Top 3 Diet Myths

by Steven Carney on March 20, 2017

This is post #134, about the top 3 diet and nutrition myths spread by doctors, dietitians and others. See why these common myths are junk science!

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A few weeks ago, I saw an article about some nutrition myths by Dr. William Davis. He is a cardiologist and author of several books and articles about heart disease, weight loss, wheat and other related topics. His article inspired me to write this article, although I have my own insights into these myths.

These top 3 diet and nutrition myths are everywhere, endlessly repeated by healthcare practitioners, dietitians and others. As you will soon see, these myths are all based on junk science and a shallow understanding of human physiology. They mislead the public and continue to harm the health of millions. Most troubling is that this is how too many licensed professionals perform in the U.S. today!

Myth #1: Cut calories to lose weight

This is one of the greatest diet and nutrition myths of all time! The so-called science behind calories in food is overly simplistic and highly misleading because food is far more than a source of energy. The early history of calories in food goes back over 100 years, to the 1800s. Even more modern interpretations are decades old and often inaccurate.

More than 50 years ago, foods were measured for their calorie energy in instruments called Bomb Calorimeters, where a small sample was processed and burned using an electric charge. Of course, humans don’t burn food with electricity (ever see a friend or family member catch fire during a meal?). A Bomb Calorimeter consists of a sealed, inner chamber that sits inside a water bath. A small sample of processed food is ignited with electricity, and the heat energy released warms the outer chamber of water.

Originally, the standard measurement for the energy released from these samples was called a kilocalorie or Kcal: each increase of 1 degree Celsius in a kilogram of water was called a Kcal, or large calorie (Cal.). There is also a small calorie, defined as the amount of energy needed to raise a gram of water (less than a teaspoon) by 1 degree Celsius (cal.) using a lower case c. Since about 1990, the calories in carbs, protein and fats are assumed to be 4/4 and 9 calories respectively based on some rather crude estimates.

Digestion vs. burning

Of course, your body does not digest food by burning it! I bet you don’t combust your food with an electric charge in a sealed chamber! Let’s look at how food is actually digested and metabolized by a human body because human physiology causes drastic changes to those primitive calorie numbers:

1. Digestion starts with chewing to break up solid food into smaller pieces (liquid calories like a soda or fruit juice will go directly into the stomach). As you chew solid foods, they are mixed with saliva (which requires more muscle use for solid foods compared to liquids). Once the food is chewed into smaller pieces, mixing with saliva and amylase (an enzyme that breaks down carbs), it moves down the esophagus to the stomach in a semi-liquid state.

2. Once inside the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCL) is secreted to help break down the food solids even more (again, liquid calories like soda or juice will pass quickly through). Stomach acid usually has a PH value of 2 or 3, similar to battery acid. The stomach churns and mixes the liquid food along with digestive enzymes, including pepsin for proteins and lipase for fats, which are mixed with the acid secretions and the food particles.

After the stomach churns and chemically breaks down the solids, it is squeezed into the small intestine in small batches, where nutrients are gradually absorbed and move into the bloodstream. This is also when bile from the gall bladder is added, which helps to further break down fat droplets in the small intestine (fats and water don’t easily mix but bile helps to break up and emulsify the fat in the digestive juices). The pancreas also adds enzymes (digestive juices) into the small intestine to aid in absorption.

3. A critical reason that calories are of little importance is that different foods break down and digest with significantly different rates and effort. Simple sugars like soda or fruit juice and refined carbs are fastest (often spiking blood glucose, raising triglycerides, increasing small, dense LDL particles and inflammation, etc.). Proteins, fats, veggies and fruits with fiber and micro-nutrients all take much longer because those nutritionally complex foods can take 4 hours in the stomach and 12 hours to pass through the small intestine where most absorption occurs.

If you compare proteins to refined carbs, 100 calories of protein ends up being about 70-80 calories because it uses requires more energy during digestion and absorption. That slower rate of digestion and uptake also helps to stabilize blood sugar and hormones like insulin. BTW, most fats undergo a unique digestive process because they need to be emulsified into tiny, microscopic droplets, then re-packaged as a type of lipoprotein (a fat/protein molecule called a chylomicron). Those often move to the lymph system first, where they gradually move into the circulation through the venous system over several hours (see links below).

