The Best of MTTD……………


This post origanally ran on November 21, 2010

The recipe origanally ran on July 26, 2010 

Fat or No Fat?
That is the $64,000 question.

I want to live as long as I can. I want to be healthy. I want to enjoy and experience as much of the fun and variety of life and all this wonderful earth has to offer to the fullest. Life is a sweet pleasure that is too short as it is and every sweet second should be savored every single day.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

I also place a high value on honesty and telling the truth.

In the last two posts I have shared with you some information I just recently became aware of. That is that the scientific research on the benefits of eating a low fat diet is not sound, and that, in fact, there is no research that proves that a low fat diet is healthier.

I knew there was disagreement. But I had never heard of Ancel Keyes and The Seven Countries study before. I had never heard about the leaving out data that did not conform to the hypothesis being tested.

This kind of, sort of made me just a wee bit upset!

The Food Police

I have always had a healthy skepticism of what I like to humorously call, the food police; that is those self-righteous food-health nuts and scolds who yell at me about what I should or should not eat.

As an American I don’t like it when some one tells me what I should or should not eat.  There is just something, well, so un-American about it all.

I am neither a dietician nor a scientist. But I am a reasonably intelligent person who reads a lot about nutrition and food. I can make health decisions for myself. And I refuse to cede that responsibility to anyone else.

Give me your ACCURATE and HONEST research and findings, offer suggestions, and then leave. me. alone.

When you cherry-pick data, when you hype in order to try and force me to eat (or worse  yet, sell me something expensive) what you like and you want to eat you lose, and deserve to lose, my trust in anything and everything else you say.

Less Fat = More Carbs

And by not being honest in the first place other, worse problems develop.

One of the problems with eating a low fat diet is that we compensate for less fat by eating more calories in the form of carbs. Thus more carb calories are added to our diets than are cut out from lowering fat calories. So overall we end up eating more calories. Is it any wonder Americans have gained weight?

No One Size Fits All

Everyone is different. Everyone has different health goals. The human body is complex and many variables enter into a healthy life style. When it comes to health and healthy eating there is no one size fits all plan. What works for one person may not work for another.

For instance, look at the French. By American food police standards they should all be obese and dead at age 45 from hardening of the arteries. I mean they eat these rich, buttery croissants with real butter and jam for breakfast and cheese for dessert. And in between the buttery breakfast croissants and fatty dessert cheeses they put some of the most delicious and richest sauces on food I have ever had the pleasure to eat.

And remember the man who popularized jogging, Jim Fixx? He died of a heart attack at age 52 ……. while out jogging ni less!  And remember Linda Eastman, Paul McCartney’s first wife? She was a vegetarian and died of breast cancer.

You can do everything right and still die young.

In my all time favorite book on health, Eat, Drink, and Be Merry by Dr. Dean Edell, M.D. (Harper Collins Publishers 1999) wrote:

In 1991 researchers at the medical school of the University of California at San Francisco mathematically spun out the 30%[ fat] for all hypothesis. What happened? Life expectancy for women would increase by an average of three months. Life expectancy for men would increase by an average of four months. That’s all folks. (page 63.) [Emphasis mine.]

That’s all! Three to four more months life expectancy is all you can expect on a low fat diet.

If you stop smoking you can probably add 5-6 years onto your life-expectancy.

There Are No Guarantees In Life.

The fact is no one can guarantee you a long life, good health, or a perfect body with any particular diet.

So what am I to do? What should you do?

Well, I can’t say definitively.

And quite frankly, neither can anyone else!!!!

Each person has to decide for them selves what is best for them.

I will tell you this:

There are only three ways the body can get energy and necessary nutrients to live:

1.) fat,

2.) carbohydrates,

3.)  proteins.  

Fat is a necessary building block for a healthy body. You simply cannot survive fat-free.

If you want more information on this you can read the five part Diet Myths and Common Sense Diet series I did several months ago here, here, here, here, and here.

While I cannot and will not tell you what to do, I can tell you what I do. Don’t know if it is right or wrong, good or bad, or anything else. It is just simply what works for me right now. And I reserve the right to change it if my health changes or new information comes to light.

Roberta’s Common Sense Health and Diet Plan

1. I pretty much eat what I damn well please.  I just eat less of it.  And then I add some more fruits and vegetables to my diet.

2. I try to eat a balanced diet. That means, I eat fat, carbs, and protein. And sometimes I splurge on one or the other of those three. When I do, I just eat less of it for a few days to try and balance it out.

