Monday, March 1, 2010
A Short Term System that does not appear Nutrient
First off, the USA vs Canada Gold Medal game was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen in hockey - I would say number 2 or 3 behind the 1980 "Miracle on Ice."
I have also never been so gratified in watching such an exhilarating and well played sporting even even though my team lost. For the U.S. to be the underdog for the whole tournament, and to play in the Gold Medal game, and against Canada, AND, AND, to score the tying goal with 24.6 seconds to go in the game? That was amazing! Hats off to Canada for an incredible game, and win. Congrats to all my "Canuck" friends (sorry, Senator Muskie...and stop crying).
I enjoy reading the NY Post's Phil Mushnick's sports columns because he normally skewers poor sportsmanship, and the TV networks who put profit over watchability by starting important games after 9 PM EST. But, today, he had a very interesting comment about ESPN Sportscaster Chris Berman in his column:
Saturday, one of those Nutrisystem ads starring Chris Berman -- one in which he hollers that he dropped 50 pounds -- appeared. A week earlier, seen live playing golf on TV, Berman appeared heavier than ever, enormous. His weight is his business -- until his business includes paid, televised come-ons for weight-loss products.
I have seen ads for Nutrisystem, featuring Berman and Dan Marino and others, during sporting events on TV, and heard it for years on radio. Clearly, it works, clearly only for the short term. So, just like all the other fad diets, it is clear that if you want to drop 25 lbs before your wedding, or Memorial Day weekend, or your 20th High School Reunion, then gain it all back and more so, go for it. If you want to drop your weight for longer than a couple of months - actually for life, and improve your health? Forget about it! I just talked to my younger brother who went on it years ago. He was an athlete (much better than me) who let the best of over-indulgence get to him. I remember he went on it, and lost some weight. I distinctly remember him telling me about it - perhaps it was 10 years ago. I called him for first-person insight..."Ahhh, did I? I don't think soooo, maybe, did I? Don't remember. Oh, wait, yes, I do have some boxes of that food in my garage."
Since my Vegan Quest he has lost 15 lbs because he is deathly afraid of me passing him in the total weight category (I've already passed his heaviest weight)- and he is 2 inches shorter...and more gray. My older brother has dropped 20 lbs, but he has 3 little girls for cardio!
Regarding Nutrisystem, they base the entire diet on something called the Glycemic Index.
A very interesting fitness website called Peer Trainer tackled this question recently, and interviewed Dr. Fuhrman. You can read the whole story here: http://blog.peertrainer.com/tip_of_the_day/2009/01/the-limitations-of-the-glycemic-index.html
Dr. Fuhrman's excerpts:
In diabetes research the glycemic index (GI) of carbohydrates has long been recognized as a favorable aid for diabetics to control blood sugar. The same is now often the case in lipid research as it has been demonstrated that high glycemic diets, rich in white flour, refined sweets and processed foods are unfavorable to both glucose levels and lipid parameters.
Authors and writers who advocate a high protein (meat-based) diet, hang their hat on the low glycemic index of animal products to explain the advantages of a diet rich in animal products and lower in vegetation. This view oversimplifies the multi-factorial nuances of nutrition and results in a distorted understanding of nutritional science.
Ranking food on glycemic index alone ignores many other factors that may make that food favorable or unfavorable. Because a carrot has a higher glycemic index than a slice of bacon does not make the bacon a better food for a diabetic or heart patient. There are other more important nutritional considerations besides the glycemic index, including the toxicity, micronutient density and fiber in the food.
A good example of such nutritional nonsense is when Barry Sears of the Zone diet, warns against the consumption of lima beans, papayas and carrots because of their glycemic index and Atkin’s excludes or limits those carbohydrate containing fruits and vegetables with proven powerful anti-cancer benefits.
When a diet is rich in high nutrient containing, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits the disease-protective qualities of these foods and the weight-loss benefits overwhelm any insignificant drawback from the high glycemic index of the carrot.