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live long OR enjoy food

would you rather eat tofu and no fat no taste food ( as a foodie type person ithink it like living in hell) and live to be 86
or eat anything and everything ( i am not talking about eating your self to 400 lbs) with no care about cal. chol. fat etc JUST CARE ABOUT TASTE but... die at 68

my vote is 68

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  1. The latter. Even if you make it 58.

    1. eat anything and everything. No hell on earth for me(so Ill keep up my steady diet of rare prime beef, crab legs, bbq pork, whole milk, heavy cream fried foods, butter, tequilla, & beer).

      I'd rather be dead rather than the prospect of choking down tofu, or a vegetarian diet. Or god forbid a diet that does not allow pork for some odd reason.

      1. Anything and everything!

        You might even live longer than 68 simply because you'd be happier.

        1. I love tofu (deep fried is good!) so I guess I'll be happy and live longer. Tofu gets a bad rap.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Humbucker

            The whole notion that only greasy unhealthy food is tasty, is a bum rap. I get really tired of this false dichotomy.

            1. re: cmkdvs

              I'd vote for the 68 and up until recently I've been in the eat anything and everything camp. Then during a doctor visit I had borderline high blood pressure and that put a different spin on things. I now pay attention to how much sodium I consume and as such have started to avoid a lot of processed foods. I've been making a lot more things from scratch and they taste so much better than processed! I still eat food for the taste, but find myself being a bit more careful in my selections and I'm still happy! No if I had to radically shift to nearly no sodium, very low fat, low sugar diet, then I think I would be miserable.

              1. re: Rick

                That's the best of both worlds and smart.

                1. re: Rick

                  I hear you buddy, but I'm diabetic, and the sugar thing had to stop. But, amazingly, I went on the low carb diet (no rice, no spuds, only whole wheat pasta, maybe one or two slices of whole wheat bread a day), and my blood sugar numbers went through the floor. I take half the meds I used to take, my numbers are great, and at 51, I'm looking at another 20 years, which should let me meet my grandchildren!

                  Do I miss ice cream, cake, doughnuts, and my wife's amazing cookies? Absolutely. Is it worth it to have an extra few years with my incredible daughters? ABSOLUTELY!!

                2. re: cmkdvs

                  Not all fat is bad for you, the notion that deep fried or just fried food is "unhealthy" is just plain wrong. There are many variables in the equation. Sugar and flour are the bad guys.

              2. Well I'm 61 and I really do want to live long enough to see my grandson (to be born in April) graduate college. And my husband who had bypass surgery in 2000 and had to cut back his caloric intake, is alive and healthy, and I want him around for a long time. We did change our diet, and we really did increase our exercise, although we are not perfect practitioners of an absolutely healthy lifestyle.

                Some of us have inherited tendencies toward diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure. If we eat anything w/o regard to health we might deprive our dependents and loved ones of our presence in their lives; also our last years could be difficult for us and our caregivers because we did not take care of ourselves when we were younger.

                And there's this: eating healthy can be really delicious!

                1. I wish to live long AND enjoy food. I don't believe it's an either/or question.Truly, some of the freshest, most delicious food is also the least detrimental.


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cayjohan

                    Hmmm, I guess I'd have to choose living to 86 -- I guess peanut butter is out? -- and hope at that time they come out with a magic pill that will let me eat all the ice cream and all the donuts I want.

                    1. re: dolores

                      Hey Dolores,

                      I buy "Just Peanuts" peanut butter (it's a house brand here in Canada). It's low in sugar, and carbs - the only draw back is you have to keep it refrigerated, and depending on how often you eat it, you may have to stir, as the oil tends to separate. That said, I find it very tasty (I really like crunchy peanut butter), and on whole wheat bread with a smear of jelly, it's a great sandwich.

                      So with you on the ice cream/doughnuts thing! Medical science - please advance!!

                      1. re: KevinB

                        Hi Kevin. I tried natural peanut butters, but don't like the separation that occurs. I always refrigerate my PB, since that makes it harder for me to eat it. Yes, I am obsessed with PB. I refrigerated the natural PB, and didn't like the grainy texture of them.

                        For different health reasons, I went on my own version of the 'meat sweater' diet seven years ago, but could not maintain it exclusively. I identified a list of certain carbs about which I was obsessive, and cannot have them in the house. Peanuts and PB are on the bottom of the list, so I allow myself them. In addition, the dog loves PB, so I can't deny him, right??

