HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Is this why we're fat?


I was checking out the website of a supermarket chain that is running a "Healthy Recipe Contest." The description of the judging criteria clearly states that, among other things such as taste and creativity, the recipes will be judged on "calories; salt, sugar and fat content; fiber; use of healthy ingredients (including oils, spices, etc). " The market has no control over what people submit. So someone actually submitted this recipe for Chicken Spagetti (sic):

1 pkg Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
1 lg Onion
2 cans {mild/optional} Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & Green chilies
1 can drained mushroom pieces
2 Lbs Velveeta cheese
1 box of Multigrain Spagettie Noodles {Muellers}

In pot boil your noodles then boil your chicken and onion separately. Drain all in strainer add all in one pot that you cooked your noodles in, your chicken, onion, mushroom, rotel, cheese and mix well then add noodles and mix. Put in a backing cassarole dish and cook at 350 degrees for 30 min uncovered.

2 POUNDS OF VELVEETA CHEESE!!!! In what universe is that considered healthy? I can only hope that this was someone's idea of a joke and this person does not actually believe that this is a healthy meal for 4 or 6 or whatever.

Maybe it's time to stop blaming McDonald's for our expanding waistlines and look to our own kitchens.

  1. But..but...it has CHICKEN BREAST. Must be OK.

    Wow, that not only sounds unhealthy, it sounds terrible. Not even a guilty pleasure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coney with everything

      yup, chicken breast and multigrain noodles, it must be very healthy.

      1. re: coney with everything

        Now, had they served it with brown rice that would have been even funnier.

      2. No.

        People are fat because they eat too much.

        3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              haahahahah. Nice link.

              And I totally agree with you. Had I eaten the above, say 1/2 a cup of it. I'd be fine in my calori allowance for my meal. I might even be able to get away with 3/4 cup. But, really how many would only eat that much.

        1. Leave out the chicken breast and pass the Tostitos :)

          1. I vividly remember learning about nutrition in multiple health and science classes...but I am continually amazed by what people think amounts to "healthy" -- it's not even a matter of semantics or schools of thought. There are people - a lot more than I ever would have thought -- who would look at that recipe and say "okay -- chicken, lots of vegetables, -- good to go -- light and healthy!

            It's a tragedy, really -- and then the only "education" present in the media is no carbs...no fat...no this...no that -- it's all touting one great new weight-loss cure or another, and nobody actually gets around to teaching people how to eat in a manner that is beneficial to their bodies.

            16 Replies
            1. re: sunshine842

              Reminds me of the people who go to the salad bar at a restaurant and drench their greens in blue cheese dressing, pour on a cup of croutons, and top it all with a liberal handful of bacon bits. Then they say "I'm eating healthy today. I'm having a salad.".

              For calories from fat, the following recipe, which has been rolling around CH for almost 10 years and is still revived once or twice a year, beats all:


              I'm sure this risotto is as delicious as claimed, but come on, almost a pound of gorgonzola PLUS a half pound of butter PLUS well over half a pound of Parmigiano Reggiano PLUS olive oil PLUS pistachios per pound of rice? Even the cheese lover that I am cries out "No thanks!".

              1. re: cheesemaestro

                I'm pretty sure the Risotto is meant to be shared....not consumed by one....


                1. re: fourunder

                  I'm sure you're right, but if it's divided into four or even six portions, it still packs a lot of fat. That being said, I agree with ipsedixit that lack of portion control is the biggest (though not the only) factor contributing to obesity.. If people ate a small amount of this risotto, it would be fine, but many people would fill their plate with it. Pregnant women used to be told to eat for two. Nowadays more and more people--pregnant or not--eat for two, or three, or four.

                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                    Pregnant women used to be told to eat for two. Nowadays more and more people--pregnant or not--eat for two, or three, or four. ****************************************************************************************** This reminds me of when I was pregnant. In the lunch room at work I was carefully cutting up an orange. Co-worker comes in and kind of laughs at how precise I was being. I told him. "yeah, I'm cutting it up to make it go further so as not to just wolf it down." His response, "you're pregnant! Eat what you want."

                    I'm sorry but being pregnant does not give me the excuse to eat like a pig. I put it on, I have to take it off later. (disclamer: Trust me I wasn't starving myself. Ate enough comfort food during that pregnacy to equal my childhood:))

                2. re: cheesemaestro

                  There is nothing wrong with natural fat.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      I'm by no means a fatophobe. I enjoy a well marbled steak or prosciutto with its silky fat, which I would never dream of removing. But moderation does come into play.

                      I find it interesting that people are condemning the recipe that the OP posted, while defending the risotto recipe. To be sure, the risotto is intriguing. I would certainly be more tempted to try it than the chicken breast with Velveeta sauce. However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind. In this regard, the risotto recipe is just as "over the top" as, and probably more so than, the chicken recipe.

                        1. re: cheesemaestro

                          However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind.
                          i'm glad you pointed this out. the "logic" some people apply when trying to justify the calorie count of a dish is mind-boggling to me. in fact, i was just scratching my head over this recipe from Thursday's LA Times:

                          the authors claim "The traditional version of this dish is known for its creamy, rich texture and its impact on your hips. Our Alfredo gives you the same fulfilled feelings without the side effects!"

                          really? one serving of your dish contains 700 calories, 84 grams of carbs (only 8 of which are fiber) and 34 grams of fat, and just because it's gluten-free and vegan you think eating it won't expand your waistline? by the way, i have a bridge you might be interested in buying...

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            You have excellent points. Just because something contains healthy ingredients doesn't mean that you can eat a million calories of it. And while I believe the following statement is true:

                            "However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind."

                            ...I think that healthwise, this is an incomplete thought. I am not a calorie-counter; I lean more towards eating moderate amounts of real food from all "food groups", and if the scales go too far up, just eat a little bit less for a while.

                            Going strictly by calorie count isn't going to fix anything. If the health aspects of your food choices are disregarded while restricting calories, you will become malnourished.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Definitely agree with this. There are nutrients in things like butter and olive oil that a person would miss by eating margarine or some other health food even though they are cutting calories. There is more to fat than just calories.

                              I find that when I eat food with higher quality fats, I tend to eat less overall.

                              1. re: Fromageball

                                Exactly! And when your plate in packed with nutrients, variety, and fiber from REAL FOODS, you are satisfied sooner and eat less. At the same time as you are eating less, you are getting more nutrients. Win/win!

                                I think people who overeat poor-quality foods are instinctively trying to obtain nutrients by eating more. There aren't enough good things in the crappy food, so their bodies tell them to keep eating until they somehow get enough nutrients to survive.

                          2. re: cheesemaestro

                            <I find it interesting that people are condemning the recipe that the OP posted, while defending the risotto recipe>

                            there is one HUGE difference between the two:

                            one was posted as an entry in a contest calling for HEALTHY recipes and uses several ingredients that most hounds would consider "low brow"

                            one makes no claims at being healthy, and uses very high quality ingredients.

                        2. re: cheesemaestro

                          HA! I think that may have been the first recpie I ever read on this site.

                          Here's my concern, forget about health/fat for a minute...isn't risotto supposed to have a creamy texture because of the way the starch on the outside of the rice "melts" into the liquid? Isn't the dish a testament to technique? Aren't you suppsed to taste the rice and whatever flavorings you add? I always thought good risotto had whatever fat you sauted your veggies in + some parmesan, and that was it for fat. This recipe has always sounded gloppy and coarse to me.... despite the fact that we were assured it was 3 star quality ;-)

                      1. Perhaps the idea is for the recipe to induce vomiting.

                        3 Replies
                            1. re: Naco

                              Love it!! Because I could not keep that slop down. :(

                            2. "Maybe it's time to stop blaming McDonald's for our expanding waistlines and look to our own kitchens"

                              OUTfukingSTANDING! Personal responsibility...a fading and endangered ethic to be sure

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                I agree wholeheartedly!! Stop blaming everyone BUT yourself for what you consume!! YOU are the one putting it in your mouth. Unfortunately, the apparent lack of education regarding nutrition is a key factor in this. I've met more than a few people who honestly do not KNOW what is healthy and what is not. I look toward what someone posted above.... SALADS. Just because it is a salad doesn't mean it's healthy. Iceberg w/ cheese, ranch, and bacon bits is not a healthy and/or low calorie option. A scoop of tuna salad and pasta salad on a bed of iceberg does not a healthy salad make. And education about portion sizes.... jeez don't' get me started! I inherited my great-grandmother's china, and the size of her dinner plates vs. the ones you buy nowadays is amazing.... If people ate off of her plates, they would eat way less, and actually eat a correct serving size.

                                Okay, stepping off of my soapbox. Sorry for the (not so) mini rant.

                                1. re: kubasd

                                  You make an excellent point about dinnerware. The older pieces are much smaller than contemporary ones, same with the servicing pieces.

                                  I always felt I ate pretty healthy. With age and some health issues I put on weight. I started to really pay more attention to what a healthy portion size actually is. Which led to my switching to vintage dishware to help keep to a reasonable portion. Just that change in eating led to me loosing 25 lbs. within 6 months.

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    i think that the size of a plate, while technically true and sadly influential, is a poor thing to blame for american's eating habits. a serving size of rice, potato, steak, etc hasnt changed with the plate size. it becomes a question like chicken or the egg: which came first, americans greedily piling on more food so that bigger plates are required, or bigger plates coming around so a larger portion required to make it look full? i doubt its the second one.

                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                      Not blaming the plates - agreeing that seeing the sizes get progressively bigger over time is interesting and telling.

                                      There are subtleties to this though. A sparsely filled plate looks inhospitable and/or lacking. Being served half a bowl of soup or half a mug of coffee looks stingy. It is human nature to fill up a dish - so a big dish will be filled to its limit more frequently than not. Couple this with most people really not knowing what 8 oz. looks like or knowing what the capacity of their dishware and portions will tend to be larger than needed.

                                      An old diet trick is to use smaller plates so your brain has the illusion of fullness. I've noticed this trick used at restaurants when they decrease size as a cost cutting measure - many have changed plates in order to make the smaller portion less noticeable.

                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        yes, I wasn't blaming the plates themselves, I meant what meatn3 said. People are inclined to fill their plates, so their view of portion sizes becomes skewed when larger plates are used. People are less likely to recognize feelings of satiety when they enter the meal with a preconceived notion of having less food.

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          haha depends how ya plate it. how often do you go to a really nice restaurant and actually get a plating that takes up the whole plate? normally its a big white plate with only a small portion of it taken up by the actual dish. so maybe instead of stingy, think of it as high class. (just playing devils advocate here... empty plates still make me sad lol)

                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                            Definitely right, although I'm willing to bet that most Americans are not eating at nice restaurants that do fancy plating like that. Where I grew up, there weren't many choices much nicer than Red Lobster and Outback, and I think we all know about their portion sizes and plating.

                                2. Yum. Love my onions boiled.

                                  Yes, this is why we're fat *and* accept crappy food.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    Onions? What about the poor boiled chicken??

                                    I truly hope this recipe was submitted as a joke. And if it wasn't, I sincerely hope this person is not responsible for feeding any children.

                                    1. re: gaffk

                                      boiled chicken? what about the poor canned mushrooms??

                                      haha there is literally not one part of this recipe (except maybe the pasta?) that sounds appealing in any way.

                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                        They're not mushrooms . . .their mushroom pieces! (I wonder which farms just plant pieces?)

                                        1. re: gaffk

                                          Same farms that raise minced fish! ;P "You ever catch a minced fish?!!!"

                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                              Fine reason for the Slow Food movement? :)

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                bahaha love these (mushroom pieces, minced fish) and the possible methods.... Jeez, farmers/fishermen, take it slowwwww!!!

