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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things That Make You Go: Really

This is a post from my weekly Food For Thought column for the Star News.


Pizza, whole fat dairy, salt and anything fried or sugar laden foods make up the unhealthy hall of fame. Consumption of these foods has long been associated with heart disease, diabetes, obesity and nearly every other malady known to plague mankind. These foods are tantamount to the criminal element according to the health Gestapo.
            The real problem with convicting any of the so called food villains is their elusive nature. While some who consume the so called bad foods develop traditionally associated diseases many others do not. Some among us live on a diet of high fat foods with no heart disease, diabetes or any such thing. Could it be that all of the bad foods like all criminals are selective about choose their victims? Perhaps they know who to attack for maximum results. Perhaps the real true nutrition criminal, the godfather so to speak, has not been revealed.
            A recent sting conducted at Harvard School of Public Health may have finally infiltrated the highest levels of the food mob. These researchers have uncovered evidence that implicates white rice as the latest addition to the lot of good health assassins. The study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who ate 3-5 servings of white rice per week were 17% more likely to develop diabetes than those who only ate one serving or less per month.
            Upon deeper consideration this is not all that different from the way other criminals are. White rice like others of its ilk just seems to fit in unassumingly with the rest of their surroundings. Yet shrouded in their everyday camouflage criminals and now we know white rice too are doing their dirty work right under our noses. How could we have been so blind as to let these things happen? It makes one wonder what other culinary culprits are lurking in the pantry and refrigerator just waiting to harm our health.
            On the other hand white rice may find itself just a victim of circumstance. Rather than conducting first hand research before flooding the headlines with white rice guilt the Elliot Nesses at Harvard only drew correlations from other food and nutrition studies. Therefore white rice may only find itself guilty by association. It makes one wonder what other striking correlations the brilliant scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health could uncover regarding other common foods and our health.
            I am ever amazed with the problems and issues facing our country how an institution of higher learning such as Harvard can rationalize the vilification of rice. If we as a people have allowed that low level of scientific discovery to become our obsession we are in a pitiful spot. I am hopeful that this story will disappear as quick as it made the headlines. It is this type of dribble that keeps all of us confused about what to eat.
            My advice is have a little white rice with every meal. That is if you don’t mind hanging with the criminal element.        

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