“Say What?”

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As if in response to my question about different scientific advice about diet, the New York Times science section this morning featured the headline “Are Eggs Bad for You? Maybe.” While a new study seems to suggest that increased egg intake produces additional cholesterol which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, the article was full of cautions. For example it says “the study findings are observational and cannot establish cause and effect.” Well that isn’t very helpful! To confuse matters further the study author states,”We don’t want people to walk away thinking they shouldn’t eat any eggs. That’s not the right message.” By the end of this article I had no idea what the right message should be.

If you have been alive for more than a few decades, you have lived through countless contradictory advice statements. First no fat is best. Then full fat is healthy. Then no meat. Then some meat. Then no salt. Then some salt. If I had kept track of all the suggestions I have read over the years it would begin to resemble Ripley’s “Believe it Or Not.”

So I go back to my life long habit of eating lots of fruits and vegetables because I like them. I avoid alcohol because it makes me sad. I limit sugar because it gives me lows after short highs. I eat lots of whole grains because I like to chew. I broil fish because I don’t like greasy fried food. I call it my “I eat to nourish myself with things I like to eat” diet. Do you think I could market it as the latest fad?

16 thoughts on ““Say What?”

  1. I say, “Give it a try”! If only scientists realized that by giving such contradictory advice all the time, no one listens to anything they have to say after a while.

  2. I recall the ‘eggs are bad for you’ warning last century in the UK – one minister lost her job soon after telling us not to eat eggs. I class this with the ‘milk is bad for you’ brigade.
    Eggs have all the nurtients necessary to build a chicken, and less cholesterol than all those steaks
    No one mentions that the body needs cholesterol (especially over 60) and there are different types.- some actually beneficial. Much of this ‘research’ is done by Ph.D. students whose primary aim is to increase the letters after their name.
    I’ve yet to see articles about such research that mention other dietary or health factors that have been taken into account – probably because they aren’t. It’s a shame the media latches on to it so readily – especially if it offers a ‘shock, horror’ headline.

  3. Reminds me of the old Woody Allen movie Sleeper. After being frozen for 200 years, he awakes to find everything that was unhealthy has now been proven to be the best for you.

  4. I am just old enough to remember my parents being told that smoking cigarettes was good for their respiration. Over the last 40 years, the conflicting dietary advice has led to cases of vitamin deficiency, lack of calcium, protein deficiency, yo-yo dieting, and many other issues.
    I believe we all know instinctively that moderation is the key. Many choose to ignore that at times, myself included.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. I have given up on trying to follow the advice. Fads come and go and I am trying to avoid them. I look at my parents and grandparents and note that they managed long and healthy lives without the advice of these gurus. I probably won’t start smoking again, it was terrible to try and stop, but otherwise I’ll remain largely sceptical of the claims.

    1. My doctor has told me that genes are the best predictor of longevity though we can definitely affect the quality of our lives through diet and exercise. My genes suggest longer life.

      1. I don’t have alocohol if I’m not already in a good mood, especially if I’m angry or really upset.

        As for weed, I’ve never had that and never will. Everyone I know who uses it except for one, it either makes them paranoid or childish. The one exception was childish overall rather than just when he smoked, so maybe he built up some compound interest on that one. 😆

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