                                        2. re: mattstolz

                                          Unfortunately it sounds like some non-food-aware bachelor's "go-to" dish for parties and company. I didn't add "midwestern" because I know a lot of chowhounds live there and make far better food, but my mother was from there and I know what passes for good food in, say, southeastern small-town Illinois. Fortunately she was for the most part a really good cook, but she didn't learn it in 'her home state of Illinois'.

                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                            I can't object too much to the boiled chicken, as it's not like boneless skinless chicken breasts taste great in general (unless wrapped in bacon, of course).

                                            But opening a bunch of cans, boiling onions (??) and throwing everything together in a pot with some fake cheese certainly conveys a lack of respect for fresh, quality ingredients. Plus, I can't imagine this would be tasty. Bottom line: many Americans don't prioritize ingredients, taste, or food. That seems like a big reason why we're fat to me.

                                      2. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/d...

                                        Well. Divided over 6 servings, would make the recipe less than 500 calories per person. Maybe if that was the overall goal of the recipe...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Cathy

                                          But how many of those calories are from fat? And are you including the calories from the pasta, chicken and other ingredients?

                                          The Pasta alone would be over 250 calories, by the time we are finished divided it will be more like 1000 calories or more per person.


                                        2. Too many calories.......
                                          Too little exercise.........

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                                            Yep. Everyone blames other restaurants, this, that or the other thing. Not once in any post I saw above did anyone point out the lack of exercise in people's lives.
                                            Watch the food you eat and walk a mile or two a day and watch what happens.


                                          2. This reminds me of 'hamburger pie' which my mother made once--because it was just as nauseating at the mere sound of it.

                                            1. Here's another recipe from the same contest:

                                              3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
                                              8 oz of ketchup
                                              8 ox of diet cola
                                              Place the boneless skinlkess chicken in the crockpot. Cover chicken with ketchup and cola. Cook on hight for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours

                                              It's not as bad as the Velveeta one from health viewpoint, but do people like chicken simmered in all that ketchup and cola? Maybe it's a local thing (supermarket chain is in the south east of US)?

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: drongo

                                                Glad I'm not the one who has to make and taste these entries.

                                                1. re: drongo

                                                  No it's not a local thing, there are some very good cooks and restaurants down here in NC

                                                  1. re: chazzer

                                                    I didn't mean to suggest that this dish might be representative of what good cooks and restaurants would prepare. Here in New Jersey we have Disco Fries ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define... )... and I hope that dish is not considered representative of NJ cooks and restaurants.

                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                      butbutbut, Disco Fries TASTE GOOD (or at least they did at 3 am after a long night of partying...)

                                                  2. re: drongo

                                                    It turns out the chicken, ketchup and cola recipe is quite common... e.g. see http://www.recipepuppy.com/?i=chicken...

                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                      I just think that chicken breasts have become ubiquitous, and most Americans equate them with healthy eating. This recipe sounds awful. I can't believe it would taste good, and its ingredients are just weird.

                                                      I have run into a recipe for ham baked in coke somewhere, although I haven't ever made it or eaten it. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should do it.

                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                        Actually, I have to say that the Coke-glazed ham is not bad. It's basically just a sugar syrup, after all.

                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                              Apart from the water, corn syrup is mostly sugars - glucose, maltose (which is formed from 2 units of glucose) and higher sugars. High-fructose corn syrup has some of the glucose converted to another sugar, fructose (which is much sweeter).

                                                              As an aside: I don't really understand why HFCS is considered worse than sucrose from a health viewpoint.

                                                              1. re: drongo

                                                                Because it elevates triglycerides more, and TGLs are the single most predictive lipid in terms of CVD risk and development of insulin resistance. It's clearly metabolized differently by the liver than sucrose is.

                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  Thanks mcf.... can you provide a reference? Medical journals preferred because I can access them through my job.

                                                                  I found this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21... ... but it doesn't compare HFCS with sucrose. And Milloy has a valid criticism here: http://junkscience.com/2011/07/28/hig...

                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                          My friend from Taiwan made what she said is a popular dish there - coca cola chicken - and the chicken is simmered in the coke with soy sauce and some other things. It was pretty good but I wouldn't use diet. Blech. Or ketchup but I don't like ketchup on or with anything.

                                                          Also I'm from NC and that looks like a recipe that could be found anywhere with people who don't like to cook.

                                                          Still can't get over the diet soda bit though, it seems like the aspartame flavor would take over.

                                                        2. Since it wasn't mentioned in the original post, apparently the chain running the contest is Harris Teeter (a name which always makes me giggle as it seems just a hair off from being dirty). Here is a link to the entries:


                                                          The entry quoted by drongo is in fact titled 'Corcl Pot Chicken'. Between the abhorrent spelling and the wretch-inducing recipe itself, my guess is that the poster was either drunk, high, or possibly both.

                                                          Even the recipe in the OP is more disturbing for how awful it sounds than for being a not-quite-healthy recipe posted in a healthy recipe contest. Setting aside what would be created if you actually cooked it, the recipe itself is a disaster. Who doesn't take the time to proofread their entry into a competition for obvious errors like spagettie and 'backing cassarole'? The lack of clear quantities (how big is a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts, what size cans of Rotel Tomatoes and 'mushroom pieces', etc) and ambiguous wording (are the Rotel tomatoes optional, or is using the mild flavor optional, do you boil the chicken and onion together separately from the pasta, or separately from each other, do you at least peel and chop than onion before throwing it into the boiling water?) are a whole other special 'cassarole' or failure.

                                                          I'm in no way a snob when it comes to food. I think everyone should experiment with cooking, and I realize there will be plenty of dishes that go the wrong way during the learning process. I've cooked up plenty of duds myself. I'm just surprised that anyone would enter some of these bizarre concoctions into a recipe contest.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                            im so glad you posted the link!

                                                            i personally like the entry for the yogurt snack with two ingredients:
                                                            Low fat yogurt and Sugar free drink mix.


                                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                                              The submitter's logic is even better: "This provides less calories than fruit but you still have the flavor!"

                                                              I'm sure the result of that combination does in fact have a 'flavor' I'm just not sure it's one that I'd seek. Plain yogurt is a pretty good base to make a healthy snack, but replacing a natural piece of fruit with some chemical-laden sugar-free drink mix really misses the point of healthy eating.

                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                Tute: We were living in Nashville when Harris-Teeter opened their first stores in that area. We never did call them by their right name, but immediately began referring to them as Hairless P****. Thank Mrs. O for that one …

                                                                It's really true about people's misconceptions, both about what's healthy and about what's fattening. The aforementioned Mrs. O has gone veggie, which is okay with me, but back when dinner was typically a piece of flesh, fish or fowl and a salad or green veg and carbs only occasionally, I was losing weight slowly but steadily. We are now having lots of tofu or bean dishes, often with brown rice or pasta and a sauce of some sort, and cooked vegetables mostly because even in SoCal we don't feel much like salads in January. My hopes for finally dropping below 200 for the first time since 2002 have been put on hold; it just ain't happening. That is not the fault of vegetarianism per se, of course; it's simply a sign that I need to explore more (and less fattening!) options.

                                                              2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                When I lived in Arlington, VA, if we went grocery shopping, we were "taking a trip to the teet" hehehe oh the minds of early 20 somethings :)

                                                              3. The growing pan epidemic of obesity is caused by people eating foods their metabolic systems have not evolved to cope with. Namely processed flour, sugar and eating enough fat in a month that a human would consume in a year a thousand years ago. Remember man kind has only had universal access to these (cough) foods for a few hundred years. Compare that time to how long humans have been walking the earth attempting to survive only on what they were able to gather/kill.

                                                                17 Replies
                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                  I agree. I'm not a food scientist or anything, but I've been to France and noticed people there eat rich foods all day and no one's fat. All the ingredients come fresh from local farms and there are no processed foods. I can't help but draw a link.

                                                                  1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                    There are many countries that have no processed foods and rely on fresh and local but have a problem with obesity.

                                                                    i'm of Polish ancestry. My grandmother grew her own food, cooked from scratch and at the time there really weren't any processed food. However, a good portion of my family had weight problems.

                                                                    i just spent a year in Guatemala where people practically lived off fresh fruit, veggies and beans. Yet obesity and diabetes are both rampant there.

                                                                    The concept isn't exactly restricted to the last few hundred years because you only have to look at Bacchus and those over-the-top Roman eating binges.

                                                                    Food is expensive in France. It is difficult to gorge on anything if the food budget is low.

                                                                    Blame it on food subsidies that make food really inexpensive. We throw money at mega farms yet cut food education in schools, feeding children high calorie lunches. That is teaching the next generation about how to eat.

                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                      I find your food subsidies comment interesting, rworange. When following threads on budgets etc. on Chowhound I can never get over how inexpensive food seems to be in the US. The Australian and US dollars have been comparable for quite some time, but yet I easily pay 3x the amount for the same item (I am talking about whole foods here - meat/grains/fruit/vegetables). While we do have a growing obesity problem in Australia we don't seem to quite on the US scale yet.

                                                                      The other thing I notice via Chowhound is the sheer amount of processed and convenience foods available in the US. While we certainly have an amount of such foods available over here we don't seem to have such a massive variety and they don't seem to be in such common usage. When people talk about canned aerosol cheese I honestly would never have thought such a product could exist!

                                                                      And just a side note - I have some Polish friends, one of whom insists that her mother loves her children through butter. She swears her mother loved her into being overweight LOL

                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                        It's a lot more complex than many people think. There are those of us who remain thin only through restriction many people couldn't cope with, with activity.

                                                                      2. re: plasticanimal

                                                                        I mostly agree with this, although the French also snack less and eat smaller portion sizes. Plus, they tend to walk more, and have longer mealtimes, so they actually notice when they're full. I definitely think the most important aspect is the high quality, minimally processed foods (which is what I try to do with my diet). But there's an entirely different relationship with food that can't be disregarded.

                                                                        1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                          I have also been to France. There are most definitely fat people living there. And Nutella - a popular crepe filling available on many Parisian street corners - is a processed food, and one that I do not believe comes from "local farms." I think your link is broken.

                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                            Just how many non-tourists do you think are buying those Nutella crepes?

                                                                            1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                              More than 0. Just like the number of fat people in France, and the number of "non-processed" foods eaten by French people. plasticanimal wrote that "'no one" is fat and "all" ingredients come from local farms. That isn't true.

                                                                              1. re: small h

                                                                                The USA has an obesity level of about 30% -- the worst in the world. France is at about 10%. E.g. see http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea... (data from 2003 -- the numbers have become worse since then!).

                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                  I know. But that wasn't my point. You note that France has an obesity rate of >0. That was my point.

                                                                                2. re: small h

                                                                                  I apologize. From now on I will try to remain literal in everything I say at all times (at least during the hours I am awake). I did not realize that my words could possibly be taken literally by anyone. I appreciate you pointing out your seemingly unimaginable confusion, as I never would have dreamed I was being so unclear. Thank you for your patience.

                                                                                  To anyone else reading this, please note that there are fat people and processed foods in France.

                                                                                  1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                                    You also wrote that you're "not a food scientist or anything." I took that part literally, too. I hope that's ok.

                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                      Yes, to be perfectly clear, I am literally not a food scientist.

                                                                                    2. re: plasticanimal

                                                                                      plasticanimal, that was AWESOME. I want you on my side next time I have a run-in with some schmuck on the internet.

                                                                                3. re: small h

                                                                                  Never been to France, but I saw a tour group from France recently, and the people were definitely not thin. Not obese, but not fashionably thin.

                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                    I think that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that people who travel in tour groups are heavier than people who don't travel in tour groups. But seriously, although I know that the French population is thinner than the American population, you could stand on a street corner in Denver and one in El Paso and come to two completely different conclusions about obesity in the United States. Heck, on my own little home island of Manhattan, you could do the same thing: observe the foot traffic at 73rd & Madison and then at Houston St. & Avenue D. You'd see an astonishing difference, and those corners are less than five miles apart.

