Food Trends

Mixed Results

This week in class, we discussed the term and idea of “mixed results”. If we hear that multiple nutrition studies gave “mixed results” we can surmise that the nutrition treatment or modification or supplement had both positive and negative outcomes.

Critical readers examining that information will not make any changes because nothing definitive has been borne out.

A seminar I attended this week on the “leaky gut” had many rather exciting findings. It seemed as if the speaker recommended significant dietary changes in not only food but supplements. But after each finding and recommendation, she commented, “but study results are mixed”.

That was contrasted to a presentation by Walter Willett whom I heard earlier in the month. Not to be a fangirl but when Walter Willett talks, people listen.

Willett is an MD, PhD at Harvard who, for more than 40 years, has studied the diet, lifestyle and health of a lot of people. More than a quarter million subjects! Perhaps I should have mentioned that my leaky gut presenter offered many rat/mice study results.

But back to Willett. He is involved with the country’s largest and longest health studies ever conducted – first begun in 1976. Admittedly, these are observational studies as multi-decade randomized clinical trials would be impractical and frankly impossible.

When this group makes a proclamation about what we should or should NOT be eating or drinking, there are hundreds of thousands of US adults whose experience backs up the recommendations. If there is equivocation or “mixed results” there is no report.

One example of Dr. Willett’s recommendations was with regard to protein consumption. Decrease the incidence of coronary heart disease by substituting poultry or fish for that serving of red meat. It’s even more beneficial to eat nuts and beans occasionally as your protein. Not surprising.

Don’t rely on “mixed results” to be well,

Marcia

 

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From sous chef to star

We were “gifted” with some Blue Apron meals so I’ve been promoted from my sous chef status. And “star” might be an over-reach, but…

I can see the positives firsthand:

  • right to the door – bad weather this week, they adjusted my delivery day
  • variety of diets – we selected “Weight Watcher” recipes since that was closest to the way we typically eat
  • individualized food preferences – opt out of pork for example
  • select your own meals – so you stay in your comfort zone
  • let Blue Apron select for you – so you’ll eat a bit more adventurously – sambal oelek anyone?
  • everything is pre-measured – mise en place without you getting out any bowls or measuring devices
  • no missed ingredients – you need salt, pepper and olive oil on hand
  • people like to feel like they did something in meal prep
  • detailed and timed directions – OK, I didn’t follow a few points that seemed unnecessary to me but it’s all explained!

The negatives:

  • ¬†elaborate packaging – while everything comes perfectly contained there’s a bit more packaging than ingredients

I don’t know how other meal kits work but the idea fascinates me. For that lost generation whose parents were never in the kitchen, this system could be a very helpful instructor. And fun.

Sometimes we forget the upside of eating –¬† it can take you around the world on a plate. Try a new food to be well,

Marcia

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