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After many years of being a no-red-meat Omnivore I read The China Study in 2008. Since then my way-of-eating (WOE) is well described by the following:

DAILY FARE April 8, 2016

Wrote this today in response to an inquiry. I pass it on for your consideration, your eye rolls, guffaws or what-have-you.

You asked a while back for some info on my diet. Low-fat, whole-food, plant-based. That's the mantra. Taken in reverse order. It's exclusively plant-based, the only thing from an animal might be a covert chicken or beef broth or similar ingredient which slips under my radar and I unwittingly get in a restaurant-prepared meal. Another possibility is a bit of gelatin in a medicine capsule. I realize these minuscule amounts, well...amount to nothing, but the longer I've been at this the more I simply try to get away from using animals as food or for any other purpose which is based on exploitation, speciesism, etc.

Whole-foods translates into, within practical limits, avoiding processed stuff. I still get my share of it, though doubtless much less than is present in the standard American diet. Salsa, shredded wheat cold cereal, soy and almond milk, whole wheat flour, cream of wheat, stevia, whole grain breads, wheat bran, wheat germ, corn starch, corn tortillas are a few of the processed things I use. There are others I'm simply not remembering at the moment.

Much of what I eat comes from the produce department. The cornucopia of colorful foods there supply flavor and the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants which, with the exception of B-12, eliminate the need for taking supplements so long as one gets judicious sun exposure for vitamin D. This all rests, often literally, on a bed of healthful, starchy carbs, e.g., brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, rice noodles, Bulgar wheat, couscous. The starches provide satiation and energy. They're a must. One would starve trying to survive on non-starchy vegetables. Other healthful starches are peas, beans, corn, the winter squashes (butternut, acorn, etc.) and all potatoes.

Finally, the low-fat aspect rests on elimination of all cooking oils which are equivalent to junk food in that they contain no protein, no carbohydrate, no minerals, scant vitamins. They are pure fat and, with the exception of canola oil they are all heavily weighted toward omega 6's and low in omega 3's which results in an inflammatory balance. So pure fat with little or no food value. One can’t survive on the stuff thus it’s junk, not food. It's virtually impossible to get one's dietary fat down to a healthful 10-15% of calories while continuing to use vegetable oils.

Here's the way this translated into today's lunch. Open-face oil-free hummus and green olive sandwich on 9-grain whole wheat bread. Small-chunk-cut steamed organic beets with beet greens in orange zest glaze. Roasted, home-grown asparagus spears with garlic powder. Supper tonight: Home-made, no-oil marinara over whole wheat spaghetti with a green salad. I'll likely microwave-steam a few florets of broccoli and toss in the marinara.

Eating this way provides a high quality insurance policy against developing nutritional-based health problems and that's good because there are still plenty of other ways to get sick.

Hope this is useful, Don

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Replies to "After many years of being a no-red-meat Omnivore I read The China Study in 2008. Since..."

Thanks for the China Study reference Don @thumperguy. I've not seen it so will add it to my upcoming reading list. For others who have not seen it, here is some information on the study - https://nutritionstudies.org/the-china-study/


Well, I applaud you for finding a “diet” that works for you and that you (hopefully) enjoy. I am familiar with the so called China diet and disagreed with a lot of It’s recommendations. I will never go completely vegan although my plates are usually 3/4s full with vegetables and I do have vegan days. I do eat some meat, chicken and fish but these proteins come from grass fed beef and sustainable waters . I buy mostly organic. I believe the source of all food is important to health. Moderation in all things is the best and yes, processed foods , excess sugars , white flour are all to be avoided.

However, not every vegetable is necessarily good for you. I rarely eat rice because of the possible arsenic exposure but I do have in my pantry. I have no problems with olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil in moderation. You know from reading that one week a particular food will be harmful and the next week it is good for you. Food experts never agree and everyone has their own biased slant on how we should eat to be healthier.

It’s no wonder people are confused and refuse to listen anymore. However, I agree that this country , with its massive obesity problems leading to other medical problems, is in serious trouble. Just avoiding processed foods (no fast food drive ins) and eating more vegetables would be a tremendous boost. There are more organic groceries than ever before so maybe people are evolving. It’s up to each individual to take an interest in and research the role of food in their life because your health care provider isn’t necessarily going to give you any information. Change one bad food habit you have today and you will start to feel the difference.....as long as you know what the bad food habit is.

You know, I could write a book or do a study lol. But then it would be lost among all the other thousands of books and studies out there. I don’t suggest to people how they can change their food habits or even tell them about mine...unless they ask.

FL Mary