                        As might be obvious, at the top of my 'cannot have in the house' list are ice cream and donuts.

                        1. re: dolores

                          The trick with natural peanut butter is to store it out of the refrigerator until you're ready to open it. While storing it, make sure the lid is on tight then flip the jar every couple of days and have it upside down the day you open it.

                  2. Well it's a false choice! My husband and I eat great. We enjoy food and I think I'm a pretty good cook. I've eaten vegan and vegetarian food that tasted fantastic and some that had no taste at all - same for carnivorous food. It's all in who does the cooking!! Some people who call themselves vegan cooks haven't got a clue just like some people who try to cook meat and potatoes. There's gourmet and there's crap in both worlds. You've obviously eaten vegan crap. Too bad. When you're living on a restricted diet because of diabetes or a heart condition or your life or you have half your insides cut out because of colon cancer you may have to change you eat habits anyway. It's a no win situation when you live in denial. You can convince yourself that vegans are suffering out there with tasteless meals and feel better about missing half your life (or suffering through the latter part of it) but for most of us it just aint so.

                    3 Replies
                      1. re: sueatmo

                        CMKDVS's words are precisely the ones that came to my mind: A false dichotomy, an utterly false dichotomy. Food is good for you; if you stop eating it, THAT's when you die. To consider every single food either poison or medicine, as many modern, affluent people seem to do, is not only bad for your health but a kind of living hell in itself.

                      2. re: lincat

                        So right! Sci-fi writer Ted Sturgeon postulated "Sturgeon's Law" - "90% of everything is crap". Haven't found much to refute it!

                      3. Can I answer both? I choose to eat a balanced diet that includes everything in moderation...Happy & Healthy!

                        1. There are so many ways to enjoy food that won't necesairly lead to death at 68, and likewise , living a long life does not mean a person choke down cardboard for the rest of their meals. Life really is a balance of all things in moderation. But you may just call me crazy because tofu and rabbit food taste good to me!

                          1. Add me to false dichotomy camp. The myth that food that's good for you tastes bad is just that -- a myth, or to use a more applicable logical fallacy phrase, an over-generalization. The corollary -- that food that tastes good is bad for you -- is also a logical fallacy.

                            Some of the food that tastes good is bad for you, and some of it is good for you. And vice-versa.

                            Better questions for you to propose may be:

                            1) Would you eat something that tastes good even if it's unhealthy.
                            2) Would you eat something that tastes bad even if it's healthy.

                            For me there several answers. In general -- it depends. Basically I try to eat healthy in order to eat things that aren't. I sacrifice nothing to eat healthy foods taste-wise, but there are things I like to eat that are unhealthy. Oh - and I love tofu.

                            There's also a false dilemma in lumping all foods as one or the other. Both taste and healthy are spectrums and there's no direct connection.

                            1. Let me see.....

                              Fried Chicken or Steamed Chicken
                              Red Meat or No Red Meat
                              Beef Burger or Veggie Burger
                              Foie Gras or No Foie Gras
                              Butter or No Butter
                              Ice Cream or No Ice Cream
                              Cake or No Cake
                              Salt or No Salt
                              Sauce or No Sauce.........

                              You get the idea.........68 for me.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: fourunder

                                right, but who is eating the fried chicken, red meat, butter, foie gras, etc, plain? if one cooks these items it is usual to serve with something that complements them, ie.e. salads, cooked vegetables, grains,etc. who wouldn't get sick of eating only saturated fat?

                                1. re: fara

                                  If this were an alternate universe and we wouldn't drop dead from doing so, I for one wouldn't get sick of eating only saturated fat.

                                  That said, I don't only because of a weight issue. And that said, I hope in 5 years they come out with a pill that will allow me to live only on ice cream.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    Amen. I feel the same. Except I want to live off of cheese <g>

                                    1. re: dolores

                                      really? i mean maybe you should try this for a week and see how you feel about it then. i'm not saying this to be mean, nor am I judging, I'm just wondering whether that craving might be satisfied once you completely gave into it. i mean you will feel nutritionally deprived and/or sick after a couple days at most.

                                      1. re: fara

                                        I'm pretty sure Dolores was kidding, although the all ice cream diet sounds ok to me. But if you read her other posts, she wouldn't actually do that because 1. she enjoys other foods too much and 2. she couldn't run up a big enough tab on ice cream to allow her to overtip in the manner to which she's accustomed.

