Last week the big news was that the sugar industry paid researchers to downplay the risks of sugar in your diet. While the ethics of this are disturbing, did you really believe before last week, that sugar was a healthy nutrient?
No, I know that you did not.
Do you now believe that fat is off the hook?
No, you should not and you probably don’t (even if you want to a tiny bit).
Food, fast, processed and cheap food, is currently the new tobacco. You know in the 1950s when doctors smoked? There was valid research that smoking was a health risk, but the experts thought “it’s too hard to quit” and if your doctor smoked it wasn’t very likely they would encourage you to quit. The problem with processed food being the new tobacco, besides all the health risks, is that everyone eats. The food industry is banking on selling more calories to you and me in the form of highly processed, food like, substances. It’s good for business.
What is also good for business is keeping people confused about which nutrient is “good” and which is “bad”. I would like to say there are no bad foods – but there are – plenty of them. But, real food is better than processed. Less fat is better than more fat. Saturated fat is still not good for you.We eat too much sugar. We eat too much protein. And that really is the point. Mostly, we eat too much.
We have an epidemic of junk nutrition science and lazy reporting. It sells. It gets on the news. No need for reporters to actually to read the studies, or understand how they were done, or question where the money came from, well, because “butter is back!”.
Eating sugar didn’t cause the current obesity epidemic, eating too much did. The amount we are eating has increased 20% from 1983 – 2000. We are eating more cheese, more meat, more fat, more sugar, more of everything.
For the record, eating more saturated fat increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by 2-3 times. Saturated fats increase the risks of type 2 diabetes by killing off insulin producing beta cells in our pancreas. Saturated fat increases fatty liver disease. A single high fat meal can trigger angina.
Sugar, the new bad food, is linked with obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver failure and diabetes. North Americans consume on average 160 pounds of sugar a year.
Too much protein? Kidney disease, osteoporosis, cancer, dehydration.
The food industry isn’t going to tell you to eat less. Just eat less of one nutrient while they fill their products with something equally bad. Your doctor might tell you to eat less, but not encourage something they aren’t willing to personally consider. The dietary guidelines aren’t immune to pressure from business. Health reporters aren’t nutrition experts.
You already know the answer. Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.
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