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Eat Like an Omnivore - Michael Pollan

Eason

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This is an article from my MMA/Strength & Conditioning gym in the US, it was summarized by Tom Oberhue, the lead coach there. I found it to be a very interesting article on food and nutrition: A lot of folks have questions about how to eat healthy. As mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Dr. John Berardi's Precision Nutrition program. Another leader in the food education world is Michael Pollan. He is the author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food - both are great reads.. His common sense approach to food is refreshing ... and powerful. This has to be one of my favorite nutrition articles of all time: http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=87 If you don't feel like reading the entire thing - here are the "rules of thumb" Pollan came up with at the end. This article was expanded into a book titled "In Defense of Food." These are taken directly from the article..."So try these few (flagrantly unscientific) rules of thumb, collected in the course of my nutritional odyssey, and see if they don't at least point us in the right direction. 1. Eat food. Though in our current state of confusion, this is much easier said than done. So try this: Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. (Sorry, but at this point Moms are as confused as the rest of us, which is why we have to go back a couple of generations, to a time before the advent of modern food products.) There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn't recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these. 2. Avoid even those food products that come bearing health claims. They're apt to be heavily processed, and the claims are often dubious at best. Don't forget that margarine, one of the first industrial foods to claim that it was more healthful than the traditional food it replaced, turned out to give people heart attacks. When Kellogg's can boast about its Healthy Heart Strawberry Vanilla cereal bars, health claims have become hopelessly compromised. (The American Heart Association charges food makers for their endorsement.) Don't take the silence of the yams as a sign that they have nothing valuable to say about health. 3. Especially avoid food products containing ... ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number -- or that contain high-fructose corn syrup. None of these characteristics are necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but all of them are reliable markers for foods that have been highly processed. 4. Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. You won't find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmer's market; you also won't find food harvested long ago and far away. What you will find are fresh whole foods picked at the peak of nutritional quality. Precisely the kind of food your great-great-grandmother would have recognized as food. 5. Pay more, eat less. The American food system has for a century devoted its energies and policies to increasing quantity and reducing price, not to improving quality. There's no escaping the fact that better food -- measured by taste or nutritional quality (which often correspond) – costs more, because it has been grown or raised less intensively and with more care. Not everyone can afford to eat well in America, which is shameful, but most of us can: Americans spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their income on food, down from 24 percent in 1947, and less than the citizens of any other nation. And those of us who can afford to eat well should. Paying more for food well grown in good soils -- whether certified organic or not -- will contribute not only to your health (by reducing exposure to pesticides) but also to the health of others who might not themselves be able to afford that sort of food: the people who grow it and the people who live downstream, and downwind, of the farms where it is grown.''Eat less'' is the most unwelcome advice of all, but in fact the scientific case for eating a lot less than we currently do is compelling. ''Calorie restriction'' has repeatedly been shown to slow aging in animals, and many researchers (including Walter Willett, the Harvard epidemiologist) believe it offers the single strongest link between diet and cancer prevention. Food abundance is a problem, but culture has helped here, too, by promoting the idea of moderation. Once one of the longest-lived people on earth, the Okinawans practiced a principle they called ''Hara Hachi Bu'': eat until you are 80 percent full. To make the ''eat less'' message a bit more palatable, consider that quality may have a bearing on quantity: I don't know about you, but the better the quality of the food I eat, the less of it I need to feel satisfied. All tomatoes are not created equal. 6. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. Scientists may disagree on what's so good about plants -- the antioxidants? Fiber? Omega-3s? -- but they do agree that they're probably really good for you and certainly can't hurt. Also, by eating a plant-based diet, you'll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods (except seeds) are typically less ''energy dense'' than the other things you might eat. Vegetarians are healthier than carnivores, but near vegetarians (''flexitarians'') are as healthy as vegetarians. Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he advised treating meat more as a flavoring than a food. 7. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks. Confounding factors aside, people who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than we are. Any traditional diet will do: if it weren't a healthy diet, the people who follow it wouldn't still be around. True, food cultures are embedded in societies and economies and ecologies, and some of them travel better than others: Inuit not so well as Italian. In borrowing from a food culture, pay attention to how a culture eats, as well as to what it eats. In the case of the French paradox, it may not be the dietary nutrients that keep the French healthy (lots of saturated fat and alcohol?!) so much as the dietary habits: small portions, no seconds or snacking, communal meals -- and the serious pleasure taken in eating. (Worrying about diet can't possibly be good for you.) Let culture be your guide, not science. 8. Cook. And if you can, plant a garden. To take part in the intricate and endlessly interesting processes of providing for our sustenance is the surest way to escape the culture of fast food and the values implicit in it: that food should be cheap and easy; that food is fuel and not communion. The culture of the kitchen, as embodied in those enduring traditions we call cuisines, contains more wisdom about diet and health than you are apt to find in any nutrition journal or journalism. Plus, the food you grow yourself contributes to your health long before you sit down to eat it. So you might want to think about putting down this article now and picking up a spatula or hoe. 9. Eat like an omnivore. Try to add new species, not just new foods, to your diet. The greater the diversity of species you eat, the more likely you are to cover all your nutritional bases. That of course is an argument from nutritionism, but there is a better one, one that takes a broader view of ''health.'' Biodiversity in the diet means less monoculture in the fields. What does that have to do with your health? Everything. The vast monocultures that now feed us require tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep from collapsing. Diversifying those fields will mean fewer chemicals, healthier soils, healthier plants and animals and, in turn, healthier people. It's all connected, which is another way of saying that your health isn't bordered by your body and that what's good for the soil is probably good for you, too." On a related note, here's a good article about getting the most from your time in the gym: http://impactpt-oberhue.blogspot.com...-training.html
 

