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  1. #81
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    Well, there are lots of different kinds I've had whole wheat pasta that tasted terrible, but some of the cheaper brands are actually pretty okay. I prefer whole wheat to white after eating nothing but whole wheat for a couple years. White doesn't taste like anything at all.

    At the very least, if I don't want whole wheat, I buy the garden-fresh kind by someone (Barilla?) which is made with vegetables and semolina and has a fair amount of dietary fiber, which is what you need to lower the glycemic index.

    If people wanted to eat white pasta without the glycemic index issue, then they would have to eat it at the same time as something low-carb that has a lot of fiber. Of course, most people just threw butter and cheese or Prego tomato sauce on, or something similar with no fiber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badams View Post
    I totally agree. It's nice in the summer, when you can grow your own garden full of veggies, but in the winter it's almost impossible to eat very healthy. Pasta, rice, everything that's fattening and bad for you is way more affordable than out of season "fresh" veggies and fruits that have to be trucked in.
    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater
    If people wanted to eat white pasta without the glycemic index issue, then they would have to eat it at the same time as something low-carb that has a lot of fiber. Of course, most people just threw butter and cheese or Prego tomato sauce on, or something similar with no fiber.
    These pieces of advice kind of illustrate the problem of the fight against obesity.

    Damning rice and pasta as bad is of course wrong and not helpful.

    michiruwater on the other hand is absolutely right with her low-GI advice, but as a (future) health professional, I think only one third of the overweight people I have met, would understand it. And maybe one tenth of those would even consider to implement it. It sounds daunting "Never eat white pasta - or if you do you better make sure you have tons of fibers with it" (no offense meant, just taking this as an example for lots of similar advice in the media).

    Eating healthily these days seems to me like a domain for the affluent, the intellectual - for people who have the time, the money and the resources - the necessary societal pressure. We (health professionals) don't reach the people we need to reach. We make it way too complicated. And now governments think that they can force people into healthy lifestyles by new laws and taxation. Because that has worked so well in the history of mankind.

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    I guess I should have specified. The healthier wheat pasta and brown rice etc...is more expensive. On a tight budget, people won't buy it. I am well aware that not all of these things are bad for you, but that's not really what regular people are lead to believe. You'd be amazed at how many people either don't know how to read a food label, or don't even bother looking. And let's be honest...it's not cheap to feed a family healthy foods all the time in some areas, places where we have 6 months of winter, for example. If the government wants us all to eat healthy, perhaps they should make eating healthy affordable and possible for everyone. And I didn't even start discussing school lunches...
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    I like the Ronzoni smart taste pasta, though I don't have pasta very often. The whole wheat and the rice pastas are generally terrible, imo. (And living in woo woo central, I encounter them a lot.)

    I suspect that the bigger key is the portioning of the pasta. As a kid, we'd use a pound of spaghetti, a pound of hamburger, and a jar of Ragu to make dinner for six or seven people, possibly with a salad. Maybe not.

    How many servings would you get out of that today?

    Plate sizes have also gotten quite a bit bigger, and studies have shown that people put more food on a larger plate than on a smaller plate, just as they eat more food when taking it from a larger container than a smaller one. I've noticed that when I buy the really small, 99 cent bottles of dishwashing liquid, it lasts pretty much as long as the bottle three times the size. I think it is the same effect.

    Just downsizing plates, cups, and containers is likely to be of some help. (Anyone else remember how big a small soda was at McDonalds in the '60s? I'm guessing five ounces of soda and some ice. Maybe four ounces. And we weren't desperately thirsty.

    (And while we're at it, let's shrink the bagels back to the size they started at. They've gotten ridiculously large. A Dunkin Donuts plain bagel (no cream cheese) clocks in at 320 calories. A Dunkin Donuts Bavarian Creme donut clocks in at 210, and a sugar raised is at 170. Maybe the mayor wasn't so wrong after all, especially since most folks don't skip the cream cheese at the bagel place.)

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badams View Post
    I guess I should have specified. The healthier wheat pasta and brown rice etc...is more expensive.
    Brown rice might be (I don't eat rice really that often), but at Meijer, Kroger, Wal*Mart, the bottom price Meijer/Wal*Mart/Kroger brands all seem to generally have a whole wheat variety now. It's no more expensive to buy whole wheat pasta than white pasta.

    Portions will help with pasta, yes, but white pasta by its very nature will spike a person's blood sugar. Because it is all refined carbohydrates with no fiber to help you digest it slowly, your bloodsugar will spike as though you are eating a candy bar. This is what it means to have a high glycemic index - it spikes bloodsugar due to having a high amount of carbohydrate and being digested very quickly (due to no fiber).