4. As mentioned above, most food companies don’t use bomb calorimeters any more, the calories in macro-nutrients have been assumed for decades: carbs and protein are each assumed to be 4 calories per gram of food, fats 9 calories per gram. But values on labels are often wrong and ignore how the nutrients combine (think of a sweet or carby snack vs. a high-protein snack). The basic flaw in seeing food as just energy is that it’s incredibly myopic: The approach ignores the total nutritional value/density, its digestive, absorptive and metabolic speed and effort, its effect on hormones (especially insulin), and the positive effects of nourishment from a healthy meal (see example below).

Here are some helpful links with more info about digestion, metabolism and calorie myths:

http://healthyenough.net/calorie-counting/

There’s no sugar-coating it: All calories are not created equal

http://www.dkfindout.com/us/human-body/digestion/stomach/

http://medicalterms.info/anatomy/Stomach/

http://www.factmonster.com/dk/encyclopedia/digestion.html

https://courses.washington.edu/conj/bess/fats/fats.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/428367-how-are-dietary-fats-absorbed-into-the-body/

http://www.livescience.com/26799-calorie-counts-inaccurate.html?cid=dlvr.it

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3605747/

http://www.genconnect.com/health-wellness-robert-lustig-a-calorie-is-not-a-calorie/

A concrete example

To make this more understandable, let’s look at a real-world example as we compare a 12 oz. can of soda with about 150 calories and a 3-3.5-ounce serving of grilled chicken breast, also with about 150 calories.

The soda will get almost all of its calories from sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). An average soda will have 8-10 teaspoons of sugar content, with no protein, no fiber, no fat, and no significant vitamins, minerals or anti-oxidants. Soda often has added sodium and a caffeine jolt, which boost your cravings for more. If you remember the digestive info above, in terms of the speed of digestion, the liquid soda will reach the bloodstream extremely fast, often within 30 minutes, aided by the carbonation and lack of solid matter or micro-nutrients.

As a result, almost 100% of the calories and sugar in the soda will be quickly absorbed! The sugar will also rob you of some B-vitamins and key minerals during absorption because those micro-nutrients are required to help break it down.

Even worse, the sugar will significantly harm your health and hormones by causing a rapid spike in blood glucose. High blood glucose is toxic to many organs and tissues, including the liver, pancreas, heart/arteries, skin, and even the brain. It will trigger inflammation and raise triglycerides, along with small, dense LDL particles, the type that contribute to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Sugar will will also raise BP over time. It’s true, sugar and refined carbs are significant contributors to heart disease and other chronic diseases (more below).

Your pancreas will sense the rising glucose and start to secrete insulin, which helps to move the sugar into the liver and muscles, while the excess will be stored as fat. Where? Often in the cells around your waistline and internal organs. If you sit all day at work and tend to be inactive, most of that soda will become fat. And drinking soda of fruit juice daily will compound this problem over time (adding to constant weight gain).

So after the big dose of sugar from the soda, you will spike your blood sugar, and trigger the release of insulin to quickly bring down those high glucose levels. The soda won’t fill you up for long because insulin will help to lower blood sugar quickly and your hunger will tend to return in an hour or so. That’s why so many people crave sugar and refined carbs all day. They digest quickly and trigger more cravings, hunger and sales for those companies!

Here are some helpful links with more details about the effects of sugar on health:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/sugar-addiction-doesnt-just-lead-obesity-it-affects-your-heart-health-brain-function-327660

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/weird-effects-sugars-having-on-your-body/slide/4

http://www.health.com/weight-loss/sugar-is-definitely-toxic-a-new-study-says

Toxic Sugar and Health

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin

For Long Life Talk to Your Genes

Let’s compare those negative outcomes from a soda or juice to what happens with the chicken breast (remember, it also has about 150 calories). The grilled chicken breast, at about 90 grams, is a good source of protein with no sugar or carbohydrate. It has about 25 grams of protein along with fats, including healthy MUFAs and PUFAs, plus B-vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc.

