Nutrition, Health, and Our Relationship with Food

Nutrition, Health, and Our Relationship with Food

we are so delighted to see so many of our community members here today for health matters and to hear dr. Maia Adams it's wonderful to see our community engage with Stanford medicine and to better understand the resources that we have right here in our own backyard thank you for joining us today it is my pleasure to introduce teacher and lecturer on health and nutrition at the Stanford Medical School of Medicine dr. Maia Adam he's the lead instructor for Stanford child nutrition and cooking a massively attended online course through Coursera and she's created created digital teaching tools like the Stanford health outreach app the community health workers used throughout the world dr. Allen is the founder of just cook for kids a nonprofit organization that teaches parents how to involve and engage their kids in the cooking process she is also the author of food love family a practical guide to child nutrition please join me in welcoming dr. Maya Adam thank you everyone thank you so much for having me today and for being here on a weekend to come and listen to lectures not something many people choose to do with their free time I'm here today to tell you a story and it's kind of a different story it's a story about a love affair between human beings and the food that nourishes us we come into this world hardwired to love our food not just because food helps us to survive but because food brings us pleasure who can forget the taste of popsicles in the backyard in the summertime when your cousins were visiting and who can forget the smell and the taste of that soup that was made for you by someone who cared when it started to get cold outside through food we learn about where we come from about who we are and in some ways about who we want to be but the story that I'm going to tell you today like many love stories is also a story of tragedy and betrayal and I saw that tragedy and betrayal up close a few years ago when I found myself at a conference in a gym on a treadmill that had one of those television sets you know those those machines and I was you know on the treadmill watching this this television program and an advertisement came on for a popular antacid and in this invert US Mint there was a mother just like me at a children's birthday party and she was going to take a bite out of her hamburger when all of a sudden the burger bit her back quite literally the burger started to eat this poor woman's face and I was horrified I was horrified because one of the most important things I had learned in medical school was that pain is a protective sensation it helps us to avoid things that would cause damage to our bodies what this ad was telling us was that we should medicate that protective sensation away so we can continue consuming the foods that are hurting us but another reason that this ad horrified me is because of what it said about what has become of our relationship with food what was once a loving stable relationship has somehow turned into the War of the Roses you might remember this movie if you're of a certain age it was a movie about a couple who seemed to have it all and they became very busy they lost the intimacy and started fighting with one another and then they invested so much of their energy their time so many of their resources in that fight that they ended up losing everything they lost their friends their job productivity suffers at the end of the movie they even lost their lives and it struck me that there were some parallels between the dysfunctional relationship in that movie and our modern-day dysfunctional relationship with food we we once knew our food intimately even if we didn't grow it ourselves we probably knew the person who did or at least where it came from we used to spend time with our food we cooked it with care we served it with pride we tried not to waste our food remember those days when we used to try and not waste our food and in return our food loved us back it helped us to feel good about ourselves it helped our children to grow and to thrive and then we did something that our food could never forgive us for we got really busy and we outsource the intimacy with our food we started to pay people somewhere far away to grow process supersize and then package our food they stripped that food of its nutrients so that it would last long on a supermarket shelf we allowed our food to be stuffed full of synthetic nutrients colors flavors and far more fat sugar and salt than our bodies were ever meant to consume we allowed our food to be caged and drugged and force-fed until its breasts got so big it couldn't get to the water trough to take a drink basically what we had allowed is we had allowed our food to be pimped out and sold for a profit now if you were food wouldn't you want a divorce so is it any wonder then that our food is hurting us is it any wonder that we are in the midst of an epidemic of obesity that threatens to bankrupt our nation and leave our children with a shorter life expectancy than their parents and it really is our children who are going to pay the price most heavily these are my three children I don't know how well you can see this but because there are three of them and because they are growing up in the United States of America statistically one of them will become overweight or obese one of them will suffer from a chronic disease in their lifetimes because of the food environment in which they're growing up and so I'd like to paint the picture for you of that environment and I'd like to contrast it with let's say a country like France where rates of childhood obesity are much much lower than they are in the US my children are growing up in what has been called a food carnival where fast processed food is available on every corner and it has become socially acceptable to eat that food at any time of the day if you walk down the street and you see somebody at a bus stop it's 2:30 in the afternoon and they're eating a burger out of a piece