What to eat and what not to eat– in chart form!!

Somehow I missed this when it ran in the Atlantic back in November.  Anyway, love this chart that distills a recent Health Affairs study on how different foods affect weight gain:

Should not really be all that much surprising here.  We’ve been hearing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for a long time.  There’s also been plenty of more recent research on the benefit of nuts and yogurt.  I actually have a good amount of most of these every day.  I wish all it took was eating a lot of these healthy foods.  It doesn’t, though, as you clearly also need to avoid the bad ones.  Even when I am at my worst of splurging on sweets and refined grains (e.g., recent Christmas vacation), I still get a decent amount of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and yogurt, but that won’t stop me from putting on weight.

And, boy, are potato chips uniquely problematic.  I let my kids have way to much refined grain snack food, but at least they almost never have potato chips.

Oh, and of course, I need to mention the very last item in the chart.  Suck it diet soda haters!

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

8 Responses to What to eat and what not to eat– in chart form!!

  1. itchy says:

    I like the “potatoes or fries.” Not that you couldn’t gain weight on a boiled potato diet, but I’m guessing Potato is not the leader of that villainous duo.

    Where is the “apples or apple pies” category?

    Oh, also, nice post, Steve.

  2. John F. says:

    That should be framed and put on your office door: “Suck it diet soda haters!”

    So the bottom line here is, it matters what you eat and not just how much. Interesting dynamic, almost as if, for instance, potatoes have an effect on your hormones i.e. insulin and that effect causes longer term weight gain…hmmm?

    Sounds awfully familiar…where have I heard that Before? BTW- The Smarter Science of Slim referenced the studies linking potatoes and weight gain.

    • Mika says:

      “…potatoes don’t count as a vegetable on Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate…” This would blow my elderly relatives minds 🙂 You guys probably have no idea what kind of a standing boiled potatoes have in Finnish, especially traditional, food culture. When my mother-in-law says “Let’s have some boiled potatoes” she means “Let’s eat”. Pasta and rice are for fancy city folks but normal people eat boiled potatoes. And red meat, pork or cow. And whole grain rye bread, And drink milk. And of course coffee. With cinnamon buns.

      • Steve Greene says:

        Culture, man :-). I suspect if we separated out boiled potatoes and other non-fried preparations, things would look a lot different. But, of course, french fries are one of humankind’s great inventions :-).

      • Mika says:

        Yes they are. When I was a child every once in a while at Sundays my parents used to make french fries from raw potatoes. Peel them, slice them and then cook them in a normal pot with sun flower oil. Nowadays I prepare them myself, they are always a guaranteed hit whoever is a lunch/dinner guest, I use brassica rapa subsp. oleifera -oil which happens to be the best vegetable oil if you think how it affects your cholesterol-levels. Full of energy of course, but…

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