The chicken breast will digest slowly because the protein, fats and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) take longer to break down and get absorbed. That’s why 100 calories of chicken is closer to 70 or 80 actual calories (proteins have the highest thermic effect, meaning protein breakdown requires the most effort during digestion and absorption).

That slow-digesting chicken has no sugar or carbs and won’t spike blood sugar. It also offers additional nutritional balance and complexity (more below). It provides important nutrients and, unlike the soda, it will enhance health, not harm it.

Think about a meal with chicken breast, some mixed veggies and unsweetened, green tea. Those foods will add thermic effects to the chicken because the veggies also take time and energy to break down the complex carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals, causing about 20% of the calories in veggies to be lost during digestion and absorption. And some of the veggie fiber passes out and is never converted to energy, while the green tea, with no sugar or carbs, adds healthy anti-oxidants and hydration.

And unlike the soda, which didn’t offer much satiation (feeling full), the chicken breast will keep you fuller longer because it takes far longer to digest, absorb and metabolize. You won’t be hungry or have cravings an hour after a meal with protein and veggies!

A calorie is not a calorie

Now you know 3 key reasons why a calorie is not a calorie, and why counting calories to lose weight by relying on food labels is neither accurate or scientific. The numbers are misleading at best, because foods like protein, veggies and fruits require much more digestive effort to break down and absorb those nutrient-dense foods, leaving little extra to be absorbed or stored as fat. 

Also, compared to the soda (or a glass of juice), 150 calories of proteins, veggies or whole fruits will minimize blood sugar spikes and insulin release because they have a more gradual rate of digestion, absorption and metabolism, resulting in a slower rise in blood glucose, some of which can be used for daily activities and brain activity. Those effects will minimize excess glucose and the weight gain that results from it.

Finally, the protein, veggies or whole fruits will keep you fuller longer because of improved satiation: they take longer to digest, absorb and metabolize (including fats because they generally move through the lymph system first, adding an additional time lag). The protein and veggies will help to stabilize hormones, and add little, or no inflammation, and be far more be satisfying and nutritious. Remember, a healthy meal is more than calories or nutrition. It’s a reflection of life and sustenance, and food also has many cultural practices and traditions attached to it.

Cut junk carbs not calories

It should be obvious now that trying to count calories or cut them to lose weight is a mistake and doomed to fail. Calories are not a reliable measurement of energy, nor do they offer predictive value when it comes to actual human physiology: digestion and absorption time/effort, significantly different glucose and insulin effects, satiation levels, etc.

My advice is to ignore calories on labels or for food and choose healthy proteins (non-breaded), veggies (remember, veggies and greens are considered complex, slow carbs), whole fruits, nuts and seeds, some dairy like eggs, yogurt or quality cheese, and avoid the real culprits behind weight gain: refined carbs like soda, juice, bread (even whole wheat turns rapidly into blood glucose), crackers, rolls, pasta, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, etc.

The approach will help to lose weight and minimize further weight gain, and indeed, on this type of eating, my weight has been in a stable range for about 15 years (I’m a slender 140# while most of my peers are significantly overweight, out of shape, and popping drugs all day while I take none)! As a health coach, I can help you make an easy transition to healthier eating so you don’t gain weight excess pounds again!

Here are some links with more detail about nutrients, food thermic effects and calories:

http://www.health-alternatives.com/chicken-breast-nutrients.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=104

Burn Fat With The Thermic Effect of Food

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/no-bs-nutrition.html

http://www.livescience.com/26799-calorie-counts-inaccurate.html

A Calorie is Not a Calorie!

Myth #2: Cut fat to lose weight or prevent heart disease

If you remember the calorie myths exposed above, fat is seen as a dense source of calories (9 per gram) without acknowledging that they are slow to digest and absorb, important variables to recognize. We also know fats can provide good, sustainable energy, along with other health benefits (see below).

The myth that fats, especially saturated fats are unhealthy or cause disease, goes back to Ancel Keys and others in the 1950s and before. He did an associative, dietary study with WHO (World Health Organization) data from 22 countries but only chose to include 6 countries initially, because those 6 showed a correlation the 22 didn’t show (some countries with high intakes of saturated fat had less heart disease so he excluded those). His research was also associative in nature; it never showed that saturated fat or cholesterol actually caused heart disease or atherosclerosis (because they don’t).

