Your Thoughts About Food are Probably Wrong!
Some of my friends across the pond certainly have a clue as to how to end the obesity epidemic. Author Zoe Harcombe has launched the latest salvo with her new book, The Obesity Epidemic: What Caused It? How Can We Stop It? Much like Gary Taubes, she tackles many of the myths that so many regard as fact. For example, she weighs in on the rise of the obesity epidemic itself. Most people older than 40 recognize that when they were children, there might be one fat kid in their class, if that. And in the UK, “until the Seventies, obesity levels never went above 2 percent of the population. Yet by the turn of the millennium, obesity levels were 25 percent.”
I must speak to someone every other day who will claim that as children, they were just more active than children today, which is very true. However, we also remember that when we were active, it wasn’t because we set out to be. We were just active because that’s who we were. And by the same token, when we got older, we became inactive. The better question is why? Exercise and activity is a natural characteristic of a healthy body. It does not follow that the sick body becomes healthy by being more active. In fact, one would rationally expect the opposite to occur and indeed, that is what has happened. We hit the couch because we were sick, not because we just chose not to. We got up to run and play because we felt like it. We certainly did not count our steps or figure the calories in a stickball game. We played because we were bored. And guess what? If we would have stayed inside back then, we still would have been lean. Why? Because we ate healthier than we do today.
The saddest part is that those who are lean believe it is because of their ability to push back and control their food intake, which only contributes to the misunderstanding. Seriously, do you really think you’re that much superior to others in that you can control your calories down to the detail? In reality, you’re unlucky because sugar will affect you in some other way that is far more insidious than an expanded waistline. Those who get the notice in their waste are at an advantage because they get an internal pre-screening without having to produce a co-pay or wait in line at the doctor’s office. They know something is wrong — or at least they should.
As Ms. Harcombe relates, “We’ve been told that carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread and potatoes should form the bulk of what we eat. The trouble with this is that as carbs are digested, they are broken down into glucose. This process makes your body produce insulin, in order to deal with the extra glucose. One of insulin’s main roles in the body is fat storage, so whenever you eat carbs, you are switching on your body’s fat-storing mechanism. Whatever carbs you don’t use up as energy will be quickly stored away in the body as fat.”
The sea change occurred once we began to replace meat and fat with more and more carbohydrates and convenience foods loaded with sugar. Even the so-called “whole grains” are no more healthier than their more processed counterparts. All grains must be processed in order to make them edible. If they were truly “whole grain” you couldn’t eat them. Don’t be fooled. The more processed the item, the higher it’s glycemic load on your body.
How about calories? “If only it were that simple,” says Harcombe. “People think that if they cut out 500 calories a day, they will lose 1lb a week. They might at first, but then the body will recognise that it is in a state of starvation and turn down its systems to conserve energy. So you may be putting fewer calories in, but at the same time you will be using up fewer calories to get through the day. Losing weight is more a question of fat storage and fat utilisation. You need the body to move into a fat-burning mode and, to do that, you need to cut down your consumption not of calories, but of carbohydrates.”
Going about with the constant clamor of hunger going on in your body is no way to live. Some of those cravings are hunger but the majority are simply cravings caused by your unstable blood sugar.Share on Twitter
In: Diet, Disease, Exercise, Insulin, Obesity, Sugar