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More on Fat…

Found this interesting little video on how the whole low-fat craze started.

Got Fat?

There is still a great deal of misinformation about fat in the media and even amongst doctors about how much fat one should consume in your diet. The low-fat dictum has been around for a long time and it’s time to put an end to it.  To put it simply, cholesterol and dietary animal fat do not cause heart disease.  Nor does consuming fat make you fat. The main culprit in  both cases is sugar, and also the consumption of polyunsaturated and hydrogenated vegetable oils.  Before 1920 coronary heart disease was virtually unknown in America. By 1960 it had become the leading cause of death among Americans, despite the fact that the proportion of animal fat in the diet had declined from 83 percent to 62 percent and butter consumption declined from 18 pounds per person per year to four. At the turn of the century, most of the fats in the diet were from butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil and some olive oil. Today most of the fats in the diet are polyunsaturated from vegetable oils derived mostly from genetically modified corn and soy. Evaluation of fat in artery clogs reveal that only 26 percent in saturated.  The rest is unsaturated, of which more than half is polyunsaturated. (Felton, CV et al, The Lancet 1994, 344:1195).  It’s true that elevated triglycerides in the blood have been linked to heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from excess sugars that have not been used for energy. The source of these sugars in the American diet is primarily refined white sugar and white flour. If you want to lose weight and have a healthy heart- lose the sugar, not the fat.

GOOD FATS

1. Butter- yes, butter is good for you, but it must be organic, free from the hormones that is injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk.

2. Lard- same as above

3. Olive Oil

4. Nut oils such as peanut, walnut, hazelnut.

5. Sesame seed oil

6. Coconut oil- but be careful as coconut oil goes rancid very easily.

Throw all vegetable oils, margarines and canola oils OUT, they have no place in the human diet. Also, anything that says low-fat on it should generally be avoided. I’d like to add a special note about low fat and skim milk.  The fat in milk is there for a reason- it supplies much needed nutrition to the calves that it is meant for. In  1% and 2% milk, non-fat dried milk solids are added back in to the product. Unlike the cholesterol in fresh milk, which plays a variety of health promoting roles, the cholesterol in non-fat dried milk is oxidized, and it is this rancid cholesterol that promotes heart disease. In a recent study of more than 12,000 children who drank milk over a twelve month period the results showed the more milk a child drank the faster they gained weight, despite the fact that most of the children were drinking low fat milk  (Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159:543-550).  My personal opinion is that cow’s milk is great for baby cows, not humans.  If you must drink it, drink it as close to the natural source as possible- this means WHOLE milk, preferably unpasteurized if possible.

Fun With Soda

I recently saw this on a friend’s Facebook page and though it was worth posting here.

According to the Nutrition Research Center, this is what happens to your body within 1 hour of drinking a can of soda:


-10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system, which is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake. You’d normally vomit from such an intake, but the phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.

-20 minutes: Your blood sugar skyrockets. Your liver attempts to maximize insulin production in order to turn high levels of sugar into fat.

-40 minutes: As your body finishes absorbing the caffeine, your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver pumps more sugar into the bloodstream. Adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked preventing you from feeling how tired you may actually be.

-45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, tricking you into feeling pleasure and adding to the addictiveness of the beverage. This physical neuro response works the same way as it would if we were consuming heroin.

>60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, which boosts your metabolism a bit further. High doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners compound this effect, increasing the urinary excretion of calcium. The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (You have to GO!) Your body will eliminate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was otherwise heading to your bones. And you will also flush out the sodium, electrolytes and water. Your body has eliminated the water that was in the soda. And in the process it was infused with nutrients and minerals your body would have otherwise used to hydrate your system or build body cells, bones, teeth.

-60 minutes: The sugar crash begins. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You start feeling like crap. Time to grab another?

Often times when talking about food and health issues the question the often comes up is: “why have I never heard about that?”  While the diet fads and research come and go, the truths about health have always remained the same.  I’ll be posting some of my favorite quotes from the past on this blog about nutrition and health to give people an idea of how long theses ideas have been around.  Here’s one of my favorites from Dr. Royal Lee, a true pioneer in health and nutrition.

“Candy, all white sugar or its products, and white flour including its products such as macaroni, spaghetti, crackers, etc., should be absolutely barred from the diet of the child. All these are energy-producing foods that contain no building materials for the body. The consequences of their toleration are susceptibility to infections, enlarged tonsils, carious teeth, unruly dispositions, stunted growth, rickets, maldevelopment and very often permanent damage to many organs of the body (especially the endocrine glands) that depend upon the vitamin supply for their normal function and development.”

Oct 2, 1933

I’m not sure exactly when it was that people started having such a difficult time with food. Nothing has really changed in our DNA for the last hundred thousand years or so but the amount of food-like  substances people continue to consume is truly staggering.  So here is my food triage.

1. Don’t eat anything man-made. This includes all artificial sweeteners, all artificial fats, and all colors that don’t occur in nature (like that electric blue slurpee).  If it takes a machine to make it-don’t eat it.  If you don’t know how it’s made- don’t eat it.

2. Don’t eat anything that won’t rot. This includes almost everything in a box, especially cereal.  This is dead food- don’t eat it.

3. Don’t eat anything your great-grand-mother wouldn’t recognize as food.  This includes most soy based “food substitutes” like soy bacon, soy cheese, tofurkey etc.  These things also violate the first two rules.

4. Don’t eat anything genetically modified.  This is all soy foods and most corn.  The wind doesn’t recognize boundaries, so even the corn and soy that is labeled “non-GMO” I have my doubts about. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called for a moratorium on GM foods. They called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” For more information on how to avoid Gm foods visit http://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/Home/index.cfm

5.  Avoid (as best you can) animals raised in a factory.  This is ALL fast food meat.  Theses are animals that have been taken out of their natural environment, fed food they aren’t designed to eat and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. In some places this is very difficult to do, I know. In cases where the only meat available is factory get the leanest cuts possible.  Hormones and antibiotics are stored in the fat.  Animal fat is not the problem, it’s what in the fat that causes us to become ill.

Nature didn’t make mistakes when it came to food. Eating what comes out of the ground in its freshest most natural state is not only a joy, but is the best medicine.