Truthbutter

Author Archives: Alyssa Luck

Hi! My name is Alyssa, and I’m an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Nutrition. I enjoy learning about the principles of ancestral health, as well as the food and nutrition policies that shape our healthcare and food systems.

Policy Brief: Reforming the Dietary Guidelines

This is also a project from this semester, this time from my public policy class. I decided to post it because it’s also on the Dietary Guidelines, and you’ll likely be hearing about them a lot on this blog! It was a bit challenging to write because while there’s plenty of research on what the problem is, there really isn’t any research on possible solutions. So I had to come up with solutions on my own, and because of my limited policy knowledge, I have no idea if they’re even feasible. But I got a good grade, so I guess that’s something (:

Executive SummaryScreen Shot 2012-12-25 at 5.21.04 PM

This policy brief examines the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a policy that began in 1980 and mandates the periodic release of federal nutritional guidance. Based on the rising rates of obesity and the pervasiveness of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is clear that the Dietary Guidelines have not achieved their goal of reducing the risk of chronic disease in Americans. In fact, research indicates that the Dietary Guidelines could actually be contributing to the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes. This is for three reasons: the Dietary Guidelines often exclude or misrepresent scientific evidence; the Guidelines have had unintended consequences for industry and consumer behavior; and the Guidelines cannot adequately address a diverse population with different nutritional needs. Read more →

Why The Dietary Guidelines are Wrong about Cholesterol

This is a research paper that I wrote for my English class this semester. I wanted to share it on this blog because it’s about eggs, cholesterol, and the Dietary Guidelines, three things that definitely impact the ancestral health community! 

Abstracthappy eggs

With rising rates of obesity and diabetes, most Americans feel more pressure than ever to make the right food choices. However, the country’s primary source of nutritional guidance – the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – has been criticized for being misleading, inaccurate, and potentially harmful to public health. In this paper, I present eggs as a ‘case study’ to strengthen the criticisms that others have brought against the Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines advocate limiting egg consumption because of their high cholesterol content. However, having reviewed the scientific literature on cholesterol and health, I conclude that there is no documented health benefit to limiting dietary cholesterol. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient that is sorely lacking in the diets of most Americans. For these reasons, the Dietary Guidelines should actually encourage egg consumption, rather than limit it.

  Read more →

Low-FODMAP Paleo: Day 8 (I ate marrow!)

I just ate marrow for the first time! I used this recipe for marrow-infused pumpkin custard. Not really low FODMAP because of the coconut milk and the sweetener, but I discovered the recipe a couple weeks ago and really wanted to try it. I already had beef bones for making stock and I didn’t want to waste the marrow, and I figured the benefits of a superfood like marrow would definitely outweigh whatever the FODMAPs will do to me (probably nothing). Read more →

Herbed Pork Shoulder

So, the pork shoulder I talked about yesterday is kind of amazing! Especially considering how drop-dead simple it is. And I remembered to take a picture of it before I put it inHerbed Pork Shoulder the oven! But I forgot to take a picture after taking it out of the oven. Bummer. So you’ll just have to buy yourself a pork shoulder and see what it looks like for yourself! I’ll tell you what I did, and then what tweaks I would recommend to make it even better.

[Edit: I made this again and took my own suggestions (below), and it turned out great! So this is a legitimate recipe now, and not just me sharing my kitchen trials with you. But I decided to keep the original post too so you can see the (very short) evolution of the recipe. But I still forgot to take a picture of the finished product.]

Read more →

Yellow Beef and Rice

This is my first recipe on the blog! I’m not sure it’s spectacular enough to satisfactorily fill such an honorable position, but I Yellow Beef and Ricethought it tasted pretty good. Plus, I created it myself, and usually that ends in disaster. And I even took a picture! And used a garnish! You know it’s a big day when I try to make my food look less ugly.

And in case you’re wondering, it’s called ‘Yellow’ Beef and Rice because the turmeric makes the oil highlighter-colored. The steps are probably a lot longer than they needed to be, because it’s a dead-simple recipe. If you can even call it a recipe. I’m actually kind of embarrassed to post this because it’s so simple, but I’m going to anyways!

Read more →

Low-FODMAP Paleo: Day 1

I’ve decided to do a low FODMAP diet while I’m home for winter break and can actually cook for myself again. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried it before; I guess cutting out garlic and onion, along with basically everything else that tastes good, was just too intimidating. But hopefully it will help with some of my digestive symptoms! Read more →

Interview with Dr. Zeisel, “The Choline Guy”

Today, I had the privilege of interviewing Steven Zeisel, a prominent choline researcher here at UNC! As I might’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working on a research paper about eggs, which are a great source of choline, so I wanted to learn more about this essential nutrient. Dr. Zeisel’s office is in the Michael Hooker Research Center at the School of Public Health, and let me tell you: that building is incredible. I think I even like it better than the FedEx Global Education Center, and you know how much I love that building! (Oh, you don’t? Right, this is only my third blog post. Well, I love that building a lot.) Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s one from the website: Read more →

My Story (to be continued…)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve eaten an extremely healthy diet. That is, healthy by the USDA’s standards. My friends in middle school would make fun of me for having Triscuits and cheese and a bag of raw veggies for lunch, while they had muffins or pizza.

Sometime during middle school, I decided to be vegetarian. I also meticulously removed as much saturated fat and cholesterol from my diet as possible, and I rarely ate anything that wasn’t whole grain. Now keep in mind, I was never overweight. In fact, I’ve been underweight almost my entire life, and I got even skinnier after these self-imposed dietary changes. But whenever somebody told me that I didn’t have to worry about eating a little ‘unhealthy’ food, I would fiercely reply that skinny people can die of heart disease, too. Read more →

I Love College!

Note: I actually wrote this a couple weeks ago, but just now got my website up and running. Please disregard the “Posted On” dates for a few days while I exhaust my backlog of blog posts (:

I’ve been considering starting a blog for a while, and seriously considering starting a blog for a couple weeks, but I was a little intimidated. I mean, how do you just start a blog? I guess by doing what I’m doing right now – talking about starting a blog. But if people are actually going to be reading this (and that’s a big fat IF), I wanted to at least start off on a momentous note.

Well, looks like today is the day! I’m feeling momentous enough to finally start my blog. I’m on such a high right now, and no, it’s not a high from drugs. Read more →