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Food - Michael Pollan on BBC Radio 4

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I liked this programme on Radio 4 last night, which is available here.

    Synopsis:

    IIRC he did not place a lot of emphasis on undesirability of salt, but mostly on undesirability of the amount of carbs in the modern diet, and that FAT IS NOT BAD!

    So how long will it take for all that low-fat crap to disappear from the shelves...?
     
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  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks for this - I'll catch up with it on iPlayer.

    I've read that the whole "low salt" thing is rubbish - evidence of harm is based on taking a population average that contains a small minority of people who are sensitive to salt. Unless that's salt-industry propaganda!
     
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  3. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I've read an increasing number of articles by scientists saying that salt reduction can be harmful - I've posted threads/info on it here.

    The most bizarre thing I find about almost all the salt studies - both for and against - is that I have not yet been able to find one that measured BLOOD levels. They have all taken urine levels as a proxy for intake, completely overlooking the disorder natriuresis which can lead to deficiency.

    So a lot of the subjects deemed to be consuming too much salt may in fact EXCRETING too much sodium and are in fact deficient.

    I was interested in the recent info posted by @zzz about angiotensin and aldosterone in relation to sodium. It may be relevant to the fact that my two episodes of severe hyponatraemia occurred after I started taking ACE inhibitors. The connection never seems to have occurred to doctors, who chose instead to falsely and repeatedly accuse me of causing the condition through overuse of desmopressin and overconsumption of water.
     
  4. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I googled pollan paleo and discovered he's anti paleo. Even considers it obsessive. Lol. Obsessive. Really ? What does he think man ate before grains ? Why do you suppose these ready to eat foods and people are found on this planet ? Lol.

    Sure I'd love to eat all the homemade processed foods he recommends but they cause me to get inflammation. Which is exactly what Paleo supporters are saying.

    He appears to be interested in telling people what they want to hear. Me too. But it just doesn't work that way. I was paleo for 5-6 years, then went back to eating gf processed foods and my body was hurting all the time.

    No thanks. Tc .. x
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I googled pollan paleo again and found Dr Terry Wahls response to him. Imho, definitely worth reading. Tc .. x
     
  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Ah well, no one is perfect. Maybe he hasn't yet picked up on the recent scientific evidence about non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, for example.

    Funny how it's ordinary people and natural practitioners nowadays who pick up on new science long before the establishment, or even some guru-types, do. The conventional media are still mocking gluten-avoiders as eccentric fad-followers, but many people know better!

    He does make good points about other food issues though.
     
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  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Got a link?
     
  8. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    No. Sorry. It's right below his anti paleo article tho on google.
     
  9. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Definitely. I noticed too how the established health gurus are falling behind. Tc .. x
     
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Do you have a link for that? Not sure what you mean by 'on google' - you mean on a page of hits from a Google search? Other search engines will probably find it too in that case, but I don't know what search terms you used. (I don't use Google, as my signature states.)
     
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    As we know from stories here on PR, diet is such an individual thing. The real message shouldn't be that diet X is better than diet Y, with a presumption this applies to everyone, but that finding the right diet for you is a search. The most important thing is what is the outcome? If you improve, then its a better diet for you.

    There are issues on which there is little disagreement. Junk food is bad for example. Yet where healthy food ends and junk food begins is in part a blurred line. Its often about more or less, not either or.
     
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  12. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    The term I used was "pollan paleo".

    I only use google so I'm not sure how other search engines work.
    The article is on terrywahls dot com tho and the title includes that it's a rebuttal to pollan's anti paleo article.

    Tc .. x
     
  13. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Yes, Pollan agreed in the programme that there is a blurring between what he called food and what he called 'food-like substances' (or something like that).

    One of the good points, I thought, was his emphasis on whole foods rather than isolated ingredients (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins).
     
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  14. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    All search engines work basically the same way in that you enter your search terms and you get pages of hits, although the lists may vary.

    The Wahls page was at the end of the 2nd page of hits I got with Everyclick.
     
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  15. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Hi @alex3619

    I base my info on diets on what I've learned from the web, interacting with others on a healing journey, mostly celiacs, and my integrative doctor. Not just PR.

    My intro into self healing started started in 2005 in the gluten intolerant / leaky gut realm. Not that this makes me think I'm right but the info about patients successfully using the paleo diet was on the web by 2008 at least.
    Smarter people than me guided me into this. Lol.

    If you read Dr Terry Wahls article I referred to above you'll see that the paleo diet is recommended by integrative or functional medicine. I trust the medical professionals here know how their patients are reacting.

    I understand and appreciate the controversy tho. And how challenging the paleo diet is, esp for pwcs. I was paleo for 5 years and gave it up in Jan 2014. But I just dropped gf processed foods again and I'm not in pain like I was eating these foods.

    Maybe like Dr Wahls says those with chronic illnesses can benefit. I can't remember exactly what she said.

    Tc .. x
     
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There are people in the world who cannot eat organ meats, or need to restrict meat, or they can die. There are people who must eat massive amounts of fat, or they will die. There are allergies out there to just about everything. People need some carbs, fats, protein, minerals and vitamins, but individual need is highly variable, and I suspect that we should be adding various plant antioxidants to that list. There are people who need loads of red meat. Tropical diets vary a lot from arctic diets. Sea based diets vary a lot from inland mountain diets. Variation is huge. Mostly we adapt, which is turning out to be one of our problems. We can adapt to modern food, but not without costs.