                                        1. re: fara

                                          I did, fara. After I was done with a severe diet, I had ice cream for dinner. For awhile.

                                          I loved it. But the free pass on calories didn't last long, and I now eat it in moderation.

                                          Good point, JonParker. I enjoy most foods, with the exception of healthy ones and those 'good' for me, almost as much as I enjoy ice cream and donuts and peanut butter...and overtipping.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            if you enjoy a variety of foods than it's easier for you to lose weight.if you are not already doing so, try eating lots of vegetables, with moderate starch, with plenty of fats, and cutting down sugar almost entirely. also cut meat way down. you should be able to lose weight if it's the fats you love. lots of people lose weight on small portion ( and/or high fiber) high fat diets.

                                        2. re: dolores

                                          If this was a really well designed alternate universe, we'd have to eat to stay slim! But then, human nature being what it is, it would probably be fashionable to be fat. <sigh>

                                    2. well we have some good answers from all of you
                                      it was a combo question 1 to add a little fun and 2 to get perspectives on a lot of us incl. me on the forum

                                      i really hope all of you felt/feel the same about this

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: foodperv

                                        Absolutely, a very nice question, foodperv. Of course, since I want it all...well, I want it all!!! I figure the longer I can hang on, the smarter science will become. Since I equate smart science with more ice cream and more donuts, well...you know where my priorities are!

                                        1. re: dolores

                                          I figure I'll live long enough by eating healthily and exercising intelligently to see global warming and the greenhouse gas buildup wreak havoc on the world, and the resulting collapse of civilization and ascendancy of super bacteria will make my last years a living hell. So maybe I'll eat a few extra oreos today and drink "whole" milk with them. ;-D

                                        1. My grandmother is 95 and has eaten whatever she wanted all of her life. She looked after my mom, sister, and me when we had the flu and never caught it. In fact, I was in my early 20s the first time I remember her ever being sick and she had bronchitis then. Ten years ago, she had to have surgery to remove some blockage from the arteries in her neck and has had some thyroid issues. However, she still lives alone, cooks, and drives to visit people, to the grocery store, or whatever she wants to do within 30 miles or so of home. Lately, she has been cooking less and is starting to need some help but goodness, I am only 34 and have never been as healthy as she is. She was never overweight and worked hard gardening and stuff in the summers. She grew up on a farm, married a farmer and moved to his family farm. Today, she still lives on the same land. This is in Georgia where they truly do cook a lot like Paula Deen on a regular basis. I would say her secret is to stay active while eating the food she enjoys.

                                          1. I'm going to enjoy it. All things in moderation though. Just because it is delicious and wonderful does not mean you need to be a pig.

                                            1. And what's wrong with great genes, eat what you want, and live to be 100?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                Not a thing wrong with that, if that's the hand life dealt you. Life dealt me crappy genes and I have ZERO desire to live to be 100.

                                              2. I'd choose the latter but I can't eat what I want because I gain weight in a heartbeat. On the other hand, when I die, I die, whatever-I know where I'm going so it doesn't really matter when!

                                                1. I like tofu, I like fat, I like a lot of different foods! If I eat too much of my "indulgence foods" (fried chicken, cake, deep fried dough, chicharrons, sausage, etc, etc,) then I start to feel sluggish and unwell, so I find balance is the key for me.

                                                  If I could only eat tasty bad-for-you foods all the time, and knew I'd die at 68, that wold be fine. 68 is a nice life. The problem comes when people start dying at 50 or 40. then I start to wonder.

                                                  And this question presumes that one just outright dies. If that were true, I might be able to deal with the 40 or 50 life-span. The biggest problem for me is that a lot of people don't die, they become ill. And they have to live with disability, and lots of medical procedures, and pain. I have seen both sides of disease, both as a doctor and a patient, and I can tell you that sometimes, death is a mercy. Losing your autonomy, losing your ability to enjoy things that you used to love, being dependent on friends and family for the simplest things, these can all be difficult to deal with.

                                                  Well, sorry to put a downer on things, I actually am really enjoying this thread. But because of the above reasons, I have to put myself in the moderation camp. But notice I'm not putting myself into the completely in the health food camp! I am still a hedonist at heart...