Overall, his research was biased and inaccurate, and it has mislead millions for decades! Some disputed his findings at the time, but he worked inside to AHA (American Heart Association), to push his work, serving on a nutrition committee. He worked to establish the long-standing myth that saturated fat and cholesterol are a cause heart disease when they aren’t.

So in spite of his biased, weak science, his misleading claims took hold with doctors and government committees (with the help of biased food research like that from the Sugar Research Foundation, see more detail below). Doctors and dietitians still preach those myths today and I see them everywhere! Keys’ work didn’t include the effects of foods made with sugar or refined carbohydrates, even though he knew they were contributors to heart disease early on.

What Keys didn’t realize (and many that have followed his bad research since), is that saturated fats can raise HDL and increase cholesterol particle sizes (which lowers heart disease risk), while sugar increases triglycerides and small, dense LDL particles, the most atherosclerotic type of cholesterol (increasing heart disease risk)!

Here are some initial links that debunk the claim that saturated fats cause heart disease (more below):

http://www.medicaldaily.com/refined-sugar-vs-saturated-fat-whats-more-likely-cause-coronary-heart-disease-369530

http://www.drrebecca.com/2012/02/myth-of-cholesterol-and-heart-disease.html

http://asianwithoutrice.com/the-longest-fad-diet-in-american-history/

Why fats matter

Let’s start this section with a clean slate. Fats are a useful macro-nutrient, along with carbohydrates and proteins. Taken together, these macro-nutrients are a source of essential building blocks for cells, tissues, hormones, organs and all bodily systems, including DNA and cellular function (although the need for 120-130 grams of daily carbs is overstated, again based largely on assumptions and weak science). Yet it’s constantly claimed we need over 100 grams of carbs daily!

Forget judging fats as harmful for now. Let’s see them for what they are: A source of nutrition the body needs. We need fats during digestion to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, carotenoids and anti-oxidants like polyphenols. They are essential parts of cell membranes and they are needed for hormone production. They are also critical for brain and nerve function, and they help us feel full because they take longer to be digested and absorbed compared to refined carbs. They can also be a source of energy during exercise or activity.

Even though the Paleo diet has helped to change many people’s minds about animal proteins and fats, many people still believe that fats can make you fat, and that fat from animal sources are dangerous or cause disease, because those old unproven myths from Keys and others have stubbornly persisted.

In fact, as I searched for source material to include for this section on “fats” I kept seeing articles and studies about “bad” fats, which are usually claimed to be saturated fats (an exception to this is trans-fats, made from refined veggie oils, subjected to high heat and hydrogenation with a metal catalyst like nickel). They are man-made fats, highly inflammatory and atherogenic in the body.

Ironically, trans fats like margarine and Crisco were pushed on us for decades as a healthy alternative to butter by medical practitioners! They have been used in restaurant foods and processed foods for decades. Trans fats are deadly, causing an estimated 50,000 deaths annually (and about 5 million deaths overall)! They are now being banned, 20-30 years after they should have been!

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/fda-trans-fats

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28034-trans-fats-not-saturated-fat-linked-to-heart-disease-risk/

Study reveals broad dangers of trans fats

What are saturated fats

Animal products like meat, milk and butter are sources of saturated fats, but so are fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter. That’s because saturated fats are those that solidify at room temperature, but they can have differing chains of fatty acids and micro-nutrients, important points that are often ignored.

The term “saturated fat” is a rather primitive, simplistic definition as the type of fat (or fatty acid) in meat or coconut oil are significantly different (long chain vs. medium-chain fats). Plus, animal fats are often bound up with protein, taking longer to be digested and absorbed (see digestive details in calorie section above). Coconut oil is a medium chain fat, which is metabolized faster.

Understand this critical point and detail: these simplistic beliefs about “bad” fats are amateurish and primitive, based on myths and bad science. In truth, many animal foods like eggs, chicken, butter include a mix of fats, including healthy Mono-and-Polyunsaturated fats (MUFAs and PUFAs), which can help to lower inflammation. Yet they are still demonized as “bad” fats in a crude, overly-simplistic and unscientific way.

