The Food Pyramid is Upside Down?
Do you think the food pyramid is contributing to disease in America? You’re right! Statistics across the US show that 1/3 Americas are in a healthy weight, 1/3 are overweight, and 1/3 are obese and beyond. The largest growing segment is childhood obesity, which is scary because these children are being set up to fail with their health and our children will have to deal with the mess their parents make. America spends more of health costs than any other nation, and more than many industrial nations combined. Why the fall from grace?
How is this happening?
In America politics run the land and money runs politics. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a large hand in setting up the current problem. See the USDA has made nutritional guidelines that are followed and enforced by law. Problem is these guidelines are promoting cheap nutrient devoid food. This food is subsidized by the US government, meaning that the government decides to sell food substantially below market value. Corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, and rice are the major subsidies that exist in the US. I bet you have seen these somewhere before. These are found within 99.99% of all processed foods, which are detrimental to your health. These cheap foods are also being fed to livestock for slaughter. That means there is garbage in our food, we feed our food (meat) garbage and we then wonder why our nation has many sick and unhealthy people. It is a SAD state of health indeed, Standard American Diet, that is.
The USDA created the food pyramid, which favors the base of the diet to focus on pasta, bread, grains. This is blindly in the face of scientific research that show bread, pasta, and grains quickly and directly turn into sugar inside your body. Sugar favors fat storage, insulin and leptin resistance, and leads diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We are told by the media to eat grains because the US government is paying the farmers to grow it dirt cheap, the government pays very few subsidies for healthy vegetables. We as a nation trust the USDA and most folks don’t challenge this as they are educated in primary, middle, and high school to follow the USDA guidelines.
The Government favors foods that are not healthy
The agricultural practices in place in the US are undoubtedly promoting the SAD and its consumption. This directly ties into our extreme rates of obesity, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. Soy, Corn and wheat are the big three. These are found in every facet of fast foods and popular processed foods. The subsidies are responsible for high-fructose corn syrup and animal factories.
The reason it is starting to show up now is two-fold. Primarily it is due to the dramatic abundance of the big three and secondarily because we have been favoring their use for 40 plus years. Here is a report on just how backwards these government subsidies make our food market. It details that if the public receives a federal subsidy we would get $7.36 to spend on junk foods, and only 11 cents to purchase apples. This is quite unbalanced. Eleven cents goes into $7.36, 66.9 times. That means our government if favoring the junk food 66.9 times over more healthy alternatives. Something is wrong with these policies and the public is paying the price as a lab experiment. Following USDA data for every dollar that goes to subsidies 92 cents goes to someone other than the farmer, it mostly goes to packaging and manufacturing of processed foods.
The Pyramid Scheme!
Check this link for a funny video that brings the point home.
The food pyramid is a well-known staple and often thought of as being scientific. We already debunked this but let’s take it a step farther and find out the government recommendations are doing to its population. The largest portion of the pyramid is the many servings of rice, pasta, cereal and bread. The majority of these available to population are harmful nutrient devoid refined carbohydrates. The grain base is the exact opposite of what the majority of the population needs to become healthy (notice I didn’t say “stay healthy,” we are not). Up top are fats and sugars. Sugars should be avoided with a vengeance, the fats however are should be dramatically increased. The population would improve health wise by actually consuming between 50 and 70% of all calories in the form of health fats.
The Plate Debate!
The plate came on the nutrition scene in 2011. The big difference is that it somewhat toned down on grains, still maintain levels that promote disease over health. The plate doesn’t account for fats. The government still doesn’t acknowledge that saturated fats are some of the healthiest fats. They help with hormone synthesis, are inside the membrane of each cell, and we as a species have been consuming them for thousands and thousands of years, compared to the 50 year campaign against them. Coconut oil is one of the best and healthiest. If we want to reverse the health trends in America we need to change our attitude and our purchasing decisions. The big companies have to follow the money, where are you spending yours?
How a food pyramid should look? (Based on Science)
The producers of South Park did a good job re-enacting the current situation in the US. Ironically as they say, “this is NOT FDA approved.” Let’s pick up where they left off and look deeper into a scientific food pyramid. Fats are the first stop and the base for the whole thing. Approximate 50% to 70% of calorie intake should be in the form of healthy fats. We know fat helps with cell membranes and hormones, but it is also energy dense, packing double the energy of carbs and proteins. Some of the healthiest fats are coconut oils, avocados, organic butter, and nuts.
Organic natural feed meat and eggs. What Natural fed means is that the chickens, cows, fish, pigs, etc, are eating what they do in the wild, not what is cheapest for the farmers. In our previous blog on salmon, we learned about farm raised salmon being fed soy, corn, and even chicken. Salmon are supposed to eat PLANKTON! Which mind you are packed with phytonutrients unlike the GMO corn and soy the farmed salmon are fed. You want to make sure to get organic because many harmful chemicals such as vaccines, antibiotics, growth hormones and so on are not allowed in the rearing of these animals.
Next up are Vegetables. We all know vegetables are good and healthy. But it’s what we don’t know about them that should really get you to eat them. Science is limited but we do know plants contain chemicals called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are what make vegetables so healthy. These chemicals have been hunted in the rainforest to make drug “cures” for every disease known to man. Here is the big reason, science hasn’t fully explored all of and just how powerful these phytonutrients are. Make sure to indulge in more phytonutrients.
The smallest portion of the food pyramid consists of grains, fruit and sugars. This is due to the harmful effect sugar has on the body, it’s a neuro-toxin. Grains are directly turned into sugars, really they are just sugar in disguise. I bet you thinking why fruits? I’d certainly favor fruits over grains or processed sugar any day. They’re primarily constituted in the form of fructose, which can only be broken down by the liver. Fructose also directly turns into fat, while ironically fat you eat doesn’t turn to fat. Fruits contain enough sugar to cause your body to switch from burning fat to sugar burning mode. If your body is in sugar burning mode, it cannot burn fat. When your body isn’t burning fat, you gain fat ultimately. When you get your body to continually burn fat the sugar cravings go away.
The ketogenic diet is the best way to switch off sugar burning and ramp up fat burning and It’s what I have just described. Replacing carbs with moderate levels of protein and high levels of healthy fats.
Health recommendations fueling obesity?
Yup, that’s right. Bad health decisions are made from inappropriate recommendations. Things such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension are all diseases that are “earned” through bad lifestyle choices. Most commonly these things accumulate over many years of doing little unhealthy things. It adds up. The big problem is that our government is and has been leading the way on spreading bad information that the public thinks is the truth. The government has been pushing corporate based propaganda (much like what we saw above about crop subsidies). Here is a “drop in the bucket” about the misinformation.
- Diet foods for losing weight
- Your body isn’t tricked by “0” calorie, they distort your complex chemistry
- Every sugar is equal
- Fructose is metabolized VERY differently, with different effects and consequences.
- The lower cholesterol the better
- Science has never proven lower cholesterol is health. Cholesterol isn’t the culprit behind heart disease, it is inflammation. Having too lower cholesterol can ironically cause heart disease.