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What Should We Eat—and Why? by Marty Cej - CrossFit Journal

In Nutrition, Rest Day/Theory

October 02, 2012

PDF Article

Gary Taubes and NuSI aim to correct a decades-old problem by telling the world what to eat—and backing the recommendations up with real science. Marty Cej reports.

Gary Taubes is picking a fight. Again.

The best-selling author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat has partnered with Peter Attia, M.D., to launch a nonprofit organization with the ambitious goal of slashing the current U.S. obesity rate by more than half and the prevalence of diabetes by 75 percent by 2025. To do that, he’ll have to topple the food pyramid, take on the medical establishment, and go toe-to-toe with the multi-trillion-dollar food and drug industries.

“That will be a problem,” he admits. But, “if we get the science right, we can convince the scientific community, and they will want to speak out about it.”

The founders of the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, say it has been created to “finally, and with scientific certainty, answer the question: ‘What should we eat to be healthy?’”

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15 Comments on “What Should We Eat—and Why?”


wrote …

This is a really important development. How we should eat should not be a matter of opinion, but should be based on real evidence that we can rely on. I'm glad CrossFit is spreading the word about this initiative.


wrote …

Way to go Gary.


wrote …

Great article. Proving this information through science may be the easy part compared to having people comply with the outcome.


wrote …

Does this mean that CFHQ was wrong about Barry Sears and the Zone? Say it ain't so!!! Does this mean that I can no longer eat a pound of M@M's a day, even though my protein and fat blocks are in proportion?


wrote …

After decades of this mentality that calories in/out equals weight gained/lost, we should have seen a reliable formula for calculating exactly how many calories would result in a pound of weight gained or lost. I've never seen nor heard of one. I don't believe there is one.
Also, if Japan and Korea have such low obesity rates compared to the rest of the world, there must be some theories as to what they're doing differently. I'd say it's worth looking into at least.
As a crossfitter, I'm glad to see this effort being made to improve the science behind nutrition, because I know it has helped me already. I'm also glad as a trainer who is a llittle tired of hearing people insistently ask, "how many calories do you think I burned in that session?"


wrote …

First of all, I think it's a great initiative and totally support it. But doesn't their diagram about "Obesity being the cause of Metabolic diseases" go against this idea that Greg Glassman himself mentioned in a CrossFit Nutrition Video stating that Hyperinsulinism was the cause of these Metabolic diseases?
So is Gary Taubes chasing Obesity because in the world we're living in today he wouldn't get as much support if he was "chasing high glycemic index carbs" ?


Philip Mancini wrote …

Great article!!


wrote …

Aarrgghh! Please, no more science! That's how we got here. Bunch of eggheads arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (so to speak). To paraphrase Michael Pollan, "We're the only species that doesn't know how to eat.". It's because we're all up in our heads about it. To quote him again, "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much." Can we move on please?


replied to comment from mike karmire

There are 4 related CF Journal articles on Nutrition linked to this article alone.
Which one of them recommends eating anything other than food sources compliant with the various ancestral eating paradigms?

Where in "Enter The Zone" does it recommend eating M&Ms or the like?

The Zone is a metabolic state that is intended to be achieved by eating balanced proportions of unprocessed foods. That you can still achieve some of the benefits by eating balanced proportions of heavily processed foods is an endorsement of the power of the system, not a recommendation to do so.
Anyone silly enough to believe that The Zone implies this has missed the point.


wrote …

To piggyback on what Craig said, I don't see how anyone could interpret this as an instruction to eat M&Ms:

"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."



wrote …

Greene and Massey:

I've read every Zone book that Sears wrote and worship the blogs and books of Wolf, Kresser, Lalonde, Eads, Taubes, Harris, Sisson, and Jaminet. My comment was meant to be a slam against CF for falling head over heals in love with Sears, who has turned out to be a fraud. And yes, Sears, during one of his interviews stated that you could eat one pound of M@M's a day as long as your blocks were in order.

Stop taking nutrition advice from CFHQ if you want excellent disease resistance, longevity, and conditioning. And, by the way, nuts and seeds aren't that healthy if you want the above three qualities.


wrote …

Granted much of this has been hashed over before, but it is important we keep trying to learn. If no one, including Gary Taubes, has read the China Study by T. Colin Campbell, I would suggest you give it a look. It might even save NuSi some time and money.


Billy O'Brien wrote …

I find it comical that everyone continually attempts to bash Zone based on some of Sears' non-Paleo comments. When has anyone in the CrossFit Community, including HQ, stated that they agreed with them? Seriously, 'eat a pound of M&M's', that's your argument about not taking advice from HQ?

Go back and read the '100 Words' and combine it with the Zone and you thereby set yourself up for exceptional health and wellness...that's how I live and I've never felt better.


wrote …

we as a species evolved to eat what we should eat and what we have eaten for more than two million years. we can't expect for that to change in a matter of decades or even centuries, I don't think we need science we just need logic. Surely what we have eaten for 2-3 million years has gaven us this nominence over the rest of the world. Omega 3 and saturated fat, which comprises of as much as 60% of our brain should tell us something.


wrote …


Gary Taubes has commented multiple times on the scientific errors of The China Study. Rather presumptive of you to assume they haven't looked at one the (self proclaimed) largest/biggest/most important studies on nutritional science.

Besides, Denise Minger, an English Major with an interest in nutrition and understanding of statistics, has virtually shredded any credibility Colin Campbell thought he had on her blog. The China Study has repeatedly been discounted. It is also a major source of "fibre prevents and animal fat causes colon cancer" and a bunch of other false claims.

Check this out - some of her posts are very sciency and thousands of words long: (WFS)

Her work is something CrossFit Scientist J Glassman would be proud of - persnickety and exhaustive.

THIS IS WHY NUSI NEEDS TO EXIST: To set the record straight. (Even if Taubes approved Alternate Hypothesis is wrong.)

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