Some concrete examples

1. The fat breakdown for a large egg is as follows: It has about 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, a good mix of fats.

2. The fat breakdown for a 3.5 oz chicken breast is as follows: It has about 1 gram of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and about .8 grams of polyunsaturated fat, another good mix of fats.

3. The fat breakdown in a pat of butter is as follows: It has about 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat and .2 grams of polyunsaturated fat (with many additional fatty acids), so again a mix of fats and butter has a little protein too!

Another important point is that all of the above fat examples (including the butter) have additional vitamins and minerals, which boost their overall nutritional density and value, another factor that medical people ignore when unfairly demonizing saturated fats.

Of course, buying good quality proteins and fats is important now (cage-free eggs, pasture-raised meats, grass-fed butter and yogurts, wild-caught fish) are good choices (not to mention hormone and antibiotic free if you can find them). And remember, most adults only need about 4-5 tablespoons of total fat intake daily.

Here are some initial links to sites with more detail about fats and saturated fats:

Why You Need Fats

http://dralexrinehart.com/nutrition-benefits/is-saturated-fat-healthy/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/27/saturated-fat-cholesterol.aspx

Why Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat!

Why eating a low-fat diet doesn’t lead to weight loss

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/864447

This article has extensive detail about saturated fats and cholesterol, their biased unscientific histories and numerous debunking links are included:

Dr. David Seres Debunked Again

http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/generic/chicken-breast-skin-not-eaten?portionid=4841&portionamount=3.527

http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/usda/butter?portionid=29480

Have A Change of Heart About Cholesterol – Cholesterol Is Healthy

Two major studies conclude that saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract 

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h3978 

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/31/bjsports-2016-097285 

http://www.oasisofhope.com.hk/new-study-puts-final-nail-saturated-fat-causes-heart-disease-coffin/

http://theconversation.com/were-so-indoctrinated-that-saturated-fat-is-bad-that-we-dont-listen-to-the-science-34993

https://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-saturated-fat/

The above content should make clear that when it comes to fats and cholesterol, the so-called science and claims are again, biased, primitive and misleading. But there’s more!

More recent research shows that saturated fats can increase HDL (High Density Lipoprotein, often called good cholesterol), lower LDL particle numbers (lower numbers are less atherosclerotic), while increasing LDL particle size, along with lowering VLDL (Very LDL cholesterol), all critical factors for lowering CHD and CVD risk! They can also help to lower triglycerides! These details are the very ones your doctor or dietitian should know and understand, but most are completely ignorant about. It’s inexcusable!

And in reality, the primitive cholesterol numbers you get from a standard cholesterol test can be misleading too as some are calculated, not measured! If you are really concerned abut cholesterol, get an NMR or VAP test before you ever consider going on a statin drug (you can order them online through my website)! Those newer, more complete tests will give you a detailed summary of many cholesterol particles and sizes, and you might learn that it’s the carbs you’re eating that are the cause of your high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, not the fats or dietary cholesterol!

When you realize that saturated fats in animal products are not bad, because they are mixed with good fats and other nutrients, the medical dogma we have heard for years is obviously bogus and debunked (remember links above too)! Also, when those fats are naturally contained in a serving of protein, remember that they are digested and absorbed slowly, dropping net calories by up to 30% while helping you feel full longer.

In truth, saturated fats do not automatically cause health problems for most (a few percent of people have inherited cholesterol problems). Otherwise, high cholesterol is not a risk for heart disease, it’s a source of fear used to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs to make billions for drug companies.

As demonstrated above, it’s sugars and refined carbs that are the worst food and health offenders, because all those junk carbs quickly turn into sugars that are the source of most significant weight and health conditions due to the spikes of blood glucose, inflammation and high triglycerides, along with the resulting weight gain! Saying we should eat those unhealthy foods or drinks in moderation is like saying a few cigarettes a day are actually good for you! It’s nonsense!

