Reviews: GFF’s Take

Cooked by Michale Pollan

Netflix: Michael Pollan’s ‘Cooked’ episode: “Air”

On February 19, 2016, Netflix debuted a documentary series titled “Cooked,” which is based on  journalist Michael Pollan’s 2013 book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. The four‐part series explores the various methods of cooking and their impact on humans and culture throughout history. Each episode focuses on a natural element (fire, water, air or earth), and its relationship with various cultures and foods.  In the third episode, titled “Air,” Pollan explores the science behind bread making and gluten, as well as the history of milling. The episode artistically shows the relationship between wheat and humankind, and how both have evolved throughout time (and industrialization). He also explores the evolution of bread making from Moroccan wheat fields, to food lab, to seed banks.  ...
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What's with Wheat?

Online Exclusively: “What’s With Wheat?” by Cindy O’Meara

The documentary “What’s With Wheat?” by Cyndi O’Meara was released at the end of June, allowing free screenings for a limited time before being released for purchase. O’Meara is a nutritionist looking to investigate the growing epidemic of wheat intolerance and why it is being linked to so many health problems now since the population has been eating wheat for thousands of years. The film features O’Meara and 14 other experts who discuss all aspects of wheat ranging from its rich history and effect on civilization to agriculture and production practices over the past century to health and metabolic effects.   ...
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Happy Gut

Book Review of “Happy Gut” by Vincent Pedre, MD

Below please find a summary of the recent book Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help you Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain by Vincent Pedre, MD, a functional medicine internist and clinical instructor in medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In his book, Pedre stresses that everything a person eats, drinks and consumes can either create or fix digestive issues. Happy Gut contains gluten‐free, low‐fat and vegetarian recipe and meal options, a twenty‐eight day full gut cleanse, yoga postures to help with digestion, and examples from Dr. Pedre’s patients to help readers transform their gut and improve health ...
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Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox

Book Review: “Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox” by William Davis, MD

In Wheat Belly: 10-Day Grain Detox, Davis encourages readers to eliminate grains and wheat from their diet, claiming that scientific and clinical literature has shown that doing so leads to weight loss, drops in blood sugar, a reduction in overall calorie intake, lowered blood pressure and other health benefits. When no longer eating grains, people may initially feel worse because they have stopped the flow of partially digestible proteins found in grain products that yield opiate compounds. People should hydrate, stop exercising and take magnesium supplements to combat the effects of this initial grain withdrawal. Ultimately, though, following a 10-day detox by eliminating all grains, eating real, single-ingredient foods, and managing carbohydrate consumption will result in regaining whole-body health. Dr. Davis provides a 10-day menu plan with a variety of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that he says do not reduce fat, get rid of excess oils, or limit calories or proportions; examples of meal and drink recipes include Mediterranean “pasta” salad; curried chicken soup; a chorizo, pepper and avocado skillet; and coconut magnesium water. Dr. Davis concludes the book by reiterating that cutting grains and wheat from the diet will lead to successful long-term weight-loss and health improvements. The benefits of grain and wheat elimination may include clearer skin, shrunken appetite, increased energy and a cleared gastrointestinal tract.  ...
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Zero Sugar Diet

Book Review: “Zero Sugar Diet” by David Zinczenko

The Zero Sugar Diet book aims to educate on the constructs of a well-­‐rounded healthy diet full of nutritious high-­‐fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as lean protein. The book provides readers guidance on how and why to select foods when grocery shopping and eating out to set them up for success. The key takeaway is that fiber is the pillar of nutrition, and that added sugars should generally be avoided. Overall, the extreme “zero sugar” title of the book did not reflect extreme or unreasonable diet recommendations; a more accurate title would have been The High Fiber, Minimal Added Sugar Diet. We are pleased that the benefits of whole grains and fiber are held in such high regard, and even grain foods that contain added sugar can still fit into this diet, as long as they contain more grams of fiber than grams of added sugar. We will continue to monitor David Zinczenko’s work, as he is well connected to the health and diet media and industry, and his Eat This, Not That! franchise and “Zero” book series are popular and make headlines. ...
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In Defense of Food

Summary of Michael Pollan’s PBS special In Defense of Food

On December 29, 2015, PBS aired In Defense of Food, a special based on journalist Michael Pollan’s 2008 book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Throughout the special, Pollan focuses on ways to reverse the damage to people’s health resulting from today’s “industrially driven” diet. According to Pollan, these health changes occur because the majority of people eat a “Western diet” heavy in meat, white flour, vegetable oils and sugar, and, as a result, consume very little fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Pollan maintains people can live healthfully by following his seven-word motto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  It is important to note the segment mostly shows foods such as white bread, donuts and corn dogs, and not many whole-wheat foods. Though Pollan states that white flour and bread are less healthy than their whole-wheat counterparts, he also stresses the health benefits of bread and wheat and the importance of eating a variety of foods ...
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