Bean Sprouts, Tofu or Twinkies?

By Jim Whitt

Chicken Little made a name for himself by proclaiming the sky was falling. Of course this Nostradamus of the barnyard was proven wrong but not until after he had most of the barnyard population believing his false assertion.

This fable is repeated time and again in real life. Some self-proclaimed expert makes a claim that is not supported by facts or science but is so convincing that people swallow the falsehood hook, line and sinker. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the realm of the human diet.

We’ve been scared into believing that we should all be eating bean sprouts and tofu if we don’t want to die young and destroy the planet. In the midst of this Chicken Little diet scenario walks Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University who lost 27 pounds in two months eating Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Doritos, sugary cereals and Oreos. Finally, a diet we all want to be on.

As a class project, Haub set out to prove a theory that has been validated many times by common sense and science. It’s not what you eat but how much. He consumed 1,800 calories a day which is 800 calories less than what it takes to maintain body weight for a man his size.

In addition to losing weight, Haub’s body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent, his “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent, his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent and his triglyceride level was reduced by 39 percent.

Before his class project, Haub ate a “healthy” diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas – but he was overweight. “There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy,” is Haub’s assessment. “It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.” Therefore he wasn’t really eating healthy, he was eating what we have been sold as eating healthy.

Go ahead and eat what you want during the holidays. Just be sure to follow the Biblical admonition to do all things in moderation.

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