3. I eat a wide variety of foods.  The recipes you see here at MTTD are what I eat. From Hungarian Greasy Bread (high fat) to Bok Choy with Shitake Mushrooms (low fat), I eat it all. And I love all the food I eat. I mean, I enjoy it. I savor it. Iget pleasure from eating. And I amnot aslamed to say that!

4. I try to eat fish at least a couple of times a month.

5. I try to eat real food as much as possible and limit, when I can, things like boxed, pre-packaged, and fast foods as much as is humanly possible.

6. I only eat half or less of restaurant sized entrees. Or I order an appetizer with a salad as my meal – portion size.

7. I stay active. I don’t do formal exercise.  How Boring! But I do things I enjoy like walk, swim, garden, and dance. And I clean my own home. Except on snow and ice, I park my car as far away from my destination – grocery store, movie theater, whatever – as I can get thereby adding a bit more walking into my life. Plus it is easier to find a parking spot there. And fewer dings on my car, too.

8. I do not get my health information from the media. I am wary of doctors pushing anything.

I am very wary of TV news, magazine stories or TV and radio personalities. They are out for higher ratings or circulation which means higher profits for them. It is difficult to understand a complicated topic like nutrition and health in a three minute TV segment or a 3 page magazine article sandwiched between advertisements for expensive medications, services, and health care products to cure what supposedly ails me.

I never try any diet, diet food, exercise equipment, book, or supplement that is going to cost me lots of money either. If someone is asking for lots of money for any of these items I am very skeptical. I figure it is only to make them richer and me poorer without making me any healthier.

As for doctors, I am not sure what to believe anymore. Many doctors take money (up to $100,000) from drug companies to say positive things about their drugs according to a recent Consumer’s Report.

That $100,000 is in addition to what ever they make from their practice. Have they heard? There is a recession/depression going on. Some out of work people would like to be able to earn just $10,000 a year to feed their families. And these yahoos make $100,000 just to talk up a drug.  GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!

There you have it. As I said, this works for me. It may not work for you, and may not be best for you. What works for you? Tell us in the Comments section below.

Featured Recipe:   Wild-Caught Salmon Pasta Salad

I normally make this recipe when I have left over roasted wild caught Alaskan Salmon. You can make it with other fresh or canned salmon. But this recipe will taste 100 times better with the wild real thing.

I first ate a salmon pasta salad more than ten years ago at The North Martket in Columbus, Ohio. The North Market is a sort of  a farmer’s market super store. There are about 30+ independent marketers under one roof at the North Market. There is a meat shop, a fish shop, and ethnic restaurants. There is a cheese shop, and a bakery, and oh so, so much, much  more.  Click the link to visit  this little gem in downtown Columbus.

There used to be a little deli-like shop that sold a salmon salad at the North Market. I used to get it all the time. But it was pretty expensive. I figured I could make it myself.  And cheaper of course. The salad had red onion, celery, mayo, dill, plus a few other things I was not sure of. Mostly though there is just three times MORE salmon in the saald when I make it myself.

This is my version of that salad with loads of wild caught Alaskan salmon. I hope you like it.

This is what you need for 3 people:

About ½ pound cooled cooked wild caught salmon

4 ounces pasta shells

½ cup chopped red onion

½ cup chopped celery

4-5 teaspoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill*

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

*If fresh is not available you can use dried dill.


Here is what you do:

Cook pasta al dente, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside for now.

Dice the onion, celery, and dill.

Transfer  the cooled pasta to a bowl and add onion and celery. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the onion for garnish.

Skin salmon and flake using a fork and/or your fingers. I use my fingers because I like to play with my food. Plus I get to lick my fingers afterwards.

Add salmon to the pasta mixture. It is at this point you may begin to see that this salad is not about the pasta at all. It is all about the wild salmon. There is about two times more salmon than any other ingredient in my version of this salad. YUM-O

Gently mix everything  together.


Whisk mayo, and mustard to mix well.

Add to pasta and throw in the dill. Save a bit of the dill for garnish.

Gently fold all together. Chill about an hour. To serve top with the reserved onion and dill.

This salad can be served as is, as a side dish, in a hollowed out tomato, or on a bed of lettuce. Serve with crusty bead and butter, or crackers.

Bon Appetit!!!!


About ½ pound salmon                                  $14.50

4 ounces pasta shells                                     $0.24

½ cup chopped red onion                               $0.23

½ cup chopped celery                                    $0.16

4-5 teaspoons mayonnaise                             $0.33

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill                     $0.87

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard                            $0.10

Total Cost = $16.43
Cost per person for 3 = $5.48

Quote of the Day

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.

Joseph Campbellww

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