                                                  21 Replies
                                                  1. re: moh

                                                    Totally agree with you about the moderation, leaning towards the healthy side. I've refrained from posting because this is a hypothetical situation and there are so many variables involved. The reality is it is a rare situation that one can eat whatever he or she wants with no ill effects and drop dead at the age of 68. Quality of life is so important. People generally take it for granted until they become ill. I have seen it time and time again. I also have worked and dealt with people with such a terrible quality of life that death is welcome. When you lose quality of life, you generally lose your appetite for any food. And eating healthy doesn't guarantee you a long life either. There are so many variables to health and wellness. But eating well can definitely help.

                                                    And I think that "healthy" food such as tofu is mighty damn tasty!

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                      Quite right, Miss Needle. And then there was the famous 'healthy' runner who dropped dead at a young age.

                                                      So, as Julia Child, bless her heart, said: everything in moderation. I no longer deny myself the carbs whose abolishment made possible my weight loss. I also no longer eat meat in the quantity I did before.

                                                      You are very right, it's the quality that counts, not the quantity. Unless, as I said, the extreme quantity allows science to find a way to allow me to live exclusively on ice cream, donuts and peanut butter!

                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                        Tofu is a lot of things, but I think it's the first time I've seen it described as "mighty damn tasty".

                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                          But it is mighty damn tasty! you just have to prepare it right! using it as a protein source in as "white person" diet salad ain't right. Using it as a hamburger meat substitute ain't right. But: ma po tofu, tofu fa, deep fried tofu, in miso soups, boiled tofu with korean yang nom jang sauce, inari sushi, sun du bu ji gae, oh the list goes on, well, yes, it is mighty damn tasty!

                                                          1. re: moh

                                                            It's not the tofu that's 'mighty damn tasty" but the seasonings and spices. Have a hunk of tofu on a plate..not damn tasty at all.

                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                              I understand your point, but I would argue that this is true about other protein sources as well. A hunk of chicken without any seasoning at all would also be quite boring. Similarly, beef and pork may have more inherent flavour, but still require at least some salt to be interesting. One of the dishes I mentioned, boiled tofu with yang nom jang sauce is a hunk of tofu on a plate, and yes there is a very tasty sauce, but I also enjoy the flavour and texture of the boiled tofu. It is a subtle taste, but it is delicious. And to fu fa, the Chinese soft tofu dessert, is a very simple dish of warm tofu with a ginger syrup, and there you can appreciate the lovely texture of tofu in all its glory. I prefer tofu as a protein source to chicken (with the exception of roast chicken, such a marvelous way to eat chicken! You should look up the thread for Carswell's version of Roast chicken with Seville oranges and cumin on the Wine board, now that is good eating)

                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                I would disagree about other proteins.....IMO tofu is mighty tasty the same way plain flour is. My guess is we'll have to agree to disagree.

                                                              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                I've got to agree with Moh. Tofu is probably the most maligned protein source out there. There are so many different types of tofu. Had some Japanese artisanal tofu a couple of weeks ago at $5 a hunk that was so good. It was substantial, creamy and custardy. It didn't need more than some good tamari, scallions and sesame oil on it. The star was the tofu.

                                                                Although I'll admit that when I was a kid, I loved pan-fried tofu. It was the perfect vehicle for ketchup. What kid doesn't like ketchup?

                                                                btw, in Asia people don't eat tofu in the copious amounts that Americans tend to eat it. Too much tofu isn't considered healthy.

                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                  I was reading along enjoying all of the mental images of tofu and lucious sauces and techniques for preparing it, then I came upon your tofu with ketchup, Miss Needle. I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that one. The sins of childhood! '-)

                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                    i am sorry for using tofu as a target
                                                                    i do like it , but i find it is probably the easiest target to relate to
                                                                    and that is the only reason i used it
                                                                    i hope you understand my reason here (not really to put tofu down as such) thanks

                                                                    1. re: foodperv

                                                                      Sure, I understand what you mean. It is difficult to find a universally disliked "healthy" food. Every food, no matter how vile it sounds to one, will have its supporters. My vote is for straight up kale juice.

                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                        Or wheat germ. Does anyone really like the flavour of wheat germ i wonder?

                                                                        1. re: moh

                                                                          Interesting question. I've always figured that when things don't taste good, it's nature's way of telling us not to eat it.

                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                            "I've always figured that when things don't taste good, it's nature's way of telling us not to eat it."

