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Men's Health Fitness Book from 1995: Funny, if not so misinformed - Elf M. Sternberg
Men's Health Fitness Book from 1995: Funny, if not so misinformed
How much things have changed: I have two books from Men's Health from 1995, only fifteen years ago. Like many books from that era they don't mention the Internet at all, despite the fact that I was waist-deep in getting the Internet up and running at that time. But what's particularly funny are bits like these:
In the process of converting carbohydrates and protein into fat-- which acts as the body's enery warehouse-- your metabolism burns off about a quarter of their calories. Compare that with dietary fat, which zips straight into storage virtually untouched.


Americans simply eat too much fat and not enough carbohydrates.
None of this is true. Dietary fat must still be repocessed in order to become fat cells. Carbohydrates are processed in a way that leads to higher fat deposition compared to fat or protein. Low-carb diets have proven to be highly successful, can demonstrably reverse some arteriosclerotic conditions, and are tastier, making them easier to tolerate as lifestyle diets. There is no research that actually indicates a causal relationship between dietary fat and cardiovascular disease.

Another howler: "Exercise late." Exercising before breakfast ups your metabolism and forces your body to use metabolic reserves, turning you into a more efficient burner of your own fat deposits.

And another: "Stretching is important before a workout so you don't go into it with cold, tight muscles." This is completely wrong: a brief cardio session of two minutes is all you need to warm up enough to work out. If you stretch before your workout, you're just pre-tearing cold muscles and diminishing those muscles' strength-building reaction. Stretch after exercising to gain the yogic benefits of stretching.

Current Mood: amused amused

2 comments or Leave a comment
_candide_ From: _candide_ Date: May 4th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, pasta and rice are carbohydrates. But so is broccoli, and spinach, and most other vegetables. And so is sugar.

The mass ZOMG-Demon-Carbs! hysteria of recent seems to forget this. If one looks at the amount of sugar in the foods we eat now … well, our great-great-grandparents would've looked at that amount of sugar and said, "What?!?! That's not food &mdash that's candy!"

I am also of the opinion that our great-great-grandparents would look at what passes for "bread" these days and wonder why we're all eating cake as part of every meal.

As for pasta and rice: yep, they must be awful for you, considering that Italians, Chinese, and Indians have all been as round as beach-balls for centuries from eating that as a main component of their meals…

Sorry to jump all over you like this, Elf. But your post is kinda scruffy; I think it needs a good shave with Occam's Razor. ^_^
elfs From: elfs Date: May 5th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, Italians are, by and large, er, large; even a century ago the French mocked the Italians for their voluminousness. The Chinese and Indians actually don't eat as much rice, and not nearly as much milled rice, as we think they do, they do get much of their caloric intake from vegetables, and their environment isn't nearly as conducive the relaxed lifestyles of south Italy. Middle to south Italy is really lush, agriculturally, as is parts of France and Greece. Wheat farming is significantly less physically demanding than in rice-growing regions. Whereas the French and Greeks put vegetables on their plates, the Italians put starches, and as a result have the highest rates of obesity (and obesity-related death) in Europe.

And yes, vegetables have carbohydrates. That's a duh. But they're qualitatively different from the simple carbohydrates in sugar. When you go to a grocery store and see yogurt bins advertising how healthy they are for you, only to realize that more than half their calories come from added sugar, you realize that you're eating dessert, not a healthy snack.

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