There really isn’t anything that a small cog in a big machine can do about how the machine works. I only have control over me and mine, and you only have control over you and yours. Every week, just about, I will read a lengthy news story that spouts all of the bad old advice, based on the discredited pseudoscience of the past.
Here is the article I am referring to, from the Paper of Record:
Wow, that was an exciting headline for me! I say that all the time, that if a person wants to stay sick the remainder of their lives, take drugs. If you want to get well, change your diet! You have heard me shouting that from way down here in the bowels of this infernal machine for the past two years, almost. I almost crapped when I read the New York Times giving that same advice.
I just hope that people only read the headline.
The actual advice contained in this article is depressingly familiar, and I will boil it down for you so that you don’t have to wade through it picking out the good and the bad.
Let’s start with the things that I think are right and lead to good advice.
- Try changing your diet before you go onto a lifetime of Statin drugs. Statin drugs lower your blood cholesterol, which leads to complications for your liver and other body functions. If you want to know what the problems are, just listen to a statin drug commercial where they list them at a rapid pace for the last thirty seconds of the TV commercial. I won’t bother. Suffice it to say that your quality of life would be much better if you would eat differently instead of eating the same and taking these nasty pills.
That is it for the good advice. The specific diet advice gives bad ideas and perpetuates the problem with the US diet. Eating like the Italians do is not a bad idea, but excluding saturated fats (butter) is not something that they do. Advising that you limit your saturated fats is really just bowing to fifty years of institutional advice instead of making intelligent argument.
There is nothing wrong with eating natural fats. Olive oil contains saturated fats, but not enough to make it solid at room temperature. Eating more olive oil leads to eating more saturated fat. Olive oil is better than vegetable oil, but not as good as lard or butter to cook with. Natural fats are good for you, and they keep you from getting hungry.
Carbohydrates lead to inflammation in your veins and they lead to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is when your body organs and muscles stop accepting glucose from your blood with normal amounts of insulin. This first leads to that glucose being converted to fat and stored. The glucose must not stay in your blood, as high blood sugar is toxic. Eventually it leads to uncontrollable blood sugar levels when your body cannot produce enough insulin to put the glucose into fat. At this point they give you insulin supplements so that you can keep the sugar level down in your blood. At the same time the metabolic changes start releasing triglycerides into your bloodstream and heart disease commences.
The article I referenced makes no mention anywhere of sugar or other carbohydrates. It is an article about heart health and implies that all one must do is keep cholesterol down in one’s blood to stave off heart disease. This is now known not to be true. The part of one’s diet that must change in order to get off of statins, blood sugar meds, and high blood pressure meds is to quit eating processed foods, sugar, and processed starches, like flour.
Eating lots of fruit is like eating lots of candy. There are those that will tell you that you can’t eat enough fruit for it to be a problem, but this is not true at all if you are already fat and sick. If you are already on statins, or insulin, or beta blockers, then you need to be off of sweets, which means all of them. Fruit is sweet.
The mediterranean diet is not a panacea. It will not cure your metabolic syndrome if you eat pasta at every meal, no matter how much olive oil you put on it. It won’t help you if you drink a bottle of sweet mediterranean wine with every meal.
The Times does us no favors telling us to keep on eating low fat foods. They call out low-fat greek yogurt as a health food. Where is the ingredient in there that is energy bearing. No carbs, no fats, no good, if you ask me.
They say limit Red Meat eating to three ounces a week. This is just repetition of bad advice, as eating naturally raised meats leads to getting the proper ratio of fat to protein, and gives you all of the nutrition that every other predator gets from being atop the food chain. We don’t need to eat the foods that our food eats. We can just eat them.
They actually say pick low-fat food choices despite the FACT that the government has finally changed it’s advice on that front. Now you should eat less meat and fats in order to save the planet from environmental damage, not to protect your heart. I wonder how many years it will take before the Times quits giving out this crappy advice (or doctors for that matter).