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Posts, photos, podcasts and videos (2005-2020)

Super Foods

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“People assume that the world is carefully regulated and that there are benign institutions guarding them from making any kind of errors. A lot of marketing drip-feeds that idea, surreptitiously. So if people see somebody with apparently the right credentials, they think they’re listening to a respectable medic and trust their advice.”

This statement, from The Guardian’s Dara Mohammad, is aimed at the “detox” (and “superfood”) industry, making a case for health-over-hype when it comes to separating fads and trends from truly beneficial health advice. Beyond tossing out the idea that the Master Cleanse is a revolutionary tool for change however, this is obviously sage advice for anyone reading about most any aspect of healthy living online.

It’s with this thinking that Dr. David Katz says, “There’s either a scapegoat or a silver bullet in almost every bestselling diet book,” and in keeping with this focus skepticism, The Atlantic’s James Hamblin digs into the ongoing controversy surrounding the health risks of gluten, and what happens when a scapegoat goes mainstream.

In the article, Hamblin takes a deeper look at Dr. David Perlmutter‘s New York Times Best Seller, Grain Brain, dissecting some of the book’s juicier health claims, while also interviewing a wide range of health industry voices who question Perlmutter’s conclusions. One such voice is that of Chris Krusser, who elaborates on his own blog about the surrounding controversy, “While I don’t argue with the idea that refined and processed carbs like flour and sugar contribute to modern disease, there’s no evidence to suggest that unrefined, whole-food carbohydrates do.” Maybe the new nutrition secret is that there is no secret to nutrition. Though, whether they’re secrets or not, this easy to digest article of seven eating habits “you should drop now” is the blueprint for a healthier diet that includes plenty of easy-to-digest information on alcohol, “diet foods,” and good fats.

What can’t be lost in this process is the eye for the individual. If you actually have celiac disease, for example, processed or not: many carbohydrates are going to be detrimental to your health. And if your cholesterol is out of control, even a couple eggs a day might be harmful despite ample evidence that even in (relatively) high quantities, and even with yolks intact, they are really good for you. (This is especially true for men as healthy cholesterol lends itself as “a precursor for the synthesis of many compounds, including testosterone.”) Being low in calories, high in protein, and nutrient-rich (though like eggs, also high in cholesterol), shrimp would seem to fall under the same umbrella here.

Whatever the advice it is you’re taking, the point is to make sure that the advice is not only sound, but respectful of your own individual circumstances.

Lastly, on the training side of things: Two weeks ago I started incorporating aspects of the high intensity “Bizzy Diet 21-Day Fitness Plan” into my routine, making a few substitutions including the incorporation of “Thrusters” and “Single Leg Static Lunge Dips” on leg day. Perhaps the most important aspect of that workout to this point though, for me, has been the introduction of intervals to my cardio regimen.