of plastic you don't think twice in France that is abnormal behavior to some extent it's becoming less so now as our way of eating spreads but to eat sort of on the street without the use of utensils without a table and other people around you is highly unusual behavior in many cultures other than the one that we're raising our children in then they go to school and what do we feed them for lunch at school we feed them sadly more highly processed convenience food things have gotten much much better since Michelle Obama worked her magic in changing and getting vegetables and fruits put back into our school lunches but still our children are the world leaders in french-fry consumption do you really want to own that title and the funny thing is if you look at French children's school lunches six million French children sit down to a government subsidized school lunch every day and that lunch contains things like baked cauliflower casserole leek soup and endives roasted beets with goat cheese do you know that by law in France they are not allowed to serve the same dish more than once per month what are they doing they are teaching their children to eat like we teach our children to read write we expose them every pediatrician in the country is telling the parents 20 minutes a day you must read to your kids from birth it exposes them to literature to language to letters and sounds and they are doing the same thing with food taste training maybe we have something to learn from that our children come home from school see one of the biggest problems with this school the feeding our children this kind of food at school is that school is the place where you're supposed to do things right right you everybody uses good language at school everybody models friendship at school nobody's allowed to say you can't say you can't play that's phrase that I hear a lot at school so at school we're learning how to do things right so when we feed our kids this at school we are inadvertently teaching them that this is the right way to eat when they come home from school and I I take full blame for this as well there are times when I just don't have the time or the bandwidth but our children are often on a screen when they come home in their free time it's it's very challenging sometimes to get them into an after-school program to get them there some families can't afford these expensive additions to their already expensive family budgets and it's not just that the screen based activities are sedentary activities but also they are exposed to advertisements through the screen for what for more heavily processed convenience food that is going to harm their health to add to that to make matters worse we then supersize everything everything compared to the past two thirty years ago the foods that we are eating are significantly larger and we don't even notice it anymore until we go abroad and we see these tiny little bottles of juice and um yogurt containers and we think well they're making the miniature size now they're not our sizes have gotten so big that we don't notice anymore and the scary thing is that you would think we would just stop when we've had enough but all of the data suggests that when you are served a bigger portion size you will eat more and that is very scary when you put all of those factors together where this has left us is basically with a global epidemic it is no longer just an American problem it started in America but now it is spreading all over the world imagine there was like an infectious disease that started in a country that actually you know had terminal outcomes and was spreading around the world don't you think people would raise more of an alarm than they are about the American way of eating and this is one of the things that screams for a solution we urgently need to find a solution to this problem and yet we just keep investing more time energy more of our resources in the war on food instead of trying to repair the foundations of that relationship and it's a targeted war you might remember you know 20 years ago even ten years ago the foods in our supermarket had labels that said fat-free nonfat it was a war on fat nowadays we're hearing more and more about how sugar is a toxin and we should absolutely eliminate sugar from our diet even if it means that we end up eating bacon and eggs three times a day that would be fine as long as there's no sugar right the side effect of this targeted war on specific nutrients in our food is that we have all become much more educated about what's in our food right we know what foods are high in saturated fat how many people here could name could name one food that's high in saturated fat for me if I if I asked you I won't ask you to yes right many people in this audience could name a food that was high in saturated fat now the the kind of downside to seeing food as a collection of nutrients is that something that was once very beautiful somehow became less beautiful when we became so nutrient focused we looked at a strawberry and instead of seeing a beautiful delicious juicy strawberry we saw fiber and sugar and water and vitamin C and we made a value judgment based on what we were trying to avoid eating and what we had been told that we could eat we were allowed to eat and that's very interesting and I'm not pointing fingers here because I saw food this way for many years and I intimately know the thought process that would go through my mind when I would routinely outsource my own families eating it was the end of a long day I was tired the children were hungry and those fast convenience foods were everywhere they seemed so easy they were quick they were inexpensive and they carried this illusion of happiness with them but then something happened about five years ago that changed everything for me this is our middle son Misha when he was two and I give this picture to my medical students and we do a role reversal exercise so they are they get to be the physicians and I get to be the worried mother it's not a huge character leap I get a lot of practice