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Food choices:the formula of being healthy - Essay Example

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It has been known without a doubt that much of the health concerns that modern society is faced to is largely rooted to the existing lifestyle patterns for which the issue of diet is an inevitable aspect. …
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Food choices:the formula of being healthy

Download file to see previous pages... It has been known without a doubt that much of the health concerns that modern society is faced to is largely rooted to the existing lifestyle patterns for which the issue of diet is an inevitable aspect. In the United States, the issue is that of obesity which has increased in prevalence during the last decades of the century These matters point to the question on what is really healthier: eating more or eating less. On a personal note, I believe that the formula of being healthy does not depend on the quantity of food that we eat but on what and how we eat. The question of what to eat is the central topic of Michael Pollan’s article, Escape From the Western Diet. The author blames the Western diet as the culprit for the increasing number of diseases. The different theories concentrating on the role of macronutrients and other essential substances to explain why the Western diet is unhealthy imply that the Western diet is just too rich in excess carbohydrates, lipids and other substances. Moreover, the article presented contradicting points that each of these theories presents. I agree with what Pollan pointed out that these theories are merely explanations of an evident phenomenon and that no matter what the correct theory is the solution will not change (140-141). With that, if the Western diet causes disease, then it should be eliminated. There are several striking points that Pollan presented in his article. Notable among the few and that I do not agree on is that “people eating a Western diet are prone to a complex of chronic diseases that seldom strike people eating more traditional diets” (Pollan 140). In the first place, the article did not identify what constitutes the Western diet. It generalized Western diet as a whole to be the one causing the disease when in fact it could be just some of the elements of food that are increasing the health risks. It came from Pollan himself that whole foods should be preferred and processed foods should be avoided (143) which clearly shows that it is not the Western diet per se that is causing the health problems but some of its elements which could even be present in other diets. Moreover, Pollan’s argument that people who are eating more traditional diets are seldom afflicted with disease lacks support of evidence. As a matter of fact, there is one interesting study that shows that the changes in diet and lifestyle that have been occurring have made the human genome adapted (Carrera-Bastos et al. 15). Accordingly, the health problems that are becoming prevalent are not mainly products of a single phenomenon and that “focusing on isolated dietary and lifestyle variables is not an appropriate preventive medicine strategy” (Carrera-Bastos et al. 27). Nonetheless, given that the diet plays a huge a role in the occurrence of diseases, the question now is centered on what is the right food to eat. The formula of healthy eating that Pollan suggested is summarized into three rules: “Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants” (146). The first and the second rule defy the common notion that eating less is healthy. It promotes the idea of maintaining things in moderation. However, the third rule is somehow disagreeable. For one, plants do not contain all the essential nutrients to maintain good health. Second, even plants undergo processing; this contradicts Pollan’s previous statement on avoiding processed food. Meanwhile, a different perspective on diet and food choices was presented by Mary Maxfield in her article, Food as Thought: Resisting ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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