with celery sticks to make it appear healthy, lol. The same chicken wings, baked and without the breading would not be that bad at all.

Pizza, I also love but it is also a LOT of carbs (crust) combined with a LOT of fat (cheese and meats). You have to ask yourself, how does my body metabolize this food? My blood sugar spikes from the crust, my insulin goes up, then the fats come into play, what happens to them? They don't magically go away, they have to go somewhere. Since my insulin is up, it signals fat storage so all of the pizza (both carbs and fats) is stored as fat.

French Fries, same as the pizza. Carbs and (unhealthy) fats.

Mashed Potatoes, ditto

It's the context that matters and I'm not trying to demonize any foods but it's kind of obvious what is causing many problems for many people. On occasion, it's fine but to have these kind of foods with every meal along with the sugary soft drink is a terrible combination. Diet drinks are not much better.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: north narrowlina
766 posts, read 283,282 times
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plus our FDA helps to subsidize non-nutritious calorie laden food by keeping the highfat/high sugar foods cheaper.... i forget where i read it, and i was just so angry learning that...... if we were to pay the true cost of a McDonalds meal we would be paying 4 - 6 bucks more.... that we get treated so cavalierly by our own government is truly outrageous.

there is VERY little research money for research on nutrition and just exactly what that term means..... you can get a different definition depending on who you ask and that there is no consensus of opinion is in itself very alarming.


there is much more money to be made by on the backs of sick people and the cholesterol meds, the diabetes meds, the weight loss meds, the high blood pressure meds, the heart meds etc etc etc. It's a national scandal and no one seems to care because people are getting rich, richer richest under this insane system.

poor eating habits are deeply rooted in not only cultural foods and what we've been eating for generations, but also deeply rooted in an addiction cycle..... SUGAR IS A DRUG PEOPLE.... it is as mood altering as any shot of heroin... read the book Sugar Blues, way back in the 60's the author of that book tried to toll the alarm bells, but it was soundly condemned by the sugar lobby.

that is why the smartest doctors with the most knowledge about health and nutrition will tell you to ALWAYS STAY OUT OF THE AISLES of a store..... and only shop the perimeters...that is where the healthiest food is for sale.

plus there is just that lazy factor, it is just so darn easier to open up the hamburger helper or a microwave meal than it is to cook a meal from scratch
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:09 AM
 
Location: SoCal
14,523 posts, read 15,421,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
Enjoyed your post, LoveHound...very informative and interesting.

I'm one of the Westerners sensitive to MSG -- gives me a hyper feeling that keeps me up all night -- like a big dose of caffeine...

Being salt sensitive and hypertensive also, I've found other ways to spice up food without adding salt. Lemon or lime juice, garlic, basil, cilantro, and olive oil are often used in my cooking...

Once, I was so diligent about eliminating salt from my diet that my lab work showed I was deficient in sodium. But the diuretic I was on and the large amt. of water I was drinking likely played a role...
Thank you!

There are also salt substitute spice mixtures available that contain no salt at all.

I presume you added back enough salt to correct your blood deficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
But back to the obesity epidemic...changes in our processed food consumption from whole foods and the huge amts. of salt and HFCS and unhealthy fats we ingest (not to mention portion sizes and lack of exercise) all contribute to our growing girth...

From what I've read and observed, I think an Asian style diet = such as Thai, Vietnemese or Cambodian seem ideal. Small amounts of animal protein, heavy on vegetables.

Our typical American palate -- a big slab of meat or fried chicken, or a big pile of greasy chicken wings, or gooey pizza, French fries, mashed potatoes swimming in butter and gravy, and all washed down with a giant, sugary soft drink -- not so healthy...

Please don't shoot the messenger...I like pizza!
I'm sure you agree that one of the best solutions to the dietary insult that processed foods are is to simply not consume them. Or in my case I may have 1-2 nuke dinners for emergencies e.g. me being too lazy to cook.

I prefer the Mediterranean diet myself, at least in cooking style, although Asian food is one of my favorite cuisines. Asians typically eat large amounts of white rice (very bad since it's a starch, they eat it because they are poor and rice is cheap) and small amounts of protein, etc., as a sort of macro-seasoning for their rice. They are probably thin because of the reduced quantities of food due to poverty. Myself, when eating Asian I often skip the rice or eat only small amounts.

I don't drink soft drinks. I don't drink anything they didn't have centuries ago. For the record, it isn't fat that makes you fat, it's starches e.g. rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, and sugar although not a starch. Dietary fat simply adds calories which your digestion can turn into tissue fat.

I think there was a question about cooking oil here. The reason French fries are bad is because probably all restaurants and most people pick the cheapest oil to cook fries in, corn oil. I use only olive oil a la Mediterranean style, or sometimes use avocado oil which has the highest smoke point of all cooking oils. I rarely cook fries because you can re-use the oil only 2-3 times and OO is too expensive to waste that way, and anyway deep fried foods are relatively unhealthy at least in my diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
Most of the foods you mention for the American palate combine carbs and fats. I've always said that the context matters a LOT and is a big factor in how healthy or not a meal is.
My means of addressing that is to eat minimal carbs and I'm very careful about fats. There is such a thing as a ketogenic diet (which uses an alternate metabolic pathway and produces body fuel differently than starches). An example would be a steak, and a non-starchy vegetable such as asparagus. No starches at all. The carbs in asparagus are difficult to digest (and the fiber), and produce little if any rise in blood sugar level. In fact that is the big problem with starches such as potatoes etc. is the large sugar spike they produce in you blood stream, a signal to your body's metabolism to take sugar out of your blood and store it in fat cells.

I go ketogenic a couple times a week, partly because of laziness that I can cook a quick steak and a vegetable so easily, and I'm doing my body a favor by not including starches in my meal. For the record I disapprove the full-on 100% ketogenic diet although some people swear by it. Extremists eat nothing but raw meat with a small quantity of raw fat ground in. (Yuck!) Google is your friend.

I hope with my B.S. degree and writing experience that my posts are communicating complex scientific concepts in plain language that are easier to understand than going to the source information. My goal is to help more people understand the 'why' behind the 'what.'

The key concept is that carbs and sugars (like HFCS) are the enemy. And we should all remember that routine exercise should be part of a healthy lifestyle. And please consider using only olive oil in your kitchen. It doesn't have to be EVOO either. I use just plain Kirkland OO.
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:09 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,685 posts, read 10,736,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Watch the people load their carts up with wheat derived products and make a note of weight. Ditch all wheat and weight goes down by quite a bit.
Wheat as in Cheerios, tomato sauce, yogurt, hummus?

In any case, most of what you call "wheat" ain't wheat, it's something else. But not wheat.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:38 AM
 
Location: IN
20,908 posts, read 36,116,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Wheat as in Cheerios, tomato sauce, yogurt, hummus?

In any case, most of what you call "wheat" ain't wheat, it's something else. But not wheat.
Look at the ingredient list and see if wheat is listed. Avoid it 100% and go with the modified paleo diet if wanting to lose weight.
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