The foods that people mainly ate in the early 1900’s were whole dairy products, meats, white flour, fruits, and vegetables. Much more animal fats and butter were incorporated. At the time only 10% of total deaths were linked to heart disease. Between 1920 and 1955, heart disease increased to an astonishing 40% of total deaths.
A “lipid hypothesis” was formed to explain the rapid increase of heart disease. Scientists saw that cholesterol levels rose with increased dietary fat intake, and excess cholesterol was observed in heart disease victims. Therefore they hypothesized that heart disease must result from excess fat consumption.
The USDA issued the first compilation of dietary guidelines in 1977. Americans were advised to avoid refined sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Instead of saturated and animal fats, Americans were led to consume more polyunsaturated fats and fructose. The guidelines clearly say: choose low-fat and non-fat products.
The guidelines in 1982 were changed to reduce fat intake even more. They were upheld by all major health organizations despite the obesity rate increasing to an all-time high of 34% from 15% in 1982.
1. Starchy Foods (Carbohydrates)
Research shows that obesity is linked more-so to carbohydrate intake, not fat. Americans were brought to think that eating fat makes you fat, but quite the opposite is true. Carbs are not the same as fat, but when they enter our body, they get converted into fat under certain conditions.
Blood sugar increases as a result of carb ingestion, and insulin is secreted to bring carbs to cells for energy supply. Carbs are also stored for future energy demands by the liver. Triglycerides get formed as a result, from vLDL creation by the liver.
High amounts of triglycerides have been observed over and over again in obese individuals and heart disease victims. Hardened arteries and plaque formation result from triglycerides in the blood.
Excess carb ingestion leads to so many other complications. After a while the pancreas attempts to “predict” how much insulin is needed. This early stage insulin resistance leads to low blood glucose. The brain can’t function in this state of hypoglycemia, because it needs 30-40% blood glucose for energy. The brain also receives no signal that you’re full, because the hormone leptin is stopped from accessing the brain.
Type 2 diabetes results from metabolic syndrome, which is preceded by insulin resistance. When leptin isn’t functioning correctly, and blood sugar is low, you crave more carbs because the brain needs its fuel. Carb cravings or a “sweet tooth” directly result from this dangerous cycle. Insulin resistance also leads to depression, anxiety, poor sleep, the inability to think clearly, memory loss, and constant fatigue.
“Healthy” foods like brown rice and whole wheat bread still cause insulin surges.
2. Foods High In Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA)
It is my opinion that the truth, that a diet high in fats is a smart choice, is being hidden from Americans, because it is cheaper to provide foods based on carbs. Protein has been seen to raise insulin levels just as carbs do. If grains are bad, and excess protein is bad, then we are left with fats, but which?
Going back in time again, something must have influenced us to steer away from animal and saturated fats in the 1920’s. A way to extract, refine, and partially hydrogenate oils was devised by Proctor & Gamble in 1911. Consequently, people replaced butter, lard, and animal fats, with margarine and vegetable oils that were deemed “heart healthy”.
Polyunsaturated fat is mainly made up of a combination of omega-3 and mostly omega-6 fatty acids. The omega 6:omega 3 ratio is unhealthy in vegetable oils. Omega-3 can’t do its job when too much omega 6 is ingested, which leads to many complications and health risks.
Clinical studies and statistical experiments link PUFAs to obesity, with linoleic acid (omega 6) as the culprit. A healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is 1:2 – 1:4.
3. Foods That Contain Trans Fats (Hydrogenated Oils)
Trans fats are not unsaturated or saturated, they are partially hydrogenated.. They were used as hardening agents and for shelf life extension.
Many food items have been stripped of trans fats these days since many experts have observed a significant link to obesity and heart disease..
4. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and/or Sucrose
Why is HFCS in so many products when we know it’s bad? Some people see it as toxic, but it has been in food since 1975. Fructose makes up around 50% of HFCS and exactly 50% of sucrose. They can be considered the same in terms of how our body treats them.
When fat was taken out of our foods, fructose was used as a replacement. HFCS was so cheap that it stopped sugar from fluctuating in price.
Low-fat food tasted normal with the addition of HFCS.
What is wrong with fructose?
- Ghrelin remains unsuppressed, making you hungry.
- The hormones that tell you you’re full don’t function.
- Only the liver metabolizes fructose. Just 20% of glucose gets used by the liver, because most gets sent to body cells. Fructose is toxic just like alcohol, and therefore 100% gets metabolized in the liver.
- Leads to metabolic syndrome in no time.
- A lot is made into triglycerides by the liver, about 30%.
- Makes a hazardous waste product, uric acid, that leads to hypertension and gout.
- Is a major cause of obesity and insulin resistance.
Nobody realizes how bad HFCS is, and it is in all foods from juice to marinated steak. Stay away from fructose if you value your health and don’t want to be obese.
5. Fiber-less Food
Only fiber can counteract fructose. Fiber is hard to cook and eat, so it has been stripped from almost all foods. This helped for storing and freezing food as well. The best way to fight obesity is with fiber and more omega-3. Fiber cancels out carbs, for example, the sucrose in fruits is rendered safe because of the fiber content. People only ingest an average of 12 grams of fiber each day; used to be 100-300 grams.
Soy is the second largest produced crop in the US. American companies use unfermented soy, which is nothing similar to the fermented soy Asian cultures use. Soy is made up of such bad chemicals that to get into each one specifically would double the length of this article.
Soy plays a role in so many diseases and cancers, and damages your organs as well. Minimize intake to the best of your ability, being that it is in just about any regular or “healthy” food item.
A diet that minimizes carbs is best. The focus should be on healthy fats coming from some meat and dairy. Avoid all the ingredients that were mentioned here as they only work against you.