For The Love Of Food

by | Aug 19, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

It was a very difficult week for my family as well as the food blog community. Heart disease is still the #1 cause of death in this country, and I hope that what I’m doing here at Summer Tomato can make a small (or, hopefully, large) dent in that in the years to come.

The good news is I found a ton of fantastic articles this week, with my top 10 including why carbs aren’t the obvious enemy in obesity, why sitting too much is not the same as working out too little and why being a nudist may extend your life.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links on Twitter (@summertomato) and the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week


Life is short, fill it with love.

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10 Responses to “For The Love Of Food”

  1. Rachel says:

    Darya I’m so sorry to hear about Kevin’s father. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Do you think you can help us understand that carb article. Way over my head, but the comments were very interesting.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Basically he dissects the mechanism by which carbohydrates supposedly induce obesity (via insulin resistance) and argues that it doesn’t make perfect sense. No one disagree that processed carbs are dangerous, it’s an issue of degree and Taubes’ stance is very extreme—basically than any and all carbohydrate consumption leads to obesity and metabolic syndrome. The above article argues that it’s likely much more complicated.

      Even Taubes himself has touched on this point in his NYTimes fructose article we discussed a few months ago, saying that sugar may be uniquely harmful. This would make it premature to lump all carbohydrates together; calling refined sugar and white rice the same thing seems to be way off base.

      Does this help?

      • Hi Darya,
        Thanks for reply. For some reason your replies have been going to my junk mail file. Just fixed that. Yes, that helps. I don’t believe all carbs are equal. I can eat potatoes, but I can’t eat bread and pasta, although potatoes are supposed to be instant insulin producing. I think you have a life time of study ahead when it comes to carbs. As for me, I only successfully have been able to keep off weight if I lost it on a low carb diet. Low means no bread, pasta or sugar, but yes to apples and some other fruit. I lose the weight and then continue diet until I successfully reach a set point my body is comfortable with. It’s complicated, but I see a pattern. The key to the low carb thing for me is dieting for about three more months, even though no weight is being lost. The body then “adjusts” to that weight and eventually I can add in more carbs. It would not make a “popular” diet plan and takes a true life style change. It takes very close monitoring because one meal can show a weight gain whereas in 3 to 6 months that same meal would not. I am always interested in knowing more about carbs and the body.

  3. Brian says:

    Absolutely loved the carb article. It’s unlikely I would get a chance to read stuff like this without your links, so thanks for your hard work in collecting them.

    It’s amusing to see the dominant nutritional theories go through cycles. Egg yolks were bad because of cholesterol, but now they’re good because it’s a “good” kind of cholesterol. Dietary fat was bad until it wasn’t. Now we’re coming around to demonizing carbs and the population at large is buying into it without question. I certainly understand the appeal of dumbing things down: how great would it be if losing fat really was as simple as eating less sugar? We could all put down our cookies, certain of a positive outcome, and in a matter of weeks be trim and fit.

    It’s interesting how the article closes by saying that low carb diets may be effective for losing fat, but that it’s unclear why. After all this time and study, scientists still don’t totally understand how the human body functions. It seems most theories end up being overly simplistic. I think a very broad understanding of how our bodies work can be summed up in a single sentence: the body is designed to stay alive. The mechanisms by which it achieves this are unbelievably resourceful and the result of numerous, highly complex interrelated systems.

    If I could outline a simple approach for anybody interested in changing their body composition, I’d recommend the following:

    1. Increase muscle mass (yes, women too) using exercise routines you find enjoyable. Muscle makes all the difference when it comes to physical appearance.
    2. Eat a variety of foods that give you pleasure and don’t over-indulge in anything.
    3. Spend time doing things you enjoy and are passionate about. In my view, stress has a considerable impact on body composition as well as mental well-being. The more time we focus on positive things, the happier our minds and bodies will be. Researchers seem to spend a lot of time comparing African or South American tribes to Westerners when it comes to diet and fitness. Dietary differences aside, I guarantee you that your average tribesman is way less stressed out than your average American.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Great comment and I totally agree. I just want to add, for anyone that might be confused reading this, there is not “good” cholesterol in eggs. Good and bad only refer to lipoproteins in the human body (LDL/HDL). All dietary cholesterol (free cholesterol) was exonerated from the heart disease discussion. 🙂

  4. Greg says:

    The article on carbohydrates is pretty interesting. I made particular note of the fructose comments in the opening paragraphs. If Taubes would have us eliminate fructose from our diets, that’s quite severe, given the other benefits of consuming fruits…

    I haven’t read either of the books, but they look like a great read. Your review is quite thorough though, and instructive. There’s ample evidence to support some of his suppositions. In particular, the comments about the poor correlation between a high fat diet and a heart disease. For instance, short/medium chain fatty acids (i.e. lauric) have been shown to increase HDL faster than LDL, which is a bit unique. Makes one take a hard look at coconut oil as a good option to use in cooking; particularly for those with “normal” blood lipid profiles.

    Brian’s comment about a lack of complete understanding is right on base. Not just the biochemical aspects, but the influence of genetics as well.

  5. On the subject of farmer’s markets, another point of view in the Times this weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/us/21farmers.html

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