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From mayonnaise to mortality

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Every week, as you well know, I receive a report from Sue Dodd of Sydney Markets who shares her weekly market update. Occasionally I'll change some of the commentary and it was one of these changes made today which led me to writing this article.
It was about celery. Sue suggested combining celery with potatoes, capers and low-fat mayonnaise to make a potato salad. I happen to love potato salad but instead of the low fat mayo, I edited it to whole egg, and now feel ridiculously tempted to race downstairs to the kitchen and make some.

Anyone who has ever made mayonnaise, depending on the oil you use to make it, will know that it's healthy. I use either olive or macadamia oil, both very rich in monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to heart health, whole egg, a total superfood complete with 14 essential nutrients), lemon juice, for the vitamin C, the only nutrient missing from egg yolk, and a little salt and pepper. There's nothing unhealthy about whole egg natural mayonnaise, other than it contains a lot of energy (kJ) if you eat too much of it.

The take home, for people who are trying to lose weight is to limit your intake to Ĺ a tablespoon (276 kJ). You could avoid it altogether but that wouldn't be much fun and I wouldn't suggest swapping it for a low fat version because then it becomes something else with ingredients I neither know nor like. Which leads me to this Ö..

This morning I watched an excellent lecture by Dr David Katz on the Australian Society of Lifestyle medicine website in which amongst other things he discusses what the best diet is for health.

Sadly he didn't say The Greengrocer's Diet (I must remember to send him a copy) but he did through his analysis of many well-known and popular diets conclude that a successful and healthy diet is one which restricts the intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar and emphasises mostly plant food and not too much of it.

We already know that right?

We do but as a nation we're not yet doing it.
I heard a great line the other day about data. Without data, you are just a person with an opinion. That's me, for 15 years. I've always held the opinion that modern diets, full of adulterated food from jars and packets, are rubbish and we should be eating mostly plant food, good fats, wholegrains, lean protein and not too much.

Fortunately the number crunchers are reaching the same conclusion with some revealing data.

How about this for size,from a 2009 German study called "Healthy eating is the best revenge"? In the study researchers looked at the reduction in risk from developing major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer associated with 4 healthy lifestyle factors amounts adults.

Here's what they found: A person who is within a healthy weight, who doesn't smoke, eats a healthy diet, and exercises weekly has an 80% reduced rate of chronic disease compared to someone who is overweight, smokes, eats badly and doesn't exercise.

Added to that, the person who changes from being overweight, stops smoking, adopts a healthy diet and exercises will reduce their risk of chronic disease by 50%.

It may seem obvious to you and I, but without the numbers it's just our opinion.

Chronic disease is a symptom of a cause or multiple causes, namely poor diet, lack of physical activity, (sometimes) smoking and eating too much. It's pretty simple really, cut the crap, manage your lifestyle and you'll have an 80% chance of living a happy and healthy life.

In his lecture Katz discusses how poor lifestyle choices effect life mortality, but in addition to taking years from your life he talks about how poor lifestyle choices take life from your years.

I guess that's the take home from me today. To have the best life in the years you live you have to eat well and exercise. It's just how it is. So it's no to low fat mayonnaise, biscuits and gluten free chips cooked in coconut oil. Keep your diet simple and persevere. Persevere because you must, because your life depends on it.

To hear more of Dr Katz lecture Visit : Lifestyle medicine - An evening with David Katz


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