                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                      Fewer than in the US, but if you believe that there are no heavy people in France, you haven't been out in the countryside of late.

                                                                              2. There are lots of good posts here. But also look at the cost and the amount of food it produces. Yes, it is unhealthy. I would agree, to me or to us, it doesn't sound appetizing. Regardless of food and nutritional education, this recipe is also very cheap. Buy the chicken frozen in 3+lb. packages and it becomes even cheaper.

                                                                                In today's economy, with so many families in financial trouble, this is a cheap way to feed the family. Nutrition be damned. I'm not defending anything but I'm in the grocery business and I see this every single day.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: HoosierFoodie

                                                                                  if the contest was calling for recipes to pack food in on a budget, this would be a good defense. but this is a healthy recipe contest.

                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                    Exactly. And realistically it's still cheaper to eat nutritious food because you need less of it and it goes farther as fuel, for brains and bodies.

                                                                                2. As a nation we are swimming in sugar. There is cheap sugar in one form or another in just about any processed or prepared food we buy. Serving portions are outrageous. How many of us need Big Gulps to quench our thirsts. I'm giving away my age, but I can remember those small bottles of Coca Cola. No one I knew consumed a six pack in one sitting.

                                                                                  I'm not so sure it's the fat we consume so much as the sugar. My Mom was of French-Canadian ancestry and was brought up on salt pork and other fatty pork products. She lived until she was 92 and was healthy all her life.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                      No argument at all-- but I'd add that it's too much of too much **everything** -- too much sugar, too much fat -- the serving sizes are too big, we spend too much time sitting (in our offices, in schools, and in our cars) and not enough time moving....

                                                                                      It's not any one ingredient or any one bad habit --- it's all of them together.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        But studies consistently find that high carb meals increase hunger/appetitle and lead to larger subsequent meals. Protein, OTOH, is highly satiating, but the high glycemic load negates that in mixed meals. Depending upon the individual, varying degrees of hunger and obesity can result where dietary change might prevent it.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                          I'm pretty sure that was included under "too much of too much"

                                                                                    2. I was watching the Food Network this morning for the first time (can you believe it? I never watched before!) and I don't think there was a single recipe that didn't call for 1 or 2 cupfuls of heavy cream, half a pound of butter, a cup of brown sugar etc. Ugh. I'm not talking about the cholessterol aspect, just the sheer number of calories.

                                                                                      These weren't meant to feed an army, just a family. Does anyone really cook this way on a regular basis, or is this just fun television? And the cooks, most of them, were so fat. I'm not saying this to me mean, but looking at them eating that food was such a turn off.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: helou

                                                                                        you must have been watching a paula deen show! haha

                                                                                        1. re: helou

                                                                                          Lol, I'm underweight and I cook that way. I buy 18% cream and cut it with water 1:1 or 1:2 cuz homo milk isn't fatty enough for me. Etc. Etc. I always add olive oil or butter or nuts or any other kind of fat that will go well w a recipe. It's all real food though, never has therebeen or will there be any Velveeta in my fridge ;) The funny thing is that roommates and partners etc. who eat my cooking on a regular basis lose weight and can't believe it. Me, I can't seem to gain weight no matter what or how much I eat (2000-2500 calories, 3000-4000 if I am working physically).

                                                                                        2. Unfortunately, this generation is extremely busy and want shortcuts. Ever take a stroll down the pre-made/frozen food aisle in the grocery store? It's amazing what is produced and people now buy to serve in their home for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

                                                                                          How about the School lunch menus?

                                                                                          Then it's out to dinner, or a drive thru dinner or even a take pizza/chinese night.

                                                                                          I have two sons who are grown and one son is single. The single guy cooks perhaps one night a week. Eats out every other, along with lunches and a stop at Starbucks in the morning.

                                                                                          My other son has a working wife and two growing children. Perhaps they have two fully homemade dinners, but the rest is take out, or a frozen, prepared meal.

                                                                                          I am not standing on a podium, but I stayed home with my children, they got well balanced meals cooked from scratch every night, even on a relaxed pizza night.

                                                                                          While sex sells, so do pictures of good looking food, smartly advertised with "everything" done for them. Calorie laden meals, soda and ice cream all have played a part in our every day life nowadays.

                                                                                          Look how the Chain Food Industry had grown.....

                                                                                          Nutrition has taken a back seat in my children's lives and they are in the "norm", I believe.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                            How wonderful for you that you stayed home and cooked balanced meals, not take out or frozen meals. Sad to report that it's going to cost me more for my sons college education then it cost my parents for their first house. I am a part time working mother who is grateful for frozen, take out , and prepared foods to help supplement my dinners when all I feel like doing is serving p b and j on white to my darling starving crew. We eat as healthy as we can (I run marathons, and both boys play competitive soccer so we can't be that fat, and unhealthy.) but sometimes life gets in the way. Before passing judgement on what you consider ok eating, take a deep breath and remember life is very different nowadays then it was when they were growing up.

                                                                                            1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                              I wasn't passing judgement at all. I was giving a synopsis of "my children's busy lives". And have all the sympathy in the world for what they and most of the World face today. Two working, or one single parent working full time and trying to make ends meet.

                                                                                              If I was judging anything, it's the very "cunning advertisement" of how the large Corporations get busy, dual working families to buy what they think is healthy meals.

                                                                                              And please try to remember that posting on any thread is one demensional and can be misconstrued easily.

                                                                                              Have a good day. :)

                                                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                I didn't misunderstand your post, for the record ;). I'm "fortunate" enough to be deathly allergic to a lot of chemical food additives so I have to make my own frozen dinners (big pot of whatever, freezer bags, boom done, ten meals for the cost of one restaurant meal and an hour of prep time + 15 minutes to bag). I don't have a microwave but reheating in the oven or stovetop only takes a few more minutes than zapping, and gives me the illusion I just cooked, lol. I'm also fortunate to have a mom and a grandmother that knew how how to cook. When I see how little people know about food handling and preparing I realise how lucky I am to have these skills.

                                                                                          2. I've been reading the understandably horrified responses to this recipe. I don't know why anyone would consider it either healthy or good to eat. But something has kept niggling at me, and I read through the recipe again, and zoomed in on the Ro-Tel tomatoes. The 2 lbs of cheese and the 2 cans of Ro-tel make me think that this is supposed to be dish to feed 8 or 10, not a something for a family of four, unless half of it is saved for later.

                                                                                            But the boiling of the chicken, the heavy hand with the cheese and the Ro-Tel tomatoes remind be of how you make King Ranch casserole. I've see recipes for KRC that called for boiling a couple of chicken breasts, although in the version I received and used, it was a cut up chicken. I don't know what a pkg of chicken breasts would be, but perhaps it is 2 whole breasts or a breast and a half. But it is something the recipe author encountered often enough that she/he didn't think it necessary to be more specific.

                                                                                            I'd revise the servings up to 8-10 at any rate. Using Velveeta, multigrain noodles and canned mushrooms just makes me want to laugh. What a mix.

                                                                                            I had a chance to peruse a corporate book of recipes recently, which dated from just 3 or 4 years ago. You would not believe the unenlightened recipes. A can of this and a can of that. Cheese, pasta, mixes, etc. It will take at least another generation to reduce this sort of cooking to the margins of the mainstream. The recipe given above is probably more typical of ordinary American cooking than you imagine. But the irony in this, is that there are people who eat this sort of diet who don't really get fat. There are plenty who do, but there are also plenty who don't.

                                                                                            29 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                              Agreed with the servings. The box of pasta made it stand out for me. Every box of pasta I've encountered had about 8 servings per. Also, all this has me thinking about velvetta - Something I haven't used in a decade (if ever).

                                                                                              "Healthy" is a word that I'm really starting to hate (the misuse of). No single recipe or food items is healthy/unhealthy. No single activity is healthy/unhealthy. Only the lifestyle, as a whole, can be properly evaluated as being health or unhealthy (and even that has grey areas).

                                                                                              1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                Based on a 8 oz seving this recipe would contain the following

                                                                                                Velveeta 4oz 330 Calories 26.00 g fat
                                                                                                Pasta 2oz 198 calories
                                                                                                1/2 chikn breast 143 calories 2.88 g fat

                                                                                                Total 671 calories 28.88 g fat not including the onions & rotell

                                                                                                1. re: chazzer

                                                                                                  Pretty scary, no?

                                                                                                  And multigrain is never the first choice for lower carb pasta, either. I buy (to use sparingly) whole grain pasta. But you'll never get that much fiber, to slow the absorption of the carbs, in any pasta I've ever seen.

                                                                                                  I do feel that some processed foods are inherently unhealthy. Velveeta would be one of those. But yes, the usage of "healthy" is not necessarily accurate.

                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                    The only carb moderated pasta that doesn' taste like dirt and also doesn't budge my glucose meter is Carba Nada noodles from Al Dente foods. It's a high fiber blend, but doesn't give me a late, long glucose spike the way Dreamfield's does. FYI.

                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                      I don't have access to Carba Nada brand, but I will keep them in mind. I just don't do pasta very much any more. I bought on sale some Barilla whole wheat pasta, which I am thinking about using some way or other. I've this idea for mixing a few pieces of pasta with a veggie like shredded Brussels Sprouts and baking it like a casserole. I haven't gotten very far with that just yet.

                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                        I buy them at netrition.com or the company's web site. One of my regular groceries has them, but they're only stocking the lemon pepper version right now. I see online that they have elbows in bulk. Might try those, undercooked, for mac and cheese when I make it for family holidays.

                                                                                                  2. re: chazzer

                                                                                                    I haven't eaten velvetta in a very long time, but I recall it being really salty. With all the canned goods in there too I wonder what the sodium content would be in 8 ounces of that concoction.

                                                                                                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                      I don't remember what it tastes like. But isn't it orange?

                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                        Yes, very orange. I never tried it, but I remember my oldest sister loved it (then again, she loved white rice in tomato sauce ;)

                                                                                                        Real American cheese is white and made out of weird ingredients like milk.

                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                          Velveeta has a place. It's really the best option for making the traditional (at least in my family it was always traditional) New Year's Eve cheese dip. The dip is in no way healthy, but it's tasty for a once a year dish. It's basically a tube of breakfast sausage fried up and crumbled, mixed with a can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles and some cubed up Velveeta, and the whole thing microwaved and stirred until it's a dip-like consistency.

                                                                                                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                                                                                            It's also great to serve straight up to drunk people :-D I had a New Year's Eve party that went later and bigger and harder than I had intended and thus ended up at the festivity's end with some ravenous intoxicated guests. I cut up a block of Velveeta into cubes and my goodness, the raving and praise over the fantastic cheese! It still makes me giggle. I'd bought the Velveeta to make a dip similar to your family's traditional recipe, but I'd forgotten--luckily. as it turned out!

                                                                                                          2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                            Wait. Seriously? You don't actually think American cheese is any more real than velveeta, do you?

                                                                                                            1. re: hilltowner

                                                                                                              Yes, there is real american cheese that is real cheese. But there are a lot of look-alikes as well.

                                                                                                            2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                              Milk is the first ingredient in Velveeta. See?


                                                                                                              I indulge in Velveeta a few times a year: to mix with Rotel on Superbowl Sunday and Oscar night, or when I'm feeling so crabby that nothing but Velveeta Shells & Cheese will cheer me up. For certain applications, it is the sine qua non. I won't go to the mat to defend Velveeta as healthful or fine dining or (cough) Chow-worthy (cough). It is salty. And fatty. And trashy. And fake-y. For all those reasons - and more! - it is fair game for criticism. But don't criticize it out of ignorance of what it contains (hint: milk).

                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                "Real American cheese is white and made out of weird ingredients like milk."

