The government recently retracted many of its misguided dietary recommendations. It finally admitted that eggs, meat, salt, and saturated fats don’t cause chronic diseases. As I’ve warned for 30 years, the real disease-causing dietary culprits are sugars, carbs and grains.
But an entire generation of nutritional experts made a living by parroting the government’s misguidance about diet, despite its obvious failures. They never did any real thinking of their own. So now–although the government finally admitted its errors–some persistent nutritionists won’t go down without a fight. In fact, in a recent Washington Post article, one nutritionist insisted white bread doesn’t deserve its bad rap.
The Washington Post article also said it’s only “speculation” that our bodies digest and metabolize sugar and processed carbs–such as white flour and rice–differently than other nutrients.
I call that modern science.
The problem is, these “expert” nutritionists don’t know the latest science, if they know any real science at all. They’re like living, breathing song lyrics: “Don’t know much about history… don’t know much biology.”
You see, our bodies just aren’t equipped to handle carbs and sugar. In fact, grains haven’t been a part of the human diet for very long in terms of biological history. The first human civilizations began eating grains after they developed irrigation agriculture about 10,000 years ago. But archaeologists found declines in skeletal structure and markers of health among these ancient populations as they began to shift from hunter-gatherer subsistence to reliance on agricultural grains.
Sucrose–also known as table sugar–only made it onto tables a few centuries ago. The sugar cane plant originated in tropical New Guinea. And it only reached the rest of the world after the Spanish explorations of the 1500s. Soon after, this labor-intensive crop (along with the human slave trade) spread to the Americas, tropical Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, many nutritionists don’t seem to distinguish between the different types of sugar.
First off, fructose is the natural sugar found in fruit. And you shouldn’t worry about consuming it. This sugar comes naturally embedded in food biomatrix, which slows down digestion and metabolism. (Fat also slows down digestion and metabolism, which is generally a good thing for health.)
But don’t ever consume high-fructose corn syrup, if you can help it. It contains unhealthy glucose (another dangerous form of sugar) with very little fructose added artificially. Sucrose and glucose cause health problems because they rapidly enter the blood stream, causing blood sugar and insulin to spike.
In recent years, a lot of nutritionists have started talking about “glycemic index” (GI). A food’s GI is determined based on what happens when you eat that food by itself, in isolation from other foods. This concept sells a lot of diet books. But as a dietary tool, it doesn’t make much sense. People don’t eat one food at a time. They eat meals.
Monsieur Luc Tappy of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (where they know a little something about preparing menus and meals), says we don’t have real evidence to support the importance of the glycemic index.
The bottom line?
Forget all the nonsense about the latest food pyramid, the glycemic index, and the government’s now-defunct dietary guidelines. You may still read about their “benefits” in some mainstream news article written by a misinformed writer. But now you know the facts.
- “Bread’s Bad Rap” Washington Post, (www.washingtonpost.com) 2/17/2015