Deliberate lies revealed—plus, tips on how to follow a “home-run diet”
As harvest season approaches, we need to start thinking more about how our food is grown and processed. That raises a fundamental question for people who know how important good food is for optimal health.
So, what are we really meant to eat?
It seems like a simple question. But for decades, we’ve been subjected to major mistakes, misunderstandings, and outright misrepresentations from the mainstream medical establishment about what exactly constitutes a healthy diet.
These faulty guidelines are all based on the tendency to look at the little pieces, rather than a whole entity, when it comes to modern medicine’s research and recommendations. It’s too “complicated” for them to examine a person’s entire diet, so they only look at the dietary factors they already have the tools to study—however crude and unreliable.
Consequently, they missed the forest for the trees. While the mainstream has been busy classifying individual foods and nutrients as “good” or “bad” for our health, they’ve ignored the fact that this simply isn’t how our bodies work.
We’re at our biological best when we eat a wide range of different foods
We’re naturally omnivorous—with the dentition, digestion, and metabolism to eat just about anything (try looking at an authentic Chinese menu sometime). This free-ranging diet is one of the key ways we’ve successfully adapted to living on this planet.
In fact, the most poorly nourished populations around the world consistently, and without exception, have the most restricted diets—missing entire categories and types of foods. These populations typically don’t choose their diets. Rather, their restricted or isolated environments choose for them.
So why would anyone fortunate enough to have a wide range of food choices want to intentionally cut out entire categories of food from their diets—when the most consistent lesson from human biology and nutrition is to NOT restrict whole foods and nutrients?
This was the type of question that I and some of my colleagues in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) diet and cancer research program wanted to research back in the mid-1980s.
Instead, the mainstream implemented the old drug model of looking at one nutrient or food at a time, rather than focusing on the full picture.
As a result, we ended up with myth after myth:
- The cholesterol myth—led to “banning” perfectly healthy foods like full-fat dairy, eggs, meat, and even certain kinds of seafood.
- The low-salt myth—emphasized the wrong dietary compound when it comes to heart disease.
- The sugar and carbs myth—contributed to the modern chronic disease epidemics of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes now plaguing this country, as people were told neither were harmful to their health.
We now know these myths were built on intentional lies, misrepresentations, and secrets that were deliberately hidden from the American public—including doctors and scientists.
Scientists are finally processing the facts about whole foods
People eat foods (in lots of different ways, and for lots of different reasons), not nutrients. And these foods make up a whole diet, or what some of my colleagues and I at the NIH call a “home-run diet.”
Today’s scientists are finally realizing that what we’re really meant to eat is a diet of natural, whole foods. Not a diet full of processed foods with added junk ingredients, like sugar. Or foods that are artificially altered from their natural state—like fat-free and low-fat dairy products, or breads and pastas made with refined grains.
The bottom line is that it’s the processing of our food that’s killing us.
It’s not the cholesterol, saturated fats, or sodium naturally present in whole foods like dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, or natural plant-based foods.
It’s the added sugar, carbs, salt, and “fake fats” in unnatural, processed foods (and especially packaged, processed “plant-based” foods).
Over the years, I’ve been reporting about studies showing the importance of including more healthy foods in your diet, rather than only cutting out unhealthy foods (after first understanding which are which—more on that in a moment).
Scientists are finally setting aside studies that single out selected foods and nutrients and instead are looking at the total diet—and the extent to which it includes or excludes processed “foods” of all kinds.
And, believe it or not, the NIH has been a recent leader in this…
New research shows processed foods lead to weight gain
We’re 40 years into the government’s multi-billion dollar research program on diet and health. So you’d think that when an NIH scientist set out to find a controlled clinical trial comparing how processed and unprocessed foods affect body weight, he’d discover plenty of research.
But sadly, he found nothing. Which isn’t too surprising considering the NIH’s fixation on micromanaged diets.
So the NIH scientist decided to conduct his own study on processed versus whole foods. He and his colleagues gathered 20 men and women of varying body mass indexes, who agreed to live in a group home for four weeks and eat only what was provided to them by the researchers.1
The study participants were divided into two groups:
- Group 1 ate a diet of natural, whole foods for two weeks, and then ate a highly-processed diet for two weeks.
- Group 2 ate a highly-processed diet for two weeks, and then ate a diet of natural, whole foods for two weeks.
Both the processed and unprocessed diets had the same caloric sources—carbs, fat, protein, sodium, fiber, and sugar. Each participant ate three meals a day, and could eat as much as they liked.
Here’s the most interesting finding: During the two weeks of the processed diet, participants ate an average of 580 more calories daily. Those extra calories came primarily from carbs and fats rather than protein. They also ate more quickly—which has a major effect on digestion and metabolism.
Participants gained around two pounds during just the two weeks they were on the processed diet. But on the two weeks they were on the whole foods diet, they lost two pounds.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for the healthiest foods
Researchers said they were surprised by the results, and (as always) explained that further research is needed. Which should mean further research into the benefits of whole versus processed foods…
But no. Amazingly, the researchers suggested that “ultra-processed” food could somehow be “reformulated” to prevent people from eating more and gaining weight!
Give me a break! The real message from this study—and from a recent French study that found that for every 10 percent increase in processed food intake there was a 14 percent higher risk of death2—is simple. Stop eating processed foods. Period.
While the NIH may still firmly be in the camp of “better living through chemistry,” the rest of us need to get off the fake food kick.
For a simple, real-life lesson on whole foods versus processed foods, go to your local grocery store…
- Whole foods will be on display around the outside perimeter. Notice the fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and seafood.
- Processed foods will be featured down all of the center aisles of the store. Notice all the cans and packages.
Which looks more appetizing? And which looks better for your health? (Read the labels!)
So when it comes to questioning what you should really be eating, stop worrying about categories of foods and nutrients. Instead, eat only whole, natural, and organic foods of all kinds—found in those outside perimeters, or at your local farmer’s market.
1“Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake.” Cell Metab. 2019 Jul 2;30(1):67-77.e3.
2“Association Between Ultraprocessed Food Consumption and Risk of Mortality Among Middle-aged Adults in France.” JAMA Intern Med 2019;179(4):490-498.