12 votes

How to eat right - an extensive and informal Q&A with Mark Bittman and Dr. David Katz

Tags: diets, health

29 comments

  1. captain_cardinal
    Link
    Title of the article: Answer to the first question about the best way to eat right: It's sometimes hard for me to look past a really bad title.

    Title of the article:

    The Last Conversation You'll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right

    Answer to the first question about the best way to eat right:

    We don’t know, because the study to prove that any one diet is “best” for human health hasn’t been done, and probably can’t be.

    It's sometimes hard for me to look past a really bad title.

    5 votes
  2. [23]
    wervenyt
    Link
    This article is notable to me in the ratio of 'clickbaitiness' of the title to the quality of the article itself.

    This article is notable to me in the ratio of 'clickbaitiness' of the title to the quality of the article itself.

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah despite the headline it seems like pretty sane and sound advice. TL;DR: Barring some particular health issues (e.g. IBS/Celiac/Crohn's&Colitis/allergies) you should eat a high fiber,...

      Yeah despite the headline it seems like pretty sane and sound advice. TL;DR:

      • Barring some particular health issues (e.g. IBS/Celiac/Crohn's&Colitis/allergies) you should eat a high fiber, predominantly plant based balanced diet (fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and other vegetables)
      • Fresh is best but flash frozen is almost as good
      • Drink water or plain seltzer
      • Avoid processed foods, avoid fad diets, avoid reliance on "superfoods"
      • Intermittent fasting to control caloric intake only if it works for you, don't rely on it to counteract a shitty diet
      • Fish is the healthiest animal protein but some varieties, particularly the predatory kind, are problematic (unsustainable, high mercury, etc)
      • Algae derived omega-3 supplements are good
      • vitamin D3 supplements are good (but many foods are already vitamin D–fortified)
      • Moderate alcohol and caffeine intake may be beneficial but neither is strictly "healthy"
      • Most power/"health" bars are closer to candy bars than anything else
      • Nearly everything is a carcinogen (salt, red meat, char/caramelized sugars, glyphosates in pesticides, nitrates used in meat curing, etc), moderation of intake is key
      6 votes
    2. [4]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      I can change the topic's title to something better, any suggestions?

      I can change the topic's title to something better, any suggestions?

      5 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        An extensive and informal Q&A with two doctors about healthy eating, maybe?

        An extensive and informal Q&A with two doctors about healthy eating, maybe?

        5 votes
      2. Cirrus
        Link Parent
        I'll try: "How to eat right - answers to common dietary questions"

        I'll try: "How to eat right - answers to common dietary questions"

        4 votes
      3. wervenyt
        Link Parent
        I'm really not sure, maybe just something less grandiose? It's a good article that more or less sums up the science on nutrition, and it's unlikely that some major revolution in how diet is...

        I'm really not sure, maybe just something less grandiose? It's a good article that more or less sums up the science on nutrition, and it's unlikely that some major revolution in how diet is understood will occur. That doesn't mean it's the last word on the subject.

        1 vote
    3. [17]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Real hard hitting questions like and 🙄

      Real hard hitting questions like

      Um, toxins?

      and

      Don’t they cleanse your body?

      🙄

      1 vote
      1. [9]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        It's an informational article framed as a "conversation". The questions are just ways to lead into giving information.

        It's an informational article framed as a "conversation". The questions are just ways to lead into giving information.

        5 votes
        1. [8]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          The information is just scratching the surface, seems to be slanted towards a paleo diet for some reason, and doesn't answer a lot of basic questions integral to eating right such as "how much...

          The information is just scratching the surface, seems to be slanted towards a paleo diet for some reason, and doesn't answer a lot of basic questions integral to eating right such as "how much should I eat".

          Yes there is some useful information in this article, but it's hardly "the last conversation you'll need".

          2 votes
          1. [7]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Really? I got the distinct impression he was completely shitting on the fad "paleo" diets, since they focus way too much on meat and not enough on high fiber plant intake (including whole grains).

            Really? I got the distinct impression he was completely shitting on the fad "paleo" diets, since they focus way too much on meat and not enough on high fiber plant intake (including whole grains).

            Okay, well what about the “diets” I keep trying? I just started the paleo diet. Will it change my life?
            A genuine paleo diet is almost certainly good for human health, since it’s a diet to which we are adapted. But what is a true paleo diet?

            It’s, you know, eating paleo. Like meat. And fruit. And eggs? And bacon!
            It is certainly not a blanket license to eat bacon. And it’s not a good reason to give up whole grains, either. Nor do you need to eat eggs, or even meat.

            What about burgers or pepperoni? They’re paleo, right?
            There were no Paleolithic burgers, or pepperoni. There was also no paleolithic bacon.

