Vicktor Moberg

Line Cook, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

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Traditional "Western Nutrition" is flawed and the reason why America is suffering the health issues it has

There is a serious problem, when I'm 5'10", 130lbs, and I'm considered "Underweight" and am told to eat 4000 calories a day to maintain a "healthy weight." Instead of eating a carb based, fat phobic diet, we need to eat more protein, more vegetables, less carbs, and find and recognize good sources of fat, such as those found in nuts and fish. We also need to do away with corn and soy and their by-products.

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    Jun 1 2014: I weigh 300 lbs, My Cholesterol is 130, BP 125/75, HR 74 and so is my age and I stand 5'11' all this taken at my last checkup 6 weeks ago..... my favorite meal is a 5 oz. sirloin, medium rare, with a side of steamed broccoli and sautéed mushrooms with garlic. None of this is the average American anything.
    There are over 300 million Americans and none of us are average. The idea of averages is a math term and should not apply to people. I see all of us as unique. If you want average, go into an orchard and find the average apple. That should keep you busy for awhile....
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    May 29 2014: Overall, I think that the real flaw is with using the body mass index (BMI) as a means of classifying whether an individual is at their "healthy" weight range. What the BMI doesn't account for are differences in physiological body types. Heck, if we went by BMI alone, most professional athletes would be considered obese or morbidly obese.

    Regarding different body types, recently, the works of psychologist William Herbert Sheldon has been gaining traction. Sheldon theorized that there are three different physiological body types or somatotypes; ectomorphic, mesomorphic, and endomorphic. They can be classified as follows:

    Ectomorphic: Thin body build, roughly characterized by the relative prominence of structures developed from the embryonic ectoderm.

    Mesomorphic: Muscular or sturdy body build characterized by the relative prominence of structures developed from the embryonic mesoderm.

    Endomorphic: Heavy body build roughly characterized by the relative prominence of structures developed from the embryonic endoderm.

    Physiology jargon aside, I think that these are genetic predispositions which can be altered based on a balanced/healthy lifestyle. Let's face it, everyone has different lifestyle demands; there are no "one size fits all" guarantees when it comes down to our nutrition and how we should live.
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      May 29 2014: I agree, it is flawed. It also doesn't take lean muscle into account. And I've heard of the three body types you described. Definitely something I'd like to learn more about, thanks!
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    May 31 2014: I agree that there is a serious problem with the average American diet, and the focus on weight loss has made it worst.
    Personally I highly recommend that everyone needs to create their own custom diet base on their own unique health needs and taste and not to go for a target weight to achieve.
    And general statements like eat less red-meat and more fruit don’t go far enough to address most health issues and to create a healthy diet.

    For example: I and for many others, inflammation is a big issue and the general rule of “eating more fruit” does not work because fruits like raisins are highly inflammatory were as strawberries are highly anti-inflammatory.
    P.S. As a post this, this link is down http://inflammationfactor.com/ when it gets back up, I highly recommend it to those with inflammation issues. Its base on this book http://www.amazon.com/Inflammation-Free-Diet-Plan-Monica-Reinagel/dp/0071486011/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401497766&sr=1-1&keywords=inflammation+factor with more up to date information.

    And there are many other such issues, each of us needs to look into.
    And FYI a healthy diet will also get you to a healthy weight, with no calorie counting.
  • May 30 2014: The obesity epidemic boils down to consuming far more calories than we burn. Once we understand that basic problem we can then focus on quality of foods versus the junk foods/precooked and pre-prepared meals that offer very little nutrition from the unnecessary high salt usage (prolonging the life of the products), a lack of what is truly beneficial in the way of nutrients and whether these nutrients are organic or without words that have no meaning to anyone outside of alchemists who seek out substitutes for our deficiencies from natural nutrition.

    Once these few things become common place, IMO, the rest of our health issues will be more readily understood and hopefully will be sought out as each individual necessitates.
  • May 28 2014: You got energy, not feeling tired? You strong enough to live your life and do the things you want? Got enough endurance? Heart rate good? Blood pressure good? Blood sugar good? All that stuff okay?

    If so, forget weight.

    Also, except for the lunatic crackpot nonsense about "corn and soy", you are REPEATING what "Western" nutrition experts have been telling us FOR YEARS. More protein, MORE VEGETABLES, less carbs, less fat.
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      May 28 2014: For as long as I could remember, I was always taught to follow the food pyramid, and then the "My Meal planner" that the USDA put out a few years ago, and what several doctors told me growing up, which was to have the base of my diet made up of complex carbs for energy,then eat vegetables for vitamins and minerals, supplement it with a bit of meat for protein to build muscles, then have fruits and dairy for more vitamins and calcium for strong bones, and finally IF I HAVE TO, eat some fat.