                                                                                                                Being white vs. orange isn't a valid indicator of cheese quality. Coloring of cheese with annatto began a long time ago in England, primarily to give cheeses made with winter milk (when the animals were on dry feed) a less chalky and more appealing color that resembled the cheeses made from spring, summer and autumn milk (when the animals were on pasture). Excellent British cheeses, such as Red Leicester, Cheshire and Shropshire Blue, are still tinged orange with annatto, as are many good cheddars in the US, where the preference for orange or white is regional. I think that an argument against Velveeta has to made on a basis other than color.

                                                                                                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                  Commercial products labeled "American cheese" are always processed cheese.

                                                                                                                  The Code of Federal Regulations restricts what types of products can carry the "American cheese" label. See p 320-321 in the following: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-b...

                                                                                                                  Some relevant pieces are quoted below. Starting on p. 318, you'll find the following:

                                                                                                                  "§133.169 Pasteurized process cheese.

                                                                                                                  Pasteurized process cheese is the food prepared by comminuting and mixing, with the aid of heat, one or more cheeses of the same or two or more varieties, except cream cheese, neufchatel cheese, cottage cheese, lowfat cottage cheese, cottage cheese dry curd, cook cheese, hard grating cheese, semisoft part-skim cheese, part-skim spiced cheese, and skim milk cheese for manufacturing with an emulsifying agent prescribed by paragraph (c) of this section into a homogeneous plastic mass. One or more of the optional ingredients designated in paragraph (d) of this section may be used."

                                                                                                                  Then skipping forward to the end of §133.169 on pages 320-221, you'll see:

                                                                                                                  "Each of the ingredients used in the food shall be declared on the label as required by the applicable sections of parts 101 and 130 of this chapter, except that cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, granular cheese, or any mixture of two or more of these may be designated as 'American cheese'."

                                                                                                                  For more info, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American... or http://www.cheesesociety.org/

                                                                                                                  1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                    I'm not sure what you're responding to in my post, which was solely to point out that orange color is not necessarily an indicator of poor quality

                                                                                                                    Velveeta can't even be called processed cheese anymore. It used to be billed as a processed cheese spread, but because it contains milk protein concentrate, which isn't allowed in processed cheese, the federal government objected. Now it's called a pasteurized prepared cheese product.

                                                                                                                    1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                      Sorry, I didn't intend to "respond" to your post. I intended to tack something onto the end of this subthread about "American cheese." I don't have a comment about your post.

                                                                                                                    2. re: drongo

                                                                                                                      The text you are quoting refers to American cheese, not American cheese food?

                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                        The section I quoted was §133.169 ("Pasteurized process cheese").

                                                                                                                        "Pasteurized process cheese food" is §133.173 -- http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_201...
                                                                                                                        "Pasteurized process cheese spread" is §133.179 --http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_201...

                                                                                                                        §133.173 and §133.179 each also end with a statement about the use of the name "American cheese".

                                                                                                                        So if it says "American cheese" it could be a "Pasteurized process cheese" or a "Pasteurized process cheese food" or a "Pasteurized process cheese spread" -- in each case containing one or more of the cheeses indicated.

                                                                                                                        As cheesemaestro pointed out, Velveeta meets none of the specifications and so has to be labeled using a non-regulated phrase.

                                                                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                          I guess I know now why I don't like American cheese.

                                                                                                                2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                  It tastes like orange, salty grease.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                    I've banished the stuff from my house, unless Mr. Sueatmo sneaks some in. I really do prefer real cheese.

                                                                                                                3. re: chazzer

                                                                                                                  671 calories and 29g of fat. I see nothing wrong with that. It's rather reasonable and (though I'm not sure of the price of Velveeta) it seems reasonably priced and easy to make. Can't say I'll ever make it, but it's not a monster meal as many made it sound.

                                                                                                                  I find the overall behavior here to be an over-reaction. I get the sense that if the ingredients were replaced (say, with a gourmet cheese, creme fraiche and truffles), but it had the same nutritional value, the reaction would be very different.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                    Plugging the recipe into Living Cookbook, I don't get 671 calories and 29 g of fat. Assuming 6 servings, I get 1033 calories and 40 g fat per serving. See attached screenshot.

                                                                                                                    Though with 8 servings, it's 775 calories and 30 g fat (46% daily value).

                                                                                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                      I do wonder why this recipe for possibly 8 needs 2 lbs of Velveeta? Or 2 lbs of any cheese? Isn't 1 oz usually considered a serving? Say, 2 oz at most?

                                                                                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                        I guess I was right about the sodium. Yikes!

                                                                                                                4. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                  I basically grew up on cans of this and boxes of that. My mom's friends are like that too, in fact, a neighbor who has some kind of degree in nutrition gave her a recipe for chicken that had a can of french onion soup, a can of cream of mushroom, and I think a can of mushrooms. Pop that in the oven and it's dinner.

                                                                                                                  I'm the complete opposite. There were so many things I thought I hated growing up because I only had the version that came in a box. So now whenever I remember something I hated growing up, I try it again without cans or boxes and I've found that there are few things that I absolutely do not like. Most people I know in my age group like to cook too.

                                                                                                                5. According to Wiki and backed up by the Kraft Velveeta history page "According to Kraft's website, in the 1930s, Velveeta became the first cheese product to gain the American Medical Association's seal of approval"


                                                                                                                  i guess you could make the recipe healtier by using 2% milk Velveta ... how about that ... there's actual milk in Velveeta.

                                                                                                                  Fun article about Velveeta in general including ... Why Does Velveeta Exist at All? Is it blackmailing cheddar?

                                                                                                                  There's a link in there to "30 lbs. of Velveeta Cheese! What to do?"

                                                                                                                  The first comments about donating to the food bank were nixed because this person wanted that 30 lbs of velveeta.

                                                                                                                  There were comments such as along with some ... amazing ... recipes
                                                                                                                  "Wow, you lucky thing, such a deal!"
                                                                                                                  "My husband is the biggest Velveeta nut and is soooo jealous of you. I cannot keep Velveeta in the house. He uses it for EVERYTHING!!"


                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                    Velveeta = plastic cheese.

                                                                                                                  2. My female in-laws, who make Paula Deen look like a health nut, haven't evolved to the level of Velveeta and multigrain noodles yet. Their dishes are composed with such delights as Cheez Whiz and Uncle Ben's Converted Rice. They also count white potatoes and iceburg lettuce as vegetable servings. To them the OP's recipe WOULD definitely be a health food.

                                                                                                                    Needless to say, they all look older than their husbands and suffer from chronic inflammation disorders of one kind or another.

                                                                                                                    1. Re-reading the posts, it is clear that a lot of families--who are trying to save money--don't realize that getting more for their money.. typically leads to consuming more...which then leads to buying more.

                                                                                                                      So even if a recipe is cheap in terms of ingredients, it is becomes very expensive (in terms of money and calories).

                                                                                                                      Most families think: buy buy buy. Buy ingredients and food when it is cheap and on-sale (like processed products) and buy in bulk.. but in reality, if they had less of it, then they would learn to conserve it.

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                        O.K. buying those cheap,oversized chicken breasts from factory raised chickens that are raised in cages too small for them to turn around in, battery racks that are four "stories" high, fed by- products of other chickens, and pooped on for their entire miserable lives by their "upstairs neighbors, shot up with antibiotics, breath toxic ammonia laden air that makes humans gag; well
                                                                                                                        I guess eating the mushy meat of these breasts are healthy...Yum...

                                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                          If I wasn't already a vegetarian, I would be after reading that. Bravo.

                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                            Not me. I just buy chickens raised in better conditions. Better for both of us.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                              Indeed. Go to Whole Foods and buy decently farmed, organic chicken. It's not tough, it's not stringy + whatever ethical/environmental/health pluses may be involved.

                                                                                                                              I have noticed lately, that a local "gourmet" store that has chicken pricier than whole foods which advertises itself as natural, i.e. no hormones, no antibiotics still has those scary-ass frankenbreasts. So I'm assuming it's the free-rangeing that you have to look for to avoid that.

                                                                                                                              I asked my grandmother (1907-2007) a few years before she died if she thought chickens used to taste better when they roamed around in the yard outside her house. She said "oh yes, it seems like chicken used to taste so good...i guess that's just nostalgia.") No, i don't think it was.

                                                                                                                              1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                While I have no problems with other grass-fed meats, I can't do free range chickens. Whole Foods' birds are okay, I like Bell and Evans and even Costco tries pretty hard, but I've gotten chickens from my local co-op and they're just way too fishy tasting. I've tried several different farms with the same results.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                  That's not a free range prob, it's a feed one. Pastured birds don't typically taste like that. It happened to us once with a turkey many years ago and it was AWFUL. Fish meal or other in the feed, or fish fertilizer on the ground, I think. Never had the problem again. Costco does have Coleman organic chicken for about $2.59 per lb here in NY.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                    It seems that all the poultry purveyors in the co-op advertise that the chickens' feed is supplemented by "non-GMO grains." I suspect those grains are where the fishy taste comes in. And I do buy Coleman's chicken at Costco.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                    Its a feed issue. I'll never forget our one bad pastured pig, tasted like fish. Horrible. They were raising them on whey from a local organic dairy. yikes

                                                                                                                        2. While the recipe in the OP's post seems gross, this one with farro, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, kale & carrots is quite appealing:

                                                                                                                          Winter Farro

                                                                                                                          2 c farro
                                                                                                                          5 c low sodium beef stock (water or any stock is fine)
                                                                                                                          2 sweet potatoes chopped
                                                                                                                          3 carrots chopped
                                                                                                                          1 small cauliflower head chopped
                                                                                                                          1 small onion
                                                                                                                          5 whole cloves of garlic
                                                                                                                          1 small bunch of kale
                                                                                                                          1/2 c toasted pine nuts
                                                                                                                          Pam Spray
                                                                                                                          2 T extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                          2 T balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                          1/4 c water
                                                                                                                          2 dashes nutmeg
                                                                                                                          2 dashes cayenne pepper
                                                                                                                          Kosher salt/pepper to taste

                                                                                                                          Lightly spray two foil wrapped cookie sheets with PAM. Add chopped cauliflower to one and the potatoes, carrots, sliced onion and 3 whole garlic to the other. Roast @ 425 for 30-40 minutes turning them half way. Prepare farro according to the cooking instructions on the back of the package and drain. Meanwhile, prepare kale by stripping leaves from stalks and rough chopping. Add 2 garlic cloves (slightly crushed) to a warm saute pan with 1 tsp of EVOO brown they brown on all sides, discard cloves; add kale, nutmeg and cayenne pepper; once the kale is coated add the water, let it cook down; stirring occasionally about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast and cool pine nuts in a dry pan.

                                                                                                                          Toss farro, kale, roasted vegetables, pine nuts with remaining EVOO, and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                          *Note – run your knife through the roasted garlic and onions so they are easily distributed.

                                                                                                                          6-8 servings


                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                            excuse me, we're not here to praise the good ones. just make fun of the gross ones. take this niceness somewhere else please.

                                                                                                                            (kidding! i actually might try that recipe tonight because i agree, it does sound good!)

                                                                                                                          2. Perhaps they thought velveeta was actually a non digestible polymer substance?

                                                                                                                            1. Gwah. We're a fat nation because we eat too much processed, unhealthy food that has hidden sugars and fats. We don't read labels, we don't do the necessary math. The poor don't have money and sometimes the education to buy high-quality foods that will nourish them without expanding their weight, and sometimes they're disenfranchised to the point that even if the money was there, the stores are not. (Written by a woman who has seen firsthand a neighborhood with NO veg. or fresh foods within a 5-mile radius.) We refuse to exercise, and combined with the above issues, piling on pounds is a no-brainer. Type 2 diabetes is extant too, because of this.
                                                                                                                              But yes: less in and more output of energy is the key. And being aware that things like added Velveeta blew what could've been regarded as a healthy recipe blew that one straight outta the water. Hey, I use the stuff sometimes, but I have no pretentions about the health factor.