    And yes, I've read a ton about nutrition and foods, as Gil-Galad guessed, and am also a type-1 diabetic who needs to know these things. I feel that the health classes in public schools should really explain these sorts of things though. I don't recall that my health classes ever explained any of this to us. I really want to go back at some point to get my certification in health so I might be able to teach that as well as music some day.

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    Well, right there is one problem--are pasta and rice bad for you?
    I have a friend trying to lose weight who asked me to help her. She loves rice, so I asked her to show me what a serving of rice looked like-Her idea of a serving turned was not 1/2 a cup, it was 2 1/2 cups. I personally look at rice as a 1/3 cup serving. Rice and beans are a great choice, but many people delude themselves into thinking a full plate is a serving.

    I don't buy into the whole glycemic thing myself, as I found that counting calories, measuring, and getting in five miles every day worked for me very well. People used to be much thinner because they burned so many calories despite eating lots of carbs and animal fats.

    I used to do a lot of kayaking, and would go to Taco Bell after. No matter how you tried to explain that you did not want the giant tub of soda, they would insist that it came with the combo, and why would you want a small when you could get the large for the same price? I would explain that I would pay the full price of the combo, but give me the small pepsi. They usually tried to give me the damn tub anyway.

    Ran into an old college roomate a few years back-She is about 5'4 and weighed about 150-160. She had gotten down to 120 by simply not drinking a 2 liter of mountain dew a day any longer, according to her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    And they taste like crap, IMO.
    I like the pasta made from quinoa, myself. I find it quite tasty.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    I don't buy into the whole glycemic thing myself, as I found that counting calories, measuring, and getting in five miles every day worked for me very well. People used to be much thinner because they burned so many calories despite eating lots of carbs and animal fats.
    Seriously. Go pick up a copy of Farmer Boy and read a description of a typical dinner. If people ate that much food today, they'd definitely be obese, but when you're plowing fields, planting crops, raising and training livestock, cleaning stalls, etc. (not to mention walking several miles to school and back) you're getting as much exercise as an athlete in training.

  9. #89
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    Seriously. Go pick up a copy of Farmer Boy and read a description of a typical dinner
    Heh. I was half thinking of the Little House series when I posted that.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I like the pasta made from quinoa, myself. I find it quite tasty.
    I've been curious about this! I only recently saw that it existed. If you try it, let me know

    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    I don't buy into the whole glycemic thing myself, as I found that counting calories, measuring, and getting in five miles every day worked for me very well. People used to be much thinner because they burned so many calories despite eating lots of carbs and animal fats.
    Carbs in the past were not remotely as refined as the white pasta of today. They had a lower glycemic index Definitely what you're saying is true, but the refined carbs are a big part of the problem when it comes to the type-2 diabetes epidemic. It is a definite fact that strain upon the pancreas and upon our bodies is what prevents people from producing and absorbing the insulin they need to regulate their bloodsugars, and it is a fact that refined carbs spike a person's blood sugar. I'm not sure what there is to buy in to.

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Carbs in the past were not remotely as refined as the white pasta of today. They had a lower glycemic index Definitely what you're saying is true, but the refined carbs are a big part of the problem when it comes to the type-2 diabetes epidemic. It is a definite fact that strain upon the pancreas and upon our bodies is what prevents people from producing and absorbing the insulin they need to regulate their bloodsugars, and it is a fact that refined carbs spike a person's blood sugar. I'm not sure what there is to buy in to.
    Deserts were also much less sweet going by my oldest (1920) cookbook. For similar recipes, often only 2/3 of the sugar called for today.

  12. #92
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    Oh yes, that's also very true, I was just responding to the carbs thing because of a previous post Sugars and carbs are very refined and sugars are also found in much larger quantities and in many more products they didn't used to be in. I'm always shocked when I see that sugar is one of the first three ingredients in things like crackers or chips - items we don't necessarily think of as sweet which also have a high glycemic index normally because of the high carbohydrate/low fiber content. Our food system is pretty broken but instead of trying to fix the system and educate people we're mostly just blaming people for being fat. Definitely people need to utilize self-control, but without proper education and with a food system so utterly broken it's not hard to imagine why it's really difficult to do so - especially when even items marketed as healthy (or which used to be healthy when they were made differently) are full of processed and refined ingredients.

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    People who have gastric bypass lose huge amounts of weight, and it has nothing to do with what kind of food they eat, it has to do with restricting calories. Certain foods may make you hungrier and cause you in turn to eat more, but calories ingested and calories burned will always be the key to weight control.

  14. #94
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    I'm not just talking about weight control. I'm talking about type-2 diabetes and our food system as well as overall health of a person.

    A person could eat a small number of calories of absolute crap and lose weight. That doesn't mean they'd be healthy. How much you eat definitely plays a bigger factor in weight loss than what you eat, but overall health definitely does not "have nothing to do with what kind of food you eat."