      Huge problems here. What happens to carbs when your body uses them? They get converted into glycogen, which then get stored as fats when the excess sugar isn't used. This means the base of our diet is then basically sugar and fat. HOWEVER, we do need starch and fiber in our diets which we can get from grains, but they need to be whole grains, wild rice and ancient, unrefined grains like quinoa, and amaranth which are great. Next problem, the USDA said to eat protein but stay away from red meats. Fine, red meat does raise the bad cholesterol but it's an amazing source of iron and protein. Third problem, is telling people to drink milk and have dairy for calcium and vitamin D. Unless the milk you buy is "Fortified" or Vitamin D enriched, there isn't enough calcium in a glass of milk to actually be beneficial. Another thing, if animals were supposed to have dairy in their daily diets, why is it that humans are the only animals that continue to consume it when we've been weened off our mother's milk? Wild hogs and pigs forage for food and have amazingly strong bones and are pretty damn close to humans physiologically. Final problem I have with either of the above mentioned models, is cutting out fat as much as possible. Why is this a problem? Vitamins A, D, and K are only soluble in saturated fat. We've been cutting saturated fats from our diet for years, but we're still overweight. We do need good fats like coconut oil and omega 3, 6, 9 from nuts and fish for cardiovascular health
      • May 31 2014: The USDA is not a reliable scientific source of information. They have a mixed mandate, by law. They are to act as a gatekeeper for food information, a guarantor of food safety, and an industry advocate for US agriculture. This is unlike the FDA, which is a purely regulatory agency. Note that the FDA and pharmaceutical companies are constantly squabbling while the USDA has far fewer fights with agricorporations. It's because the USDA is required by law to act as their advocate.

        Your mis-characterization of carbohydrate metabolism needs correction. Carbohydrates are only stored as glycogen when your body does not use them. If they're used, they're broken down into smaller molecules and the energy used. Those molecules are ultimately either excreted or exhaled. Glycogen is only formed from "unused" carbohydrates--storage for later use in respiration.

        Your argument about dairy is also flawed. Many humans are "supposed to" have dairy in their diets. The proof of this is that they maintain widespread lactase persistence in their gene pool. We aren't pigs or any other species but human. One might as well claim that we are "supposed to" eat grass, since ruminants eat grass. The argument that humans must NOT do something because no other species does something is extremely ironic given that it's being made via a computer. No other species builds computers. Therefore, humans should not build or use computers.
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    May 28 2014: Vicktor, Yeah .. go to any weight and height scale on the web and you will find that it seems out of whack. My grandkids wore 18 month cloths at about four weeks ... I have friends that eat 24/7 and are skinny as a rail and some who eat a little and have weight issues.

    When I retired the flight surgeon told me that I ate well and exercised correctly and had good physical health ... he added that even by doing all of these things the results come from the genes you get from your parents.

    I have, for the last year, tried to eat proper helpings ... I continue to be surprised at what a portion is ... it is very small amount of meat .. a couple of spoons of veggies .. 6 oz of milk ... what I get at almost all cafes is approximately four meals on a plate for about $12 bucks .... could I get a proper plate of three items plus a roll for $2 or $4. No instead everywhere supersizes the order.

    One of the things I learned overseas is that we do not eat enough fiber ... I do now.

    We do not understand nutrition in the USA very well or even the value of the food we buy ... FDA is a joke ... I read the labels and don't have a clue.

    Good topic ... I wish you well. Bob.
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      May 28 2014: I'm sure a lot of what factors into whether or not a person will be able to maintain a healthy weight is in their genes, because I've seen exactly what you describe. I'm hoping within five years to start working to a Ph.D in Food Science and Human Nutrition and this is one of the things I'm eager to find out more about.

      Whenever I tell someone they should only be eating 4-6 oz of meat, the reactions are always the same. Shock, surprise, and demanding questions about how is that supposed to fill you up. The answer? 2-4 oz of starch, and I aim for at least 8 oz of vegetables to go with that meat. I think because we have large portion sizes, we do underestimate the value of the food because we tend to take it for granted, which is why we accept the cheap lower quality stuff that grocery stores sell. I'm fortunate enough to have a local old world style butcher shop about 5 minutes drive from my house, where yes, we pay a bit extra for the meat, but it tastes so amazing and is beautifully taken care of. Out of a 2.5lb chuck roast, my family of four was able to get about 6 or 7 portions out of it because we only eat about 6 oz of meat.

      I work at a Prime steakhouse and yes, we sell a 42 oz bone in "Tomahawk" ribeye steak that two people share, but whenever I look at the portions for our appetizers, or even the size of our baked potatoes, I'm almost always disgusted by it. An appetizer should be maybe 6 oz of food, just to get your appetite ready, but we have some apps that basically a complete meal in and of themselves.
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        May 28 2014: Vicktor, I subscribe to the European theory that 5 small meals are best for you and your system. I also think the large meal should be morning or noon ... never evening?

        As a food professional what do you think of these ideas?

        What suggestions could you pass on to us?