and I asked them to tell me what they see and they tell me they see a happy child he looks well nourished the word butterball is sometimes mentioned he's got rosy cheeks he's feeding himself in a developmentally appropriate way and then I tell them that I'd now bring the same child to you a year later for his three year child well child check up and he looks like this I don't know how well you can see in this light but this child was emaciated he was pale he complained of terrible stomach aches and we couldn't figure out what was causing them he was still smiling because children can be so incredibly brave even when they're sick but this child could not get up off of the sofa on some days to play with his brothers he was so weak after eight weeks of worry and testing Misha was diagnosed with celiac disease an autoimmune food allergy to gluten to the gluten that's found in wheat and a few other grains and this is Misha six months after being on a gluten-free diet now I am NOT going to tell you today that going gluten-free is the answer to our problems because we have seen so many times that the single nutrient solution is never a sustainable one but what I will tell you is this in those 24 hours after maecius diagnosis the the hours where I cried and I threw away a lot of bagels and I worried how am I ever going to travel with this child to other countries and I thought why me why my child in those 24 hours I also realized I had a choice to make I could either mourn the loss of those bagels for the rest of Nisha's life or I could blow the lid off of this thing and turn it into the biggest party our household had ever seen I started cooking again from somewhere in my childhood memory bank I remembered my mother coming home from work and she would toss a handful of onions in some hot olive oil on the stove and the whole house would fill with the smell of dinner on its way so I started to imitate her and an amazing thing happened the children became interested in what was going on in the kitchen they felt that they wanted to be a part of the preparation of real whole foods and miraculously they seemed to enjoy eating those foods you know my littlest one wanted to know where his food came from and even he was a picky eater at the time he tried things he would never have tried before we visited farmers markets and experimented with new flavors and new ingredients I rarely cooked from recipes because I knew that that wasn't going to be a sustainable way for me to cook in the long run but what I found was that the more I did it the more I cooked the easier it got and I actually started to feel pretty good about what was coming out of that kitchen the children began to look at their food in a different way we had friends of all ages come into our home and there were experiments with real whole ingredients fruits and vegetables and cake batters and I realized that we were eating healthier and yet enjoying our food more than we ever had before I did have to reallocate a little bit of my time but the upside was so great that I couldn't imagine ever going back as a family we had come together around food and I felt that for the first time in our lives we were truly loving the foods that would love us back now this adventure did more for for me than change the way we ate it changed the nature of the question from what should we be avoiding this month to what do we feel like eating this month and what we ended up eating was really pretty satisfying I have a story to tell you for those of you that haven't heard this one already my children are being raised in what you might call a multi-faith home we celebrate the Jewish holidays we celebrate the Hindu holidays they go to a Catholic school they're getting it all we thought all of our bases covered but these children Misha was at school one day and one of the lovely teachers asked him tell me Misha does your family pray before you eat and he shrugged his shoulders and said we don't have to my mum's a pretty good cook cooking had added so much value to our lives that I couldn't help but want to share this with the rest of the world I thought if I could just help other parents to gain some of the basic principles that I had remembered from my childhood the onions in the olive oil those simple starting points maybe I could help them to transform the way they were eating now you have to love Stanford and especially sort of very innovative leaders in medical education like Charles prober who's our dean of education here and they supported me in the creation of a massive open online child nutrition and cooking course that has now grown since 2012 into a community of 250,000 international parents in 80 countries they come together and they share their stories about how cooking added value to their lives in January of this year we were again supportive in creating another massive open online course for adults called introduction to food and health on Coursera and in that course I had the great fortune of getting to work side-by-side with Michael Pollan who also appeared and lent us his voice and lent us his ideas and also experts like David Eisenberg at the Harvard School of Public Health who have done groundbreaking work in helping health educators and health promoters and physicians to become more aware of how to talk to their patients about food so I'm here today to tell you that if you're tired of fighting with your food if you want to repair that relationship once and for all I have something for you that is better than any love experts any counselor in the book and you might already have one in your kitchen cabinet it's that pot that pot in your kitchen cabinet that cooking pot pull it out I would like to end by showing you the trailer for the Stanford introduction to food and health course in case any of you want to join us on Coursera it's a free on-demand course and after that I'm going to leave you with my wish for you around the world today people are suffering from more diet related diseases than ever before in recent history the so-called Western diet has been