                                                                                                                              1. Here's my take. Keep in mind that I'm "paleo/primal/evolutionary biology" for more than 3 years now

                                                                                                                                We are fat because we have put our trust in the diet industry - one that is fueled by profit margins and pseudo science. We've collectively chosen to push away peer reviewed research in favor of government sponsored (and lets not forget their lovely lobbyists in tow) "studies".

                                                                                                                                Furthermore, there are some key studies that were done in the 60s that have shaped our ideas about food. The most notable and fraudulent one being the Ansel Keys study and his Lipid Hypothesis. I urge everyone to google these words. Unfortunately, our food guides are still based on this straw foundation.

                                                                                                                                The answer? Eat real food; organic grass fed meat, poultry and eggs, fish, vegetables and fruit. Real Fat is healthy. Avoid processed foods - grains, pasta, etc. We are results of our evolutionary heritage, and no diet study will ever change that. Insulin and high blood sugar result in fat storage and the metabolic syndrome (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.). This is well known in the scientific literature.

                                                                                                                                There are so many false truths out there and most of us don't bother to look into every issue.

                                                                                                                                That's why we are fat.


                                                                                                                                P.S. i'm 32, use to be obese, and now I'm lean, strong, energetic and have flawless blood results while eating 8 to 12 eggs a day, lots of meat and fish, and of course all my veggies. I eat almost double the calories i use to eat and I'm never hungry. My IBS has vanished and skin looks 5 years younger. Oh, and I love french food!

                                                                                                                                37 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                  Good Answer!! And congratulations to you, for taking off your extra poundage sensible and developing a new relationship to good healthy food. Thanks so much for taking time to write your thoughtful post.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                    I eat plenty of processed and junk foods. My regular diet is anywhere from 3-4k calories. I eat grains and plenty of meat. I can bench, pull well over my weight, press well over double and can go on an easy 10k run right now if I wanted to (not going to since it's rainy and cold).

                                                                                                                                    My point: There's no such thing as an unhealthy diet. A diet can be anything. Making comments without knowing the lifestyle, without seeing the entire picture is both dangerous and naive. Something worked for you and that's great. But, making absolute claims is being presumptive and jumping to conclusions.

                                                                                                                                    I'll add: To say that insulin and blood sugar results in metabolic syndromes is outright false - Forget journals; any textbook in physiology or biochemistry will say so. Again, it's great that you overcame your own trials, but that doesn't give you some right to make science claims without an understanding of the basic sciences.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                      "My point: There's no such thing as an unhealthy diet. "

                                                                                                                                      You've made the mistake of extrapolating from a single personal experience to a general truth.
                                                                                                                                      You're quite wrong. Some folks are genetically blessed enough to get away with a crap diet, at least for a while, sometimes for life. But it's still unhealthy.

                                                                                                                                      Most folks are not similarly blessed and some folks, like me, once were, until I no longer was.

                                                                                                                                      Good research demonstrates that diet and the hormonal response to it has huge determinatve effects on health, wellness and disease in most folks. The exceptions don't negate this.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                        Genetically blessed? I find that to be insulting, seeing as how I bust my ass in the gym every day. Take just about anyone and put that person on my diet/exercise, and... The outcome is very predictable. Genes? No. Work ethic. Excuses are the root of most issues, including this one.

                                                                                                                                        None of you are evolutionary biologists. Why are people commenting on such a complex topic, making it sound as if all facts are known? (This is also a rampant problem with most topics - Do not pretend to know a topic when it's clear that even the elementary aspects are missed) Evolution is absolute? No. Evolution is a theory. One that I strongly support, but a theory nonetheless, not law.

                                                                                                                                        Here's a parallel: Alcohol is why we're reckless.
                                                                                                                                        No, it's not. It's poor judgment. Beers, wines and spirits can be enjoyed responsibly. I'd disagree with it, but they can also be a critical part of a meal. Alcohol doesn't cause harm. It's the drunk that made very poor decisions along the way that's the problem.

                                                                                                                                        Here's another parallel: Religion is what makes us arrogant.
                                                                                                                                        No, it's not. It's seeking out excuses. Religion can be a wonderful thing that brings people together and gives hope to many. But, it's often used by evil people as an excuse to do harm onto others, because that's the only thing they can turn to.

                                                                                                                                        Finally, the topic here: Heavy food is why we're fat.
                                                                                                                                        No, it's not. Food is wonderful. Food is one of those truly universal aspects of human nature. It's culturally significant, open to interpretation, and can be practiced by all. If a person makes a poor decision and over-consumes, that is a problem with over-consuming, not a problem with food.

                                                                                                                                        One can either see the situation as is and adapt properly or make excuses. I choose to eat delicious food and balance it with activities. If I'm not comfortable with this I can choose to lower my activity level along with my food intake. What I'll not do is make excuses or pretend that the (balance) equation doesn't exist.

                                                                                                                                        Food is wonderful. No one is forcing me to eat any of it. I choose to eat. I choose balance.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                          I might not be a biologist, but thousands of people are. Furthermore, there is a lot of literature that deals with this topic, both scientific papers and general public books - both of which I have been reading for years.

                                                                                                                                          Also, you are making the same mistake once more, by using yourself as an indication of the general public. Yes, YOU bust your ass. YOU work hard and have the results. But that's not the case for many people including some that work hard and don't have the bodies to show for it. It's also quite possible - read probable - that you'd be much healthier on a better diet. It's all relative.

                                                                                                                                          Just because I'm not a biologist doesn't mean I don't have access to the information that's easily available.

                                                                                                                                          Let me be clear; there is no debate in the scientific community as to what consisted of the majority of our food intake throughout evolution - our bodies have evolved to thrive with said foods. I'm not even going to debate this.

                                                                                                                                          But I give you credit. You work out to balance what you think is unhealthy, and take pleasure in food. IT's a good balance. This being said, I take many pleasures in food, and spend most of my day thinking about or preparing delicious meals.


                                                                                                                                          1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                            I just want to mention that scientists now venture that humans are still evolving, and that they have not stopped. I don't know how quickly we evolve (if we still are doing so) but that is the new thinking of at least some scientists. I've often wondered if a starch based diet was so bad for us, why the first grain harvesting humans did not die out instead of thriving.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                              I'd guess that if it's a factor, they did all right because they ate the whole grain instead of stripping it of fiber and nutrients, thereby leaving only the starch (sugar). Also, I'm betting that mass quantities weren't involved.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                They also had to expend HUGE amounts of energy to survive daily. Recent archeaology turned up evidence of grain related disease, I read just last week. Can't recall exactly what it was.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                evolution wouldnt simply stop because humans came around. there are very measurable differences in humans even vs 100 years ago (height, proportions, intelligence...) if ya assume we evolved to get here, you have to assume we would continue to do so to fit the world as we change (destroy?) it.

                                                                                                                                                seems like our food tolerances/preferences/treatment would evolve with us

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                  People always say that, but it's really a question of scale. Our entire hormonal and digestive system evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. To assume that 10 000 years of eating grains has significantly changed us to the point that we should be eating a carbohydrate diet is false, IMHO (and from all the related research I've read over the past 5 years)

                                                                                                                                                  The research is and has always been out there. High fluctuations in serum glucose is very damaging to the human body for multiple reasons. It is also well understood the damage caused by inflammation - both being related.

                                                                                                                                                  Furthermore, like all life on earth, plants have one goal, and that is to reproduce. The protective husk of grain has multiple anti nutrients, their role being to prevent digestion in order for the seed to survive and be "deposited" elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                  I find it strange the resistance people have when facing a diet based on evolution. Have we been so distorted that we trust government studies more than peer reviewed science?

                                                                                                                                                  How many of you have looked up the history of the Lipid Hypothesis - a fraudulent study that is still the foundation of the "low fat" obsession.


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                    So what does this have to do with the price of Velveeta?

                                                                                                                                            2. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                              There are people who bust their asses in the gym and continue to get fat due to their genetic and endocrine/metabolic makeup. There are people who eat all day and sit around and are thin, folks who diet carefully, work out and are fat. Some people deposit fat in unusual patterns leading to odd body types... it's not personal discipline and it's certainly not exercise... which also raises cortisol sky high. Anyone spending a lot of time in body building knows what that means, for example.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                                i am a bodybuilder myself, and i have this talk quite a bit with people who i train and train alongside of. i have to disagree with you a little bit. while i do agree that the definition of "healthy" can be stretched much farther than most people will normally allow, to bring in some foods generally considered "unhealthy," i do believe that our training allows us to consume some of these unhealthy foods DESPITE their lack of healthy aspects. do i believe we can make good progress in the gym while consuming some foods generally viewed as "unhealthy?" yes. do i believe those are the IDEAL foods to fuel our workouts, growth, and overall lean mass? probably not.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                  I have body builder friends who are also paleo, but they definitely eat a lot more carbohydrates in the form of coconut water, sweet potatoes, lots of fruit, etc. The need for carbohydrates post workout can't be overemphasized by this group and they find ways around it.

                                                                                                                                                  Interestingly, they also concede that they are not progressing as fast on a strictly paleolithic diet, but that they feel better in other areas of their life. A healthy balance for many of them is worth this slower gain.

                                                                                                                                                  But most of us are not bodybuilders. In fact, a primitive human would have been strong, lean, fast - not huge. We thrive when we're lean and strong, and that's what I aim for.


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                    Some thrived due to being fatter and strong. Those with the "thrifty gene" that hangs on to fat like crazy, making one the most likely to survive a famine. There were very variable conditions and food supplies in different climates and some survived on starches and fruits more than animal proteins and seasonal berries, etc. We're omnivores for a reason; adaptability, varied origins.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                "Some folks are genetically blessed enough to get away with a crap diet, at least for a while, sometimes for life. But it's still unhealthy."
                                                                                                                                                Yep. This may not be true for weight control, but it certainly can be true for those who maintain good lipid levels and don't become diabetics. My dad has a crappy diet, but has never had cholesterol above 180 and his HDL is higher than his LDL. He is not a diabetic.

                                                                                                                                                My mother, by contrast, eats a very healthy diet, is not overweight, and is on statins because her cholesterol got up to 250.

                                                                                                                                                Sometimes a healthy lifestyle isn't enough to offset the effects of bad genes.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Isolda


                                                                                                                                                  It's possible that your brother eats what you both think is a "healthy" diet, when in fact it's not. Dietary fat and cholesterol do not correlate to serum fat and cholesterol deposits. The cholesterol in your blood is produced by your liver to repair and build tissue. Diets high in carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereal, sugar, etc) cause a lot of inflammation which is very damaging to the artery walls - requiring cholesterol to patch and "fix" the damage. Over years this can result in cardiovascular problems.

                                                                                                                                                  Furthermore, the simple cholesterol test done in most labs is not a complete test and does not tell the whole story. For example, you can have high cholesterol but if the ratios are good, you are healthy.


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                    "Dietary fat and cholesterol do not correlate to serum fat and cholesterol deposits. The cholesterol in your blood is produced by your liver to repair and build tissue. Diets high in carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereal, sugar, etc) cause a lot of inflammation which is very damaging to the artery walls - requiring cholesterol to patch and "fix" the damage. Over years this can result in cardiovascular problems."