            So what can I eat?
            This is a good place to start because the real experts in Stone Age nutrition think our ancestors — who, by the way, were foragers — consumed a wide variety of ever-changing plant foods that gave them up to 100 grams of fiber daily. We, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 grams of daily fiber. Our forebears are thought to have eaten lots of insects, too. (Few people espousing the virtues of “Paleo” seem inclined to try that out.) They probably ate grains, with some evidence they did so 100,000 years or more ago. And, of course, they ate the meat of only wild animals, since there were no domesticated animals in the Stone Age, with the possible exception of the wolf-to-dog transition.

            In any event, the diet to which we are adapted is almost certainly much better for health, and reversing illness, than the prevailing modern diet. There is abundant evidence of disease-reversal with diets of whole, minimally processed food; plant-predominant diets; and even plant-exclusive diets.

            Which is a healthier diet: protein-rich, fat-rich, or fat-free?
            They’re not mutually exclusive. You want moderate amounts of protein and fat in your diet. You want carbohydrates, too, which are in most foods but especially fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. What you don’t want is hyperprocessed food or a lot of animal products.

            1. [6]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              He shits on fad paleo, yes. But he advocates for scientific paleo.

              He shits on fad paleo, yes. But he advocates for scientific paleo.

              1 vote
              1. [5]
                cfabbro
                Link Parent
                Ah, fair enough. Is there anything particularly wrong with a more scientific based paleo diet?

                Ah, fair enough. Is there anything particularly wrong with a more scientific based paleo diet?

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  I think it's jumping to conclusions to claim that it's healthier than a balanced diet. Stressing the importance of fiber, foods that are processed less, protein, healthy fats, etc. is about as far...

                  I think it's jumping to conclusions to claim that it's healthier than a balanced diet.

                  Stressing the importance of fiber, foods that are processed less, protein, healthy fats, etc. is about as far as I would go. Just because something is a bit more modern of an invention (such as broccoli) shouldn't exclude it from being a healthy food.

                  1 vote
                  1. [3]
                    cfabbro
                    Link Parent
                    That makes sense although I don't see anywhere he was advocating for not eating any modern varieties of fruits or vegetables like Broccoli. IMO he was merely speaking to the benefits of the...

                    That makes sense although I don't see anywhere he was advocating for not eating any modern varieties of fruits or vegetables like Broccoli. IMO he was merely speaking to the benefits of the balance that they ate in the paleolithic era, which aligns almost perfectly to what you recommended, e.g. "whole, minimally processed food; plant-predominant diets; and even plant-exclusive diets"

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Gaywallet
                      Link Parent
                      True and I may have been reading into it too much since he specifically calls out "stone age nutrition" and what we did in the past.

                      True and I may have been reading into it too much since he specifically calls out "stone age nutrition" and what we did in the past.

                      2 votes
                      1. cfabbro
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        Yeah, I don't think he is really advocating a return to a rigid stone age diet so much as just pointing out some of the potential benefits to that specific balance of nutrient sources. However I...

                        Yeah, I don't think he is really advocating a return to a rigid stone age diet so much as just pointing out some of the potential benefits to that specific balance of nutrient sources.

                        However I do get where you are coming from though... I am also particularly wary of people speaking to the "benefits" of "the old ways", especially when it comes to nutrition and medicine. The average lifespan of humans has spiked dramatically higher in the past few hundred years specifically because of modern nutritional standards, food variety availability and medicine... so when people advocate for returning to the strict diets, medicines or medical techniques from 10,000 years ago my pseudoscience alarm bells go off too. :P

                        2 votes
      2. [7]
        wervenyt
        Link Parent
        I think you might undervalue just how many people (in the USA, at least) truly believe that kind of nonsense.

        I think you might undervalue just how many people (in the USA, at least) truly believe that kind of nonsense.

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Unfortunately I'm well aware. But the answers leave a lot to be desired too. The kind of people who believe in cleanses and "toxins" aren't going to be swayed by a single blurb about how the...

          Unfortunately I'm well aware.

          But the answers leave a lot to be desired too. The kind of people who believe in cleanses and "toxins" aren't going to be swayed by a single blurb about how the kidneys and liver works.

          2 votes
          1. [5]
            wervenyt
            Link Parent
            Fair enough. How would they have approached it better? Those question read more as a way to prevent more people from beginning to believe in such nonsense than as a way to convince those who've...

            Fair enough. How would they have approached it better? Those question read more as a way to prevent more people from beginning to believe in such nonsense than as a way to convince those who've already made up their minds. In fact, I don't know how you convince those types of people in the first place.

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              Well ideally I think you'd point out a few of the main arguments out there and why they are wrong. Perhaps the easiest thing to point out is that there is no scientific literature to support the...

