Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Eating: A Food-Based Approach

The science of nutrition is changing and not in the way you might expect. After years of “reductionist” thinking — where food has been viewed as the sum of its parts -– a call to treat food as food has been sounded. No more poring over nutrition labels to calculate grams of fat or chasing down the latest go-to chemical –- be it vitamin E, fish oil or omega-3. Instead we are being asked to call a potato a potato and a piece of steak — well, a piece of steak.

If you haven’t heard about this sea change yet, you are not alone. The food science industry that markets “food products” for our consumption has done a good job giving their laboratory creations a semblance of health with phrases like “low fat” and “high in vitamin C.” For our part, the medical community is also to blame. Despite evidence to the contrary, we have been slow to renounce the “fat is bad” mantra or break away from the nutrient-based approach to eating that first swept the country over 30 years ago. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at BeyondApples.Org*

An Eater’s Guide To Food

Food Rules: An Eater's ManualMichael Pollan has become one of our most important writers about human nutrition. His book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), spelled out why the almost eight billion humans on this planet had better balance what we eat – for our own health and the health of the planet.

He published a small book in 2009 (Penguin Books) called Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. His rules are around seven words in three brief statements: “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.” How simple and wise is that?

These three statements make up the three parts of this small book, with lots of practical “rules.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

Perverted Economics: Eating Healthy Is Too Expensive

I watched a good documentary called “Food, Inc.” It was nominated for an Academy Award. The promo says “you’ll never look at dinner the same way” and they’re right. Since I’m a fan of Michael Pollan and have read “Fast Food Nation,” I was already a healthy-food fan, but seeing how agriculture and farming has changed over the last 40 years was still a shocker.

There’s no doubt that high-calorie, sugar-laden processed foods are contributing to serious health issues in America. And 10 billion animals are raised on factory farms under inhumane conditions.

So when I went to the grocery store today, I made a conscious choice to ask if Safeway had any grass-fed beef for a healthy stir fry I was making for dinner. The answer was “No,” so I journeyed over to Whole Foods where I bought a pound of grass-fed sirloin. The cost was a whopping $16.43.

I have to ask myself why grass-fed beef should be so much more expensive than corn-fed beef. There’s no way the average family could afford to eat the way we should. The impact on our environment and our health is suffering terribly because of these perverted economics.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »