What About Just a Little Meat?

 

Followed over time, vegetarian diets were associated with a substantially lower incidence of diabetes, indicating the potential of these diets to stem the current diabetes epidemic.

We see the same step-wise drop in rates of another leading killer, high blood pressure. The greater the proportion of plant foods, the lower the rates of hypertension, and the same with excess body fat. The only dietary group not on average overweight were those eating diets composed exclusively of plant foods, but again there was the same incremental drop with fewer and fewer animal products. This suggests that it’s not black and white, not all or nothing, any steps we can make along this spectrum of eating healthier may accrue significant benefits.

Source: What About Eating Just a Little Meat? | NutritionFacts.org

Source: PLOS ONE: Taiwanese Vegetarians and Omnivores: Dietary Composition, Prevalence of Diabetes and IFG

Source: Millennials and A Plant-Based Diet. Better Food, Better Choices.

Each and every meal is a choice.  Make good choices.  In my 20’s I pursued a vegetarian lifestyle for about two years.  Towards the end of that period I was eschewing dairy and eggs.  Then I stopped my veggie ways.  The reason?  I missed pizza.  The lessons learned however were not lost.  I thoroughly enjoy meatless meals now but if I want a piece of dead cow, I’ll eat dead cow.

Try not to get caught up in right vs. wrong.  Use your common sense.  Do not become the woman who fed her 11 month old nuts and fruit.  Just nuts and fruit!

Make wise, informed choices.  Understand as I have your need for calories decrease with age.  You have to eat less the older you are.  Strive towards more plant based meals and you’ll be OK.  Just don’t get too fruity or nutty about it all.

Our Diets are Making us Sicker

 

The good news: fewer hungry people around the world. The bad news: Increased consumption of processed foods is pushing up global rates of overweight and obesity.

Source: Across The Globe, Our Diets Are Making Us Sicker, Report Finds : The Salt : NPR

So fast food and sugary soda makes you fat?  Seriously?

At my personal peak of adiposity I tipped the scale at 370 pounds.  Over the years I’ve done the classic weight loss and gain yo-yo from a low of 163 after my initial weight loss to a current  weight of 195.  I taught myself how to lose weight and the diet strategies to keep the weight off.

I should write a book.

Water for Weight Loss

“Using the responses of more than 18,000 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2012, the scientists found that people who increased their plain water consumption by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake. Specifically, people who drank one to three cups of plain water—either spring or tap water, water from a drinking fountain or a water cooler, or bottled water—tended to reduce their “empty-calorie” intake from sweetened foods and beverages. They also consumed less total fat, saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. The average person in the study drank slightly over four cups of water a day. Each cup of water, up to three cups, correlated to about 68 fewer calories consumed.”

Source: Water: a Key Ingredient in Recipe for Weight Loss: Health After 50

 

Swapping Rice for Burgers

Source: China obesity ‘explosion’ blamed on swapping rice for burgers

Over 40 years ago I lost 200 pounds.  With age I found 35 of those lost pounds but remain extremely pleased the other 165 stayed off.  I loved this article about obesity in China.  This article could have been written about my childhood.  I swapped burgers for rice and got fat.

Real fat.

I’ve been part of a weight loss study for decades.  I answer a couple of questionnaires every year.  Most people don’t believe I used to be fat.  I need to find some old childhood pictures and post them as proof.

Beans May Help With Weight Loss

 ‘Pulses’ like these may help dieters feel fuller and reduce food cravings, new analysis shows

Source: Beans, Chickpeas May Help With Weight Loss

I have two bean stories.  I’ll start with my second favorite memory of beans.

I moved from NJ to Texas at the age of 25.  Talk about culture shock.  It was a big brand new world to explore.  And if you enjoy ethnic cuisine you try to eat whatever the locals ate.  I wasn’t quite sure what Texas cuisine was besides smoked brisket.  On one day of exploration I passed a rather cheap and gaudy looking fast food joint that probably no longer exists.

“I wonder what this is?”

So I stopped, went in, stared at the menu and had absolutely no idea what anything was.  So I ordered a bean burrito.  It was your typical fast food burrito, thick brown paste, a little cheese, a little chili sauce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.  This happened so long ago the only remaining memory was that I liked it.  A lot.

So ends my second favorite bean story.

 

 

 

Eat More Nuts

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Blogs/LifestyleMedicine/55500

 

I have to admit as a child I rarely ate nuts.  The closest I got to a nut was peanut butter…on pancakes.  I added more tree nuts to my diet when I drank beer in bars.  The good bars always had good nuts.  That’s where I discovered my love for cashews.  I would pick all of the cashews out of a bowl of mixed nuts.  Still do.

This Medpage article offers up a short summary of the clinical evidence for higher nut consumption.  I eat a small handful of nuts daily.

Cashews and peanuts.

Dean Ornish: Can Healthy Eating Reverse Some Cancers? : NPR

Dean Ornish: Can Healthy Eating Reverse Some Cancers? : NPR.

Over 30 years have passed since I was a vegetarian.  My coworkers thought I was crazy.  Dinner invitations were met with hesitation.  Some friends made excuses like “My hamster is sick and I can’t come over for supper”.  My life as a vegetarian lasted 18 months.

At the grocery store the other day I was asked if I was a vegetarian.  I said no.  When I thought about the correct answer, I really had no answer.  There’s not really a good word to describe my eating habits.  Most weeks two thirds of my meals are meatless.  I avoid processed foods and fast food restaurants.  I guess I try to eat less bad food and more good health enhancing foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, less animal products, and more craft beer.

I stumbled upon this old TED talk this morning.  If you are not familiar with the work of Dr. Dean Ornish, this short video is a great place to start.