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks! Well put.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                    You should show your mother the recent publications indicating that statins cause diabetes in women. And everyone, for that matter. All of our sex hormones, electrolyte balancing and stress survival hormones are made from LDL cholesterol. That's why we need more of it as we age, or when we have high insulin levels, which interfere with steroid production by the adrenals.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                      Apparently there are tests to see if someone has statin resistance, and if cholesterol probs are genetic. I don't think anyone can doubt that some of us have a genetic predisposition to overweight, high cholesterol and other diseases. No one doubts that some of us are more likely to have cancer; why is it a stretch to imagine the same with diabetes/heart disease/overweight?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                        I agree. We are all different and we all have a certain window of opportunity healthwise. This thread also shows that there are probably dozens and dozens of factors involved in health/weight issues. It seems apparent in my reading that scientists still really don't have body chemistry figured out - they know a little here and a little there, but have not put together any significant part of the puzzle. Unfortunately, in the name of the mighty dollar, our society is still willing to put a lot of work into selling us lots of chemicals to swallow/breathe/inject without really knowing what damage it does to our finely tuned and largely unknown systems.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                          Statin resistance? My mother didn' t die of "statin resistance" she died of toxic effects of statins. And high cholesterol and LDL aren't even the cause of CVD. And elderly folks with the lowest LDL have the highest mortality. Perhaps because all of our sex hormones and other adrenal steroids are made from LDL. High cholesterol is not a disease, it's a marketing ploy.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                            I agree with you. I'm a competitive endurance athlete eating a balanced diet, yet I have 220 chol. Fortunately the HDL is quite high so the Dr. hasn't suggested a statin, but there's no way in hell I'd take one. Funny how the drug companies, oops, i mean doctors, keep lowering the number at which they want you to take statins. I'm sorry about your mom.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                                      I have to agree with mcf;

                                                                                                                                                      Some people can "look" and "feel" healthy because of their superior genetics. However, there is no denying our evolutionary history and the fact that we are and never will be meant to eat processed sugars (ie grains, etc).

                                                                                                                                                      Evolution is absolute.


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                        Again, well-said, HalifaxJ.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                          Humans have been harvesting grains since 8000 B.C. per Jared Diamond


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                            Also by Diamond;


                                                                                                                                                            The fact is that for the most of our evolution (and lets not forget the ice ages where leafy greens were barely available at all), we ate whole animals and fish. Our bodies thrive on these foods. Not only did we eat the meat, but also the fat and organs, which contain all the nutrients required for us to thrive and survive.

                                                                                                                                                            Saddly, some heavy handed campaigns in the 1960s have convinced most of us that fat is somehow bad and that cereal is the saviour of mankind by virtue of its low fat content.


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                              The animals also ate what came naturally - we are what we eat eats.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                Seriously ... this thread is about 2 lbs of Velveeta in a recipe and has devolved into answering why people are fat and has nothing to do with the original premise.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, it's about whether the Velveeta recipe is healthy, and obesity is a huge health concern.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                    Sure, but there are a zillion threads about obesity. For heaven's sake, the cave man didn't have Velveeta.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                      Hmmmm, maybe that's why there are no more cavemen, they didn't have velveeta....

                                                                                                                                                                      Joke, people, it's a joke.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                        Do you know that with complete certainty? What if the Mother Ship delivered the Velveeta to them?????

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                                          can we actually call it the MotherKraft?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                      Have you read the title of the thread? :-)

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                              HalifaxJ and mamachef, you both have a great grasp of things. I'd like to add one more component to the mix: Prescription and OTC drugs. I strongly believe that our bodies are in a sort of "chemical confusion" brought on partly by crap in the processed foods and more so by swallowing strong chemicals in the form of legal drugs that completely knock nature off balance. Our medical/pharmaceutical industries believe that there is a symptom to squash for every drug that someone can invent. Thus, we assault our bodies with powerful potions that do nothing to actually restore or promote health. Blend this with a poor, processed diet filled with things like partly hydrogenated oils, and our society has a health disaster on its hands. We have the most (some claim best -?) food and the most expensive medical system in the world - but we are not the healthiest country in the world. There are many factors involved in our current obesity/diabetes situation!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                At least 50% of drugs and even some foods, like grapefruit, activate or inhibit the CYP450 enzyme pathway, leading to higher or lower pituitary/adrenal function, including fat storage and blood glucose levels, etc. So do other environmental activities and exposures.

                                                                                                                                                            3. Well, Velveeta for me is a diet food. The one time I remember eating a dip that contained it, I spent the rest of the evening in the bathroom, probably because of the lactose or whatever else it was that induced my, er, symptoms. :) Not an experience I'd care to repeat.

                                                                                                                                                                1. As if to answer the question... http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/re...

                                                                                                                                                                  "In the past decade, clinical trials have repeatedly demonstrated that when obese and overweight individuals consciously restrict the carbohydrates they eat, but not calories, they not only lose weight, on average, but their heart disease and diabetes risk factors improve significantly. Their insulin resistance, in effect, resolves. Those of us who have lost weight ourselves and witnessed the effect of these diets on our patients can confirm that this is exactly what happens. "

                                                                                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                    shhhhhh....pharmaceuticals might not like this!

                                                                                                                                                                    The sad thing is that this was very well understood before the 50s and 60s when fear campaigns targeting fat were deployed by the grain industry.

                                                                                                                                                                    And then came the famous Ansel Keys (Lipid Hypothesis) and all the science got thrown to the side in favor of a fraudulent graph that pleased the financial interests in play.


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                      <pharmaceuticals might not like this!>

                                                                                                                                                                      either would the Idaho Potato Commission and Denise Austin

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                        But I always thougt that potatoes (plain), aren't the same carb as bread, bagels, pasta, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder about this, too. Whole grains, good. Processed white grains, bad. Whole foods, good. Potatoes....they ARE a whole food, right? They contain fiber, right? I try to never discard the skin...seems like that would be good, right? As I understand it, fat and fiber slow down the uptake of sugar, which slows down the release of insulin....does anyone know if this is the right direction?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                            Whole grain, bad. Processed white grains, more bad.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                              But hasn't it been proven that carb-free diets do harm in the long-run? Including rebound effects, etc.?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                No. There is no scientific peer reviewed research that shows this. All the studies always show is that if you eat a lot of industrially produced meat (or veggies for that matter), there can be problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                Ketosis is your friend, and natural state of balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                  The biggest problem is that anything can proven with "science". Profits, opinions, politics, and personal goals trump public health every time. People like me are left to sift through everything to try to decide what is really healthy. My defense has been to stay away from doctors and eat whole, real food.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, there's a big difference between government sponsored "studies" - backed by BIG pharma groups, and actual peer reviewed research. Besides, evolution isn't a study per say, but a sound and scientific understanding of our past.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Like you say, eat real food. I'm afraid bread and pasta is far from any real food our ancestors (and genetically identical) put in their mouths.


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                      because bread and pasta have only appeared recently -- pay no attention to the remnants that archeologists have found dating back thousands of years.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It wasn't Wonder Bread -- but it was most assuredly bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842


                                                                                                                                                                                        They only found some husks in minimal quantities at one site, and the date is still only a few thousand years earlier. Since they don't find any evidence of grain consumption at all the other sites, most of them have concluded that grains played no role in their diet. And if it did, it was minimal. The problem is that when the media gets a hold of these findings, they tend to make their own conclusions.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been reading and following this for years. The facts remain; our diets were made up of animals, fish and leafy greens with the occasional berries and tubers, depending on the region and time period (ice ages, for example)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                          do the scribes and artists of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt know that their descriptions (and depictions) of bread are wrong?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow. I suggest you read about evolution and the time scales being discussed here. It has always been very clear that agriculture started 12 000 (some pushing it back by 5 000 years) ago, long before greeks and romans.

                                                                                                                                                                                            We're talking 2 MILLION years of HOMO evolution. No one has or will ever claim that Sumerians, Greeks and Romans did not eat the fruits of agriculture.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think you are coming to your own conclusions here.


                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                              My statement was that humankind has been eating bread and pasta for thousands of years. This is a true statement.

                                                                                                                                                                                              If we've been processing bread and pasta for thousands of years, then it's remotely possible that our bodies have adapted to using it in our bodies -- it's pretty hard to make an argument that we've been living with processed grains as a not-insignificant part of our diets for thousands of years, but suddenly in the last 100 years, it's all gone straight to hell because we never evolved to deal with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's simply not logical.

                                                                                                                                                                                              While I will not for a second defend highly-processed white bread and sugar -- there are still an awful lot of cultures on the planet that DO eat white bread and pasta as a major part of their diet and do not have the issues with diabetes, obesity, and cardiopulmonary disease that is so unfortunately prevalent in North America.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Processed grains simply cannot be the sole suspect here.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                Where/who are those high white bread and pasta eating non diabetic cultures, exactly? Not Asia, Italy or India.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Asia: white rice, rice pancakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Central Asia: white rice, naan
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Europe eats white bread and pasta as staples -- France, Germany, and Italy aren't dealing with mass epidemics of diabetic, obese heart patients. Those number are growing, but it isn't because of the traditional foods -- it's because of the increasing influence of fast food, convenience foods, and the degradation of the traditional lifestyles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexico - corn and wheat breads, white rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                  and the US ate bread and rice with no deleterious effects until very recently, thanks to the influence of all of these cultures. Take a look at South Pacific Islanders -- obesity is a tradtionally culturally desirable trait...but traditionally, they weren't keeling over from lethal combinations of obesity, diabetes, and cardiopulmonary disease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is no single factor -- much as everyone would love for that to be the case -- just look at the wowee fads -- they are all attacking JUST ONE part of a complicated mess that I don't think anyone with any list of degrees and qualifications fully understands yet.. It's overeating, and too much fat, and too much sugar, and not enough exercise, plus too much stress. It's just too much of too much, and too little of too little -- like moderation, exercise, and the requirement to accept the blame for having made really bad choices over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's all of it together -- lifestyles in general -- and until THAT changes, overall health isn't going to change, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are dealing with such epidemics. Especially India, China, Mexico, Germany... page through the charts here: http://www.who.int/diabetes/facts/wor...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not the fat, it's the starches. Fat without starches, not. Fat with starches, a nuclear health bomb. Starches without fat, a bomb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ***because of the introduction of fast food and processed convenience foods***

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not because of the foods that THOSE cultures have been producing and eating for thousands of years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Developing nations have historically relied on starches because they're cheap and filling -- but if your theory were correct, developing nations would have zero population because they'd all have died out because of starches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's not true except in urbanized areas with western influence. But there are nutrition related health problems among poor rural Asians, too. A lot of them ARE dying... or suffering. Did you review the WHO charts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                          but from starvation and malnutrition -- diabetes, obesity, and cardiopulmonary disorders are primarily the scourge of wealthy nations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uh, uh. I just got back from a year in Guatemala where even the poorest nothing of a down has a diabetes clinic. Definately not the scourge primarily of wealthy nations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too often, obesity and malnutrition happen together. To poor folks. Did you page through the WHO charts?

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                Give us this day our daily leafy greens, animal protein and tubers.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Never. Only speculations and predictions. So far, only benefits and disease and mortality risk reduction has resulted.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                  Right. White potatoes are even worse. Dietitians have promulgated the myth of "complex" carbs for so long that people don't understand that it's a technical difference, and that some complex carbs are more glycemic or as glycemic as table sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Generally, people are fat because they eat too much flour sugar and fat. I can't understand why this simple reality continues to escape so many seemingly intelligent people. Man's metabolism evolved over thousands of years to process the foods that were local to where man lived. Now in the last few hundred years man can pretty well eat whatever he wants. Flour sugar and too much fat are POSION! to our systems. Why is there epidemic of diabetes within some races? Common sense ought to answer that question but somehow it never seems to. (Not PC) Someone ten years from now will post: "Why is the majority of the worlds population fat?".
                                                                                                                                                                              "I just ate two 'Whoppers" with super sized fries and a gallon of root beer like I do every day. I'm a hundred pounds over weight and I've just been told I have to stick a needle in my stomach every day for the rest of my life and my vision is not what it used to be. I wonder if it's got anything to do with my diet?".