                                                                            Well, I'm not sure I can completely agree on this point. There are plenty of medicinal foods that don't taste great but are good for you. There are many Asian dishes based on these sorts of ingredients, and are part of the Asian traditions of medicine. Some of these items can be very bitter tasting, and you wouldn't necessarily eat them based on taste. A common example is Ginseng, which has a bitter herbal taste, but is commonly used in tea and soups. It ain't chocolate, that's for sure!

                                                                            Also, there are plenty of things that taste great, but that Nature should be telling us not to eat. I say that as I continue a fried-food eating week. Tastes great, but I should not be eating all this stuff...

                                                                            1. re: moh

                                                                              I think our ancestors found that a lot of bitter items in nature were poisonous. Perhaps that is why a lot of people have aversions for the taste bitter.

                                                                              I agree with Moh about a lot of medicinal items being bitter. I remember my mom used to say that medicine is bitter (she was talking metaphorically as well literally). In some Asian cultures, in order for balance, you need to stimulate the five tastes -- sour, bitter, sweet, pungent/spicy and salty. If these five tastes aren't in balance, illness can ensue. It seems that most Americans definitely get a lot of sweet and salty in their diet, but not a lot of bitter. A lot of people generally shun bitter things -- salting the eggplant to get rid of the bitter juices, boiling kale before sauteeing to reduce its bitterness.

                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                The late 20th and early 21st Century "Me" culture of self indulgence is what has done away with things that may not be pleasant but are "good for you." Asian cultures never had the corner on that market! When I was a little kid, that same infamous step-grandmother who dragged me across manhole covers in Chinatown, SF, while telling me about Tong Warriors who would pop out and shanhai me if I wasn't good also had an arsenal of potions she pushed at me by the tablespoonsful. Didn't take me long to learn never never ever to sneeze or have a stomach ache around her if I didn't want large doses of castor oil or cod liver oil pushed down my throat!

                                                                          2. re: moh

                                                                            I'm afraid that's me. When I was young, I used to eat wheatgerm by the spoonful by itself.

                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                              Whoops! I'm sorry, i didn't mean wheat germ. I was referring to that Wheat grass drink, the green stuff. icck. I guess there must be some people who like it, but it ain't my cup of tea.

                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                Oh yeah. I find wheatgrass pretty gross as well. Best done as a shot. Not really meant to be sipped and savored.

                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                  I'm one of the odd ones who actually like wheat grass. One spoonful every now & then. It was a staple in mother's pantry.

                                                                                  But, as my grandfather and everyone else has said, "Everything in moderation."

                                                            2. re: moh

                                                              I understand completely what you're saying about quality of life, but short of total paralysis (and even with, considering Stephen Hawking), there are wonderful and amazing people who do manage to have great qualities in their lives despite what the rest of us would consider overwhelming adversity. I think personal outlook is even more important than quality of life.

                                                              As far as foods and diet are concerned, we are learning more and more all the time about what is good for us. I have never given up butter simply because I didn't like margarine, but now "science" is saying that most margarines are not as good for us as butter. Yay for my side. I love beef, grew up on it, and now science shows that grass fed beef has the same omega 3 benefits as salmon. But once other foods are introduced into the bovine diet, those benefits disappear. Okay. So I eat less beef and pay more for what I do eat, but it's good food. You do have to keep yourself educated, but even more importantly, you have to use common sense. The idiot who thought it would be more cost effective to turn bovines into carnivores by feeding them meal made from slaughter house leftovers is the idiot who is responsible for mad cow disease. So you do have to stay abreast of whats happening in the world of agribusiness, then make choices based on your own common sense.

                                                            3. Hmm, while I can understand why most CHers would choose 68 and this being the NOT ABOUT FOOD section...here's why I would choose 86.

                                                              My grandmother lived to 92 and I appreciated ALL of the great years I had with her, she kept a low fat diet but did not deny herself the foods she enjoyed, she just did everything in moderation. She also did not like red meat so much, so beef and pork were very limited in her diet. When she passed I felt at peace because she got to see great grandchildren grow up.

                                                              My dad who had a less discriminating diet only lived to 65 (not that it was all due to diet), and I can tell you it was VERY sad for me & my family. 68 is very young in these modern times and an extra 18 years is a BIG diff.

                                                              So I personally would forego the extra cheese, butter, foie gra, pork belly (yummy i know!!) etc...to have more quality years with family & friends.

                                                              1. I loved a guy who denied himself nothing and he dropped dead at 52.
                                                                So my vote is - live well in moderation.
                                                                And anyway, I like tofu.

