Bad Foods that are Actually Great for Your Waist?

What the hell does that mean! The obviously coo-coo, Camille Noe Pagán of Health thinks red meat, ice cream, eggs, pizza, and Canadian bacon are getting a bad rap. Here’s some of this harebrained article:
Even burgers and meatballs can be light fare if you make them with ground sirloin, says Bonnie Gluck, M.S., R.D., a clinical dietitian at New York Methodist Hospital in New York City. "Lean red meat -- lean being the operative word -- is a great choice for women who are trying to shed pounds," she says. "It's an excellent source of protein. And protein takes longer to digest, helping you feel full and cutting the likelihood that you'll snack later on…"

…Not all studies support the dairy-aids-weight-loss claim. But Gluck feels there's more evidence for than against, even if full-fat dairy's secret is simply that it's more satisfying. "Many women find that low-fat versions of dairy products like ice cream and cheese just aren't satisfying," she says, "so they may eat a lot of them -- downing hundreds of calories in the process, trying to fulfill their craving -- when just a little bit of the full-fat stuff would have done the trick…"

…After years of being barred from the average American diet, things are looking sunny-side up for eggs. According to a study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, overweight women who eat egg breakfasts lose twice as much weight as women who start their days with bagels. Researchers say the protein in eggs increases satiety and decreases hunger, helping women eat fewer calories throughout the day. "Eggs are a perfect protein source because they have all eight essential amino acids," Dave Grotto, R.D., author of "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life" says. "And recent research debunks the idea that they have adverse effects on the heart…."

…You already know you can enjoy some mozzarella on your favorite pie and still drop pounds. But there are other ways you can make that slice even healthier. To hike the diet-friendly fiber, choose a whole-wheat crust and top your pizza with veggies like peppers, artichokes, and broccoli. "Like protein, fiber is digested slowly and helps keep you feeling full, longer," Gluck says…

…Unlike a regular strip of crispy pork fat, Canadian bacon -- which comes from the loin, one of the leanest parts of the pig -- is a dieter's best friend, with a third less fat than regular bacon. If that isn't reason enough to put Canadian bacon on your plate, a recent study from Purdue University shows that women who eat a diet rich in lean pork and other protein keep more lean body mass during weight loss than women who eat a low- calorie diet with little pork and other protein sources. An added bonus: Women who eat meals rich in protein from pork report that they feel satisfied, in spite of the fact that they are on reduced-calorie diets, and say they're happier overall.
Okay, there’s no need to beat a dead horse here. Readers of this blog know that foods like this aren’t health promoting, so, I’ll make this a quick and decisive execution. First, here’s Dr. Fuhrman commenting on red meat. Take a look:
A recent study showed that after following almost 200,000 Americans for seven years, those who regularly consumed red meat had a double the occurrence of pancreatic cancer.1
Next up, dairy, yuck, just the thought of it makes me have to run to the bathroom. While I make a pit stop, you guys check out Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on dairy. Here:
Dairy is best kept to a minimum. There are many good reasons not to consume dairy. For example, there is a strong association between diary lactose and ischemic heart disease.2 There is also a clear association between high-growth-promoting foods such as dairy products and cancer. There is a clear association between milk consumption and testicular cancer.3
Okay, all better. Now, onto eggs and this might surprise you, but, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t that down on eggs. Here’s what he has to say:
If you choose a limited amount of animal products to be included in your family’s diet, I favor eggs over fish or dairy, because of the potential for transmission of chemicals, mercury, and PCBs in the fish and dairy. Eggs, because they are virtually pollution-free, would be favored choice over other animal products to add to an otherwise vegan diet.
I admit, sometime I forget about this because I don’t eat eggs. Here’s another thing I don’t eat, cheese. So, just what does the good doctor have to say about cheese? See for yourself. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Dairy fat is also loaded various toxins and is the primary source of our nation’s high exposure to dioxin.4 Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical compound that even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admits is a prominent cause of many types of cancer in those consuming dairy fat, such as butter and cheese.5 Cheese is also a power inducer of acid load, which increases calcium loss further.6
Finally, the dreaded bacon, this one is easy, but, I’ll give Dr. Fuhrman a breather with this one. Check out this report linking the consumption of cured meats to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). HealthDay News reported:
Using data compiled as part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the study authors found a statistical association between people who ate 14 or more servings monthly of cured meats and the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This held true even after the researchers factored in such variables as age, smoking, and the amount of fruits and vegetables in the subjects' diets.