implicated as the major contributor to our modern epidemics of disease we don't actually know what about the Western diet is creating the problems but what we do know with a great deal of confidence is that populations who eat this diet and it's normally defined as a diet high in meat high in processed foods with very little whole grains very little roots and vegetables that populations we eat that way have very high rates of chronic disease when you think about the increasing rates of obesity and diabetes you could really think of it as it's tsunami wave off the post it's enormous physicians nowadays more than ever but need to advise patients about completely which foods to eat more of or lesser than why how to shop for prepare cook enjoy healthy delicious foods not just nutrition facts we are living in a food environment that fails to support our health taking back the control over our food preparation is essential to our long-term well-being by examining our eating behaviors and learning the skills we need to reclaim responsibility for what's in our food we can celebrate the foods that will protect us and bring us pleasure for the rest of our lives please do join us on Coursera if the course is two hours worth of content and it's all divided into very digestible no pun intended chunks four minutes each and takes very little time if you watch one video a day or two videos a day so today instead of leaving you with a prescription for what to eat more of or what to avoid completely in your diets I'd like to leave you with my wish for you may the foods you eat be worthy of you and may they be made with love thank you very much do we have time for a few questions great okay so we have some time for questions I think are the questions I'm going to repeat the questions Glen is that right sir dr. BOTS how wonderful to see this not only are kids eating poison but they're sitting and fiddling all day so the obesity thing is a double-edge and so as you emphasize the food which you do magnificently take a walk thank you very much dr. BOTS ladies and gentlemen is the very highly esteemed author of next medicine and has done groundbreaking work at Stanford in preventive medicine so if anybody is interested in speaking with him he is a huge resource for our School of Medicine thank you dr. warts yes I think you have a mic great that means I don't have to repeat it right so that's a great question how do we know if we're getting enough of all the vitamins we need right we've all seen those lists of like recommended daily allowances certain percentages of different vitamins it's it's almost intimidating it almost makes you give up and just kind of go to the pharmacy and buy a bunch of vitamin supplements right I would say and I think this is sort of the thinking of Michael Pollan and and people who really are looking at food based solutions rather than nutrient based solutions if if you are eating an array an assortment of fruits and vegetables if you go for example for a simple principle like different colors of vegetables try and eat a few different colors of vegetables in all likelihood you are going to be getting the vitamins that you need that collection if you if you eat only one color or one type of fruit or vegetable it's much more likely that if there is some potential contaminant in that food it's going to be more harmful than if you diversify and also when you eat a broad spectrum of foods you get a broad spectrum of nutrients there are obviously situations where people need to be assessed for specific nutrient deficiencies and that's something to talk to a physician about but in general for healthy people if you are eating you know a nice amount of colorful fruits and vegetables that you are enjoying together with other Whole Foods whole grains lean proteins you will most likely meet your nutrient needs in that way without the stress of having to count how many grams and what percentage have you reached does that make sense I'll let you decide Erin yes we love our organic foods so it is wonderful that we have raised awareness in the general population about the importance of growing things organically without pesticides and in the way in which they were grown and that's wonderful but as always in the u.s. that becomes a new marketing tool because now you can find cookies that are all organic you can find sugar that's like completely organic you know it's funny because I noticed this with my son with the gluten free diet I look at things now that we're always gluten free but now they shout out gluten free salt is now gluten free I know salt is gluten free I don't need you to tell me that on the package but it has become a marketing ploy so this kind of just because something is organic as you know sir it does not mean it's healthy for you to eat but I would say if one can if we can afford to buy the organ annik fruits the organic vegetables the organic meats if we can afford that that's wonderful if not eat the fruits and vegetables it's much more important to eat the fruits and vegetables than to eat organic so if the choice is not to eat them because you can't afford the organic ones please just eat the traditional fruits and vegetables because as long as you know you're getting a nice variety of foods then we do the best we can with the resources that are available to us Aaron should we do one in the back and one up here great boot cut we'll get you sir here next so right so there are a couple of places you can go Coursera is the home to our two massive open online courses and then we also have a small nonprofit called just cook for kids that has a blog where parents post recipes from all over the world and so you can either get involved through the courses in an online community that shares recipes and stories or you can get involved through the nonprofit and everything is open access there are no fees involved we're trying to make everything as available as possible to to everyone who is interested the website is I would say nobody has been able to prove that a certain foodstuff causes a certain