Wasn’t that bad for me last week?

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My parents ate the same breakfast every morning for as long as I can remember. Breakfast consisted of two soft boiled eggs and two slices of toast with butter. But uh oh – eating eggs causes high cholesterol. And butter contains saturated fat. So they switched first to oatmeal and when my Mom started to gain weight, to yogurt.

Milk builds strong bones and teeth, so my mom also forced milk on her older two kids, including me. I hated milk. I spent my entire childhood with a stomach ache but who knew back then about lactose intolerance? And judging from my dental bills, I don’t think it helped my teeth any.

Are you old enough to remember when oatmeal was good for you? What about artificial sweeteners to reduce calorie consumption? Soy is still considered to be a miracle food by some but a damaging source of inflammation by others. Do you eat red meat? If yes, do you worry about mad cow disease? Is coffee good or bad? What about wine? Is bread the staff of life or the stuff of addiction?

I could go on and on, but I won’t.

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The recent advice from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee about eggs, shrimp and other no-longer-cholesterol-producing foods left me wondering about who to trust and what to eat. It reminded me of my reaction after reading Ronald Deutsch’s The New Nuts among the Berries back in the 1970’s.

That book took the good and the bad out of food, leaving me with no moral compass for choosing a meal. If a donut is just as good – or bad – as celery, which would you choose?

Of course, donuts and celery aren’t nutritional equivalents in any universe. Or are they…?

But here’s an interesting fact about a list of my favorite vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These have been labeled Goitrogenic vegetables, which contain substances that suppress thyroid function.

Really? Guess I’ll have an egg.

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The thing about food – you can’t live without it. But what to eat? Does food really keep us healthy or make us ill depending on the food choices we make? And what studies do we trust to tell us the truth? Does anyone know the truth?

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I love the Berekley Wellness statement in their online article about eggs. “Words to the wise,” they say, “Many of the egg studies have been funded by the egg industry and have lasted only a few months, so the long-term effects of eating a lot of eggs are still largely unknown.”

Words to the wise, indeed!

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10 thoughts on “Wasn’t that bad for me last week?

  1. I often think of Adelle Davis and Euell Gibbons who died very early even though they were both proponents and practitioners of “healthy eating”. I’ve never believed that eggs were bad. I don’t even think high cholesterol will kill you. Drives my doc crazy!

    I also remember a place I lived that was filled with “tree hugger/vegans” and they all looked kind of gray and had dull dry hair. I kept thinking I could probably fix them with a huge hunk of rare beef.

    I love my veggies, every single one except for okra and I’d still rather have spinach than kale, but I will never give up my huge hunks of rare beef nor rashers of bacon and I eat plenty of eggs each week. I think I probably might have coffee running through my veins-but I have abnormally LOW BP and my cholesterol level is 138 and I eat at least 2 lbs. of butter each week. So go figure!!

  2. We are incredibly versatile organisms. We can eat practically anything and thrive. Everyone is an expert on food these days. My dad ate crap for 70 years — still does — and will probably outlive our predictions. Of course, the Rx industry and Medicare is propping him up…

  3. The less we eat out of a box and the more it looks like real food, I say the better – be it an egg, a steak or broccoli! And if the coffee beans are freshly ground and the grapes freshly stomped, bring on the coffee and wine too!

    • Amen!! My only caveat has to do with the source of that food. I trust the eggs from down the street – at least I know they’re fresh – more than I do the ones that have been sitting at the grocery for who knows how long!! Thanks for commenting.

  4. I live by Julia Child’s rule: don’t give up the cream and butter (I insert red meat & wine here too), just eat in balanced moderation.

    • I agree in general although with specific caveats. Red meat that you pasture yourself – and I know you do – is a lot healthier than corn-fed, hormone and antibiotic infused meat. What I’ve said before, you need to know where your food comes from! And I know that you, Lenora, as the person who introduced me to the term ‘locavore’ will agree!

      • Yes, I’ve had a personal relationship with most of my food before it comes indoors to my kitchen.

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