Several years ago dietary carbohydrates were found in several studies to be a big contributor to long term weight gain.  Low carb diets were all the rage.  Over time the fanfare over low carb eating died down but many people still adhered, feeling that it was working for them.  After a few years of being relegated to the back burner, carbs are back up front in a big way.  In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that people who consumed a low carb diet lost weight faster and kept the weight off longer than those on a low-fat diet.

After the publicity years ago that prompted so many to drop carbs in favor of a more fatty, high protein diet, additional studies seemed to show the whole carbs are bad for you thing was not necessarily what it seemed.  Many people felt that dropping carbs for high protein fats was a big mistake.  Then research started to show that there really are good fats vs. bad fats and that a low carb diet that made use of these good fats was maybe the best way to go.

No matter how many times it happens this “good for you, bad for you” diet debate never ceases to frustrate me.  Coffee is another one that seems to swing back and forth from good to bad several times a year.  The most worrisome one for me is the big idea now that whole grains are bad for you.  A big part of my diet is whole wheat, brown rice, nuts, and seeds.  It’s what I like, but research now seems to show whole grains might be bad for you.  Hope that one changes back real soon. I think the main positive change that can be made is still to cut out all highly processed food and soda. Do that and all the rest may not really matter.

The recently revived focus on dietary carbs got a big boost from NPR when the program On Point ran a show titled New Research On Carbs.

Will Sig


Water over the falls

Will Sig


The top of the waterfall
Tune in next week for the photographic answer!

Will Sig


Google has made a big deal recently about how all their recent changes are supposed to make search results more relevant and accurate. Many small sites like this one have been severely penalized because we are not considered “authoritative” enough to be included in search results. The problem is that many of the sites that are now showing up at the top of Google search results are not only garbage, but often down right scummy content thieves. This is a problem that many online are writing about, but I have yet to see Google admit there is a problem.

I will try to show one example here, but keep in mind that depending on your location and search history, Google results might look different to you than to me. I did a search for “organic food” specifying that results come from only blogs. I was trying to see if anyone had paid to read a research study I had recently written about and then posted a blog article about the study. The first blog at the top of the Google search results looked to be exactly what I wanted to find but when I clicked through to it I found it was a patently obvious scraper site. The site was copying articles from across the web and re-posting them as their own content. The site was the worst kind of plagiarizer site there is, often posting several articles an hour, all stolen from other, original, sites. But Google put this scumbag site right at the top of the search results!!

Here is a link to the results in question. Hopefully those results will stay the same over time so you can see the site in question at the search result titled: “Does eating organic food make you a jerk”. If the search results don’t show that for you, following is the link that will take you to the site Google put at the top of the results. You will need to edit out the “dot” from the link text and replace it with a period as I don’t want to give a real link to that spam, scraper site. http://organic-food-tips *dot* com/  And here is a link to the actual article I wanted to read that had been stolen from the original author at a legitimate website: http://organic-food-tips *dot* com/does-eating-organic-food-make-you-a-jerk-2/  Fortunately I did find the original article at the Fox News site and linked to that from my previous post.

This is very discouraging to those of us that try to post original content but then see that content stolen by a scraper site and re-posted by Google at the top of their “authoritative and relevant” search results. The original articles by the original authors are often no place to be found in the search results.  Shame on you Google.

Will Sig


No, my title doesn’t really mean like in the first definition of the word, but as in the second:

1.  Suffering from or full of nasal mucus.
2.  Having  a superior, conceited attitude.

Organic is better for you

At least that is what a study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal on May 15, 2012 claims.  As the abstract of the study states: “Recent research has revealed that specific tastes can influence moral processing, with sweet tastes inducing prosocial behavior and disgusting tastes harshening moral judgments.”

I wonder if the assumption the researchers made was that organic food tastes disgusting so eating organic makes you an a**h***???  If they did, how in the name of, (insert your favorite whoever here), did those researchers decided organic food belongs in the disgusting food category? On the other hand maybe they are not saying exactly that, but just that eating, or in the case of this study only “viewing”, organic food makes you volunteer “significantly less time to help a needy stranger” and cause you to judge “moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed nonorganic foods”.

We can’t be sure of what the full study says as it is locked behind a pay wall or available only to those professionals subscribing to the Journal.  Here is the link to the article “Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments “, but you will have to pony up $25.00 if you want to read it.  I did not, but I am sure someone will, and soon post an in-depth analysis of what the study found and how thorough the research methods actually were.

If you eat organic food, what do you think?  Are you a conceited, condescending, overbearing, selfish, pain in the butt?  If the answer to that is yes, do you think going off the organic food will fix your personality disorder?

Or do you, like me, think that these researchers had a little too much time to kill and thought of a way to justify their junk food habits and maybe try to prove that they, and their eating habits make them better people than those of us that choose organic food whenever possible?  Wait a minute…. let me go check that definition of a snotty snob again.

 Update:  Just as I thought, I found an article about this study written by a doctor who appears to have paid to read the whole research publication.  You can find the article on the Fox News website.
Will Sig