Just a little over a year ago I wrote a blog entitled "The Big Fat Surprise", in response to a book of the same title that basically said eating fatty products--bacon and such--was not so bad for you afterall (i.e., the Adkins diet). It seemed to be well documented. I shouted HURRAH!  I also read Wheat Belly, which wants us to stop eating grains, whole or not. Another decision.

Alas, woe is me--confused and distraught. Upon reading Dr. Michael Greger's new book, How Not To Die, everything the "eat fat" book said is wrong, wrong, wrong. Really? I'm supp[osed to eliminate meat, even "good" fish, like wild salmon (heavily contaminated with chemical pollutants like hexachlorobenzene). I'm to cut out, at least down, dairy products. Eggs? Yes? No? Yes? No?  IIIIEEEEE!!

I have to admit, Dr. Greger makes a strong case: there are 113 pages of footnotes! His basic premise is eat more veggies, beans, fruit, nuts, and spices, any one of which might save you from certain diseases or maladies, including cancer. These foods are preventive and well as healing. They can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. I'm for that.

Hence, the dilemma. Who to believe? What to do? I think I'll try the most recent "fad". My next blood test is in 10 months. Broccoli, flax, tea, walnuts, tumeric, blueberries, etc., etc., here I come! We'll see.

PS: One thing both "diets" agree on is NO SUGAR OR SALT!

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Comment by Michael Penn on February 27, 2016 at 12:43pm

I do not have cirrhosis but was diagnosed with a fatty liver supposedly from drinking. Once I found out that coffee and the liver love each other, I started drinking much more coffee and I'm getting better. I can feel it and also tell it in other ways. I no longer believe the bad BS about coffee.

Comment by Grinning Cat on February 27, 2016 at 10:42am

Catching up here... coffee's significant reduction in liver cirrhosis risk was also observed with decaf coffee. (I read that decaf has something like 5% of the caffeine of regular coffee; some people are extremely sensitive to even such small amounts.)

Comment by Daniel W on February 27, 2016 at 10:40am
GNJ, Welcome!
Your plan sounds like the best approach, to me. A lot of the purpose of added salt and sugar is to cover for bland, tasteless ingredients. I think sugar stimulates appetite, as well. I feel better with fresh, good quality ingredients.
Comment by GNJ on February 27, 2016 at 7:45am

I've eliminated most sugar from my diet in that I don't drink soda anymore and I don't eat fast food at all.  I cook most of my meals using a lot of fresh ingredients and whole foods.  I feel better and have more energy.  I think that there is no one way to be healthy since we are on our own personal trajectories but it does seem as though cutting out processed food seems to be the way to go.

Comment by Daniel W on February 10, 2016 at 9:52am

There have always been books and self-described authorities who "knew" what we should all eat, and how much, and how. I like Mike Pollan's books and ideas, such as these quotes from his books.

“Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.”
― Michael Pollan

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

“You are what what you eat eats.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

“What an extraordinary achievement for a civilization: to have developed the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!”
― Michael Pollan, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

“... the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.”
― Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

In the next part of what remains of my life,  I want to live fully and enjoy my connectedness to nature, and go back to some part of my roots - the part where it felt good to raise food in my garden, and experience every piece of that, from what I do to the soil, the seeds, the plants, the harvest - like Christmas in summer-  and the cooking. I want to get dirt under my fingernails, and grind it into the knees of my jeans. Then, learn better what to do with what I grow, and make it into real food. Not processed factory-made derivative of factory made corn and wheat grain.

Most of what we consider farming consists of large scale open factory - massive tracts of land, processes, cleansed of nature as would happen with strip mining, drenched in chemicals made from oil, grown, harvested by machines, processed on site and in facturies into materials designed to fatten us up. With animal agriculture it's more of the same, except they are fattened before being processed into materials that we then buy and eat.

No one can say that living more naturally, we won't get cancer, or get hit by a car, or have a stroke.  I am certainly happy I don't have to labor sun-up to sun-down, often in dangerous conditions, with no financial security, and die in farm or factory accidents or of terminal exhaustion  like my ancestors did.  Im not going to raise the wheat and make it into flour.   All I know is I enjoy the foods that are like real foods, and I think they are healthy as well.

Comment by Michael Penn on February 10, 2016 at 7:47am

Actually, coffee and dark chocolate are good for you. My liver doctor wanted to know what I eat and drink, and if I drink coffee. My answer was hardly any coffee these days.

Then I looked on the Internet and read repeatedly how coffee is really good for the liver. Yes, your liver loves coffee. Now I drink coffee again every day.

Comment by Randall Smith on February 10, 2016 at 7:28am

True, there's hardly a food that hasn't been scrutinized--given the red light, then green, back to red, etc. I'm just happy coffee and especially dark chocolate are green light "foods"!

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 9, 2016 at 7:58pm

Good one, Mike!!

Comment by Michael Penn on February 9, 2016 at 4:09pm

I'm diabetic and people often tell me "you can't eat that, you're diabetic." OK, hide and watch me. I take my medicine. They keep telling me that's not how it works. Also, I eat a 3 egg omelet every morning that has chopped onions and is fried in olive oil.

But I do have news! I now have proof of life after death. Yes, it is true. There is life after death. It does not apply if you happen to be the deceased.

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 9, 2016 at 12:05pm

Randall, most of the people on Atheist Nexus seem to be in their 60s,70s, and 80's, so we all remember all the books that have come out telling us what was good, or bad for us.  And it always changes.  Remember when butter was bad for us?  And then they said butter is okay, but not margarine because it is artificial, and never spoils. (They didn't tell us that honey doesn't spoil either, and it is a natural product.) Of course we all went to margarine for 30 years, and according to statistics we are living longer than ever,.The most important thing is to keep your cholesterol down.  That is what causes heart attacks and strokes.

Bon appetite!

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