behavioral disorder however I would say it's it's always a good idea to provide a child with a balanced nutritious diet it definitely can't hurt to you know help a child in that way hold on one second Glen I'm hearing some oh it's broadcast from another room wow they're joining us virtually that's amazing okay so firstly don't get me started on the topic of behavioral disorders in the United States because this is also one area where I think we may have gone overboard in finding every single problem we can possibly find especially with our young boys and so I think that what we can do to support our children is provide them as common sense would tell us with a lot of love with a lot of fruits and vegetables a lot of nutrition and they will be by somebody once told me a very intelligent behavioral pediatrician once told me they will become you they will grow up and be you so if you're happy with who you are do the same and your children will end up being you I know but I will repeat your question I think we're having trouble with the lights but Glen is on the case come here transition yeah yeah so Michael is asking about for example individuals with a spinal cord injury or people who maybe are you know we as we as we age obviously our metabolism does slow down a little bit every year a tiny little bit I wish I had better news for you but that is the case and so definitely when there are physical limitations on physical activity we need to pay especially close attention to the foods that we're eating and we I think the key is there is no simple solution as long as we pay attention as much as we can without being restrictive food is a source of pleasure there is no way you can live your entire life just eating the correct amount of the right foods like you know we need to live we need to enjoy our food but if we can learn to enjoy the foods that will also support a healthy weight and a healthy body that's the win-win situation right so if we can learn for example to love a fantastic salad dressing that we'd love to put on different fresh greens and we go to let's say a farmers market and choose vegetables that really are the best darn carrots you've ever tasted in your entire life that can become a celebration in itself so I think one of the ways we can do it to keep it celebratory is to just keep an eye on the foods make sure very little if possible processed food and much more Whole Foods and enjoy those foods because then we don't end up feeling cheated we don't end up feeling like we need to overdo it on unhealthy foods because we've actually enjoyed the healthy foods I hope that helps a little bit I wish there were a simpler answer I am I don't have control over the mics but I'm gonna yes right okay first part of the question was about grass-fed beef so cows it took me a while to cool to sort of understand this cows were not supposed to eat corn they were right cows we think about cows walking in the grass and they lean down and they nibble right but in America corn became very cheap at a certain time in history and so we realized people in America some people realized that feeding that to cows would make them fatter more quickly and it was cheaper than allowing them to roam freely so many of our cows are raised now in K phos confined animal feeding operations where they're standing shoulder to shoulder with other cows at a trough and they're only fed corn and grain and this is problematic because number one they're not allowed to move they're standing often in their own feces beside neighboring house in very close quarters so they get infections so antibiotics are added to the grain feed to keep the cows from getting sick and then we end up eating their antibiotics in the meat and the cows themselves actually suffer greatly because their intestines were designed to digest grass and they get a condition where they become very bloated so they feel terrible so they are not only sick and on antibiotics but they're also really unhappy and so eating grass fed beef if you can get it is great I would say whenever you can find that because those are the cows that are actually walking around doing what they were meant to do second part of the question was about who to get involved with for school foods Alice Waters is doing some amazing things in the area especially she's up in Berkeley but she's doing some wonderful things about school food and every time somebody disagrees with her she invites them over to eat with her she's like feed them you'll win them over and they come to her table and she literally makes like a very rustic delicious meal like a Chez Panisse meal and then and these are like policy people who couldn't care less about food and once they've eaten with Alice Waters they're converted it's quite amazing do we have a mic on this side we've neglected this side I fear a little bit and then we're going to come over to you do we have time yes it's there it's definitely a challenge to make people understand how important this is the fact that you are here is so it warms my heart that you chose this session to listen to because it means that you understand that what we eat has a very direct effect on our health and the health of our society so when people say what are you talking about this is just food it's like it's not real I get that a lot people think this isn't this has nothing to do with medicine this is food this is like a hobby and I think this has so much to do with medicine and so I resist the urge to like grab them and shake them and say please listen to me and instead I have found a much better approach rather than a risk-based focus your children will be sick if you don't do this that doesn't work very well with people I found that taking a value-add approach helps so for example if we can offer a different way of doing things it's actually fun that might actually be better than how you're doing it now it might add value it's kind of cool it's kind of neat to be able to enjoy food and be a connoisseur of vegetables if we can find a way to make it fun I know this doesn't give you a clear