Monday, July 21, 2014

Experts recommend dietary plans for humans based on, what?

That is a difficult question to answer.  Dietary guidelines have been relatively new to the food scene here in America.  In 1977 the very first dietary guide came out from the Department of Agriculture as part of the efforts of one Senator George McGovern and the Senate subcommittee on Nutrition and Human Needs.  The guide (USDA First Guide) was pretty general and basically advised Americans to eat more complex carbohydrates and less sugar.  As well as a lot less saturated fat.  This was afterall the age where one scientist using incredibly poor methodology and dismissing data that didn't agree with his conclusions wrote a report that stated saturated fat was bad for humans.  The guy was Ancel Keys, developer of the K-ration, and the guy who made the transfat and margarine industry grow like crazy, and ultimately, and arguably, the cause of hundreds of thousands of premature deaths due to consumption of the stuff.  Anyway, right after that first guide came out, a grocery store clerk in Norway came up with the concept of the food pyramid, and it attracted a lot of attention, and of course, America had to come up with their own as well. 

Luise Light of the USDA was one of the developers of the original food pyramid that actually took quite a few years to develop.  Not that it took that long for the scientists to create, it took nearly three years for the agency heads to agree to changes that were demanded by the food manufacturing industries.  This is what she had to say about the ordeal, 
When our version of the Food Guide came back to us revised, we were shocked to find that it was vastly different from the one we had developed. As I later discovered, the wholesale changes made to the guide by the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture were calculated to win the acceptance of the food industry. For instance, the Ag Secretary’s office altered wording to emphasize processed foods over fresh and whole foods, to downplay lean meats and low-fat dairy choices because the meat and milk lobbies believed it’d hurt sales of full-fat products; it also hugely increased the servings of wheat and other grains to make the wheat growers happy. The meat lobby got the final word on the color of the saturated fat/cholesterol guideline which was changed from red to purple because meat producers worried that using red to signify “bad” fat would be linked to red meat in consumers’ minds.
Where we, the USDA nutritionists, called for a base of 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, it was replaced with a paltry 2-3 servings (changed to 5-7 servings a couple of years later because an anti-cancer campaign by another government agency, the National Cancer Institute, forced the USDA to adopt the higher standard).
Our recommendation of 3-4 daily servings of whole-grain breads and cereals was changed to a whopping 6-11 servings forming the base of the Food Pyramid as a concession to the processed wheat and corn industries. Moreover, my nutritionist group had placed baked goods made with white flour — including crackers, sweets and other low-nutrient foods laden with sugars and fats — at the peak of the pyramid, recommending that they be eaten sparingly. To our alarm, in the “revised” Food Guide, they were now made part of the Pyramid’s base. And, in yet one more assault on dietary logic, changes were made to the wording of the dietary guidelines from “eat less” to “avoid too much,” giving a nod to the processed-food industry interests by not limiting highly profitable “fun foods” (junk foods by any other name) that might affect the bottom line of food companies.
Wait a minute, government agencies doing things at the behest of industry?  Wow, that's a shock.  I don't think that I have ever written about any such phenomena before.  (LOL)  Granted that these are just guidelines and that the reality is that we as Americans are free to follow them or not as we personally see fit to do.  Welllll, actually, those guidelines are used to determine what needs to be fed to school children in breakfast and lunch programs throughout the country.  Those programs then determine that a box of Lucky Charms and skim milk are high quality food products and exceptional choices for kid's growing minds and bodies.   They have also determined that whole grain foods only need to be 51% whole, and the rest can be plain processed white flour, devoid of any nutrition whatsoever.  Just like the sugar and HFCS that are allowed, and in reality, promoted to be perfect for providing high energy for growing children.  They have also decreed that ten grapes is a serving of fruit, as is a half cup of apple juice.  Chocolate milk is also perfectly fine to give to kids.  Sugar, HFCS, fruit fructose juice with no fiber and processed so much as to be
devoid of vitamins, and cereals that are almost half starch and up to 30% sugar, these are fed to American children on school days at the recommendation of our government. Is it any wonder we are a nation of obese people.  We have a government that paves the golden street toward obesity with guidelines that promote it, and rules that line the pockets of all involved with cash. 

So we know that government guidelines are set by industry standards and desires.  There are a lot of other experts out there promoting dietary plans for us to follow. and they all claim that their particular plan is designed using "Scientific Principles of Nutritive Science".  I just haven't figured out where they get their science from.  It isn't logical.

One of the big ones is Dr. Mercola. (Mercola Food Pyramid) Here is his concept of a healthy scientifically sound diet.  I like ol' doc Mercola, he has a lot of clout, a lot of money and he does a lot of good in the REAL food industry.  But his idea of a healthy diet where he wants us to eat from 50 to 85 percent of our caloric intake to be fats is pretty far out there.  It is as he states in his articles, the way to get to a ketogenic diet and that is what humans need and evolved with.  It is of course, total bullcrap.  Dr. Mercola insists that we eat lots of good fats like avocados, pastured eggs, olive oil, organic butter and raw nuts.  I commend the man for insisting that we, everyone of us get as far away from modern foods as possible and go organic when possible.  Man did not evolve eating any of the crap that is sold to us as food today.  He also tells us that good organic pasture raised meats are an important part of his scientific diet.  And of course, he sells his supplements to help you get what his diet, and probably your diet, doesn't provide.  And that's why he has clout and is making tons of money.  Not a bad thing, but for me, I don't believe that anyone should take his concept of a scientifically based diet as gospel.  I don't see the science behind it.

Then we have the Paleo people and this is one of their pyramids designed specifically for the Paleo diet.

 Seems to be a lot like the Mercola pyramid, and it does in fact stress quality of the foods with organic and pasture raised meats.  But again, the absence of grains in the diet denies the actual way in which humans evolved.  I've written about that very thing here on this blog, extensively.  There are numerous articles here about it, grains are not bad, 80 percent of the world population lives on a grain based diet and we know, WE KNOW, that humans evolved eating various grains from at least 115 thousand years ago.  There is actual archaeological proof of Paleo ruins with grains and grass seeds in primitive excavations dating that far back.  

It's simple, the human body evolved with processes to store excess fats and carbohydrates.  From the main sources of carbs available at that time, grains.  And yes, storage of fats from nuts and high fat fruits. There is no system in the human body to store excess protein.  It doesn't exist.  And that is probably because early man did not start out as hunters, they were gatherers and somewhere down the road figured out how to hunt and that was a supplement to their vegetarian based diets.  And of course, a lot of that scavenging and gathering that took place also allowed for a large part of the diet to include lots of fermented foods.  I'm a big proponent of eating fermented foods, we have eaten them for hundreds of thousands of years, it is a part of of our evolution.  What isn't a part of our diet, is modern food.  

It's scary to think what this country is becoming.  This country is ruled by a government that treats corporations as human beings and grants them rights that are far greater in scope than those afforded the actual citizens. You are what you eat, don't let the government, or experts trying to sell you anything, do your thinking for you. 

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