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3


                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, we have evolved as "homo" for roughly 2 MILLION years, whereas agriculture (or the mass consumption of grain products) only dates back 12 000 - 30 000 ( based on some findings of husks at one site, in very small amounts, the traditional 12 000 is pushed back by some archaeologists, although this is not accepted by most).

                                                                                                                                                                                We are genetically identical, for the most part, to our ancestors 100 000 years ago - ancestors who ate entire animals, including lots of fats, organ meats, bone marrow and blood. They also ate the leafy greens they came across, as well as tubers and berries - both which were much smaller and had less sugar content (read Guns Germs and Steel for good overview of domestication). It is logical to assume that during the ice ages, we mostly ate protein and lots of fat. Furthermore, Inuit populations that eat a very high fat diet do not have the cardiovascular problems we face in the modern world, not to mention the cancer rates and diabetes.

                                                                                                                                                                                My diet consists of 60% fat, 30% protein and 10% complex carbohydrates (berries, greens, some tubers, nuts, etc.). I eat more than i use to 4 years ago, and I'm lean as ever. I'm in Ketosis, which is the natural state of operation for the HOMO family of creatures.

                                                                                                                                                                                People eat too much sugar in reaction to the "low fat" nonsense imposed by financial profits and dishonest politicians. It has nothing to do with fat.


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                  Your testimony here is but one small drop to counter the huge pile of brainwashing which has been thrust upon the public, especially doctors, regarding the "evils" of animal fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've given up on trying to convince people - mostly by sending them to read documents - and settled on being healthy myself. When they ask me how I can eat so much fat and be so healthy, I tell them my story. Most of them just reply with "it must be good genetics". Little do they know that I have terrible genes, and was overweight most of my 20s.


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have terrible genes, too and most of my father's relatives were dead of diabetes complications in their 40s or early 50s. In my case; I've been able to reverse long standing kidney and nerve damage and keep my diabetes in normal, non diabetic numbers with diet alone by eating increasingly low carb for about 14 years now. My HDL rose to 78 after a decade at 34 within two weeks of cutting out starches and sugars. My diet breaks out to 50-55%% fat, 30-35% protein and the rest from high fiber, non starchy carbs

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                        >>> I've given up on trying to convince people - mostly by sending them to read documents - and settled on being healthy myself

                                                                                                                                                                                        That seems like excellent advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        You can't change anyone, you can only change yourself. Just as these side digressions from the topic aren't going to influence one person.

                                                                                                                                                                                        What was interesting and amusing was the recipe contest which people seem to have chosen to ignore.

                                                                                                                                                                                        There are a few that match the cluelessness of the recipe in the op. People seem to ignore what the contest was all about. Whether or not it is healthy, the tofu stuffed bell peppers make me cringe

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think people ignored it. There's only so much that can be said about it, and ultimately it comes down to our perceptions of what is healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                            Like there is only so much one can say about personal perceptions of what is healthy. This is one of those topics that if the topic was that, i would not have participated because it has been beaten to deat thousands of times on the board and that is actually under exaggeration. Perhaps letting it die when all was said and done about the contest would have kindly put it out of its misery.

                                                                                                                                                                                            i think there could have been a lot said about healthy cooking and people really taking a look at the website and disucssing what people were submitting there as healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            There's the guy with the healthy 7 layer bean dip which meant substituting low calorie and low fat for regular sour cream etc. There was the chex mix recipe which didn't look any different than regular chex mix

                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, it is kind of interesting from a perception of people only seeing what they want.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Some just saw recipe and favorite and went with that as many in this thread only saw the title and went with that. We see what we want to see.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. here is a good study by Harvard published last year

                                                                                                                                                                                  Basically don't eat chips, potatoes, sugary drinks, meat, white bread/rice/sugar/sweets
                                                                                                                                                                                  Eat fruits veggies nuts yogurt and whole grains as this can help lose weight

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sleep 6-8 hours a night

                                                                                                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                    Read Taubes: He has reviewed all the studies. Many years of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                      i don't care if it is a study by God. This is all nonsense.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The God study would simply say eat less calories than you burn and you will lose weight because that is how i created you.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I mean Jared (sp) lost hundreds of pounds on a diet of Subway sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                      There is no magic and you can study it to death and it won't change a thing ... less calories than you burn.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The only time I successfully lost weight was watching calories. Some were more pleasant diets than others, some made you feel fuller, but it didn't matter. Find what makes you happy to eat and then watch the calories ... even if that is subway sandwiches

                                                                                                                                                                                      That isn't to say that a diet that keeps you thin is a healthy diet. Weight loss and health are two different issues. Ask an anorexic

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                        I eat more than ever and I'm leaner than ever. Of course I eat the right foods - real food - and I have tones of energy to spend so I play lots of sports and live a very active lifestyle. When I lost weight in the past, I was on a calorie restricted diet, had no energy and felt like crap all the time. It wasn't worth it at all.


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                          Good heavens, yes -- anybody remember the low-fat craze of the mid-90s, when everyone had a box of Snackwells stashed in their desk?

                                                                                                                                                                                          I worked with LOTS of people who cut their fat intake down to zero, but weren't losing weight because they weren't eating fat, but they were putting away a box of those chocolate-marshmallow cookies (okay, they WERE good!) every single day. You can't lose weight on a no-fat diet if you're still wolfing down more calories than you're burning.

                                                                                                                                                                                          One woman took it to the extreme -- she cut so much fat out of her diet that she began to have serious skin problems, and her hair became so dry and brittle it was breaking off...she actually ended up in the hospital with what was essentially malnutrition -- she wasn't taking in enough fat to even keep her body running right.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                            You have a really good point; however, I think that there is a degree of "chemical confusion" in most of us that interferes with the body's natural function. We are attacked daily by fake foods, OTC and prescription drugs, pollution, etc. These things make our bodies more defensive, for example. When a body feels it is under attack, it hangs onto fat. Have you ever noticed that people who go to the doctor more, eat more processed foods, and take more drugs are generally larger?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                              that's a part of it, too -- but the danger there is that people excuse themselves for being overweight and out of shape because they take a lot of meds.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Your body will also slow its metabolism if you drastically cut your caloric intake -- it recognizes the sudden slowdown in intake and the "starvation" alarm kicks on -- so your metabolism slows, making it even harder to lose weight, even though you're eating less.

                                                                                                                                                                                              One of the best bits of advice I ever saw about weight loss was to be patient -- you didn't gain this weight in two weeks -- so you're not going to lose it all in two weeks, either. The advice was that it would take at least as long to lose it as it did to gain it -- a lot of folks can lose faster than that, but it helps keep things in perspective and helps keep you from giving up in frustration.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                All very important. Yeah, factors are not the same as legitimate excuses. They just help with some of the understanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's not nonsense, there's a lot of useful data and study out there. Different types of foods have hugely variable effects on hormones. Hormones determine the fate of calories. One's own individual experience is just a data point, not a body of science explaining why what's worked or you and others does not work any more for increasing numbers of people. Read Taube's first book, then see what you still think is nonsense.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                No. That is not correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                One of these things that these studies ALWAYS bypass is metabolism. So they are alwyas flawed from the beginning. The assumption is everyone burns calories at the same rate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                There was this poor little mouse on the news that almost looked like a tea saucer it was so flat and round. It was genetically altered. Still that rat would lose weight if it consumed less calories than whatever it needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry, I just don't see any proof that watching calories doesn't work for an increasingly number of people. Have we suddenly evolved in a generation to change the way the body works/

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can watch calories all you want, and you might lose weight, but if you're eating garbage then your health will suffer, regardless of the weight you've lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like I said before, I lost weight in the past - lots of weight - by eating a low fat high carb diet. I was so sick I couldn't even play tennis anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Garbage is garbage regardless of the calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And that is what I said. Losing weight is a different issue from eating healthy. Ask an anorexic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    One can choose to lose weight by eating grapefruit, cutting catbs, cutting fat, drinking diet tea, subway sandwiches or whoppers ... or the velveeta casserole in the OP. If you eat under the calories your body uses, you will lose weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess we're just working from different information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So that book is a proven study that you can eat more calories than your body uses and lose weight? I'd read it if it proved that. That would be different information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It reviews ALL the studies. Exhaustively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What book? Garry Taubes? I suggest you read his books and even check out some of his 1 hour lectures. Make your own mind after that.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am referring to "Good Calories, Bad Calories." Or the online videos from his presentation to obesity researchers at UC Berkeley are fascinating, alternatively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never said their weren't good calories or bad calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did say that healthy eating is a different issue than losing weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Probably better than any study is looking at those recipes present with the velveeta recipe. The idea of healthy eating gets translated into high salt, processed from the can junk. As the OP state, THAT is why Americans are fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not one of those recipes I've read so far even addresses portion size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Again, if the book somehow states that calories don't count and you can lose weight by some magic combo of foods ... nah ... wouldn't read it either because there is no such thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just read the book. The title sucks, but it's 600 pages of exhaustive review of obesity research.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You wouldn't read something that doesn't agree with your current paradigm?


                                                                                                                                                                                                2. According to Stanford and Dr. Oz, Genetically there may be a better diet for you based on your DNA. People placed on a specific DNA type diet lost 2.5 times more weight than just on a typical diet. So there are many right answers on how to lose weight but your best way to lose weight may not be my best way to lose weight if that makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  34 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dr. Oz? Isn't he sponsored by Kellogs or some other company?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's only one way to eat for maximum health. I know it's hard for a lot of people to accept, but we are spawns of evolution and there's nothing you can do about it. Within this framework, we can all chose to eat differently to suite our own bodies and beliefs. For example, a vegetarian does not have to eat grains either, and can be healthy (although I disagree...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's just no way to scientifically justify eating grains and processed sugars. Most of us are addicted to this diet and never realize our full potential. I resisted so hard at first, but mostly because I loved bread so much. Now I understand why, from a scientific perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Taubes is an excellent introduction to the mythology that surrounds food and the political "coup d'etat" that happened in the 20th century. The history included in his books is worth the read alone.


                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This study was funded by stanford and Dr. Oz thought it was interesting and put it on his show. Obviously a lot of sugar is not good for anyone, just look at older American's teeth if they have any left for proof. Our body was not meant to eat so much sugar. Also, this study showed that some people do lose weight on a low carb diet of 60 grams of carbs or less a day so that goes in line what you are saying. But, some people do lose more weight on a low fat diet or well balanced diet depending on their DNA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll agree that we can't all have the same diet. However, as a consequence of our evolutionary heritage, we all have the same framework from which we can elaborate our diets. So yes, you might need more carbohydrates and less fat - but these carbs should come from natural low glycemic foods such as fruit, tubers, and lots of veggies. It does not justify the consumption of grains. I thrive on a high fat, moderate protein diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course I'm talking about being healthy, and not simply losing weight. Often, the biggest mistake people make when losing weight is forgetting that a poor diet (read high carb low fat/protein) results in a lot of muscle mass being lost - lean tissue mass is crucial for our bodies to thrive. So while you can lose weight on a high carb calorie restricted diet, you're also losing a lot more muscle when compared to a low carb high protein/fat diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Weight, in and of itself, is irrelevant to health. I can starve myself and lose 50lbs. But I'm not healthy, and I can guarantee you I won't be playing tennis or hockey.


