Disease Proof

162 Beef Sticks

Here’s a weird paradox. Many of this country’s professional athletes have terrible diets. Take a second, think about it. It doesn’t make much sense. Athletes are role models, heroes, gladiators among men—supermen if you will. And yet, so many of them have garbage diets. For example, Detroit Pistons' shooting-guard Richard Hamilton, here’s his typical day of eating:
Yellow Corn Grits with Cheese
Coffee with Cream and Sugar

Grilled Chicken Breast
Mixed Baby Greens
Italian Dressing
French Bread
Orange Juice

Chicken Lasagna
Italian Bread
Lemon Cake
Let’s see what we got: refined corn, cheese, cream, caffeine, sugar, oil, and high-fructose corn syrup. I’m sure a deeper analysis would reveal even more nutritional follies. And its not just basketball players, football stars are no better. Last fall Chicago Bears wider-receiver Bernard Berrian shared his magic potion with a classroom of youngsters, bacon and syrup. I’m not joking:
Bernard: Hello kids.

Classroom: Hello!

Bernard: Do any of you know what it takes to make it in the NFL?

Redhead freckle-faced ginger-kid: Four-three forty speed?


Bernard: That always helps, but first you have to lay a foundation—make your body strong. Do any of you know how to do that?

Pretentious kid with overly dramatic delivery: Massive amounts of jumping-jacks?

Bernard: No, I’m talking about diet—the food you put in your body. Before ever game in college I used to eat bacon and syrup, and I brought some with me. Come on everybody let’s eat!

And the crowd goes wild.
And now another Chicago Bear shows us that being a professional athlete doesn’t necessarily mean you have the foggiest idea how to eat healthfully. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bear’s defensive lineman Tank Johnson, who was recently completed serving a 60-day prison sentence, ate the following during his incarceration.
And while the 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman is built like a vending machine, the roster of items he ordered reads like he raided one, too:
  • 162 beef sticks
  • 40 honey bun sweet rolls
  • 35 summer sausage blocks
  • 35 bags of barbecue chips
While he and other inmates were given things like a scoop of grits for breakfast, a bologna sandwich for lunch and a chicken leg for dinner, that's hardly enough for a massive professional athlete.
(Via HashMarks)

Okay, now I’m no fan of bologna and chicken legs, but, beef sticks and summer sausage blocks—what the heck is a sausage block! Whatever it is, it can’t be good. Given Tank’s size and food preferences, his future seems grim. Because according to Dr. Fuhrman, being a massive bulked-up professional athlete isn’t exactly the key to sustained health and longevity:
Bulking up is dangerous to one's longevity and power lifters and football linebackers often eat in a way that radically shortens their lives. If you were a weightlifter, for instance, you might improve your chances of muscle growth with more animal products then I recommend, certainly. But a lot of animal products is not conducive to longevity. But if size is your only goal, go for it.
What's sad is the gold standard for linemen in the NFL is size, size, size.
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