"People who eat 14 or more servings of cured meat per month have about an 80 percent increased odds of COPD versus people who don't eat cured meat at all," Dr. Rui Jiang, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City said.

And, the more cured meats a person eats a month, on average, the higher the risk of COPD, the study said.
So, with ALL this being said, I hardly think there is anything great about gobbling up large amounts of meat and dairy. Camille Noe Pagán would do well to check her sources—don’t you think?
1. Nothlings U Wilkins, LR, Murphy, SP Hankins JH et al. Meat and fat intake as risk factors for pancreatic cancer the multiethnic short study J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 97:1458-65.

2. Grant, W.B. 1998. Milk and other dietary influences on coronary heart disease. Altrn. Med. Rev. 3: 281-94; Segall, J. J. 1997, Epidemiological evidence for the link between dietary lactose and atherosclerosis, in Colaco, C. ed. The glycation hypothesis of atherosclerosis. Austin, Tex.: Landes Bioscience, pp. 185-209; Artad-Wild, S. M., S. L. Connor, G. Sexton, et al. 1993. Differences in coronary mortality can be explained by differences in cholesterol and saturated fat intakes in 40 countries but not in France and Finland: a paradox. Circulation 88: 2771-79.

3. Davies, T. W., C. R. Plamer, E. Ruja, and J.M. Lipscombe. 1996. Adolescent milk, dairy products and fruit consumption and testicular cancer. Br. J. Cancer 74 (4): 657-60.

4. Patandin, S., P. C. Dagnelie, P.G. Mulder, et al. 1999. Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins from infancy until adulthood: a comparison between breast-feeding toddler, and long-term exposure. Environ. Health Perspect. 107 (1): 45-51.

5. Skrzycki, C., and J. Warrick. 2000. EPA reports ratchets up dioxin peril. Washington Post, May 17, 2000.

6. Remer, T., and F. Manz. 1995. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine PH. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 95 (7): 791-97.
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andrea - January 14, 2008 1:13 AM

well there's also a lot to be said for the kind of diet the animal you're eating had when it was alive. It isn't a coincidence that Americans are having these adverse health effects from eating beef when America is the only country that, on such a mammoth industrial scale, feeds cows corn and beef/chicken by-product instead of grass -- not to mention the antibiotics needed to sustain them from eating said corn and byproduct, as well as growth hormones. This can also be said about the milk that is coming from these cows. Perhaps that's why the women in the Swedish study fared so well from that high dairy diet. If cows -- as well as chickens, pigs, and other animals we may eat or otherwise use for food -- are raised according to how evolution prepared their bodies and their environments, treated and killed respectfully and responsibly, then these food products: meat, cheese, eggs are actually incredibly healthy for you. There are farms out there that still practice these humane ways of producing this kind of food; and although it may be a bit more difficult to access it, it is definitely well worth the trouble. I would recommend reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I really can't do justice to the evidence he has compiled nor to the conclusions he has arrived at, but suffice to say, one doesn't need to completely forgo meat, eggs, or cheese to live a healthy life. There's a reason why Europeans, who undoubtedly eat more meat, dairy, eggs, fat, carbs, all of these things which are supposedly 'bad' for us live longer, healthier lives than we Americans. And I don't think cutting these things out of our diets cold turkey (sorry, no pun intended) is the answer for us as individuals, nor as a society.

Gerry Pugliese - January 14, 2008 6:42 AM

Hey Andrea-

Sadly, you are wrong on two important levels. For starters, many European countries face the same health perils as America, and, Dr. Fuhrman does not advocate total elimination of animal products, just strict limitation. Why? Because in terms of nutrient-density and calorie content, plant foods are far superior choices. Thats why it is best to limit animal foods.


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