Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nuts and Wine Fight Fat: Who Knew?

They say that moderation is the best approach. Well, guess what, when it comes to food and health it is not. Which is kind of a bummer when it applies to my love for potato chips and french fries.

Some people adore ice cream, but for me it's chips. And the evidence is in: they are really awful for you, in even small amounts. It figures.Potato chips and fries lead to more weight gain per serving than any other food, according to the most comprehensive and detailed study of its kind.

Yogurt, on the other hand, is the opposite. Each extra daily serving prevented 0.82 lbs. of weight. And as we expect, the more daily servings we eat of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, the less weight we gain as we get older. Here's how the Harvard Medical prof who led the study puts it: "Conventional diet wisdom recommends 'everything in moderation,' with a focus only on total calories consumed. But, in reality, the types of food and beverages that you consume is strongly linked to weight gain." Cola, for instance, is out.

So it's nuts and fruit instead of chips -- which are a tastier trade anyway. And definitely wine instead of sugary lemonade or soda. My favorite for an evening on the porch with friends after a bike ride: Mixed nuts and cherries with an exotic deep-red Charbono wine from Tofanelli. We can feel decadent, while our hapless and stubborn pals are off counting calories per french fry. Tomorrow -- after they read this -- maybe they'll join us.