                                                                1. Here's jfood philosophy.

                                                                  Eat what you want, when you want, in moderation and if you overdo it there is exercise and drugs.

                                                                  And as far as how this will +/- his end game, he'll get back to you when he finds out.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. Gee, 68 is really old, huh?
                                                                    I read an interview with one of CH management people who said that the median age for CH was mid-30s so I guess to most of you that seems pretty ancient - like twice your age. It isn't old. Not by a long shot.
                                                                    Dr. Pritikin, an early health nut who preached low-fat diets etc., dropped dead jogging at 53. Julia Child ate butter, eggs, cream, red meat, wine and anything else she wanted including food from McDonald's and lived happily to 93.
                                                                    People in my family live into their late 80s and 90s, driving, playing golf, traveling, eating what they want, chasing their spouses around the house and generally enjoying life. Good genes.
                                                                    Eat a sensible diet. Exercise. Be happy. Don't fight with other people. Don't drink too much. Go outside. Grow a garden. Give time to a charity, not just money. Vote in every election. Read everything you can lay your hands on, even stuff you disagree with. Laugh out loud. Have sex. Play in the rain. Every now and then, tell somebody to go to hell - politely. Never eat anything you don't like. Even if you live to be 100, live is too short to be miserable. Enjoy it and you'll live longer. Bacon is good for you.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                                                      Makingsense well put
                                                                      and as i said about 1/2 way through this survey of sort
                                                                      it was just for a lillte laugh ,a little fun and it gives each person who reads this a little feel for each other

                                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                                        Good advice for us all, and very well said.

                                                                      2. If I couldn't eat, drink, and smoke to excess, why WOULD I want to live? When it's my time, just give me some drugs to ease the pain and let my ass go.

                                                                        My wife is just the opposite: exercises religiously and has for years and eats all of the tasteless organic foods (no knock on organic, she just sucks as a cook). I'd slash my wrists if I had to live like that.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. I guess I'm lucky to like so much different stuff that having to cut back on all those lovely simple carbs - French bread, mashed potatoes, REAL pasta (though Dreamfields is pretty damn good), biscuits'n'gravy - has left me with only, oh I'd say two or three jillion things I can eat that I really like, if I want my pre-diabetic condition to slide no further.

                                                                          It's not TOTALLY a false dichotomy if, like me, you prefer the fatter cuts and the richer sauces, and expect to find Heaven's best feature to be the brunch buffet. Still, as I've made it to damn near 68 already (ten months to go!) and am actually getting healthier, I figure I'll just keep up the balancing act and ride that as long as I can...

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                            Good genes trump "bad eating" and many other pleasures of the flesh.

                                                                            1. re: beevod

                                                                              I also like this question, foodperv. I understand that obviously you don't feel so polarized on the subject, but the parameters you set force us to think about what we really value. Do we have to choose one or the other? Of course not, but what if we did, which would you choose? Something that made me really think, actually. And assuming I could still exercise and felt healthy eating whatever I wanted, I would say that I would chose the shorter path. Then again, I'm 20 years old and will concede that I have a lot to learn about what matters in life.

                                                                              1. re: notgreg

                                                                                Congratulations! You're miles ahead of the pack simply by recognizing your youth. Smart kid. Very smart kid..!

                                                                          2. When I saw this I thought of Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper(?). All the healthy stuff that he tried to eat was bad and all the unhealthy stuff was good for you...I can't help but think of how perceptions have changed in 10 years - Eat butter cause its better than margarine - Drink red wine cause its got all these anti oxidants; drink coffee cause the caffeine is good for you - skip one kind of a fat for a different one.
                                                                            But I do care about taste and to make good foods taste good is my primary objective in eating. If I sub oregano for salt and it tastes better thats where I'll go.

                                                                            1. Although I've about 50 lbs. overweight (sigh), we do eat a low-salt and low oil diet anyway. We do it because it's good for us and because we might as well get used to it now because eventually... we're probably all going to be prescribed the same dietary restrictions! My weight is because I struggle with portion control.

