how is Eat Drink and Be Healthy?
It's a great
book. It essentially says "There's been a lot of new research, and confusing results, but there are a few things that we are quite sure about, and here they are." It tells you what you should eat, and gives the study results to back things up. Much of it won't be new to us informed ER eaters, but it's a good summary and comprehensive guide.
It will make you mad at the government, because it shows you how the USDA's food pyramid is wrong (and as a result, many people have become obese), and the government has failed to correct it.
Here are the problems with the USDA's pyramid (Note, the pyramid is put out by the dept. of Agriculture, not the health department!):
1. The pyramid says that all fats are bad. In reality unsaturated fats are good for you. As a result, followers of the pyramid have reduced their intake of these good fats, and replaced them with bad carbohydrates.
2. The pyramid says that all "complex" carbohydrates are good. However, white bread, potatoes, white rice and non-whole-grain pasta are not much better than pure sugar. They produce a big high then a big low in blood sugar, the latter likely to result in snacking. Whole grain carbohydrates are good.
3. The pyramid lumps proteins such as red meat and cheese together with those such as fish and beans, whereas eating from the latter group is much healthier.
4. "Like the sphinx, the USDA pyramid is silent on four things you need to know about -- the importance of not gaining weight, the necessity of daily exercise, the potential health benefits of a daily alcoholic drink, and what you can gain by taking a daily multivitamin."
As a result of reading this book, I've stopped eating potatoes, and we now eat brown rice (got some Basmati brown rice that tastes good, though it takes an hour to cook), whole wheat tortillas, and whole wheat pasta (Barilla brand is good), and we make our bread with more whole wheat. We also eat more peanuts and less "multi-grain" wheat thins.
As with the switch to fat-free milk, I find that I'm not giving up much, if anything, in terms of flavor.
Here is the USDA pyramid discussed by the book:
Here is the recommended Healthy Eating Pyramid: