Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Choosey Moms Choose Jif!

So today I ran across this article. And for some reason this guy kinda pissed me off. Of course, I am on South Beach and it was recommended (STRONGLY) by my doctor.

The first thing he says is
"as a physician with over two decades of clinical experience who is highly respected for my dietary program, with a New York Times bestseller of my own, and most importantly, who maintains strict adherence to the Hippocratic oath to "first do no harm" -- I would never recommend The South Beach Diet to any of my patients. In fact, I’d like to warn everyone about the dangers of adopting Dr. Agatston’s popular diet"

My doctor is a women's health doctor and talked strongly about people with insulin absorption problems (like me, and her) and people who are "pre-diabetic" (also like me) and she spent over 30 minutes with me discussing the why and how of the whole thing. Then I borrowed the South Beach Book and started reading. Things are logical in the book. And I am not saying that a person can't make just about anything sound logical, but really, it makes sense. And after 6 days on the diet I lose 10 pounds, stop craving carbs, and am AMAZED at the difference in my energy level, my complexion, my sleeping habits, and even more things that are personal and I won't mention here. And after you complete the first phases you can begin to add back whole grain foods and fruits, in moderation. And I know through my mom, with her experiences with breast cancer, that a diet that is high in whole grains is essential to the prevention of many women's cancers, including endometrial cancer and breast cancer. The entire world now "knows" that, as even cereals like General Mills are working to incorporate (and advertise) that they have more whole grains.

Okay, so this doctor from Illinois writes this article about how the South Beach Diet is bad. Now first, let me say that this doctor has his OWN book published with his own diet methods. Now, because I have never even heard of it, and I wonder if he might just be a little... hmmmm jealous? Insanely? I don't know. Just a thought. Of course he IS on the New York Times Bestseller list (at least that's what his article says) but it is interesting to me that he is bashing south beach... and recommending his own diet. And I guess there is just SOMETHING in the way that he wrote the article that makes me think he is a little strange. I don't mind that he wants to do a little "expose" on South Beach, but the fact that he is doing it by tearing the South Beach Diet into "teeny tiny little bits and pieces" and shamelessly plugging his own diet book at the same time? Hmmm.... and maybe his book is good, I don't know... but the whole situation is certainly- Interesting.

So in his article full of reasons NOT to follow the South Beach Diet, he discusses things like
"Dr. Agatston recommends fish, displaying absolutely no understanding that nearly all fish from every type of water source are now contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury and PCBs from generations."
Okay. Um.... It doesn't take a doctor to know that. Don't we all know that? Don't we all as women know that is why doctor's don't want pregnant women not eating too much fish? Hello? So step one, the South Beach Diet is bad because it recommends more fish in your diet but doesn't talk about the dangerous levels of mercury and PCBs in fish. But we all KNOW there are dangerous levels in fish. Does this mean that we don't eat Fish? NO! It means that we eat it in moderation! We KNOW this. The south beach diet says that you can enjoy fish, and chicken breasts, and turkey, and lean red meat. It doesn't say "overindulge in fish all day every day."

He also says
"Dr. Agaston freely advocates commercial pasteurized milk. He is obviously unaware of the major problems many people have with pasteurized casein and its prevalence as one of the most common food allergies (further, as he is positioning himself as a dietary expert, he should be aware and note that many people aren't even yet aware they have this allergy). "
And then he goes on to recommend that we drink unpasteurized milk instead. Um Yeah, what you just heard was DEFINITELY Louis Pasteur rolling over in his grave. I understand that people have milk allergies. But the GENERAL PUBLIC does not have milk allergies, and to suggest that the south beach diet should go into detail about how we should drink unpasteurized milk instead, and generalize that the whole world should drink unpasteurized milk, isn't that as bad (or worse) than making a blanket suggestion that we should drink PASTEURIZED milk? For god's sake man! Why would we all want to drink unpasteurized milk? Maybe if they were my cows, and I walked out and milked them myself and therefore know what the cows ate, if they were given medicines, and how the milk was handled.... But not just going to drink any old unpasteurized milk. Speak for your self.

