Tuesday, July 9, 2013
A gastroenterologist preaches healthy food choices for longevity and healthy living
It's morning and I'm imbibing a beverage that has no nutritive value. I only hope it won't cause me harm, as it's a beverage that slides down my gullet with regularity. Of course, today's poison may be tomorrow's panacea. This is one of the amusing ironies in the medical arena. Every 10 years or so, it seems that what was felt to be medical dogma gets tossed out by a new set of studies, which will be reversed a decade later.
Remember when every peri-menopausal woman was advised in the strongest terms to take hormone replacement to protect her bones? That was then.
As to our diet, these recommendations are also subject periodic mutations. Butter in. Butter out.
I am presently planted in what can safely be regarded as a fast food establishment, where in a single meal, one can exceed his daily caloric need. With my fidelity to personal responsibility, I don't blame the establishment for the free choices that its patrons make. Some years ago, Burger King was sued by parents who demanded justice (read: money) blaming Burger King for their kids' obesity. If you suspect embellishment on my part, open your browser in a new window and search for this judicial absurdity. Afterwards, take some antacids and return to this post.
I won't divulge the specific restaurant I am in presently, as I don't want this to serve as either as an endorsement of a specific restaurant by a gastroenterologist, or as repellent considering the politically incorrect food choices that I routinely make. I will only divulge that I am feeling rather McHappy at this moment, and trust that this opaque reference will not be sufficient to disclose my location, although discerning Whistleblower readers might be able to crack this enigma.
Meanwhile, Europeans are galloping off in anger as their precious beef has been horsed around with. Yes, their beef has been surreptitiously fortified with horse meat, which I'm told "does not taste like chicken." The silver lining here is that a horse pain reliever (phenylbutazone) has also been detected in European meat, which may bring some relief to arthritis sufferers who are eating shepherd's pie and beef lasagna.
A report was just released by the Hudson Institute that showed that restaurants that offered lower calorie options sold more food and beverages than competitors that continued serving lard-glazed delicacies. One of the study's points was that these establishments offered low-calorie delights, not as a promotion to create wellness buzz, but in response to market forces. In other words, menus were adjusted to conform to consumer desires. In other words, businesses will sell what we will buy.
I'm not against corporate societal responsibility, but their mission is to sell goods and services legally and to cash in. If we disagree with a particular corporate culture or deem a product to be frivolous or injurious, than we are free to hold on to our cash. I'd rather that the choice of what I can purchase be mine.
People often ask for personal references from folks who are insiders. Ask a chef which restaurants he likes. Ask an athlete which personal trainer can fashion a six-pack from jiggling and sagging abs. Ask a doctor who his doctor is. So, what does this gastroenterologist eat regularly? Surely this response will be a road toward nutritional nirvana.
Whistleblower Food Choices
Item: Frequency of Ingestion
Probiotics: Not deliberately
Diet Soda: Twice daily
Vitamin Supplements: Never
Red Meat: Mmmmm, say the word
French Fries: Never enough
Greasy French Fries: See above response
Ice Cream: Upon awakening
Seaweed: Only during ocean swim
Steamed anything: Never willingly
Fried anything: On call
What kind of nutritional example am I setting? Hard to say. Ten years from now, the nutritional standards may be a mirror image of what today's wellness playbook advises. A recent obesity study, for example, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that modestly obese individuals live longer than those with 'normal' body weights. Today's heresy may become tomorrow's gospel.
So, in 2023, when nutritional gurus are pushing fries, fast food, a doughnut a day and a milkshake chaser, will I be regarded as a pioneer who was ahead of his time, or a crackpot charlatan who drank diet pop and tried to serve up Kool Aid.
This post by Michael Kirsch, MD, FACP, appeared at MD Whistleblower. Dr. Kirsch is a full time practicing physician and writer who addresses the joys and challenges of medical practice, including controversies in the doctor-patient relationship, medical ethics and measuring medical quality. When he's not writing, he's performing colonoscopies.
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