              Well ideally I think you'd point out a few of the main arguments out there and why they are wrong. Perhaps the easiest thing to point out is that there is no scientific literature to support the idea that any toxins that would cause energy or wakefulness issues (or whatever else they are claiming) exist that the liver and kidneys do not already process and deal with.

              Just saying that the body has these systems isn't really enough. You have to stress that foods don't really contain toxins (although this might be a good place to talk about processed foods and the effects some of these chemicals have long term) and that juiced fruits don't magically remove toxins from your system.

              4 votes
              1. [3]
                wervenyt
                Link Parent
                You aren't wrong. However, would shoehorning a rebuttal of pure pseudoscience into this article really benefit it?

                You aren't wrong. However, would shoehorning a rebuttal of pure pseudoscience into this article really benefit it?

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  I think you can do it shortly and succinctly enough to not take up too much of the reader's time and help inform people who might be buying into the fad.

                  I think you can do it shortly and succinctly enough to not take up too much of the reader's time and help inform people who might be buying into the fad.

                  1. wervenyt
                    Link Parent
                    I'm not sure you can, but I'd like to be wrong.

                    I'm not sure you can, but I'd like to be wrong.

                    1 vote
  3. [2]
    Cirrus
    Link
    The sad thing is that healthy foods, especially fruit, have been getting bigger and blander these days. The strawberries in stores look nice and red, but they taste like cardboard. I grow small...

    The sad thing is that healthy foods, especially fruit, have been getting bigger and blander these days. The strawberries in stores look nice and red, but they taste like cardboard. I grow small alpine strawberries, and the flavour in them is so intense, the first time I tried them I thought I was eating artificial flavours. In the past, I thought tomatoes are best eaten cold. Then I started growing them myself. Have you tasted a fully ripe, sun-warmed tomato? It beats anything off the markets.

    Also bread. The stuff that they sell in stores - sliced bread - is not real bread. It's so fluffed up you can compress it into a cracker, and it tastes like cardboard. There are so many preservatives in it too. I like to joke that even bacteria don't want to touch the stuff, that's why it can last a week and not go bad. Go buy some unsliced bread from a bakery, maybe a baguette? That's real bread.

    3 votes
    1. creesch
      Link Parent
      Store bought tomatoes also should never be stored cold as that destroys the flavor. Also there are multiple varieties you can often buy that each have different flavor profiles. Having said that,...

      In the past, I thought tomatoes are best eaten cold.

      Store bought tomatoes also should never be stored cold as that destroys the flavor.
      Also there are multiple varieties you can often buy that each have different flavor profiles. Having said that, self grown tomatoes often have a more defined taste but in my experience that also really depends on the variety you grow.

      I like to joke that even bacteria don't want to touch the stuff, that's why it can last a week and not go bad.

      Funny thing that, here in the Netherlands a lot of supermarkets sell "fresh" bread that tastes pretty good on day one but doesn't last very long. While the traditional bakeries sell bread that tastes amazing and actually lasts a few days longer.

      Then again, I have seen the pre-sliced supermarket bread you probably refer to and have to agree that it doesn't deserve to be called bread.

      Go buy some unsliced bread from a bakery, maybe a baguette? That's real bread.

      Sorry, but that is just one very kind of bread. If you advocate going to a bakery you should also encourage people to encourage exploring the varieties of bread that are available as there are a ton of different breads. A baguette is nothing like a german Bauernbrot or a traditional whole wheat bread.

      2 votes
  4. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [3]
      creesch
      Link Parent
      That's what I have always understood as well. It has a lot to do with the smokepoint of the oil, heating oil above its smoke point increases changes of potentially harmful compounds being created....

      That's what I have always understood as well.
      It has a lot to do with the smokepoint of the oil, heating oil above its smoke point increases changes of potentially harmful compounds being created.

      However now that I am trying to look up more information about it I find a lot of conflicting information about which olive oil is better.

      I do know though that even virgin olive oil has a higher smokepoint than butter so in that regard probably is already better.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        deciduous
        Link Parent
        The use of olive oil for cooking depends on what you're cooking, for how long, and how hot it needs to be. Olive oil is fine in many cases, but if you're going to be cooking at a higher...

        The use of olive oil for cooking depends on what you're cooking, for how long, and how hot it needs to be. Olive oil is fine in many cases, but if you're going to be cooking at a higher temperature for longer then the low smoke point becomes a problem.

        In general, olive oil is healthier than standard canola oil, so if you use olive oil in a dish you probably should, but if you're making something like stir fry, it's best to use an oil with a higher smoke point like sesame oil.

        1 vote
        1. creesch
          Link Parent
          I know, but there is virgin olive oil and regular olive oil and it is the difference between those two we were trying to figure out :)

          I know, but there is virgin olive oil and regular olive oil and it is the difference between those two we were trying to figure out :)

          1 vote