Nutrition and Lifestyle

For all you juvenile idiots who follow me because I'm one of you, it's your lucky day. We hit gold today. No way I could let this baby go by without bagging it. So, regardless of how many balls I'm juggling at once, I am compelled to sack whatever else I'm doing and get to work because this article is gonna be a (family) jewel.

First, the title I used is intentionally confusing. I admit it. "Soaking Pecans In Pool Chemicals," a more accurate, but far less entertaining title, would have been more honest. But admit it - the only reason you're reading this is that you have an image in your head of some fool soaking Mr. and Mrs. Bojangles in a tub of bleach. Sorry. I'm not that lewd. OK, that's a lie. I really am. The following should provide...

A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Biology looked at food choices by dogs and cats [1] when foods were equally palatable, a term we will return to momentarily. 17 beagles and 27 cats were given four bowls of different foods daily and the amounts eaten noted to determine which foods were preferred over a 28 day period. 

  • Cats consume carbohydrates (43%) and protein (30%). When protein was increased, both carbohydrate and fat intake decreased, and cats had more variation in the range of their protein intake. Fat increases had no effect of carbohydrate intake. 
  • Dogs consume fat (41%) and carbohydrate (36%). When protein was increased, fat intake decreased, but unlike cats, carbohydrate intake remained the same. Dogs varied less in their protein intake. Also...

It's impossible to live in the modern world and not be exposed to some food fad or another. The Ketogenic Diet, the Alkaline Diet, the Raw Foods Diet, the Dukan Diet, Whole30 - and that is just in the last year. Pick a fad diet and if you are in the nutrition sphere you can guess what year it happened. Try it yourself: wheat belly, grain brain, and paleo.

And the war on milk and cheese has been going on for decades, with trial lawyer groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) claiming that Big Dairy was manipulating government nutrition standards. Dairy products promote excess weight gain and even increase appetite, they have long claimed, and only huge financial settlements for lawyers at CSPI would stop it.

Obviously, there is no biological...

Intelligent people differ from everyone else in several meaningful ways.

The first is plainly obvious yet somehow still controversial: High IQ people have a different genetic profile. Indeed, intelligence runs in families, and analyses have shown that genetic factors may explain 70 to 80% of the variance in adult intelligence. Second, intelligent people tend to earn more money. And third, the intellectually gifted make different lifestyle choices.

That latter point was the subject of a new paper published in the journal Intelligence, which sought to link...

The departure of Soup CEO Denise Morrison is the fifteenth CEO change at a large packaged food company in the last two-and-a-half years. What do they all share in common? They apologized for being in business and chased a vocal consumer segment that hates them - the "nocebo" community that seeks out products based on what they claim not to have on the label.

They responded to claims by media that foods had to be all-natural and in a microwave pouch. They had to be artisan, niche brands. Apparently everything was going to need avocado if they wanted to gain mindshare among Millennials. In reality, food company marketing executives have allowed themselves to be ambushed by well-funded ideologues that have secret sources controlling them - names like Environmental Working...

In an official response from the U.S. Food and Safety Administration, GR2E Golden Rice, a provitamin-A biofortified rice variety, managed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), received a positive food safety evaluation regarding its safety and nutrition. GR2E Golden Rice is the first nutritionally enhanced genetically-modified rice to receive regulatory approval for use in food.

Since Golden Rice does not have a corporate owner with a phalanx of attorneys to wend its way through government...

A new study in Science Advances claims that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause food to become less nutritious. That very well might be true.

However, the paper concludes that the poorest people in the world will be affected the most, since many of them rely on rice to survive. Rice, which is not a particularly good source of nutrients in the first place, will become even less nutritious, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk. Fortunately for the world, that conclusion is probably incorrect because it is based on two flawed assumptions.

Flawed Assumption #1: Rice Is the Main Nutrient Source for Poor People

Rice is a...

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota

For most of our evolutionary history, humans worried about food — finding and eating food were constant and dangerous struggles. Death was always near.

Prehistoric plants were often poisonous and had too few calories to keep us alive. So, we killed and ate animals too. But the animals often fought back — with deadly results. And we were not always the predator; sometimes we were prey. Whenever our tree-dwelling ancestors climbed down to grab a bite to eat or take a quick drink, they could be eaten. Or worse, partially eaten and left to die alone while waiting for the scavengers to finish the ‘leftovers’. Thus, from the very beginning of human history, eating and drinking were fraught with fear and death.

The passage of time did little to lessen these fears. Only 100 years...

Yes, get rid of trans fats in french fries. But because they made them taste terrible compared to animal fat, not because of health hype.

The head of the World Health Organization claims that trans fats - which are in things like margarine and donuts - are responsible for 500,000 deaths each year and WHO wants them eliminated from the global food supply by 2023. This is a dramatic flip-flop from the time when partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil in margarine was saving us from butter and meat fat, which were also linked to cardiovascular disease.

What changed? Not much, which makes their new REPLACE initiative (an acronym with six action items; leave it to the UN to make a seven letter acronym from six things) directed at elimination of "industrially-...

Saunas, for the most part and for legions of adults, enjoy a warm reputation as being good for you. And a recent study, while not being totally conclusive, does tend to add more credence to the health benefits of sauna use.

The test area for this study was Finland, where this type of activity is ingrained in the culture (which, as far as these results are concerned, is both good and bad). That said, researchers studying the sauna habits of more than 1,600 adults between the ages of 53 and 74, and without a history of stroke, found that increased time in the hot, comforting wooden box greatly decreased the risk of experiencing this adverse event.

Specifically, they learned that those who sat for saunas four times or more per week were 60 percent less likely to experience a...