The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Isn't Snickers a health food?

I was wandering about the web looking for ideas when I come across an article in WebMD about stem cell research resulting in improved vision. Seems that certain stem cells from the limbus region can be used to grow a cornea which can then be transplanted to the damaged eye. This is Good News for those who have suffered corneal damage.

On the sidebar, I notice a "slideshow" about Food Frauds so I check it out. I do not have a weight problem but I do have an interest in food. I am also routinely suspicious (AKA a cynic) so I always have doubts about the health benefits of various foods and drinks.

One of my pet theories is that diet sodas are, in reality, fattening. I base this on nothing scientific, of course, since doing that would take education, money, and expertise that I simply do not have. No, I form my theories out of nothing more than random observation, anecdotal evidence, and personal biases. Like most laymen do.

Seems like science is catching up to me about diet soda, however. Item #5 (of 23) reveals the following:

Sugar-free soda may not be an effective "diet" aid after all. Some early studies have linked diet soda to weight gain. Does it prompt the body to crave more food? Or do diet soda drinkers believe it's OK for them to get the large fries? It's still not clear.

Part of my theory says the body requires a certain amount of sugars and, when deprived, stores away what sugars it does get rather than simply use them. There is often that anecdotal evidence (and joke) where the customer at a fast food "restaurant" orders a jumbo double cheeseburger, large fries, an apple turnover, and a large diet soda. And then wonders why he (or she) weighs over 300 lbs and can't seem to lose weight.

I also believe we fight genetics and upbringing more than food choices. Maybe the food choices have a bit to do with upbringing but habits can be altered. Genetics, not yet.

I also learned a little about milk:

Whole Milk (3.25%) = 150 cal., 8g fat, 5g sat. fat
Reduced-fat (2%) = 130 cal., 5g fat, 3g sat. fat
Skim (nonfat) = 80 cal., 0g fat, 0g sat. fat

I have never liked milk. I don't know why. The only time I drank it on a regular basis was while I was in Boot Camp. And that was because the alternative was what we called "bug juice" (this was a generic Kool-Aid which tasted terrible... hence the name) or coffee (which didn't seem to refresh me on a hot day). The rest of the time in the Navy, while on board a ship, I avoided milk because it was only fresh while in port; two days out to sea and the fresh milk ran out and was replaced by "bug juice" and powdered milk. I drank mostly coffee... ok, I drank it almost constantly.

The list also included Turkey Hot Dogs (which truly conjures up a strange image). I have never thought of hot dogs as nutritious, not even the Kosher all beef ones (which I love). My parents served us those hot dogs which were made from the mostly unidentifiable leftovers of various and sundry animals slaughtered haphazardly plus the usual rodent droppings. These are tasty but nobody I ever knew considered they might have some nutritional value.

I drink a lot of green tea, both iced and hot, mostly the lemon-honey-ginseng variety. At restaurants, I order unsweetened iced tea. Say, how do you "un-sweeten" something??? Shouldn't it be "non-sweetened" iced tea? Or "plain"? But I digress... I do not drink tea because it is healthy, I drink it because I like it.

I also found an interesting page on WebMD which is called a "BMI Plus calculator". It turns out I am healthy....

I have a BMI of 23.3 and a "Body Shape (Waist To Height Ratio)" of .45

It's not the result of rigorous exercise and healthy diet, it is likely only genetics at work.

Eat your hearts out!

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