2019 most controversial: Don’t believe the keto hype

You cannot live on steak and avocados alone, says Jillian Michaels, in this divisive video.

  • Big Think's most controversial video of 2019 stirs the pot of the keto diet debate with fitness and nutrition expert Jillian Michaels, who asks: Are keto diet advocates selling people a false—or at least a selective—message?
  • The keto diet increases fat and protein intake while dramatically reducing carbohydrate intake to about 20 grams a day or about 80 calories worth of carbs out of what could be anywhere from a 1600 to 2500 calorie diet per day. That throws your body into a state of emergency called ketosis, which burns fat fast.
  • Michaels' main critique of the keto diet is that there is zero calorie restriction, it cuts out nutrients and digestive enzymes from fruits, and that it's high in animal fats and animal proteins, which negatively impacts telomeres, oxidative stress, and may increase inflammation. Michaels stands by the effects of regular exercise and what she calls a "commonsense diet": don't eat too much, eat real food and get a range of macronutrients.


A map of London’s fried chicken obsession

The British capital's love affair with buckets and nuggets, explained

Image: Heikki Vesanto
  • Fried chicken is London's favorite fast food.
  • There are more than 8,000 chicken shops in the British capital.
  • This map shows which brands dominate where.
Keep reading

Talking politics: A Thanksgiving guide to divisive conversations

A guide to keep conflicts from flaring up while you pass your uncle the pumpkin pie.

  • As American families gather around the table for Thanksgiving, there's no guarantee that everyone will have the same views when it comes to politics. This means that there's a lot of potential for conflicts to blow up as we pass one another the pumpkin pie.
  • The best approach is to not shy away from important conversations — yes, talk about politics. However, try to do so in a way that preferences understanding. In other words, instead of trying to change their position — as you beat them over the head with a drumstick — try to understand where they're coming from.
  • Chances are, just by asking them questions you will learn something new that you haven't considered before. That alone, intellectual humility, is something to cherish this holiday season.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On your busiest, most stressed-out days, you may not be thinking much about what ends up on your lunch or dinner plate.

Keep reading

95% of U.S. baby foods contain toxic metals. Here's what parents should know.

"On the spectrum from worry to action, parents can choose to act," a new report states.

Pixabay
  • A new investigation tested 168 baby food products for arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, all of which are toxic metals that can damage brain development in infants.
  • Nearly all of the foods tested contained at least one of the metals, and 1 in 4 contained all four metals.
  • The authors of the report recommended five steps for finding alternative baby foods with less toxins.
Keep reading