Monday, October 26, 2009

Blog 4: Debunking Health Claims with Whole Grain

Whole grain is “The strongest evidence...for cardiovascular disease,” says Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard University School of Public Health (Nutrition Healthletter, 2006). The article above mentions that the average American eats less than one serving of whole grains a day. Why is eating "whole grain" products important though? Studies have shown that whole grain products, also organic, reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabeties, obesity, and colon cancer. The article also mentions that it leads there eaters to obtain less saturated fat and more vitamins. All of these optimistic support of whole grain is true only base on statistics and the study of what whole grain can affect a person's diet. But what is the "whole truth" in the whole grain products.

Does whole grain really work, is the real question. It only showed in people that whole grain reduces many unhealthy things that the body can attain. Truthfully, nutritionists are finding ways to make the "whole grain" product a big deal for Americans. It is true that it does influence a person to make better health choices, but the whole grain only makes a difference if a person is willingly to stay in that kind of diet which most Americans aren't. There are products trying to promote some comsumption of whole grain and there are certain meanings to some words in each "whole grain" product, which can be misleading. For example, 'Wheat' could mean refined or whole. “Harvest” means “nicesounding word" (Nutrition Healthletter, 6), and 'Made with' often means “made with very little" (Nutrition Healthletter, 6). So "whole grain" is a better choice, somewhat for people, but has not yet been proven completely and conclusively that it really does have a major affect in people's diet.

Like Pollan said in "In Defense in Food", American's diet depends a lot on labels. It seems that even labels trick Americans into thinking they are eating healthy when really they are only obtaining a small amount of the "necessary" nutrients. Just because something sounds healthy, doesn't really mean it is. Maybe Americans just need commitment and confidence in themselves when they eat and not rely much on what they "supposedly" need in their bodies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blog 2: Real Food versus Fake Food

I believe Pollan's argument of the western's diet influencing all other diets was well discussed. He speaks of the westerner's diet having an impact on how other culture eats. like I mentioned before about the easy and fast way of western diet in my first blog, westerners are showing other cultures of their easy methods of cooking and eating. With this thought, Pollan talks of the real and fake food of society. Where is the real food in this diet? They are being processed and losing the nutrients that are needed. Real food has become fake and so, everyone is eating fake food, thinking it is real, including me.
A real form of food that I ate before that have now become "fake" are peaches. I love the peaches real form. But now, I eat peaches from CANS! That means the food has been processed, therefore it may not have the original nutrients from before. I know that it's not a healthy choice, but with can foods, it is much easier to eat. It eliminates the labor of peeling the skin, throwing the seed away, and cutting the peach into equal slices, a form of western diet. Easy and fast is admired by many people. :)
The peaches from the can does taste a bit different from the real peaches. Real peaches have a more refreshing taste while the ones in the cans are sweeter and contains more juice. Real peaches smell more fresh and the can peaches has a sweet scent. the looks of both are different because the canned peaches are made to eat right away and the real peaches takes time to prepare and eat.
The look, smell and taste are slightly different, and so the vitamins and nutrients are also slightly different. That's because the canned peaches were processed and so they have been through cycles in making the peaches more "tasteful" than the original. That is not exactly equivalent to the vitamins from the real peaches because of the additional sweeteners and "juice" or perhaps water.
And as I mentioned before, people like to eat without labor, meaning I do enjoy the "fast and easy" method of westerner's diet. Although it may be less healthy, it saves time and is convenient and inexpensive. I cannot recall when I decided to eat canned peaches rather than the real ones. I guess I was introduced to canned peaches from the store and so I thought it would be the "fastest and easiest" way to eat.
Even though I eat from the cans, I do still eat the real peaches. Real peaches are better and healthier, of course, but a bit more expensive.