Letter: Veggies are good; processed foods aren’t | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Veggies are good; processed foods aren’t

Greg Feinsinger, M.D.
Center for Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition;
Director, Glenwood Medical Associates Heart Attack, Stroke and Diabetes Prevention Center

In his article this week praising the health benefits of meat and dissing tofu, Steve Wells did a disservice to his readers who, despite his disclaimer, see Steve as an expert in nutrition.

All experts I have heard or read agree that eating lots of vegetables and some fruits is the healthiest thing you can do, in regard to prevention of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, heart attacks and strokes, and many forms of cancer. However, they also agree that processed food of any kind, including plants, is bad for you. So unadulterated tofu is good for you, but if processed, as it often is in the U.S., it has the same problems as any other processed food.

When eating a plant-based diet, it is important to eat a variety of plants, so eating too much soy is counterproductive. (In Japan, people consume 10-30 mg. of soy a day, whereas in the U.S., some people consume as much as 80-100 mg. a day).

Regarding meat being good for you, experts also agree that all the above-mentioned conditions are more prevalent in societies with a higher meat and dairy intake (also when there is a higher intake of simple carbs such as sugar).

If your readers want some unbiased information about all this, they might consider subscribing to Nutrition Action, published by Science in the Public Interest, or the Berkeley Wellness Letter.

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