The new nutrition guidelines are out, and the NYTimes headline tells you Government’s Dietary Advice: Eat Less
I went to the graph and found it startling (click for large version),
It shows a list of “whole grains, vegetables, fruits” and an additional “fiber” category, as if the first three didn’t provide fiber; the only proteins are “seafood, dairy”; and then they clump “solid fats and added sugars” as one category. Whoever came up with graph aimed to confuse.
The article itself is a list of “no”
The latest nutrition guidelines released Monday by the federal government reiterate much of the advice from previous years: eat less salt and saturated fats, eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
More specifically, the guidelines urge Americans to drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, and it suggests that they avoid fatty foods like pizza, desserts and cheese (albeit deep in the report).
No cheese? Cheese is one of the pleasures of life! So is dessert!
Tom Maguire of Just One Minute takes a more balanced look at nutrition,
Ooops! The case (based both on biology and anthropological history) is strong that excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates overloads the body’s insulin system. Since insulin regulates both the intake of blood sugar by muscles, organs and fat cells and the release of stored fat energy reserves by fat cells, having a dysfunctional insulin system can lead to grim results.
For example, muscle cells can become resistant to insulin, and take up blood sugar only reluctantly, prompting the release of more insulin; fat cells, seeing all that insulin, respond to the signal by grabbing all the blood sugar they can and refusing to release any fatty acids back into the bloodstream as an alternative energy source. The result – a person on a carb-overloaded diet has constantly starving muscles sending out hormonal signals of hunger while the fat cells grow and hoard their energy reserves. The nearly-inevitable result is both lethargy and excess weight, with obesity as the end-point. [Here is a 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article with a real explanation. The gist – if you want your body to burn fat, eat fat. Yikes! The medical establishment is having coronaries!]
I agree with Tom 100%,
The obesity epidemic in this country is primarily due to excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. The rest is waltz music played by the USDA to avoid admitting their past sins.
I am severely hypoglycemic (to the point of being incapacitated by it) and do not tolerate a large amount of carbs. Because I have to keep to a low-carb diet, with no added sugars (including honey, maltose, corn syrup, etc), I have to keep a low-carb “diet”, where I eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, lots of meat, poultry and fish, and the only way I can maintain my weight is by adding fats (butter, not margarine).
Since my blood pressure is on the low side, I also add salt to my food.
My bad cholesterol is low enough that my physician checks to make sure it’s not too low, my BMI is 20.1, and I feel great.
Additionally, I’m allergic to soy, so I have to avoid anything with soy, soy lecithin, miso, and the like.
The thing about having to not eat a lot of carbs and avoiding added sugar is that you have to prepare most meals yourself. While that may be inconvenient, and you do have to spend time reading labels, it’s worth it.
Give up the sugar, give up the starches, and you’ll see results.