With all due respect to you and your questions, I am going to address this from a different perspective because I think you are missing the main point here.
I can not speak for anyone else, but I do not think you can find anywhere where I have said that consuming anything in a small amount is harmful. But I do not understand why people focus on and argue for that issue (how much can i get away with), more so than doing the right thing. Especially if they have a serious disease, and even more so if it is heart disease, the known number one killer in America.
But that is not the point with almost anyone I have talked to, worked with, or seen over the last 3 decades. The problem is that, few people, if any, consume any of these things in small amounts, and at the same time, they do not consume the good things is large enough amounts. Most people consume much more then they think of the things that should be limited/eliminated, and they consume much less then they think of the good things that should consume a lot more of.
But, they keep arguing for these exceptions and before you know it, they have included so many exceptions that the exceptions have become the rule and the healthy foods have become the exception.
Now, you may be the exception but it seems like people want to debate, what about a little oil, or a little dairy, or a little chocolate, or a little wine, or a little soy, or a little cheese, or a little fat, or a little meat, or a little sugar, or a little, salt, or a little tropical oils, or a little butter, or a little eggs etc etc. And, of course, we can prove that little bit of anything, in and of itself, is not going to hurt anyone in the context of an otherwise optimal diet. After all, the human body is amazing.
But, what I see in most people is not anyone consuming a little bit of any of these on occasion but instead I see people consuming lots of these on a frequent regular basis.
We use the French as an argument to drink wine and then we use the Greek as an argument to use oil. But, the French use little oil and the Greek drink little wine. But we just want to pick and choose from each one the items we like and in the end, we have not used these cultures as examples to learn healthy habits, but as rationale to defend our unhealthy habits.
Unless someone has optimal health and on an optimal diet, is the purpose to see how much we can get away with, or how healthy we can become. If you want to climb a mountain should you be more concerned with how to do it as safely as possible and do everything you can to eliminate any risk, or do you want to climb the mountain with as little safety equipment you can get away with and by walking along the edge of the cliff the whole time?
If you had lung cancer, would you be more interested in stopping smoking or more interested in just how many cigarettes you could get by with each day.
If someone has lung cancer the only safe amount of cigarettes is none.
Now, do not take this personally, as you are expressing issues that seem to be inherent to most humans. But, I just want you to consider them as you go forward.
Now, if you were someone who had no health or medical problems, all your biomarkers were excellent, and your intake was 95% or more whole natural unrefined whole plant foods, and you wanted to know what was the problem, then you would need to consider that...
A cup of dairy is 90 calories.
A TB of oil is 120 calories
A TB of sugar is 50 calories
A oz of chocolate is 130 calories
A glass of wine is 120 calories
An egg is 70 calories
etc, etc, etc,
People argue for each one individually but then include all of them everyday. The total of just the ones I listed above is about 600 calories which would be 1/3 of an 1800 calorie diet and 1/2 of a 1200 calorie diet. And that is for just one serving of each.
Here is something to think about.
Smoking is the number one killer in the world. Excess calories (or body weight) are now number two. Not eating enough fruits and veggies is said to be number three. Sedentary lifestyle is said to be number four.
When 140,000 American were surveyed and asked how many of you 1) Do not smoke, 2) are at your healthy weight 3) eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day (which i think is low), 4) get in the minimum amount of recommended exercise a week (which i also think is low).,
Guess how many did all 4?
Less than 3%.
Guess how many ate the minimum fruit and veggies and got the minimum exercise.
Less than 14%.
Yet, just those 2 were recently shown to add 10-14 years to your life.
Think about it.
Our attention, direction, energy and efforts are all misdirected and most of it is because we confuse marketing and advertising with accurate health information.
We are all on a freight train that is racing towards the edge of a cliff and as we approach it, we are debating over whether cloth or leather seats are more comfortable and/or more protective in an accident.
So, while I am not really worried about what someone does with 5% of their calories, I am really worried about what people do with the other 95% of their calories.
Focus on the 95% first, and do not worry so much about the 5%, no matter what you want to put in the 5% category.
However, if you were really sick and wanting to get well, I would strongly encourage you to focus on the 100% till you recovered your health and were cruising along safely again.
If you are looking for a rationale to support the consumption of unhealthy and unnecessary products, you will not get it from me. However, I will not stop you from consuming any of them either.
It is your life, and your choice.
We do not get any do-overs.
So, how are you doing on the other 95%?
Jeff Novick, MS, RD