The bottom line is that for 5-6 decades, your doctor and most dietitians have mislead us all about calories and fats. We followed their poor, unscientific advice while obesity, diabetes and other chronic disease have skyrocketed! The horrific results of their misinformation is inescapable!

I also want to touch on some additional areas of corruption and why Keys’ bad research took hold as well as it did. The Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) put out biased research that helped to further distort and corrupt nutritional science, appearing to find sugar blameless as a contributor to heart disease. The SRF worked to keep the focus on fats as the “real” culprit when that claim was false! They essentially bought off scientists at Harvard, who were willing to help these industry groups with false, checkbook science and put out misleading studies! See these shocking links for more info:

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sugar-industry-sought-sugarcoat-causes-heart-disease

http://theconversation.com/essays-on-health-how-food-companies-can-sneak-bias-into-scientific-research-65873

http://www.ecowatch.com/sugar-industry-2004899240.html

If you read those links (please do, you will have your eyes opened), you should be shocked by the crass and aggressive way the sugar industry put sales and growth ahead of all other health concerns by spreading misinformation and bad science! No doubt, many have died because of their corruption. You should have also seen other references to industry influence on nutrition research, and that it’s ongoing.

In fact, numerous industry groups have each want more sales for their crops or products (including those who work with the USDA to sell more crops), and for decades, they have been willing to put your health and life at risk so they could make more profit.

Speaking of corruption, did you also realize that the dietetics industry has had similar influence and conflicts of interest from big food companies? For years, companies like McDonalds, Coke, Pepsi and General Mills have given money to the ADA (Now called the AND, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), and helped to sponsor their annual conferences, providing food and support for AND’s relentless state lobbying, as they have sought to gain a monopoly on nutritional advice nationwide. This article exposes much of that corruption and more of the common myths that dietitians have spread for many years:

Dietitians and Corruption!

This article covers scientific reductionism (the way most research is done), and its tendency to over-simplify nutrition and other research, and to demonize specific foods like fat and cholesterol (see statin section):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/why-medicine-fails

Myth #3: Eat everything in moderation

If you already read the calorie and fat sections above, you probably already know this myth doesn’t make any sense either. And you’d be right!

If we consider what is known about sugar and refined carbs in all their many forms, from soda and sugary drinks to bread (2 slices of wheat bread will turn into glucose about as fast as sugar because both have a high glycemic index), rolls, pasta, chips, cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, candy and other foods made with sugar and refined carbs, they will all tend to quickly spike your blood sugar.

Even combining those foods with things like protein will still raise your blood sugar faster and generate the health and hormonal problems listed earlier because those simple carbs and sugars get absorbed faster compared to veggies with starches, fiber and micro-nutrients.

It should be obvious to anyone in the health or nutrition fields that prevalent, high-glycemic junk foods need to eliminated from daily consumption for most adults. You don’t need those processed foods and they often do more harm than good.

BTW, modern, dwarf wheat is as bad (or worse) than sugar for its negative health effects. Modern wheat is intensively hybridized, with a drastically altered genetic makeup that is not the same wheat we had just 50 years ago. Not only does it trigger high blood sugar (the glycemic index runs high at 60-80), but cravings and allergic reactions are common (see links below)

Also, don’t forget that many processed, junk foods are made with refined, omega-6 veggie oils (that trigger inflammation), salt, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, stabilizers and additives of all kinds, none of which are real food your body recognizes! Most processed foods are simply a box or bag of junk carbs, cheap oils and chemical additives. Think of them as lab foods designed to trigger cravings and addiction because that’s what they are. Yet we should eat these junk foods in “moderation” and have a junk-food “treat” of some kind? I’ve seen dietitians make that very claim. It’s terrible, irrational , harmful advice!

See these links for a dose of reality for refined carbs and how they can spike blood sugar and cause other problems:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/488801-how-are-carbohydrates-digested-absorbed-eliminated/

Here is an article I wrote about wheat several years ago:

Wheat: The Bad and the Ugly!

