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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Anti-Nutritionist Speaks

This essay sort of spun out of control and was supposed to be a recipe for the lentil soup I made this afternoon.

Lentils are about the cheapest thing you can eat and among the healthiest.  A one kilo bag of lentils here in Valencia costs about 1€ and that cooks up enough for about ten people.  Granted, you need to add something to the lentils to make them more appealing  but nothing much more than a couple of onions, some garlic, a few potatoes, and any a bit of meat for flavoring. I’ve heard from many people that lentils should always be cooked with potatoes but I haven’t been able to find anything to back up this assertion.  These legumes are a great source of protein deriving 30% of their calories in the form of protein. Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since they contains high levels of soluble fiber. That’s about all I will ever say about the health value of food because I think that most of what people claim about food just isn't true.

I was thinking about what a friend of mine said recently about people’s eating habits. He studies nutrition and his contention is that if people had smaller refrigerators they would eat better because they would eat more fresh food and less processed garbage. I was in the supermarket last night standing in the check-out aisle behind a couple who had an absolute enormous amount of food in their shopping cart. The push cart was overflowing with stuff. I shop 4-5 days a week so I barely buy enough to fill the little hand baskets at the market. What I took note of last night is that the more food people buy at one time the unhealthier their food is. This couple was loading up on processed and frozen food that I almost never eat. Because they are trying to stock up for the next 5-7 days what they are buying isn’t as healthy as fresh foods that you have to buy with more frequency.

Vegetarians and vegans almost always make exaggerated and sometimes outrageous claims about the health benefits of their diets. Just what this is based on is never mentioned. I suspect that many of these people going on about how “healthy” their diet is are the same folks who dabble in astrology or tarot cards or other anti-science horseshit.  These people are also the type to go on and on about “cleansing” and detoxifying the body and fasting and dieting to effect this result. If I’m not mistaken the human body already has a cleansing technique that seems to accomplish this task. It’s called taking a dump. Maybe the vegans should try this before venturing out on a whacky detox diet.   

I don’t claim to know the first thing about nutrition. All I have in the way of credentials is my own experience as an extremely healthy 50 something adult male. I’m almost never sick and have never needed the care of a doctor unless it was to fix something that I broke.  I get a cold or the flu maybe once every 3-4 years, if that. If you don’t believe me ask anyone who knows me.  I’ve never been on a diet and basically eat whatever I feel like eating but I make almost everything myself.  I eat fresh fruit every day, a banana and something else but almost always a banana. Bananas are easy to eat. I try to eat the banana at the same time every day, sometime in the early morning.  I’d say that I get a lot of exercise mostly through cycling and pull-ups and push-ups. I go through phases in which I will do 1,000 push-ups 3-4 days a week.  I don’t have a car and all of my transportation is effected by bike or on foot.  It’s not like I hold myself up as some sort of fitness ideal but I feel great every morning when I wake up (without a hangover).

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