by Debra Arko, Featured Contributor
RECENTLY NEW reports have talked about ending the war on fat. Most people are aware there has been a battle in the diet world regarding what foods make you gain weight. A little known event occurred back in the 1970’s that changed the way America ate. It caused us to be the heaviest culture on the planet.
Science suggests we’ve been wrong about what to eat for forty years.
I was in college in the 1970’s and skinny as a rail yet everywhere I turned, it was get rid my favorite’s whole mile, tasty butter, and slow-cooked oatmeal. Even my blue cheese dressing made from real buttermilk was too high in fat. Personally, I didn’t think anything of the recommendations at the time
Like most college kids in 1977, I ate what I could afford. That was the year George McGovern a politician published a landmark finding by the senate committee known as ‘dietary goals for the Unites States. It urges Americans to eat less high fat red meat, eggs, and dairy.
Instead, we were to replace it with fruits, vegetable, and especially carbohydrates. The carbs were easy for most Americans. By 1980, store shelves overloaded with boxed pasta, instant cereals, and easy made dinners became popular. This same year, the US department of Agriculture [USDA] was in full gear and issued the first dietary guidelines.
I was working in health care and not long after we started our family. As a good mother, I tried to carbo load my son before his soccer games, and made sure they had skim milk to drink over their high-sugar instant cereals. Eggs were used for baking not breakfast and our kitchen counter had an assembly line of pasta maker, bread maker, and rice cooker next to the extra-wide toaster.
Lawmakers and physicians it is said felt they had to make changes to our diet because we had the highest death rate from heart attacks. Therefore, ‘attack’ the diet based on a poorly done study was the outcome.
One leading nutritionist, the president of the National Academy of Sciences put it this way, “we are embarking on a vast nutritional experiment.”
Experiment we did and today the whole thing is a failure. Americans are sicker than ever with over 90% of my patients coming in with chronic pain and inflammation. Type 2 diabetes has increased by 166% since the beginning of 1980 to the beginning of this decade.
I feel lucky nearly 1 in 10 adults have the disease. My family escaped becoming part of this startling statistic simply by adopting a different diet in the 1990’s. It didn’t make us popular with friends or relatives and some of the cruelest comments have been thrown our way.
One look in the mirror and I knew I was right as others gained weight and we stayed or even reduced our weight easily with a little added exercise. Another factor for us was how we felt.
You Are What You Eat
One of the first things my husband said to me was, “my knees don’t hurt anymore.” I look much younger than others do my age. There’s fact that both of us don’t need western medicines and have no illnesses.
All we did at first was eat less. Then we changed to 2% milk and refused to eat things labeled ‘low-fat’. Around 2000 we got rid of the all the machines, they were only collecting dust. We kept the toaster, since we still bought bread.
I didn’t know the estimates swirling around the rise of diabetes although in my practice with each lab test patients were showing ever-increasing glucose levels. Many refused to listen to my suspicions and others were happy to know they weren’t alone in their misgivings about our diet.
Heart disease is down not because of diet but better medical care in emergency rooms as we understand the cardiovascular system and have better equipment. People are smoking less and statins lower cholesterol although they are leaving men impendent and all users with memory loss. Both are known side effects of these drugs.
The health failure to baby boomers and Gen X’ers is an estimated 86 million people are pre-diabetic and the cost for treatment is burdening our system at $245 million each year.
I know this sounds dismal it’s not. In part, 2 and 3 we will cover more about why to end your personal war on fat and how you can turn your health around regardless of illness or age. While nothing can reclaim lost health, you drive the bus and get to choose where you go from here on out.
Research: http://time.com/2863227/ending-the-war-on-fat/?pcd=hp-magmod June 12 2014
Images Courtesy: Fotolia and Microsoft Free for use images.