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Vindicated over once 'bad' foods

Around the table

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POSTED: March 27, 2014 6:30 p.m.
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Red meat is one of many foods that had a bad reputation but now is being reconsidered as having health benefits.

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This column, “Around the Table,” has celebrated a number of foods the so-called experts tell us are bad. I quietly but forcefully tell these control freaks to leave me alone. I’ll eat what Georgia boys have been eating since 1733. I have a wife and a mama; I don’t need a nanny.
They claim they’re looking out for me by telling me not to drink coffee, eat red meat, taters, nuts, eggs — even chocolate. I suspect they’re more concerned with justifying their own existence. If they can’t get me to believe their propaganda, they get the government to put warning labels on everything worth eating.
Recently, I came across a foxnews.com article by Elena Ferretti entitled “Those bad old foods are good for you now.”  Eggs, chocolate, nuts, red meat, taters and coffee are good for us after all. See, I told you!
Americans have been brainwashed for decades to believe that eggs have a direct link to cardiovascular disease (I touched on this topic in my March 12 column). However, according to a June 2011 article in the European Journal of Nutrition, eggs are no longer the bad guys. Ferretti said the University of Michigan’s food pyramid says whole eggs offer every essential vitamin and mineral humans need but vitamin C. So Grandma had it 100 percent right when she gave you scrambled eggs and orange juice.
Ferretti said chocolate is now praised for its ability to reduce CVD, high blood pressure and strokes (I touched on this in my Sept. 11, 2013, column). She said a 10-year Swedish study of 37,000 men found that eating one chocolate bar a week lowered the risk of stroke by 19 percent. My love for Snickers just got stronger.
That jar of mixed nuts I keep next to my recliner helps control my blood pressure (I touched on this in my May 8, 2013, column). Ferretti cited a 2010 study in the National Institutes of Health that admitted nuts, especially tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios) also decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. (They taste good, too.)
Anyone who’s read any of my 65 food columns has figured out I have a special fondness for meat and have written columns on steak (Dec. 26, 2012) and tri-tip (May 15, 2013). Ferretti reports that a 2010 Heart Association study on red and processed meat cited there was a “higher incidence of coronary heart disease and diabetes” in processed meat — not red meat. So how do you like your steak?
We don’t want that steak to get lonely, so most of us enjoy it with a baked tater (as I pointed out in my Feb. 12 column). Now it seems that spuds have gotten a reprieve. She said “non-carb-fearing nutritionists” are recommending taters as a source for “potassium, niacin, fiber (in the skin) and vitamins C and B6.” Of course, the study woefully warns against stuffing your baked tater with lots of butter, cheese (something I wrote about on Oct. 23, 2013) and sour cream, but I figure that in a couple years, all dairy products will get a full pardon.
I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but I don’t start my day without my cup of coffee. It occurred to me when I read Ferretti’s article that I’ve been remiss in writing about coffee. I’ll correct that error next week. It’s enough now to note that coffee reduces liver disease, diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s (in men), according to Harvard’s website. Popular Science’s website says coffee can make you smarter, help you burn fat, improve athletic performance, lower dementia risk and extend your life-span.
Rather than gloat publicly that the above information has vindicated so many of my food columns, I think I’ll celebrate by having steak and eggs for supper with a side of hash browns, a large cup of coffee and chocolate-covered pecans for dessert.

 

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