Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The "Minimalist" says a lot in few words

Mark Bittman's New York Times column tomorrow skewers the technocratic writing style of the Dietary Guidelines while corroborating their message. Healthy eating can be tasty, attractive, and uncomplicated. Here is his spare summary:
For the majority of Americans the simple facts are these: We should be consuming fewer calories; eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; eating less meat and dairy; and cutting back on sugar, fat and foods high in simple carbohydrates. And getting more exercise.


Anonymous said...

I think the biggest problem with both the guidelines and in Bittman's advice is that few grains or vegetables are agreeable to most people without fats.

Who eats a salad without a fat, whether it's oil and vinegar or blue cheese dressing? Who eats spinach or collard greens without butter? Who eats bread plain, whether fresh out of the oven, as toast, or on a sandwich? Are there people who eat oatmeal without butter and brown sugar?

Currently, I'm on a low-cab diet. (See here: http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&new_topic=6 .) The advantage is that few fats or proteins require sugars to make them taste good. A grilled steak tastes good by itself. Roast turkey tastes good by itself. Scrambled eggs taste good by themselves. And if you're going to enhance them, it'd be with either a fat or other non-carbohydrate most of the time. And then, I can eat broccoli with butter on it, salad greens with dressing, etc. I just have to avoid bread, noodles, rice, and the like, most of which is usually a vehicle for another more flavorful item anyway.


Anonymous said...

Nick, I eat oatmeal plain, without sugar or butter or anything else added... and I like it that way. Of course, I'm probably in the minority.

As for adding fats to veggies, I think the key, as always, is moderation. A little fat goes a long way, and I think as long as people use fats judiciously (a crumble or shaving of good, strongly flavored cheese on veggies, or olive oil on a salad), they're still doing right by their bodies.

An interesting recent article about veggies and fat:

- Jen (jen@jenblossom.com)