                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, a study published in recent weeks found that if people made no changes other than eating below 50 grams of carbs two days per week, they lost weight. http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/08...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Additionally the Harvard nurses study found that the highest starch eaters had the most breast cancer and the highest fat eaters had the least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                            yes this study shows that a 2 day week low carb diet lost more weight than an unlimited calorie low carb diet every day of the week.... interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            edit: oh they lost more than the 1500 calorie a day diet, I see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You may want to read that more closely for all the content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You left out the group who had the least positive outcome. There's a message there. Also, ere's 2003 quote: According to the WHO, cardiovascular disease is one of the leading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  causes of mortality in south east Asia, while in China (despite the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  low prevalence of heart attack in Beijing) there is a high prevalence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of heart disease and an extremely high mortality rate from stroke.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Over a quarter (27.4%) of all deaths in China are due to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cardiovascular disease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    this study was done on 115 people, I agree the study shows a need for more research though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There has been quite a lot of it. In some, including a pediatric study, the low carb kids lost about twice the weight on double the calories. I believe Duke U. has had similar findings. Interesting online journal for free if you're interested: "Nutrition and Metabolism."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you gave up bread in some sort of mistaken belife that eliminating it from your diet would make you healthier, that's kind of sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A local news station is going recently with the caveman diet. Good, bad, whatever, the one thing that was cool about the reporter was that if she craved something like a cupcake occasionally . had it. She still feels swell. She can have her occasional cupcake and eat it too

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't doubt you feel better on whatever eating plan you are on ... or anybody's eating plan. I also believe you can be fat an healthy or thin and unhealthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The thing is there is no magic in any food or combination of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's no mistaken belief here, there's only evolution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You seem to be very resistant to this and yet won't even read what's been put forward by multiple posters. I think many of us have been reading about this for years. It's not as simple as you want it to be. You can't simply say "I don't like it so it's no good at all".

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bread is garbage whether you like it or not. If you want to eat it once in a while, go ahead. The problem is that the majority of north Americans eat refined sugars all day long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why the resistance to something the science community has been promoting for over a century? If you read Taubes, you'd know the history of our pespective on food, and why it is such.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have read the Atkins, Southbeach Diet, 4 hour body, 2 different "cave-man" diet books, and I agree that grains may not be that great but guess what? They are here and I am not going to give them up for my entire life. I think limiting them and eating more fruit veggies nuts beans (though it seems this is even controversial 4 Hr body vs. paleolithic) and yogurt is a great idea. I know eating low carb is an effective weight loss tool as I lost 25 pounds doing it 5 years ago but, it is hard to eat that way for life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find it quite easy. Once you cut out all processed sugars (bread, pasta, etc), you simply stop craving them. I don't crave pastry or any sweet treats either. It's a very comfortable feeling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure, I make exceptions. I'll have a beer once a week with friends at the local micro, I'll even have a small piece of cake on a birthday. But it's rare, and doesn't constitute any significant food intake of my diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To be clear, I eat high fat yogurt (very low in lactose) and cheese in moderation.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ugh. Sadly I think if I did the DNA test I would be in the group that would lose more weight on a low carb diet. But I do believe there is no one size fits all diet. And I pray that whole grains are fine ;) I can pray right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wait a minute -- Taubes has no background in medicine or nutrition. None.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  While his articles have been dubbed "interesting" -- let's link a couple of other articles that are pretty clearly saying "not so fast":


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Being an outsider to the health industry no more immediately makes Taubes an expert than being in the health industry makes someone a liar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Again -- all things in moderation...I don't believe that the AMA is the be-all, end-all -- but neither is Taubes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bravo sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    >>> You seem to be very resistant to this and yet won't even read what's been put forward by multiple posters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, that's my whole objection to the digression on this thread. I'm going to take health advice from strangers on the internet. Just because a lot of people say something doesn't make it true or right. There was a time when a majority of people thought women were inferior, slavery was just, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One has to use common sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, bread is not garbage. The problem is lack of moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The foods you cut are calorie dense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Back in the mid-20th century, I had an Aunt and Uncle that were way ahead of the curve and ate a lot like you describe ... maybe better. Ya know what? They both died ... in their 60's. They both bragged about how well they felt on their mean little diets. I tell you what. I felt good eating my grandmother's lemon pie and babka. She lived into her 80's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Taubes is an award winning science writer. I am not, but I have no problem with reading comprehension, and I came to the same conclusions by using my ability to reason and follow logic and check data and methodology of studies to see if they support outcomes. All you need is literacy and thinking skills to get this stuff, not a medical degree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. Taubes is very methodical and highly respected. You can't really fault his methods. Some people don't like his findings, and are always trying to discredit him.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How, when they haven't even read him or the cited research?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Literacy and thinking skills will also lead to the conclusion that calories trump combos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Scientific American, winner of the 2011 national magazine awared of excellence is hardly in the category of "Some people don't like his findings, and are always trying to discredit him"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not only did the writer read Taubes, he spoke to him personally and invited him to his class to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yet he writes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "I have great respect for Gary. He’s a science journalist’s science journalist, who researches topics to the point of obsession—actually, well beyond that point ... Gary marshals mountains of data in support of his thesis, but I still have misgivings about it. My reaction is partly visceral; the Atkins diet—which prescribes little fruit and vegetables and lots of meat—strikes me as, well, gross'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hardly someone who is illiterate and non thinking according to your standards ... because they disagree with you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He's just saying he personally doesn't like it, or in his words finds it "gross". He's not making any claims here. Furthermore, people have a bias against the atkins diet for the absolute wrong reasons, and it's often thrown in my face that "it sounds a lot like that atkins crap". But when I question them, they really don't know anything other than "well I heard that somewhere". I'm sure they did, along with "don't eat fat it's bad. Stuff your face with grain products".


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It kind of translates to "I don't believe it because I don't believe it." ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Toward the end of our Bloggingheads interview, I asked Gary about his family’s diet. He answered cagily, but he implied that his wife has resisted putting their two kids on Atkins. I think that’s sensible, and Gary, when in his critical rather than celebratory mode, probably does, too. Although he insists that the evidence for his diet claims is overwhelming, he acknowledges in an author’s note to Why We Get Fat that the claims still need to be "rigorously tested."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If your own wife doesn't buy it ... well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It is sort of like that guy doing the infomercials at night saying the government doesn't want you to know this info because it is 'the truth"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Even Tredeau acknowledges it isnt tested. It kind of translates to "I believe it because I believe it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rworange


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How much research or reading have you undertaken on this subject? I dont' mean to be rude, but you're just repeating all the common opposition points that have been thoroughly debunked for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Taubes, by the way, doesn't advocate one way or another of eating. His book Good Calories Bad Calories looked at the history of falsification in the nutrition industry and the powerful influence politicians and BIG pharma have wielded over our perception of food. Furthermore, he's not on the Atkins diet. Paleolithic eating is not the same thing as Atkins. You seem to be confusing a lot of things here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you just quickly finding internet articles to post here?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Look -- it's great that you've found a lifestyle that suits you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I am no more stupid, closeminded, or illiterate for deciding that Taubes is not my personal god and savior than you are for believing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So knock the insults and snide little asides. The fact that someone disagrees with you doesn't imply a lack of rational thinking or intelligence -- it just means they disagree with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "All you need is literacy and thinking skills to get this stuff, not a medical degree."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Absolutely. Often, on threads on this topic, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills because of all the misinformation that people have. So many people simply cannot wrap their head around the idea of hormones and hunger/weight gain/broken metabolisms. I find this odd for woman, especially, because get a group of woman together and for sure the topic of monthly hormones and food will come up, with everyone laughing and nodding knowingly...so clearly the IDEA of hormones being able to affect hunger and weight gain is not a foreign topic. Plus, any woman who has gone through menopause will tell you about suddenly having a harder time with weight loss, no matter how much they exercise).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But they are regurgitating what the medical docs and most "nutritionists" preach. Even the Mayo Clinic, in their diabetic recipe for split pea soup (which is already moderately high on the glycemic index, says to "serve with crusty whole grain bread." *eye roll* I will be the first to say I loved bread in all forms. And pasta. And potatoes. And big bowls of beans. And when I was younger, I could eat all this with impunity. Then at age 42 I was one point away from hitting the "pre diabetic" range, with low HDL. What a wakeup call! On the web I have read so many posts from T2 diabetics who said they wished they had taken control before it was as bad as it was for them. So, I learned from their regrets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Taubes is remarkable for the reason that he IS NOT a doctor. Or nutritionist. He is master of data deciphery, and he simply presented his findings. No cherry picked studies! Just the facts, ma'am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am so much healthier, a year later. I eat bacon, beef, and chicken every day (I do seek out pastured and grass fed for both health and personal moral reasons). I only use traditional fats, and render my own lard from the pastured pigs. I eat many, many more vegetables (I've lost my taste for starchy potatoes, they don't tempt me at all!) High glycemic root veggies like carrots I ferment (the traditional Japanese way) in lactic acid to make probiotic (these are delicious!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No sugar. My experience is that when you cut out the carbs, you lose your taste for sugar. My husband (whose diet is a whole other story!!!!) brought home two pies a few days ago; pecan and lemon meringue. I haven't even been tempted to touch them, aside from wanting to throw out the lemon meringue just because it's taking up too much room in the fridge, haha! (Which brings me to another important topic, in that just because our beloveds don't want to change their diet, we still can. We can lead by example.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personal concessions I make since my metabolic health is now so good: I still adore my beans, so I eat them, but less fequently, in much smaller portions, and I make them with lard, to blunt any sugar spike, and to make them more satisfying in smaller amounts (they are more delicious this way, too!). When I make tortillas I grind the wheat fresh and use lard, but I don't make a habit of tortillas anymore...it's a treat. I hope that I can always continue to have these things, and not just once in a blue moon, but if my health results indicated any slip in metabolic or heart health, I would absolutely cut these out entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And I'll end on a funny story: I was eating lunch with an acquaintance. We had both bought our homemade lunches. I had a big, fragrant plate of chicken meat stir fried with bok choy, brocolli, pea pods, and onions. He had a bologna sandwich on commercial "wheat" bread, a cookie, and a baggie of potato chips. At first he complimented me on my meal, and then, when I told him I low carb, he actually babbled the rest of the lunchtime about how dangerous low carbs diets are. Hahaha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 64airstream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think your story about lunch hits the real issue... opinions vs. facts. And Taubes made his bones reporting on "crap science" and cold fusion, IIRC. It's outing bad/wrong/inaccurate/phony science that's his life's work, not nutrition. Congrats on your changes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think you are oversimplifying human evolution here. It is perfectly conceivable that some populations of humans have developed the ability to digest and live off of grains within the last 12000 years. Take lactose tolerance for example, a lot of studies show that this trait evolved only within the last 3000-5000 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Indeed, some of us can tolerate grains and dairy. Doesn't mean it's optimum nutrition. But I'm not doing anything other than reading hundreds of papers and books over the past 5 years on the subject.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HalifaxJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Only 5 years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll trump that with a few decades of doing the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After a while if it looks like a quack, quacks like a quack, smells like a quack ... it's a quack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Losing weight ... burn more calories than you eat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eating healthy ... different subject and certainly not what that writer is about. That has to do with eating a balanced, varied diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And that is advice I got from my grandmother long, long ago. After a lifetime of research, Grandma knew best. She used common sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My common sense tells me to eat like my ancestors did. I believe in science, not nutritionism. I believe in evolution as fact, and as a result I have to make the assumption that if meat was bad for us we would not be here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Above all this, and perhaps more importantly, I have never been healthier, leaner or stronger. I eat lots, enjoy my life and have good blood results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              People can eat all the bread and pasta they desire. More meat for me!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course it's about ones DNA and blood type. Walk through any 'Chinatown' on the planet and count the number of obese Asians. Go to any 'inner city' McDonalds and count the number of obese people. Different races evolved and survived over millennia eating what they hunted/gathered/grew. In the last few hundred years man has been able to consume foods that his metabolism can't deal with hence an epidemic of unhealthy obese people. It's such a simple concept.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Folks, we really think this thread has run its course, and is now mostly just repeating itself in increasingly unfriendly ways, so we're going to lock it now.