Sunday, May 24, 2009

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

I don't know who David Kramer is, but he's wrong about potatoes. In a footnote on one of his posts on government dietary advice, he writes:

"¹Potatoes are very fattening. How does this environmentally-"correct" food recommendation jibe with the Brits' former study claiming that obesity causes global warming?"

Potatoes are fattening? I think not. Perhaps he should do a little more research. He can start with Dr. McDougall's March 2009 newsletter where Dr. McDougall writes:

"Most people are completely backwards about the diet that results in health and an attractive appearance. They learn, "Don’t eat starches, because rice turns to sugar, which turns to fat, making you gain weight." If this mantra were true then there would be an epidemic of obesity among the 1.73 billion Asians living on rice-based diets. Confirming this truth, after moving west and replacing their starch with "high-protein" foods, then people from Japan and the Philippines would become trimmer and healthier looking. Is that what you see? "Potatoes are fattening." If true, then why during the 2000 McDougall Adventure trip to Peru, a country where common potatoes are the staple food, were the residents so trim and strong looking? We did see a few overweight people on this trip. The "chubby ones" were the waiters and chefs serving tourists their favorite meat and cheese dishes, and obviously sampling the menu.

"Let’s look together at a globe of the Earth and identify the populations of people who look the youngest, healthiest, and trimmest. Those living in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines stand out. Their diet is mostly rice with some vegetables. In rural Mexico we will find beautiful people eating corn, beans, and squash. No one is overweight or on a diet there. The men, women and children of central New Guinea are nourished almost entirely by sweet potatoes. These people have no need for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Worldwide, populations with the highest consumption of starch are the trimmest and fittest.1 Learn about the health of these trim people and you will discover that they also have extremely low rates of diabetes, arthritis, gallbladder disease, constipation, indigestion, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon."

Sure, many people don't want to hear unsolicited dietary advice, especially from government which rarely gets anything right, but that doesn't mean the dietary advice is necessarily wrong. Besides, lamb tastes like wet dog smells. Blech.