My search for the right foods to eat continues. The more I learn, the more I am starting to think that everything I thought I knew about food might be wrong. Like WAY WRONG. Like I was told lies! Lot of lies! We have all been lied to!
I want to start this entry by first stating that the conclusions here-in are my theories and opinion only. I am basing my theory on the research of others and my own experiences. I will link the research throughout this document so the readers can do their own research and form their own conclusions.
**Sidebar – We should all fact check things. Not everything on the news is factual, or unbiased information. Not everything we are told by people of authority (politicians, doctors, psychologists, and others) is all unbiased truth; whether the intention for bias is obvious or not; whether intentions are good or not. Misinformation and biased opinions are replacing facts. Every person with a smart phone today could access the entire collective knowledge that humans have gained. The internet has made our collective knowledge available to the masses. The internet is a tool of knowledge! USE IT! Thanks!
***Also, I do cite Wikipedia frequently on the blog. Wikipedia is not exactly all fact. I fact check Wikipedia articles. I cite these articles because I know that I can cite them and cannot get in trouble for any copyright issues through a Wikipedia source, because it is an open forum. Please, fact check all Wikipedia sources for yourself. Never cite a Wikipedia source for an academic paper. Wikipedia is not a sufficient academic source. It can be a tool to find those resources. I used Wikipedia to help find legit sources for academic paper I wrote in college.
Back to the health stuff…
I have been trying to figure out my personal food plan. How to eat healthy. What foods are good and what foods are not. In doing this, I have learned that everything I thought about nutrition was wrong. What I was told as a kid was wrong. I based most of my life’s nutritional knowledge on the USDA Food Pyramid, that was taught to me in school.
The version of the Food Pyramid that was taught to me has six basic food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Meat, and fats, oils, and sweets. Food guidelines have been revised many times. I don’t need to go into all those details, check out this link for more info: Food Guidelines History
The 1992 Food Pyramid taught to me shows grains on the bottom. Grains are the foundation, bottom level of the pyramid. The placement on the bottom is symbolic, to represent that grains are the primary source of good nutrition and we should consume more grains than other foods. The suggested servings are six to eleven servings per day. Included in this food group are breakfast cereals, white bread, bagels, and all kinds of other highly processed grain products. It includes foods like long grain rice, Quinoa, and ancient grains in the same category.
The next level up in the pyramid is split between vegetables and fruits. The model suggests we should eat three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit per day. The position in the model is meant to tell us that vegetables and fruits are the second most important part of a healthy diet.
Level three of the pyramid is split between dairy and meat. The placement on the third level of four levels indicated that dairy and meats are less important. The suggested serving of both meat and dairy is two to three servings per day.
The top level of the pyramid is fats, oils, and sweets. These are at the top because the model suggests we should not eat these things very often. The suggested recommendation is to be consumed sparingly. It indicates that all fats and oils have the same nutritional value as all sweets and candy.
The MyPyramid model was updated in 2005. This model looks more confusing. With the previous model, the pyramid represented how much of each type of food to each. The 2005 model does not. For example, “milk” replaced dairy, but is still meant to include all dairy products. There is no part of the graphic that clearly shows how much of the food groups we should consume or which food groups are most important to a healthy diet.
More recently, the Pyramid has gone to the wayside and been replaced by a plate representation. This depiction could be more helpful to show people how much of each food they should eat. It makes as much sense as the old pyramid and is much easier to understand than the 2005 version.
This link has more info: My Plate
We are all still taught that people should eat about 2,000 calories a day. If you eat less than that you will lose weight, more than that you will gain weight. There are many who say this idea is all wrong. Dr. Jason Fung, author of The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code, is one of the pioneers emerging in this ideologic front. If you have some time, check out this video: Interview with Dr. Jason Fung
What are the problems with the Food Pyramid and the 2000 calorie diet?
- Food Pyramid was created by the department of Agriculture.
- Not based on health
- Based on what they wanted to grow
- Washington Lobbyists: NY Times Story
- Carbs get turned into sugar during digestion: The Science of Carbs
- I was taught to eat of 6 to 11 servings of grains via the 1992 Food Pyramid.
- I do not need to eat: bread, crackers, cereal, rice – 11 times a day!
- Neither do other humans
- I was taught to eat of 6 to 11 servings of grains via the 1992 Food Pyramid.
- Processed carbs with added sugars are a double helping of sugar, or more
- Joel Furman has some great media about this: Dr Joel Furman
- Diabetes correlation
- Insulin resistance increases constantly
- Inflammatory diseases
- Repeating addictive cycle – affect dopamine, leptin, and other cycles
- 75% of the world is lactose intolerant
- The food pyramid ignores the Gut-Brain Axis
- White bread is not the same as bread made from natural grains.
- All calories are not the same
- The body digests types of foods in different ways
- Foods trigger different hormonal responses in the body
- Sugar triggers insulin production and dopamine responses, for example.
- Calories from vegetables are processed differently than calories from fruit, or meat, or eggs.
What should I be eating then? I am finding more evidence that supports eating whole, close to natural, unprocessed foods. In general though, a better guide than the my plate suggestion that I found is the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate.
I am going to keep eating vegetables, lean protein, fruit, nuts, greens, and eggs. I am going to keep drinking coffee, water, and lemon water.
This week I had a minor workout plan setback. Monday, I twisted my ankle on the first hole of a HIIT Disc golf game. I finished the game at a jog instead of sprints, but was in some pain. I got an ankle brace sock from Walgreens, iced it, kept it elevated, and took it easy, doing yoga-like workouts, instead of cardio. I also increased my protein intake; eating more eggs than usual. Tuesday, I had a noticeable limp and had some pain.
- I still walked the stairs at work, like I always do – we do not need to use elevators and escalators for less than five flights of stairs! If you have to go up more than that, use the elevator, if not, walk the stairs. I have made it a point to walk the stairs at work every day for over the last five years. Walking the stairs is not only good exercise, I use it like a “GOOD” attitude thing. Now I go up them two steps at a time, every day! (except Tuesday at work this week, when I hobbled up one at a time)
By Wednesday, my pain had gone down (I could even go up the stairs at work two at a time). The range of motion in the ankle was OK, after a morning yoga session. Thursday saw more improvements. Same routine, yoga in the morning, stairs at work, alternating sitting and standing at my desk, eating more protein. By Friday on this routine my pain was almost gone, range of motion was about 95%, and the limp was almost unnoticeable – and more psychological than physical. I kept the ankle brace on all day at work the whole week. Wednesday night I did a very light resistance, 15 minutes spin, on my stationary bike. I did yoga-like workouts in the mornings and evenings each day this week.
Two weeks ago I started “audibling” The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, by Deepak Chopra and David Simon, more or less to understand what yoga really is. What I learned is that the word “Yoga” itself really means “healing the body” (in a brief, possibly over-simplified summary). Yoga is a way to heal the body.
I kind of think it’s working… Normally an ankle sprain like this, two weeks recovery. I am almost 100% after just one week on this routine that I theorized. I have the outline started for a post that dives deeper into this. Stay tuned!
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Links to resources used in this post.