You Are What You Eat

November 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )


So you may or may not be familiar with the fact that I work freelance as a staff writer for an entertainment magazine in Indiana, but it’s something I’ve been doing for a little over a year now.  When I say entertainment magazine I really mean bar rag but it’s usually fun to write and pays a little on the side.  Perhaps I’ll go into more depth with it another time, but suffice it to say that one of the (many) things I do is put together a bunch of news stories and include a humorous or ironic twist at the end (think The Onion meets reality).  While I was perusing stories for my column this week I came across a gem – and I’m sorry if you’ve already read it but I just had to share.

The entire thing can be found by clicking here but since it’s a little long and some of you may be scared to click links on a blog,  I’m going to summarize it for you.  It’ a pretty fascinating read though so if you have the time and inclination you should absolutely check the whole thing out.

Children want to be this man when they grow up

Say hi to Mark Haub, a human nutrition professor at Kansas State University.  Mark here just lost 27 pounds while eating cookies, snack cakes, chips and other junk foods more than three times a day – for two whole months.  In fact, as a part of a class project he let junk food take up roughly 2/3 of his entire diet, ingesting only a vitamin, protein shake and a bit of vegetable otherwise.  He wanted to find out which matters more in the whole weight loss game – caloric intake or the actual nutritional value of the food.  So he cut his calories to almost half of what someone his height and weight should be getting and then sat back and watched the pounds melt away.

Even he didn’t think it would actually work.  But work it did and his body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent, without him changing his level of moderate physical exercise at all.  A diet consisting of crap would have to wreak havoc on your insides though, right?  Wrong again.  Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent as well.  How crazy is that?

However, the Nutty Bar Professor doesn’t think it’s the smartest thing to do, especially long-term.  His whole point in the project was to try to see if the Americans who live in food deserts are doomed to be obese and unhealthy.  A food desert is an area where it’s difficult to obtain fresh fruits or vegetables and so it’s easier to get by on eating junk.  While Haub doesn’t think it’s necessary to drop all of these so-good-but-oh-so-bad-for-you-foods, he does think everything comes down to portion control and self-restraint.  But he still can’t explain how he got so healthy from eating all of the foods we’ve always been told to avoid.

And just because it really drives home what he was putting into his body, here’s an example of food from one of Haub’s typical dieting days:

 

Espresso, Double: 6 calories; 0 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Centrum Advanced Formula From A To Zinc: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Little Debbie Star Crunch: 150 calories; 6 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

 

Doctor's Orders!

Diet Mountain Dew: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Doritos Cool Ranch: 75 calories; 4 grams of fat

Kellogg’s Corn Pops: 220 calories; 0 grams of fat

whole milk: 150 calories; 8 grams of fat

baby carrots: 18 calories; 0 grams of fat

Duncan Hines Family Style Brownie Chewy Fudge: 270 calories; 14 grams of fat

Little Debbie Zebra Cake: 160 calories; 8 grams of fat

Muscle Milk Protein Shake: 240 calories; 9 grams of fat

Totals: 1,589 calories and 59 grams of fat

And as someone with a severe sweet tooth and a tight budget, I’m going to make a run to the grocery store very soon.  I could eat for weeks on what one salad at Whole Foods would cost, so look out snack aisle here I come!

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