        Thanks in advance. Bob.
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          May 28 2014: Bob, I'm all for smaller meals throughout the day, and nothing major after 7 pm because it'll just sit in your gut and be stored rather than used for anything beneficial. Here's where my eating schedule differs though because I work evening shifts in a busy kitchen: I wake up and have a small meal to stave off hunger because I'm not doing much in the morning other than homework and small errands. Lunch is usually another small meal later in the afternoon, after which I usually take a nap before going into work (I love the Spanish model here). My biggest meal, is then family meal right before four hours of semi-controlled chaos we call dinner, which is usually around 4:30pm. Later around 9, when I still have about 3 hours of my shift left, I might also have a small meal of some sauteed vegetables and scraps of meat. Obviously, this is nowhere near how most people schedule their meals, but the concept is still the same. Small meals throughout the day, with one singular large meal, probably being dinner. The reason I love the Spanish model? They have three main meals, but they're small, and then have tapas to stave off hunger in between. The following link goes into more detail and is basically how I eat my meals:
          http://www.eyeonspain.com/spain-magazine/eating-habits.aspx
  • May 28 2014: "Traditional "Western Nutrition" is flawed and the reason why America is suffering the health issues it has"
    Wow, more and more people are recognizing this everyday, it's a miracle that is spreading like wildfire. Muchas gracias Vicktor, I need all the help I can get spreading the word. By the way, have you discovered the link between bad food and violence yet??
    "Bad diet equals bad behavior"- Keith W Henline
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      May 28 2014: No, i haven't, but you've sparked my curiosity. What you say about bad diet does make sense though. Could you share some more on that issue?
      • May 28 2014: OK Vicktor, remember you asked for it.
        I think the "real" problem is a dysfunctional human species. I believe the real problem started almost from the beginning of our existence when we started adding meat to our diet.
        Example: What would happen if you started mixing more and more water with your gasoline for your car? It would start by running rough and eventually would just die, am I right? That is because the engine was made to run on gasoline and almost anything else you pour in the tank will adversely affect it's performance, and eventually kill it.
        Now think about the human body which is made up of mostly water, the body is about 60%, the muscles 75%, lungs 83%, heart 73% the brain 80% so as you can easily see, we need a lot of water to function properly. It is no coincidence that fruits and vegetables are very similar in water content plus have "all" the other essential components needed for health. So what do we feed this engine, sticky, gluey meat and sugar! By the way what happens where you mix sugar with gasoline? Yep, you should be getting my point by now.
        The point is if our engine is failing, why would we expect any thing else to go right from then on? Crazy behavior? Of course.
        Violent behavior? Of course.
        Disease and premature death? Absolutely.
        What else would any semi-sane analyst expect?
        The human is just a very disturbed species spinning out of control and getting sicker by the minute!

        Until we solve the most important problem, our fuel, don't expect anything else to go right, it won't and history has proven this point over and over again. BY the way, those who has solved the problem, "vegans", are the healthiest people on the planet.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vegans
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          W. Ying

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          May 28 2014: .
          Yes!
          " "Vegans", are the healthiest people on the planet."
          It is determined by our instincts with ultra-high accuracy.

          (See alos (From my OneDrive, public, article 7, points 3 and 9:
          https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&resid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21414&app=Word&wdo=1 )
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          May 28 2014: I used to have issues with vegans because the only ones I ever knew decided to be vegans to "Protest against the cruelty towards animals," which still irritates me a little bit. BUT, to those who make the lifestyle choice for health and dietary reasons, I have an enormous amount of respect for. I love learning how they've found ways to replace protein in their diets because I've seen too many "vegetarians" and "vegans" not replace it and often become sick and have almost zero strength to anything. That being said, I'm not a fan of soy unless it's steamed edamame because of the hormone issues it can cause because it's loaded with estrogen.

          There's no way I could make such a lifestyle choice though because I did go a few weeks living a vegan diet and even with the replacement of meat with different beans, quinoa, and other plant based proteins (sans lentils due to allergies), I felt horrible and my doctor grew a bit concerned. I'm not sure about you, or other vegans, but I think part of the problem I had with the diet was because I'm an O+ blood type, who traditionally were the hunter gatherers. In fact, the only time I've actually be able to gain a significant amount of weight from muscle was when I was eating a lot of game meat, a pound of mixed nuts a day, berries, and lots of vegetables that originally weren't part of an agrarian society, and cut out wheat and corn, and ate ancient grains and wild rice instead. Needless to say, during that time, I felt amazing and could actually smell and taste the artificial crap that ends up in processed food.
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    May 27 2014: My Doc never trusted charts like that because it's just an approximation. He has something that uses electric current to test for BMI because fat is conductive and muscle not so much and it said I was around 20. I just crunched my mother's numbers and it said she's in the obese range, when in fact she's actually much lower because the charts don't take into account for lean muscle, of which she has 112 lbs, which is quite a bit more muscle than I have
    • May 28 2014: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."- Einstein
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    May 27 2014: well, here's a BMI figurer, when I put in your numbers you're just barely in the normal range, just above the "underweight" range: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm I suppose if anyone says you should add weight, you can point them to the BMI scale?