This link shows the Glycemic index of foods. Any food above 50 is considered a high glycemic food and should be avoided (notice all the healthy foods in Very low and Low GI columns):

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=32

Here are several links from sites by Dr. William Davis (I’ve followed his work for over 10 years). Please take some time to review his articles, books and other content:

http://www.cureality.com/blog/post/2015/04/04/five-powerful-ways-to-reduce-blood-sugar.html

Grains: Perfect Obesogens

Brain Drain

Diabetes: “Cured by Wheat Belly”

Smoke low-tar cigarettes? The fatal flaw in logic of nutritional studies

We also know that many of the slower-digesting foods (see above info) have micro-nutrients like vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and/or fats that help to slow digestion and absorption to minimize spikes in blood glucose and resulting weight gain.

When people focus on colorful veggies, greens, whole fruits, proteins (including palm-sized, slow-digesting animal proteins or wild-caught fish), nuts and seeds, some dairy, and fats like EVOO and coconut oil, net calories will be less due to the complexity of the foods, including fiber and micro-nutrients, promoting more stable blood sugar. They keep you fuller longer and minimize weight gain. So those are better foods to eat because they are nutritionally superior.

GM foods not proven safe

Speaking of moderation, many of those same sugary, refined-carb, junk foods listed above are made from GM (Genetically Modified) crops. The most common GM foods are corn, soy, sugar beets (sugar), veggie oils (made with solvents, bleach, and void of nutrients), tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash and many are used in junk foods (and the list of GM crops is growing). Because these foods are now used in hundreds of junk, fast and processed foods, they are everywhere in the food supply! And you won’t know they are made with GM crops because the food companies have fought labeling laws for a decade and they lobbied congress to pass a voluntary law so it’s not mandatory! Moderation my foot!

Some scientists, industry people and media have falsely proclaimed that GM foods have tested safe, but that’s not accurate. The majority of research has been done on rodents like mice and rats, not humans. The biotech companies intentionally keep those studies to 90 days or less because if they go over that time, cancers start showing up.

And companies like Monsanto, who make Roundup-ready GM seeds have ultimate control over who uses those crops and seeds. Independent researchers don’t have access to the seeds or crops. Even farmer’s are not allowed to save any seeds from their own crops. And the FDA assumes they are safe; they don’t require any safety testing for any GM crops or foods. Talk about turning a blind eye to this problem!

This is another compelling reason to cut refined carbs and junk food from your eating plans today! Mere “moderation” is not good enough!

Here are several links with more information on GM foods, including the lack of safety testing and potential health risks:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/top-20-gmo-foods-and-ingredients-to-avoid/

http://www.foodmatters.com/article/10-most-common-gmo-foods

GMO foods and Health

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/gm-foods-myths-and-deceptions

In closing

I hope the above information was education and informative. Because for too long, we have been subjected to a constant flow of diet and nutrition myths from so-called experts like dietitians and doctors. If you went through all of the material and links I provided, you know that anyone, no matter what their credentials are, who continues to repeat these ridiculous, pseudo-scientific myths about calories, fats, cholesterol and eating foods in moderation, are showing their amateur-level of knowledge and shallow understanding of important nutritional realities. Their ignorance of human physiology and the entire digestive process is shocking, the very areas where these myths are exposed as false!  

So anytime you hear nonsense like cut calories to lose weight, or that saturated fats add to weight gain or cause heart disease, or that you should eat everything in moderation, it’s time to run the other way and tune those people out! Never hire people like that to give you advice or listen to their nonsense claims! They are giving you misinformation and putting your health and life at risk. We’ve already had decades of this kind of misinformation, consistently spouted by doctors and dietitians, and we all need to say: No more!

Finally, please read the following research studies. They offer a broader perspective on the hidden biases and conflicts of interest (COIs) I touched on above. These COIs are very common in nutritional research, a problem many studies, journals and mass media writers have ignored since the 1980s (and another reason that you can’t trust studies without a thorough reading and detailed analysis). You will see how often studies are misleading or inaccurate:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686413/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27620683

Questions or comments? Comment below or contact me at: steve@endsicknessnow (dot) com.

© 2017 by Steven Carney/End Sickness Now

 

{ 1 comment }

latronica March 28, 2017 at 8:56 AM

This specific blog post about diet myths is one of the best I’ve found today. It’s also obvious how much work went into this post. Great work!

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