I’ve been looking into this whole Paleo thing recently (you may recall this book review and this rebuttal), and I found this fun book, Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe. Beyond the title sounding like some advice I might give (really, the whole egg from a free-range chicken is good for you), this book is informative, entertaining, and darn important–the more people who know about the food lies we’ve been told, the better.
Wolfe is very funny (though a little coarse for some readers out there) and full of pop-culture at a level I could only aspire to meet. She is also very well researched and full of information. But, wrapped up in that is a small criticism: I wish she had used numbered end notes or in-text parenthetical references so that when she made a claim that left me scratching my head, I could look that paper up. But that is small potatoes (which are apparently allowed on a Paleo menu) in the grander scheme of the book’s value.
This book is full of really astute observations, like my personal eye-opener: the “vegetable” oil industry is tied so closely to industrial meat and dairy, it’s enough to make any vegetarian cry. Because when you are pressing the oil out of the ear of corn or the soy bean, you’re gonna have a lot of mush left over. And that mush goes to cows, who are then depressingly lacking in nutrients we know and love.
And that oil isn’t even good for you, as Wolfe points out so eloquently. The polyunsaturated fats can destabilize cellular membranes (this is likely why eating a diet high in unsaturated fats lowers your cholesterol–because the cells are so unstable, the recruit it out of the blood stream).
Wolfe also takes apart some cholesterol myths and points to some things about our cultural heart disease saga. Did you know that the thresholds for “high cholesterol” have been progressively lowered over the years, as people with “normal” cholesterol were diagnosed with heart disease? Sounds fishy to me. Or that while heart disease-related deaths have fallen, the prevalence of the disease has not decreased? This seems to indicate that high-carbing it might not be the way to go.
Liz Wolfe makes some fantastic arguments about nutrients and eating real, whole foods (so that you get those nutrients, whole and complete–the way you were intended to eat them). While I am still hesitant about dropping my whole grains, I think this book is a really great introduction to the reasoning behind Paleo and other traditional eaters. I wholeheartedly recommend that you read Eat the Yolks.
Now, I’d like to leave you with a lovely quote from the book to start your Monday–one that I think encapsulates a healthy attitude toward food:
To become a nutrition seeker rather than a calorie-counter is to become deeply connected to your food and your body. It is transformational.
Have you read Eat the Yolks? Are you interested in the Paleo lifestyle, with its focus on sunshine and animal products from well-raised livestock? Tell us in the comments!