Then he goes on to say

"Dr. Agatston promotes the concept that I have long recommended and detail in my TOTAL HEALTH Program--there are good carbs that you should be consuming and bad carbs you should avoid. But then, on the simplest levels, he gets the "good" carbs wrong, including promoting both whole grain breads and fruits as good carbs. This advice can seriously impair the health of the millions of people in this country with sub clinical gluten sensitivity. It is also a prescription for disaster for the large number who have high carbohydrate sensitivity and struggle with controlling their insulin. It is best that ALL grains and sugars (fruits, as opposed to vegetables, have high sugar content) be avoided until insulin levels are normalized."

So basically because there are a large number of people who have sub clinical gluten sensitivity, we should not partake in whole grain breads and fruits, which the South Beach Diet Recommends in moderation after you have completed phase 1. MODERATION being one serving a day while in phase two. And even though we know these prevent cancer and promote colon health, we shouldn't risk eating them in case we have a food allergy or sensitivity that we don't know about. Mmmmm'kay.

So to top it all off, if you don't think this doctor from Illinois is an organic tree-hugging freak, read what he has to say about peanut butter:

"Dr. Agaston continues to display his lack of nutritional awareness by advocating peanut butter on page 49 as a good source of monounsaturated fat and the polyphenolic bioflavanoid, resveratrol. While I am a fan of both of these nutritional items, it is very important to pay attention to the quality of the peanut butter, and the type of peanuts in general. He does advise to avoid peanut butters with added sugar and to use only all-natural peanut butter (though he ought to expand a bit on why -- peanuts are probably the crop most heavily sprayed with pesticides in the world, for instance). But he fails to mention one of the most serious peanut issues of all and make recommendations accordingly: most peanuts are very susceptible to contamination by afflatoxin, a carcinogenic mold spore, and so you should seek to restrict peanut butter (and any type of peanut product) consumption to Valencia peanuts only. This species grows in dry climates, which seriously restricts the growth of afflatoxin. Fortunately, Arrowhead Mills Organic Peanut Butter (which you can find in many stores now) meets both qualifications."

Okay, so we should only eat Peanut Butter with Valencia Peanuts grown by Arrowhead Mills- and this isn't a plug? Do you think he gets free peanut butter? What is up with that? And it is interesting that he decides to attack Dr Agaston on peanut butter when the diet allows for two tablespoons of peanut butter as a good source of protein. Um, yeah because it is. And I am not sure that peanut butter from regular old peanuts is what will kill us off. I think the driving fast, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, gun violence, and um maybe the end of the freaking world via armageddon or terrorism might just do us in before that nasty Jif peanut butter will!

So basically this doctor says that because no food is safe, we should all stay away from the South Beach diet. We should eat everything organic. Let's quit our jobs and stay home all day barefoot in the fields and grind our own flour and churn our own butter. Why not? (**I am really not that against Organic, I am just saying that Organic is NOT an argument against south beach. No where in the book does Dr. Agaston mention that you Should or shouldn't eat organic. Maybe that's because he figures that you will make that determination on your own.) Now I am sure that most of you could give a shit about this post, but I just had to share how ridiculous this man sounded in his arguments against South Beach.

Let's recap. No fish and seafood. It's bad for you. No Peanut butter unless it is Valencia Peanut butter and organic (where is that in the grocery store again?) and absolutely rethink drinking pasteurized milk, because it's also bad for you. And STAY AWAY from Whole grains and fruits. Really. You must do these things.

Nevermind that eating fish and peanut butter and whole grains and fruits is much safer than the pre-packaged, high sugar, loaded with Grease and saturated fat crap we are already stuffing our bodies with. Not to mention that the South Beach Diet is totally liveable. I mean you could actually ENJOY and AFFORD to eat these things, without having to hike to the nearest organic store to scan the labels for Valencia Peanuts to make sure that there are pesticides or spores in your peanut butter.

Let me just say that the South Beach diet actually works because it is feasible and do-able. And because it changes the way that you see the things you eat. It really is more of a lifestyle change than a "diet" - Just like Tina said.

Oh and might I mention this is the second post since the conception of this blog, that mentiones Jif Peanut Butter? That means I am established, right? Here's the First.

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