Friday, May 28, 2010

on matters pertaining to food

one of the many hang ups our society...of people and of trainers, is food. supplements have always been with us ever since the days primitive warriors ate the hearts of their victims to garner their strength and prowess. fortunately, it's only the supplement industry that's eating our hearts...and wallets, but caveat emptor is the phrase of choice.

now, how should we eat? what should we eat? how much should we eat? when should we eat? hell....why should we eat what we eat when we eat it? confusing but science, sports and medical science alike, are homing in on the answers to many of these questions. nonetheless, tomorrow another article will come out displacing everything we believed yesterday and it's time to start anew.

for example, there is a lot of noise coming out about a major study in europe - a meta-analysis, where data from several similar studies is compiled to give greater impact to the results - that showed that fruits and veggies do NOT confer resistance to cancer. something like 2 servings/day reduces your risk of a variety of cancers by 3% only. that means even the rx of 5-9 servings would only give you about 15% reduction of risk. that's a lot but statistically not much. what with all the studies showing that vitamins or even antioxidants don't confer any risk reductions, it almost makes sense to avoid supplements. esp since fruits and veggies do show great value in reducing your risk of cardiac problems. is it the fruits and veggies...or the healthy lifestyle those who eat fruits and veggies tend to live? hmmmmm

another new research in ACSM's flagship journal, MSSE, had 20 women do a wt training program for 12 weeks. half drank a glass of skim milk after their workouts and an hour later another serving. the other 10 drank equal calories of carbs. both drinks were flavored to taste similar to avoid any placebo effect of knowing which drink was which. at the end of the study, milkers were stronger in the upper body and had lost more fat despite both groups not having changed total body mass. moral of story: as we've said before, drink milk after your workouts - it enhances protein accretion. little did we know, tho, that it also helps you lose body fat.

the june issue of the Tufts Nutrition letter headlines an article, a repeat of others i've seen, that suggest calcium from pills is pretty useless when it comes to longevity (not bone density.) calcium in the diet, on the other hand, does have protective benefits for the heart.

finally, annual hi-dose vitamin D, oft recommended for post menopausal women as a way to ensure adherence to D requirements, actually INCREASED the rate of fractures and somehow even falls. in other words, if you're going to take D, take it in frequent and smaller doses.

what's this all mean? well, nearly everything i read on health and diet suggests that eating real food - and i've not heard much legit research to say that organic is more real than mass-farmed - is the way to go for health benefits. the other thing that keeps cropping up is that only ONE lifestyle choice, done right, benefits not just bones, muscles, heart, and over -all health, not to mention brain and mental function, but has very few if any negative side effects: EXERCISE. and even there, the dosages are now being reduced to smaller and less intense measures making it almost inexcusable to avoid exercise...unless you're reading this entire blog. get outa here....

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Dr.Irv