direct a clear plan but if you can find any resources that you have about a celebration of healthy foods and how you can deliver that as a value-add program school is things in the right direction Lynne how are we doing with that other room I'm still hearing them they work I doubt it was for me dirty about studying or understanding the psyche of the Scottish about now it's kind of loudly Shania between should we just unplug absolutely and talk ladies no real secret Jean there we go let's do that okay better much better I like this I have that child to right I share your yes you can give it so the question is how do we firstly what do we do with picky eaters and secondly how do we get kids involved in food firstly I feel your pain I went through phases with each of my boys we mentioned what it means independent they want to make their own choices so what I would say to parents struggling as I did often these things are phases that will pass and the most important thing we can do because you can't make a child eat something they don't want to eat right but what we can do is if they see us truly toeing the line if they see us really enjoying great healthy foods and we're doing that in front of them on a regular basis so they regularly see us eating a certain way and enjoying it that can be very powerful in terms of helping them eventually want to have some of that – my husband and I sometimes we'll play a game with our little one who used to went through the parmesan and pasta phase and we would eat stir-fried broccoli with chili flakes and garlic and a little bit of kosher salt sprinkled on top like you know when it's done really crunchy and it's just delicious and the smell fills the kitchen and my husband and I would like take bowls of this and we'd sit down and we give him his pasta and we would eat it and we would be like good and after a few times the little one was like what's that and my husband said oh this is adults Pro food you probably won't like it that child insisted on trying what he said it's spicy you're not gonna like it dad I want to try that and you can actually children in the audience cover your ears you're in the audience that means you're already great food loving enthusiasts right but the point is that if we model great eating habits at the very latest when that child is in college and that child is assembling their own plate they will remember that something green was on the plate something colorful was on the plate our plates were not just firstly we had plates some families the kids don't see plays their entire childhood everything is out of a box or a bag but if you have plates and those plates involve color and different foods that sets your child up for seeing that as what a normal meal should be and that is very very important as for getting them involved if you get your children involved in cooking and it's hard especially if you're a control freak like me because I think I can do everything better in the kitchen than my kids so for me to be able to sit back and be like sure that looks great it's gonna be delicious it's hard it goes against my grain you want to go and help them right you want to fix it you want to tidy it up you have to actually back off my things and say what are we gonna eat what do you want to eat when you're at the shop when you're at the farmers market what do you feel like eating choose any weird vegetable you want power and speed or the other end in the athletic spectrum it might not have a really impressive but can jump out of it basic common sense but if you get the children involved and if you take almost a skeptical view point where you're like are you sure you can do that with asparagus okay they will insist that that is the best darn asparagus you've ever tasted because kids like to be right so if you let them go and then you try it and you say and I have swallowed some bad things in my life but if you try that food and you say this is good you can actually turn them on because they become much more confident in the kitchen they start to fancy themselves as little chefs and that can be powerful – am I getting a warning sign for you or no we're good okay we can take a peak one right here yes yes okay so in general I would say we eat too much meat in our country we eat too much meat it you know when we think about a meal we think about what is the protein gonna be we picture a big chicken leg or a steak and then we kind of think as the vegetables and the starch as like sides maybe we think of the starch more as the main thing but the vegetables are almost like a garnish right so if we can shift that thinking and think first what is my vegetable dish going to be tonight and then okay what would go well with that and if we can more often than we are choose a vegetarian source of protein means lentils all of those ancient sources of protein that have sustained whole civilizations over years they are cost-effective they are better for our health they're better for our planet it is much healthier in general to shift our diet a little bit away from the heavy meat content in America we tend to focus on protein and sadly it's gotten worse with this vilification of carbs carbohydrates that we people are now thinking free food I can eat as much meat as I want as long as I don't touch a carbohydrate so I have people who think that bacon is healthier than quinoa because quinoa is a starch and that's very difficult to work with you have to undo a lot of indoctrination good carbohydrate the one happy is firstly under yes vegetarianism five day challenge milk lose the nutritional elements you know what did they drink what do something totally milk it's actually different or maybe related or unrelated years originally men you know they talk about blood circulation has been an important component non-invasive we know or if you don't like this if there are results out there that say that you know their children actively use just one away for example all summer increasing okay individuals can tolerate it some individuals don't like it and they need to be able