Unhappy Meals

Unhappy Meals - Ln~uppy Me,lls Michael Pollan New York Times 01 29 ZOll OS 37\~1 ~l\lJ{lork\timl'5\tIll v r,<'vi,II t ~ complicated and confusing

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Ln~uppy Me,lls Michael Pollan, New York Times 01 29 ZOll? OS 37 .·\~1 \tIll' ~l'\lJ {lork \timl'5 '" •...• \ \ v: r, . . \. ':,<- -, ''vi \ " \ ', II. .. t '. \\ \ ~ - .Ianuary 28,2007 Unhappy Meals By MICHAEL POLLAN Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly' incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I'm tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few thousand more words. I'll try to resist but will go ahead and add a couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won't kill you, though it's better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you're much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products, That's what I mean by the recommendation to eat "food," Once, food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you're concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. \Vhy? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it's not really food, and food is what vou want to eat. ~ Uh-oh. Things are suddenly sounding a little more complicated, aren't they? Sorry. But that's how it goes -, as soon as you try to get to the bottom of the whole vexing question of food and health, Before long, a dense cloud bank of confusion moves in. Sooner or later, everything solid you thought you knew about the .. , .-. . links between diet and health gets blown away in the gust of the latest study, , Last winter came the news that a low-fat diet, long believed to protect again~)reast can~~,Il1av do no such thing - this from the monumental, federally financed Women's Health IIlrti3.Tive,\\·hich has also found no link between a low-fat diet and rates of coronal:)' disease. The year before we learned that dietary fiber might not, as we had been confidently told, ~elp prevent colon canceL Just last fall two prestigious studies on ornega-g fats published at the same time l)';~'~ntedlls-~~'ith- striki~1g1y different conclusions. 'While the Institute of l\ledicine stated that "it is uncertain how much these ornega-gs contribute to improving health" (and they might do the opposite if you get them from mercury-contaminated fish), a Harvard study declared that simply by eating a couple of servings of fish each week (or by downing enough fish oil), you could cut your risk of dying from a heart attack by more than a third - a stunningly hopeful piece of news, It's no wonder that ornega-g fatty acids are poised to become the oat bran of 2007, as food scientists micro-encapsulate fish oil and algae oil and blast them into such formerly all-terrestrial
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2009 for the course IPHY 3420 taught by Professor Bradyheat during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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Unhappy Meals - Ln~uppy Me,lls Michael Pollan New York Times 01 29 ZOll OS 37\~1 ~l\lJ{lork\timl'5\tIll v r,<'vi,II t ~ complicated and confusing

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