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    I am so over blaming the food source for our diet woes. And I do disagree with you, michiruwater, that the average person cannot comprehend what a healthy diet is and how to go about obtaining one. There is far more knowledge available than in our parents time, and far more food choices.

    People simply need to educate themselves, and take responsibility for their health. I have better nutrition than my parents, who are still quite healthy. Some people aren't as genetically lucky, but to just roll over and blame the food source and the general public's inability to understand the whole glycemic business is just another way to get out of taking ownership.

  16. #96
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    That's funny you would say that, because people were a lot healthier in your parents' time. With all that knowledge, and with all those choices, we have never been unhealthier. You say an average person can comprehend a healthy diet and make those choices, but 40% of the population of this country - and I am strictly speaking of the US - is overweight. Soon, the average person will be overweight.

    There is so much misinformation, so many lies in food packaging, and so many new things that are difficult to understand at best, that educating oneself in the modern food climate can seem overwhelming. A person can look at a carrot and say, yes, a carrot is healthy, but then there are all the additional questions: Do I need to buy this carrot organic? Why or why not? If I don't what could happen to me? And that's just a carrot. A person could buy something labeled as 100 calories, something that will help you on a diet!... but then that item is purely made out of sugar and chemicals. But they're trying to eat what they want on a diet, right? How could that be bad? It's not as simple as you seem to think. It can be very, very confusing.

    And I am not sure if you're accusing me or the public of not taking ownership. I have absolutely taken ownership and educated myself, and I think that's clear. And I absolutely think the population needs to take ownership, but a lot of them simply don't want to, and they're going to pay for it in many ways. I cannot tell you how many I know who simply don't want to know what it is they're eating, because then they might have to actually stop eating things that are bad for them.

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    People who have gastric bypass lose huge amounts of weight, and it has nothing to do with what kind of food they eat, it has to do with restricting calories. Certain foods may make you hungrier and cause you in turn to eat more, but calories ingested and calories burned will always be the key to weight control.
    I agree. I had this surgery four years ago, and have lost over 100 pounds. I still eat a crappy as I ever did, I just can't eat as much...
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  18. #98
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    Most people eat by habit and conditioning. If the types of foods that are readily and cheaply available are ones that encourage us to eat more, then society as a whole is going to eat more.

    The food industry has used science to figure out how to sell more of their product. It's not an accident that plates are larger, that food is more processed, that restaurants keep their temperature on the low side (studies show we eat more when the temperature is lower), etc., etc.

    I'm all for personal responsibility but you can't deny societal factors either. Personal responsibility means understanding how environmental factors impact you so you can decide what to do about them. It doesn't mean pretending that they don't exist.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  19. #99

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    Gary Taubes, who frequently writes on diet issues, wrote a book called "Why We Get Fat" that is fascinating. The "calories are calories" argument gets pretty seriously debunked, as does the efficacy of the government's food pyramid. (Taubes has serious credentials: (He) has won the Science in Society Journalism Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.[4] He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy.[14] -- from wikipedia.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Fat...9688898&sr=8-1

    And "The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)" may be one of the better hours you ever spend watching a podcast. It is Stanford University Professor Christopher Gardner giving a lecture on the results of Stanford's very large, randomized, year long study of popular diets for weight loss.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eREuZ...BA7EB1D07FAA52
    (He's also one of the most engaging lecturers you'll ever hear.)
    Last edited by barbk; 06-14-2012 at 05:09 PM.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    There is so much misinformation, so many lies in food packaging, and so many new things that are difficult to understand at best, that educating oneself in the modern food climate can seem overwhelming. A person can look at a carrot and say, yes, a carrot is healthy, but then there are all the additional questions: Do I need to buy this carrot organic? Why or why not? If I don't what could happen to me? And that's just a carrot. A person could buy something labeled as 100 calories, something that will help you on a diet!... but then that item is purely made out of sugar and chemicals. But they're trying to eat what they want on a diet, right? How could that be bad? It's not as simple as you seem to think. It can be very, very confusing.
    I feel like you're making it more complicated than it is. Bottom line....a carrot is healthier than a bag of Doritos. Whether that carrot is organic or not, it's clear to even a person that's not well educated in food that fruits and veggies are a better snack than cupcakes and cookies, and that grilled chicken is better than the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. To say the average person goes through that thought process and that just makes it "too confusing" to make a good choice, just sounds like an excuse.

    I do too find it really aggravating when processed garbage (like anything in a 100 calorie pack, snackwells cookies, etc..) is marketed as a healthy choice. I guess eating 100 calories of cheeze its is better than eating a 300 calorie bag, ....but still. Processed garbage is still just processed garbage, no matter what packaging it's in. Is it really that difficult to discern this? When the ingredient list is full of things you can't pronounce, why does anything think that's good for you? I'd like to give the general population more credit than that....

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