                                                                              I guess I'm voting for 86 as long as I'm otherwise healthy. My mom was the cook in the family; she made sure that we ate veggies and wouldn't allow candy, chips, or soda in the house. She got cancer and died at 62. We were in shock because my dad is 17 years older, so he was a widower at 79. He must have felt like a kid after my mom passed away because he told me (the once-a-week grocery shopper) to buy him bags of potato chips and gallons of ice cream, which I did... I'm talking about six containers of Dreyer's at a time! He indulged for years... he wouldn't do it a lot, and his food of choice would come and go in cycles... sometimes it would be pies, other times pound cakes, but when it was dinner time, he'd have a drumstick or some lean beef with leafy greens. 10 years later, he has heart issues (at 89!). He gets angioplasty and of course the dietary lessons, but you also had to keep in mind his age and living life to the fullest, right? On his 90th birthday, he's in the cardiac care unit (aka CCU). I come by with his dinner (with his doctor's okay). It's roast duck on rice! He had a wonderful 90th birthday before getting that pacemaker put in the next day (or two). He lived another 3 years following the low salt, low oil diet about 1/2 the time, while the other parts of the time telling his caregiver to go buy the BBQ pork and duck but "don't tell my daughter because she'll scold me." Towards his last days, his favorite food item was giant prawns (the 6 in a lb. ones).

                                                                              My dad truly enjoyed his food; when you watch him eat, you can tell that he is savoring every bite. I can tell that my DD does the same thing. There were many times when we (not just parents but friends and relatives) would watch her eat something and then decide to eat the same thing but find out it's not as good as she has portrayed... in these cases, most of the time it's fruit (ie finding out the strawberries were sour or the plums were hard).

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: boltnut55

                                                                                Yeah, health is a funny thing. There's no exact science. There are things out there that are beyond our control. My mom led a healthy lifestyle (ate well, exercised, never smoked, rarely drank, etc.), but died in her 50s due to a very aggressive cancer. In fact, three months before diagnosis, her doctor called her the "model" of health -- 5'6" 130 lbs, 110/70 BP, all blood tests within normal range. But after diagnosis, she passed away a few weeks later. Luckily, for the first 50-something years of her life, she led a relatively healthy one. I've seen people with terrible illnesses/conditions who live with a lot of pain. My grandfather got a stroke in his 40s (probably due to his excessive drinking and eating) and lived a very painful life until he died in his 60s. My other grandfather died in his 40s from his excessive lifestyle as well. So for those of you who think that you can treat your body like crap and die at 68 -- it's not always the case.

                                                                                I do believe in eating healthy most of the time. It seems that some people equate healthy food with rabbit food. But I believe you can savor healthy food as well. I love steamed tofu, brown rice and greens with soy and sesame oil. I love my asparagus soup. Not everything has to be deep-fried and sugar-laden for it taste good.

                                                                                But I also like my french fries and chocolate cake as well. However, I don't eat like that all the time. But I'm not going to deny myself that pleasure once in a while. Life is meant to be enjoyed. People just need to find the right balance between control and hedonism.

                                                                              2. I'm 46 years old and thanks to a severe cardiac condition(congenital) I am on the transplant list. I'm perfectly healthy otherwise- good BP and cholesterol, no diabetes, etc.
                                                                                I'm busy eating all the stuff - raw oysters, alcohol, fried foods and fresh fruits that will be forbidden after the surgery!
                                                                                Life is short and a healthy, holier than thou diet does NOT equate a longer, healthier life necessarily. Damn the torpedoes; fukll speed ahead!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: mollydingle

                                                                                  God speed on the transplant list, Molly! Next week I start a loooooong drawn out dental procedure during which time I expect to subsist on chicken broth and strained yogurt, so today I made a raid on Sam's club and got myself the biggest fattest lobster tail ever seen by man, a couple of huge king crab legs (one with claw), then stopped at my favorite halal butcher and got some lamb shanks, and this weekend is pigout time! LOL! I'm due for a cholesterol study next week too. I will forewarn my cardiologist about the potential high reading. Enjoy your feasting! I'm sure I will. '-)

                                                                                  1. re: mollydingle

                                                                                    Great news about your transplant. And, with the success that is just beginning to be seen with so called "Chimera" treatments for kidney transplant patients, there is real potential for all transplant patients eventually being able to live without needing the transplant rejection suppression drug regimen that has been the standard of after care to this point. Best of luck to you.

                                                                                  2. My husband and I are long-time (25+years and 15+ years respectively) vegans and I'm gluten-free. We eat lots of wonderful food and plan to live to 120 or so....We eat tofu approximately once a year in savory pumpkin pie. We believe one can do both!