This weekend my mother sent me an email which she had received from a friend, who had received it from another friend. It was entitled, "Dr. Oz On Eating Fruit." Mother is cautious about the emails she sends me about fitness and nutrition, she gets a lot of these things from her friends. But this one made a lot of sense to her and she thought I might find it very interesting.
Oh, I found it interesting, all right. First, the way it was displayed on the page didn't have any of the hallmarks of a marketing email format one would expect of Dr. Oz, fabulous television personality and remarkably level-headed health advisor to millions.
Second, it was full of misinformation.
After reading it all the way through, and then huffing-puffing-snorting a bit, I went to Dr. Oz's website to see if this attribution was correct. Sure enough, there were no articles or discussions on his website which matched the content of this email. Check out DoctorOz.com when you get a chance yourself, there's a great deal of quality content and Q & A there.
Then I spent some quality time on the phone with my mother, and dissected the email with her so she could learn more about what nutritional approaches are appropriate for her conditions.
Check The Sources. If you get an email that isn't from Dr. Oz, or Dr. Jones or Dr. Doolittle for that matter, but claims to be approved by that individual, double check that attribution. For instance, when I forward information which I deem valuable from Dr. Mark Hyman, I usually include the direct link to his website so there's no confusion about the source. Verify.
Here's some of the info my mother sent me... with my commentary IN ALL ITALIC CAPS. Enjoy the lunacy. BE WELL! TJ
"We all think eating fruit means just buying fruit, cutting it up and popping it into our mouths. It's not that easy. It's important to know how and when to eat fruit.
What's the correct way to eat fruit?
IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUIT AFTER A MEAL! FRUIT SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH." (IF YOU HAVE DIABETES, HECK EVEN IF YOU DON'T, IT'S ACTUALLY HEALTHIER TO HAVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF PROTEIN OR FAT ALONG WITH YOUR SERVING OF FRUIT. IT SLOWS THE SPIKE IN YOUR BLOOD SUGAR.)
"Eating fruit like that plays a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.
FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD." (ALL PLANT FOODS ARE IMPORTANT, NOT JUST FRUIT. AND BALANCED EATING IS IMPORTANT.)
"Let's say you eat two slices of bread, then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it's prevented from doing so." (ALL CARBOHYDRATES HERE. THE SIMPLE PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATE IN THE BREAD WILL DIGEST PARTICULARLY FAST, AND SO WILL THE FRUIT.)
"In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments, and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil." (THE LAST TIME I CHECKED, YOUR STOMACH IS AND SHOULD BE AN ACID PIT. FOOD GETS CHURNED ABOUT AND BEGINS BREAKING DOWN THERE. FOOD DOESN'T "SPOIL" IN YOUR STOMACH IN THE PRESENCE OF FRUIT ACIDS, AS IF YOU LEFT IT ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER FOR A WEEK.)
"When you need to drink fruit juice drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT the concentrated juice from the cans. Don't drink juice that has been heated. Don't eat cooked fruit; you don't get the nutrients at all. You get only the taste. Cooking destroys all of the vitamins." (NOT ALL OF THEM, AND NOT COMPLETELY. GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN NO FRUIT OR COOKED FRUIT, HAVE THE COOKED.)
"Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer!" (OMG, SERIOUSLY???)
"Can you believe this? For those who like to drink cold water, this applies to you. It's nice to have a cold drink after a meal, however, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you've just consumed, which slows digestion." (OK. POP QUIZ. HOW HOT IS YOUR MOUTH? AVERAGE 98.6F DEGREES. HOW HOT IS YOUR ESOPHAGUS? AND YOUR STOMACH, THE AFOREMENTIONED ACID PIT? RIGHT, HOTTER. SO HOW COLD IS THAT WATER GOING TO STAY AND FOR HOW LONG? ANSWER: NOT LONG ENOUGH TO HARDEN ANY FATS IN YOUR STOMACH.) "Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal." (IN FACT, WATER AIDS DIGESTION. ACCORDING TO THIS, FAT IN YOUR INTESTINE = CANCER. WHICH, FRANKLY, IS ABSURD. THIS ARTICLE IS DRIVING ME NUTS. FAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABSORBED THROUGH YOUR INTESTINES. AND THERE ARE MANY HEALTHY TYPES OF FAT.)
Update 2/20/11: According to Ayurvedic medicine, drinking iced water during a meal slows the "digestive fire." No mention of turning stomach contents to sludge or fat into cancer. However, Ayurvedic does promote non-iced water during and after meals as a digestive aid, and suggests optimal meal composition as two thirds solids and one third liquid.