The killer ingredient that got a free pass for decades

As you make your grocery list, prepare your dishes, and sit down to a holiday meal this Thanksgiving, make sure to steer clear of the processed carbs and sugar.

You should know the government-industrial-medical complex largely gave sugars and carbs a free pass for decades. In fact, when I first went work as a research scientist in the new diet and cancer program at the National Cancer Institute in the mid-1980s, there was nothing in the official, encyclopedic report of the Food and Nutrition Board about the negative health effects of sugars.

As I said — it got a free pass.

Instead, the powers-that-be told us to cut dietary cholesterol and saturated fats, the chronic disease culprits. Most people who tried to follow that bad advice ended up substituting foods made with more sugars and carbs for whole foods like meat, shellfish, and butter. As you now know, that decades-long advice turned out to be all wrong, all along.

Amazingly, I still see experts continue to blame unhealthy diets and diseases on foods with fats.

From what I see, they still cling to decades-old observations that showed an association between the per capita consumption of fat and the rates of certain chronic diseases. Those old cross-national comparison studies only once suggested a possible hypotheses to test in further research using more specific, controlled studies.

Since then, hundreds of specific, controlled trials have been conducted. And none of them link adult fat intake with chronic diseases after controlling for other factors.

The pseudo-science behind singling out fat

A major problem with those old cross-national comparisons is that fat consumption is also associated with calorie consumption, protein consumption, education, economic status, physical activity levels, as well as per capita telephones, televisions, and automobiles, etc. So, such a comparison doesn’t really tell us anything specific by itself.

Nevertheless, even now that we have hundreds of specific studies showing that dietary cholesterol and saturated fats are safe, some experts still cling to these outdated and disproven comparisons to try to point the finger at dietary fats. Some even use this old approach to validate strict vegetarian diets that cut out healthy foods like butter, eggs, fish, and meat.

Big businesses play a part too. Companies like the Kellogg Company, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi all spend tremendous amounts of money to convince you to keep consuming sugar.

The serial killers in your supermarket

Today, Kellogg’s is a far cry from the health company founded by naturopath John Harvey Kellogg more than 100 years ago. Last year, it spent $32 million advertising “Pop Tarts,” which are filled with refined sugar like most of their other breakfast products.

For Thanksgiving, Kellogg’s even made a pumpkin pie Pop Tart, made with “real” cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. They make it sound as if these pumpkin “pop tarts” came straight from Grandma’s oven. But the fact is, the reason they use “real” spices is that nobody has come up with “fake” cinnamon, clove or nutmeg. These pseudo-nutritional claims take us “over the river and through the woods” — but not to grandma’s house. Instead they lead us straight to Type II diabetes and other chronic health problems.

Coca-Cola is another food market serial killer. It spent more than $25 billion dollars last year advertising Coca-Cola. And Christmas is just around the corner, so we will soon see a lot more of their thirsty Santas and polar bears drinking cokes. Pepsi spent $150 million advertising its radiator fluid, radioactively colored Gatorade. In my book (literally), it’s just sugar water for people who do sports.

Of course, lately the soft drink industry has attempted to convince you exercising more can counter the effects of sugar. But as I told you in May, research shows no feasible amount of exercise can counteract the unhealthy effects of sugar on obesity and chronic disease.

And if you want stay hydrated, you have better options than “sports drinks”…

How to stay hydrated and healthy this holiday season

Between 2002 and 2008, I worked with college and professional athletes to test out truly healthy hydration. We observed fantastic results with an ingredient from the South African desert, red bush (rooibos) that I call aspal.

The college and pro athletes with whom I worked used it to get remarkable results on the football field and the baseball diamond. But they weren’t allowed to say anything about it. We came to understand Gatorade had a $50 million contract with the NFL that prohibited anyone from talking about any other product.

Now you can understand why the players pour the Gatorade over each other’s heads — instead of actually having to drink it. (Subscribers to my Insiders’ Cures newsletter can learn more about aspal in my special report called “Miracle at Red Bush.” If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.)

This holiday season, and all year round, cover half your plate with fruits and vegetables. You can eat pretty much eat “all you want” of them.

But sadly, more than 50 percent of U.S. farmland now goes to growing corn and soybeans, which you can pretty much guarantee come from genetically modified (GM) seeds. So if want to serve corn or edamame this Thanksgiving, make sure it’s organic.

One last piece of advice: When you go into a supermarket, avoid the center aisles. Those inside aisles contain processed foods filled with carbs and sugar. As I used to hear those football coaches and quarterbacks tell their players, “go to the outside.”

The three outer edges of the supermarket are where you will find the real foods. So go the extra distance. It will help you stay healthy this Thanksgiving and all-year round.