Not Only At The 4H Fair But Everywhere

Editor's Note: This is Dr. Fuhrman's follow up to this post: The 4H Pledge. This Week is Our County's 4H fair.

America is certainly beautiful and one of the best places in the world to live, but our population of proud Americans has let their health deteriorate. We are not living up to our heritage as leaders in technology, in health, in fitness, and in doing what is right for humanity. The image of overfed, fat and sickly Americans has become a common joke the world over.

The number of obese Americans is higher than the number of those who smoke, use illegal drugs, or suffer from other physical ailments. A poor diet and even being moderately overweight is a major risk factor associated with highly prevalent, serious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and the diet-style that creates these diseases fuels out-of-control medical costs.

In the 20th century, the average American diet shifted from one based on fresh, minimally processed vegetable foods to one based on animal products and highly refined, processed foods. As a result, Americans now consume far more calories from fat, cholesterol, refined sugar, animal protein, sodium, white flour, and far less fiber and plant-derived nutrients. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer have skyrocketed. Our diet is killing us and resulting in a health care crisis no economy can afford.

The saddest part is the needless medical tragedies that cause so much unnecessary suffering, with deaths and serious chronic diseases arising out of nutritional ignorance that never had to occur in the first place. How do we measure the pain, suffering, and emotional distress thrust upon individuals and families as a result of this staggering epidemic of broken hearts?

Wrong information begets bad results and good information begets good results. Consider these three critical points.

  • Americans have adopted a distorted viewpoint that doctors and drugs are the answer to all their health problems.
  • Unhealthy food is addicting
  • Low micro-nutrient intake leads to overeating

These three simple facts helped create the problem that is killing most Americans, and solving these simple truths is the solution to what ails America.

Very few people take advantage of modern nutritional science that can bless us with the potential to live longer and in greater health than ever before in human history. Many rally against the criticism of their junk food (junkatarian) lifestyle and food addictions. We can see this everywhere and even in the comments posted here. They make it clear how powerful food addictions are, and the desire of many to want to squelch this much needed message and purpose.

We have a mission to change Americans and it will not be silenced.

Would We be Healthier Without Taste Buds...

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Bloggy McBloggenstein of Stop Being So Fat! and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

The obese are now the majority in America. Sure, there are no shortage of reasons behind this, but let’s boil it down into its simplest terms. In an increasingly busy, modern, convenience filled, processed food-filled environment, the majority of people are seeking out what is easy, cheap, and above all PLEASURABLE over what is healthy.

Evolutionarily speaking, it’s doubtful one could argue that we developed taste buds simply for pleasure. The real reason is because our ancient ancestors needed a mechanism that told them whether or not the substance they were putting in their mouth was good or bad for them. Little absorption happens in the mouth, so when the tongue sends a message to the brain that something tastes “bad” we spit it out before swallowing it. Harmful or poisonous foods often have a bitter or sour taste, and nutrient rich foods, particularly nutrient-rich often have a sweet or savory taste.

Today, we don’t need our taste buds to save our lives. There’s no danger of scavenging through a wild grocery store and accidentally eating something poisonous. We’re too educated to let that happen. No one is going to pick up a bottle of bleach and give it a swig to find out if it’s food or not.

It’s probably to our detriment that today, when most food products are made in factories, that our taste buds still rule our diet choices. We still seek out the foods that are most fulfilling to our energy needs, even if those needs are met. AND THEN SOME! Food companies win us over by putting MORE of what tastes good into our food, while maintaining a relative level of vitamins in production is often an afterthought.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the next step in our evolution made it so that we could taste if something were high in micronutrients relative to energy? Just like we can taste the difference between a regular and a fat free version of something, we would be able to tell if a food was high in vitamins and minerals, and actually prefer it over a food that has been stripped of its vitamins.
We know what is healthy.

Really, as much as people seem confused over all of the conflicting information out there regarding healthy eating, I doubt you could find me a person that would point to the super-sized value meal instead of the basket of fruits and veggies when asked which is healthier. When we’re honest, the only real reason we act confused about what is bad for us is when we want to continue to eat what tastes good, despite available information.

Obviously we can’t turn off our taste buds, and if we could, who would want to? Food is one of the major things that drives and shapes various cultures because the preparation and eating of food is often very social and can be highly pleasurable. Life would seem pretty grim if we suddenly couldn’t taste. Taste buds are a luxury now. Let’s not let that luxury be our downfall.

Image credit: TimmyGUNZ

Study Compares Veggie Diets vs. Low-Carb --UPDATE--

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Steven Acocella, MS, DC, DACBN and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

At the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association researchers evaluated the short to medium term weight loss results of popular diets. Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity grouped the most popular diets into categories based upon the prescribed ratios of energy for each macronutrient. If you remember from Nutrition 101, caloric energy comes from only 3 sources, fat, carbohydrate and protein. For example, diets such as The South Beach Diet and The Atkins Diet derive 50% or more calories from fat while Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live derives the majority of energy from natural, unrefined carbohydrate.

The study looked at food intake over a 2 year period and included several hundred participants who followed the various diet styles compliantly. They then analyzed the relationship between a reduction of Body Mass Index (BMI), the diet style and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).

The Healthy Eating Index scores were highest for the vegetarian or near vegetarian diet style and lowest for the low carbohydrate, high fat diets. Conversely, energy intake was highest for the Low Carbohydrate group, often exceeding the average accepted recommendations of 2000 Kcal/day or men and 1500 Kcal/day for women. This is strange considering these were weight loss eating plans that were followed intently.

The weight loss results were no surprise. The healthiest body mass was seen in the vegetarian group. A direct, proportional relationship was seen with a rise in the percentage of calories derived from fat and BMI. As the percentage of fat calories increased so did those subject’s BMI. Total calories were also directly related to the percentage of dietary fat with the average daily energy intake for the vegetarian or nearly vegetarian group consuming 1450 Kcal/day and the high fat diet group consuming 2200 Kcal/day. Researchers noted the relationship between the Healthy Eating Index verses calorie and fat percentages were inversely related.

Putting all this together, this important study using an excellent group of subjects has made the following observations: diets low in fat have the highest Healthy Eating Index scores and are generally the lowest in total calories. Those subjects on these diets enjoyed the most favorable BMI measurements and other biomarkers of health. Conversely, the high fat, low carbohydrate diet styles have the lowest Healthy Eating Index scores and those that consumed this diet style had poor BMI measurements and other indicators of health.

It is worth mentioning that the authors of this study discuss a review of the literature suggests that weight loss is independent of dietary composition and is solely a result of total calories consumed. They suggest that their findings, although supportive of this confers that successful, healthy weight loss over time is a function of quality as well as quantity.

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some thoughts on Steven’s post:

My health equation, Health = Nutrition / Calories is almost entirely ignored by the scientific community. If the micronutrient density index of a particular diet was published along with the other characteristics researchers would place less emphasis on the relative macronutrient composition and more on the micronutrient composition. Nevertheless, the long-term health potential of a given diet is based so much more on its micronutrient profile rather than its macronutrient profile.

Image credit: altopower