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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (novick.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: VEGSOURCE TALK QUESTION
Date: August 10, 2007 at 2:35 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: VEGSOURCE TALK QUESTION posted by Stan B. on August 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm:

>>Thanks for the articles but would not the first article stating
that "Yes, studies of people on traditional Polynesian diets [incl.
coconut] have found that they have relatively low rates from heart
disease despite very high LDL cholesterol levels..." - not contradict
somewhat the conclusions of the second article?

No, and the first article and my conclusion address these issues.

Longevity and good health is never the result of any one isolated
part of a diet or dietary pattern. It is not the yogurt, or the olive oil
or the soy, or the green tea, or the red wine that keep populations
healthy and long lived. These are the exceptions, not the rules.

Same with the Polynesian diet. Coconuts are not their mainstay or
primary source of calories Starch in the traditional diet comes
primarily from root vegetables (e.g., taro, cassava, yam, green
bananas, and breadfruit). In addition, the traditional diet is
plentiful in fresh fruits, juices, nuts, and greens. Traditional meals
include poi (boiled taro), breadfruit, green bananas, fish, or pork.
Many dishes are cooked in coconut milk, and seaweed is often
used as a vegetable or a condiment.

So, like I said, you can construct a diet that is healthy and can
include some of these "exceptions" as long as the overall dietary
pattern is healthy.

My main concern is that it seems people are more interested in
arguing or debating these "exceptions" (cocoa, green tea, soy, olive
oil, red wine, etc) than in indulging in the overall healthy dietary
patterns (fruits, veggies, etc). And, without the overall dietary
pattern being healthy, these "exceptions" are not going to greatly
improve the diet and may even make it worse.

Right now in American, few of us take in the bare minimum
recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and get in the
minimum amount of activity.

Watching total caloric intake, maintaing a healthy body weight in
the lower end of the range, and making sure those healthy lifestyle
componets are met are far more important to good health and
lonegevity than worrying about whether or not someone consumes
green tea, cocoa, coconut, olive oil or red wine.

In Health
Jeff

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