I can’t count how many times people have come up to me and told me a variation of the following: “I took your advice and I’m eating better! I had oatmeal for breakfast, a turkey bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on whole wheat, and I’m having skinless chicken breast with quinoa for dinner!” Oh… so much wrong here.
First of all, grains are not good for us. They are dense sources anti-nutrients. What is an anti-nutrient, you may be asking? Antinutrients are natural or synthetic compounds found in a variety of foods — especially grains, beans, legumes and nuts — that interfere with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They can even get in the way of the digestive enzymes, which are key for proper absorption.
Second, grains are full of carbs. Carbs is short for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. What makes vegetables and fruits better than grains when they both have carbs? Well, it comes down to a few factors. Grains are dense in carbs, and are easily digested. This means that as you are digesting the grains, large amounts of carbs are dumped into the bloodstream that need to be converted to energy. If the amount of energy being converted by the liver and pancreas to be used used by the body exceeds the amount of energy being used, the rest is stored. This is where fat comes from (NOT from eating fat). Coupled with the anti-nutrients, this makes grains especially bad. Fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, are typically high in fiber and forces the body to use more energy to break it down which results in fewer net calories and the lack of anti-nutrients means that everything you’re getting from fruit and vegetables is good for your body.
Third, our bodies do not get fat in the bloodstream from eating fat. What happens if you eat too much fat? You poop a lot. That’s because it goes right through you. Sure, some of it will get digested, but it doesn’t go from your intestines into your bloodstream and then straight to your waist. The process of digestion and metabolizing food is far more complex and to think that eating fat makes your blood cholesterol go up is laughably ignorant of biological processes.
Sadly, there are many in the health industry that includes doctors, nurses, and nutritionists who still aren’t up-to-date on the latest in nutritional science. Another problem is that accepting the fallacy of the low-fat/high-grain diet as a failure has been troublesome for many who have not known any other advice for diets. The American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and many others have been espousing the low-fat diet for years. It has only been in recent years that the World Health Organization has recognized the true culprit in the obesity epidemic (surprise; it’s sugar!) all while still recommending low-fat.
There are studies that suggest that high cholesterol markers in blood tests may be indicative of damaged vascular systems which means that the high cholesterol is there because the body is trying to repair vascular damage versus the high cholesterol causing vascular damage. A low-fat diet would firstly be of little impact on cutting cholesterol, and second, even if a high-fat diet meant more cholesterol in the blood, then it would actually be preferable to give the body more cholesterol to fix the vascular damage. What are our arteries and veins made of? Collagen, muscle, and other material that receive nutrients from the blood which includes cholesterol.
Why do people persist with the low-fat diet? Mostly, because they don’t know any better. Our media has done us no favors when they post things like, “Bacon is bad for you,” and “The dangerous new Paleo Diet…” Combined with the bad advice from the government and the aforementioned health associations as well as a lingering popular culture based around the diet industry and you get the environment we have today: full of lies, falsehoods, and a multi-billion dollar diet industry that doesn’t want to see their revenue sources dry up. It’s in their best interest to keep people trying to lose weight instead of actually losing weight.
I’ve lost 150 lbs and I’ve kept it off for nearly two years. I am a diet company’s worst nightmare: I lost all the weight by eating clean, whole, natural foods and without the aid or purchase of any diet pills, powders, patches, shakes, diet program memberships, or anything that would otherwise cause me to spend money. All I did was eat right and avoid sugar, beans, grains, and most dairy. It’s simple and effective which is why the diet industry doesn’t want anyone to know about it. But now you do. What will you do with this new-found knowledge?