    I have no doubt many improve on paleo diets. I also know that some of what Terri Wahls promotes would directly violate needs of specific population subgroups - including my own needs on THREE counts, all due to organ meats. Liver is dangerous to some people. We are all different. That shouldn't stop most people from trying a paleo diet though.

    The big reason to go organic, society wide, is not in my view so much about pesticides (though its a factor) or genetic modification (though when this allows more pesticides its a worry), but because of soil quality. Micronutrient depletion is a one way ticket to poor food. Plants can survive in nutrient depleted soil, and we can survive eating them, but its not a great idea and over time things will only get worse. Modern farming strips soil of nutrients, and they are not replaced. Similar crops grown on home plots or organic farms have higher nutrient content.

    Which is, incidentally, one reason to eat seaweed. Its very high in minerals ... however it can also pick up pollutants, and the oceans are getting dirtier. There are no easy answers.

    PS I am also wary of hormone pumped animals, or animals fed weird things like arsenic because it improves farm production.
     
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  17. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    The Wahls or paleo diet is a just a guideline for eating chemical free whole real foods. The emphasis is on eating whole foods not processed.

    My doctor would've gone insane and choked me if I kept telling her my food intolerances every time she mentioned whole foods or the paleo diet. Although, I'm sure the thought crossed her mind. Lol.

    Tc .. x
     
  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I do not disagee with the emphasis on whole foods. For example, much of food value in many foods is in the skin, yet we peel them. Processed foods have oxidative and sometimes chemical damage. Purified foods are a nonsense.

    One of my pet hates is sugar-free, fat-free soup pouches that consist mostly of potato or other starches. Isolated starch is rapidly broken down to sugar. So they might as well label them high sugar soup. Where are the vegetables? The real protein? Get a bag of sugar, eat a spoonful with a cup of water, nutritionally its not much different.

    Instead we can make our own soups. Soupmakers, pressure cookers etc can do this rapidly. Its the purchasing, storage and preparation that are the barriers for us. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, its food preparation that is a huge hurdle to most of us.

    Nobody knows the impact of all the added chemicals we ingest from processed food. Its a great mystery ... sure there is some evidence of harm from some things, but its not usually clearly obvious.

    Fat has been painted as bad for decades now. Yet the evidence for that is dubious, and the newer population studies show the opposite. According to a lot of research it is not really fat but excess calories that are the issue, and excess carbs are more likely to be the problem than excess fat. My own suspicion is that fat-carb combos are the worst, the most ubiquitous being the french fry.

    So there are good reasons to go wholefoods, and unprocessed, and even organic. My dispute is about recipes - assurance that specific ways to do this are proven to be good. If it works for one person, great. If the next person finds it sort of works, they can tweak it. Then the next person feels worse. If they cannot find out why and fix it, then they should abandon the diet.

    I was lactovegetarian (vegetables plus yoghurt) for years. I kept getting worse. I improved when I added junk food back into my diet. That was my wake-up call that lactovegetarian diets can be bad for some. I am as interested in stories of failure, particularly if someone has figured out why, as success.

    In my case organ meats, especially liver, contain lots of iron, induce high levels of puric acid, and are high arachidonate and therefore can be inflammatory. All three could be bad for me. Yet liver can provide a good nutrient range for many.

    I felt improved on the Zone diet. Yet it gave me maybe 10% more energy ... but I spent maybe 20% more on food prep.

    Is there anyone here who does worse on a paleo diet, and if so, which version of the paleo diet? Do you know why you have a problem, or is it a mystery?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
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  19. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I learned about the paleo diet from Dr Cordain and the people helping me. The explanation was simple. Basically if it comes from the ground and you can eat it raw or you can catch it, it's paleo or hunter gatherer. We can obviously exclude inedible plants. Some added sweet potatoes or yams to this.

    A hunter gatherer would eat what he could find that day whether it's all meat, all veggies or all fruit. I also learned that your body will tell you what you need after you've been eating this way for awhile. So long periods of eating one food wouldn't be an issue. Craving broccolli, apples, meat, etc would be a healthy craving that you should satisfy but craving cake isn't.

    The term whole food means the fruit or veggie in it's natural form not that you're eating the skin. Tomatoes vs ketchup. Some skins are healthy tho. I'll pass on banana peels. Lol.

    Fats from grass fed free range animals and unprocessed fruits and veggies like avocados, coconuts and olives are considered optimum. Nuts and seeds need to be raw and soaked. Just don't go crazy here and eat a lot of these.

    Some say that there's a safe way to process these fats, cold pressed, I think. But others say stick to whole foods for fats and avoid cooking these. I opt for unprocessed fats. They just taste better.

    Having researched this for several years now I'm going to pass on this discussion. I'm pretty sure Cordain or Wahls cover this in their books better than I would anyways. Shopping the outer parameter of grocery stores is an easy way to think of this.

    Tc .. x

    Eta. I had trouble keeping fresh foods in the house so I understand how tough this is. I gave it up after 5 years due to this but found out eating processed foods caused pain. Currently off processed foods and pain is gone. ☺ Will be re-evaluating paleo. This diet didn't cure my me/cfs (currently unsure what this is exactly) but it certainly alleviated multiple me/cfs symptoms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Lol, I will pass on banana skins too. Yet potato skins and most fruit skins (apples, pears, plums, etc) have lots of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. The fruit/vegetable has them there because the outside needs the most protection. The inside is typically less nutritious, even if tastier.

    I do think we need to pay attention to cravings, though sometimes the body gets it wrong. For example sometimes a craving for something sweet is really a craving for protein.
     

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