Monday, May 17, 2010

Diet for Death

Earlier today, on the heels of my post about Bacon Camp, my friend, Pam, sent me this article about the dangers of eating processed meat. As you might expect, some of our favorites--bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and more--may be rather bad for us. The real culprits might be the high levels of salt and nitrates that they contain, but no one knows for sure. In fact, the study is not a causal one but rather a correlative effort; we really don't know.

This study reminded me, however, that there is something we absolutely know for certain: something is eventually going to kill you. We all die.

Years ago, I saw within one week two studies on the effects of certain substances on health. One focused on heart disease; the other's topic was cancer. Each showed concentration levels that seemed associated with its disease. As it turns out, the concentrations overlapped.

The conclusion seemed quite obvious to me: You should diet for the way you want to die. Think about it: everything you eat has some negative consequences, so you might as well pick the ones you want to get you.

I could go on, but I won't, because I fear some folks will think I'm making light of the obesity problem or the importance of a healthy diet or the need for plenty of exercise; I'm not. All those things are important.

So, too, though is some joy in your eating. That's why I don't eat red meat during the week, but damaging or not, sometimes I'm going to chow down on bacon, hot dogs, cheese, bacon cheese dogs, and other dangerous substances.

8 comments:

J. Griffin Barber said...

Death and Taxes, the only constants.

Might as well have fun!

Just so long as you don't do anything completely stupid, like ride a motorcycle, head toward the sound of the guns, or eat bacon daily...

Mark said...

Like we don't know anyone who hasn't done all of those....

Kyle said...

I'd like to offer some theme music for today's entry.

Mark said...

Great song, and great video.

Elizabeth said...

Today I saw a bumper sticker that I thought you would like.

"Bacon is meat candy."

Mark said...

Elizabeth, that is indeed a lovely sentiment--and so very true.

Bernadette Bosky said...

Definitely, food is a huge source of pleasure, both social and personal, and ignoring that is just ridiculous. I try to reach the best compromise I can based on enjoyment and the current state of knowledge of what is conducive to health in the long run and short run--then just enjoy living with those habits, never being too absolute about anything.

The worst of both worlds, I think, is to eat any food and then feel bad about having eaten it. Eat or don't eat; relish if you do.

Writers such as Hirschmann and Munter and books such as Health at Every Size argue that really, really enjoying your food will usually lead to eating less of rich foods than feeling guilty as you eat (or being distracted by anything else). That certainly is my experience.

Mark said...

I certainly agree that if you're going to eat something, do so with enjoyment and gusto.

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