The Nutrition in Defense of Food

1. In chapter 2 of the third section, called Eat Food: Food Defined (pp. 147-161), the author presents four main ideas (see the subheadings) for eating “real” food. Chose one of these to write about and suggest how to apply it in life.

2. Which of Pollan’s recommendations (in general, throughout the book) would you be least likely to accept, and why?

3. Overall, what did you think of this book?  What did you agree with or disagree with? Have you made any changes in the way you eat because of it?  Are you considering making any changes in the way you eat because of it? If so, please explain how you might change.

4. Pollan also shows a number of instances in which government policies have apparently worsened the crisis in our food culture. What do you think should be the proper role of government in deciding how we grow, process, and eat our food?

5. Talk about specific passages (can be anything in the book, not just section 3) that struck you as significant—or interesting, profound, amusing, illuminating, disturbing, sad…? What was memorable?

If Michael Pollan were coming to your place for dinner, what would you serve him and why?


Research a specific culture or religion and discuss their health beliefs and concerns, a typical day’s menu, and any nutrition related health issues/chronic diseases specific to this population.  How might what you learned alter your approach when encountering someone from this population?

Post 1 :

Approximately 13% of African Americans, 10% of Hispanics, and 16.3% of American Indians and Alaska Natives have diabetes, compared to 8.7% of non-Hispanic whites (Goody, 2009).

According to the classic Campinha-Bacote Model, cultural competence means recognizing and forming one’s attitudes, beliefs, skills, values, and levels of awareness to provide culturally appropriate, respectful, and relevant care and education

In order to better direct and advise patients on healthier food choices and habits to improve health outcomes, we must first understand their beliefs and lifestyle choices.

A Latin American diet is typically filled with whole grain corn, vegetables, fruits, beans, rice, herbs and spices. Diet culture revolves around social gatherings and spending time with families. This culture often consumes one large meal with their families (Oldways, 2021).

Hispanics tend to eat more rice, but less pasta and ready-to-eat cereals, than non-Hispanic whites. With the exception of tomatoes, Hispanics are also less likely to consume vegetables, but have a slightly higher consumption of fruits. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics are more than twice as likely to drink whole milk, but much less likely to drink low-fat or skim milk. Hispanics are also more likely to eat beef, but less likely to eat processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meats. Hispanics are more likely to eat eggs and legumes than non-Hispanic whites, and less likely to consume fats and oils or sugars and candy. Hispanics, especially Mexican Americans, have a lower intake of total fat and a higher intake of dietary fiber compared to non-Hispanic whites, with much of the dietary fiber coming from legumes. In general, Mexican Americans and other Hispanic subgroups are low in many of the same micronutrients as the general population, with intakes of vitamin E, calcium, and zinc falling below Recommended Daily Allowances (Mitchell, 2021).

As Latin Americans adopt a more Westernized lifestyle, they are said to be at greater risk for chronic diseases and a death rate almost one and a half times higher than for non-Hispanic whites (Oldways, 2021). Much of the increased risk of diabetes experienced by Hispanic Americans is believed to be attributable to the changing lifestyle that accompanies the acculturation process, including the changing quality of the Hispanic diet and the adoption of a more sedentary lifestyle (Mitchell, 2021).

After reading about the Latin diet, it sounds like it works. It is apparent that this population is at higher risk for chronic diseases when they adopt the Western diet which is filled with more processed foods in conjunction with their more sedentary lifestyle. I would recommend smaller portions, rather than 1 large meal full of whole foods, low fat milk, less rice and more fruits and vegetables to meet their vitamin requirements.


Post 2:

The development of interventions that are sensitive to traditional values and prevalent health attitudes in diverse groups would provide better awareness of the ways in which healthy eating is perceived, incorporating the preferences and perspectives of the target population.

In India, traditional knowledge regarding food preparation, preservation procedures, and medicinal benefits has been passed down through the centuries. Food systems may provide a variety of biological services to the human body via dietary components.

In terms of tradition, Indian cuisine is divided into three main groups. Satvika meals, which include cooked vegetables, milk, fresh fruits, and honey, are digestible and are regarded as superior to other categories. Tamasika foods The rude qualities of human behavior include wine and meat, spices, and even garlic. Rajsika foods include all grains and pulses, as well as oils and fats that provide enough energy to carry out daily tasks. Indian cuisine is characterized by its focus on vegetarian meals. Both Hinduism and Islam, India’s two major religions, urge their followers to refrain from consuming beef and pork, respectively.

Traditional health foods in India are so diverse because regional health foods have evolved in a given location based on the environment, culture, and cultivation techniques. In addition, foods in certain areas are becoming more and more popular. For example, lactose intolerance in Bengal has led to the popularity of lactose-free dairy products. In India, a national research project to document the health advantages of traditional health food in diverse areas scientifically is proposed for the creation of a database to conserve the knowledge of treating, preserving, and dieting traditional food in both Indian and international interests.

In order to successfully resolve these differences and inequalities, it is necessary to work with stakeholders to adopt a multi-pronged approach to address the social determinants of upstream health problems and increase the chances of obtaining healthier food. There are several promising practices and strategies to consider, including improving existing food programs, expanding locally grown foods, promoting breastfeeding and child nutrition, taxing unhealthy foods, and subsidizing healthier options.

Future research may look at topics that aren’t generally covered in nutrition education programs in a variety of young demographics and incorporate the results into the development of nutrition education programs. Understanding different people’s perspectives on what makes a healthy diet might help design create culturally appropriate behavior change interventions.

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