Interviewer: Is all seafood good for you?
Our subject’s answer: “Nope. Some of the crustaceans have cholesterol — shrimp, crab, lobster.”
This is what Dr. Oz told Esquire magazine last year. Granted, the rest of his nutrition-related answers (except for one other, which I discuss below) are accurate. However, I am extremely surprised that someone who considers himself a nutrition expert is not up to date on dietary cholesterol research.
When it comes to issues of heart disease, dietary cholesterol is waaay down on the list of troublemakers. Trans fats, excessive omega-6 intake, insufficient omega-3 intake, high intakes of sugar, and certain saturated fats (mainly those in the meat and milk of corn and grain-fed cattle) are of much more concern.
Shrimp, crab, and lobster are not “unhealthy” because they contain cholesterol. Besides, wild salmon contains cholesterol, so why is Dr. Oz singling out crustaceans?
In an attempt to avoid cholesterol in crustaceans, many people instead opt for red meat which offers lower levels of cholesterol but significantly higher levels of problematic saturated fatty acids (and not a single milligram of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids).
Another one of Dr. Oz’s misguided tips — he recommends eating “wheat crust” pizza. This is one of the most aggravating tips, because… well, it isn’t a tip at all! White flour is made from wheat; ergo, it is wheat crust. “Wheat” does not mean whole grain. The real tip is to aim for “100% whole wheat” crust.
The whole “wheat bread is healthier than white bread” idea needs to be squashed immediately. Too many times, breads simply labeled as “wheat” are made from white flour with caramel color or molasses thrown in to give it a healthy-looking brown tint.
It is statements like these (along with others I have pointed out on the blog) that truly make me wonder why Dr. Oz is viewed as a “nutrition” guru. The two tips mentioned in this post are basic Nutrition 101 information.