why

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My head hurts after reading that. Does this mean the article killed brain cells?

It's a decent get-you-by article on diet and nutrition, but it's so basic that it's almost worthless.
 

Eason

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I'm impressed by your reading speed. You'd be surprised by how what's basic to some (True, nothing in the article is revolutionary to those familiar with nutrition) is extremely novel to others. Actually, I have a feeling you wouldn't be surprised at all.
 

Flambeur

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I agree with most of that...

My diet consists mostly of:

-Proteins
-Fruits and Veggies
-Dairy (mostly cheese and yogurt)
-Nuts and legumes
-Some starches
-The rest is a mix of stuff, sure some junk is in there, but very little.

I don't really do HFCS, soda, overly/most processed foods and so on. And I cook for myself or go to non-fast food restaurants.
 

MetroStyles

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
I agree with most of that...

My diet consists mostly of:

-Proteins
-Fruits and Veggies
-Dairy (mostly cheese and yogurt)
-Nuts and legumes
-Some starches
-The rest is a mix of stuff, sure some junk is in there, but very little.

I don't really do HFCS, soda, overly/most processed foods and so on. And I cook for myself or go to non-fast food restaurants.


You forgot COCK.
 

MetroStyles

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Naw, I'm just kiddin', Flammy.
 

why

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
well i did say protein...


Semen actually has a decent amount of fructose in it. You should cut back.
 

MetroStyles

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Originally Posted by why
Semen actually has a decent amount of fructose in it. You should cut back.

Only if you're a fruit.
 

lizmasc

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Not only eating as an Italian or a Greek but the whole Mediterranean like in Portugal and Spain, where olive oil is a regular commodity at meals. It's very healthy and it's recommended.

Flaxseed oil is also pretty healthy or even the seeds. Add some to a fruit or protein shake for the added benefit. All fishes high in Omega 3 are also good, like Salmon
 

MetroStyles

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Also there is a belief/dogma which may or may not be true in bodybuilding circles that Olive Oil promotes growth an is an essential part of a diet. I just use it a lot because I grew up on it and love it.
 

thekunk07

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haven't been as diligent as usual with all these holiday parties and such, but my family's diet is largely:
-beef
-chicken
-fish
-nuts
-milk
-honey
-fresh fruit
-fresh vegetables.

only drink green tea, coffee and water
 

why

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