to listen to their bodies to and not be forced to eat something or drink something just because they think it's important for their health yes does that did I get it okay hey Aaron do you want to it's a good question yes okay excellent question you know the pork thing I don't actually know if you can get organic pork does anybody know that Whole Foods has her Whole Foods ladies and gentlemen has organic pork I have just learned something today that that's as far as eating a lot of any one thing I would say in general the more you can diversify the diet the better for you because if there is something in that pork you don't want to be eating it every single day you know diversity is great in the diet the second part of the question was Vitamix yes okay so smoothies right Vitamix is it's very cool right now juicing and everybody's like I'm gonna do it like a juice detox one week just juice or I'm gonna blend the whole fruit in the Vitamix so there are a couple of thoughts here firstly whenever we drink something we consume it much more quickly than if our teeth and our jaws had to actually chew it so we end up consuming more calories when we drink our food then when we you know cut up broccoli or kale and toss it in a salad and we actually have to chew it right so benefit number one of not going the juice smoothie root is that you can actually consume fewer calories because you're eating the whole fruit you have to peel the orange you have to chew the orange you're not kind of juicing it and just drinking the the sweet part even when we blend whole fruits which is better than just juicing the juice out when we blend whole fruits or whole vegetables together that is an effective way if for example you're struggling to get enough vegetables in and you really just want to make sure your body is getting the vegetables sure go for it but one downside of that is for our children they don't learn to love the beautiful sight of a vegetable in its whole form on the plate vegetables are beautiful if you look at all the different shapes and colors and if we hide vegetables from our children like there was a book that came out a few years ago about how you can make brownies with spinach in them and you can just feed your kids brownies all day and they'll get all the spinach they need I think that's a bad idea because then when they get to college they're gonna remember having brownies breakfast lunch and dinner and those will not be the kind with the spinach in them right so I think the more we can get our children to actually love the sight of a fruit or vegetable on their plate the better we are in setting them up for success and a healthier body last question oh this is hard because you had your hand up a long time I have to go with her because she we haven't had any questions from this demographic yet so how old are you she's 14 we have to give her a shot right yes and it's so funny to hear people everybody has their belief some people are like it's honey you gotta just eat honey and not sugar other people are safe maple syrup I don't let my kids touch honey or sugar but they can have maple syrup on everything so everybody has very strong beliefs in general the scientific thinking is that sugar is sugar is sugar there are some that are slightly more refined like the white bleached sugar compared to like the brown sugar but in general other than the kind of refined bleaching type of process that goes on sugar is treated by our bodies in the same way and it's it's you know it has four calories per gram it's a co simple carbohydrate it gets digested very quickly into the bloodstream so it tends to shoot the blood sugar up which isn't great for people who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels so in general if and lower the amount of sugar in our diet and here's a great tip so the World Health Organization has said that in general for the average sort of 2,000 calorie diet we should ideally not be eating more than six teaspoons of sugar a day so if you read for example some yogurts have like 24 grams of sugar in the yogurt that's your 6 teaspoons in that yogurt so if you can buy like plain yogurt and then you control how much honey or maple syrup or whatever you want to add to that then you have much more control so if we can reduce the amount of sugar and eat that sugar with other things so it's not just by itself because then it really shoots up but if you eat it with let's say a little bit of sugar in a bowl of steel-cut oats with some nice you know whatever almond milk or whatever you want to put I don't want to say milk because I don't wanna get in trouble with women behind you I'm just joking because people feel very strongly about the food do you guys notice this people will get mad at you if you disagree with them about their food so I would say I don't know if that answers your question moderation I will leave you with this one message moderation is the key to success if we can learn to enjoy small amounts of food every day your tongue should taste something that delights it but just once or twice not throughout the entire day ok moderation and enjoyment of food I wish you all good health and thank you for coming today the preceding program is copyrighted by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford junior University please visit us at

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2 thoughts on “Nutrition, Health, and Our Relationship with Food

  1. Had me until she brought up Obama at 8:40. Sorry but she didn’t do anything but grandstand. How about instead of worrying about what schools are serving since they only serve 2 meals a day, we don’t allow people on government food assistance to buy processed foods so they cant stuff their faces on them once they get home?!? Why should my tax dollars pay for someone’s Cheetos and Big Macs which have no nutritional value besides empty calories?

  2. A good start for most people. From my point of view, veganism should be the final answer though. Thanks for uploading.

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