I ran across the 2006 book “What to Eat” by Marion Nestle. She makes a lot of sense when it comes to nutrition, at least from what I read from her book blurb. She points her finger right at one major problem for those of us who want to eat well and live long.
“This conflict begins with dietary advice, much of which is hard to interpret. What, for example, does it really mean to ‘Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups’ as advised by theDietary Guidelines for Americans issued in 2005? Or to “know your fats” as advised by the 2005 version of the pyramid food guide? As I explained in Food Politics, government agencies cannot issue unambiguous dietary advice to eat this but not that without offending powerful industries. This is too bad, because nutrition is not ‘mission impossible.'”
Powerful industries. Again they pop up. I remember one key lesson I learned in my college Poli Sci class, namely that we are a government of interest groups. I would likely re-phrase that to say we are a government of industry interest groups. Of course that’s not always bad, but there are foods to be pushed on us and profits to be made, and this we must always consider when our well-being is at stake.
Consider what else Nestle says: “Single nutrients and foods are easier to talk about than messy dietary patterns. And they are much easier to study. But you are better off paying attention to your overall dietary pattern than worrying about whether any one single food is better for you than another.Her above point is exactly why I’m hesitant to rush right out and eschew my beloved Splenda, or any other product that pops up on the latest news that is going to cause cancer or diabetes.
On a June 9, 2006 podcast by NPR, Nestle said another noteworthy thing, namely that organic junk foods are still junk foods. Thus, when we (meaning me, because I do!) choose to eat Activia yogurt, I’ve got to realize it includes high fructose syrup that adds unnecessary calories and turns a healthy food into dessert. Is it still healthy? If I control my sugar calories and exercise and eat my veggies, most likely so.
Seems like for most things in life, healthy nutrition comes down to common sense, due diligence in looking out for oneself, and moderation!