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Healthy Food Pyramid Is Making You Fat

The Food Guide Pyramid has come under some harsh criticism in recent years by many scientists, nutritionists and medical researchers. They say it is outdated, gives misinformation, and at worst, can lead to obesity and health problems. How can this be? What is so wrong with this once highly-acclaimed food pyramid?

According to Harvard scientist Dr. Walter Willett, the food pyramid is not up-to-date with current nutritional research. He states the food pyramid is misleading us and adding to the growing obesity epidemic.

Dr Willett’s first observation was that the food pyramid suggests how to plan a healthy diet, but does not mention four other key parts of maintaining a healthy body:

  • the importance of not gaining weight,
  • the necessity of daily exercise,
  • the potential health benefits of a daily alcoholic drink, and
  • what you can gain by taking a daily multivitamin.

All Fats are Bad

Only certain fats are bad for you (trans and saturated fats), while others (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) provide many benefits to your heart. Some of these good fats are found in nuts, fish, olive oil and wholegrains.

You need to eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice and cereal

FALSE

The food pyramid recommends six to eleven servings of carbohydrates per day, which is way too much! The pyramid does not differentiate between simple carbohydrates (sugars) and complex carbohydrates (starches). Dr. Willett’s research says that the majority of a person’s carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains (complex carbs), which will make you feel fuller for longer – due to their high fibre content.

Stay away from refined grains, white rice, bread, pasta and potatoes. Instead choose brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats.

Protein is not that important, and can come from any meat

Protein is a key component of a healthy diet, as it is the building block for muscle. It’s just that some proteins are better for you than others. For example red meats (steak) may have a good amount of protein, but they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which is bad for your heart!</span>

Choose fish, chicken, turkey and pork, as they are lower in saturated fat and have just as much protein. Beans and nuts are great sources of protein as well.

Dairy products are essential

Dr. Willett says that despite the TV and newspaper commercials advertising the need for dairy products to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, you can get your calcium from other sources without the calories. Spinach, broccoli, tofu and oranges have calcium. As stated before, you may be best to take a multivitamin to get all the nutrients and vitamins that you need as the most cost effective strategy.

Eat your potatoes

Potatoes are starches, not vegetables.

A baked potato increases blood sugar levels and insulin faster and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar

So kids, print out the following food pyramid, take it to school and teach your teacher something!

Eat well, be strong and live long.

Fat Baby – Your Fault

If you have a fat kid, it is your fault. Research has shown that you can start the damage while the child is still in the womb!

Before I explain why, understand this:

you cannot lose fat cells, you can only empty them of fat. Think of fat cells as tiny balloons that fill with fat. So a fat cell is a fat holding cell. Some people have fat cells that are empty, others have fat cells that are full. Very full.

Your fat cells are distributed over your body primarily depending on your gender. That is why a woman stores fat in her butt and thighs, while men store fat in their belly and lower back.

Traditionally, women need enough food (stored as hip fat) to last full term in a pregnancy. Men need enough food (stored as belly fat) to run all day chasing buffalo.

The number of fat cells in the human body are determined in 3 stages of life. The third trimester of pregnancy, the first year of birth, and adolescence. Imagine each of these phases of life as audit time in the body. “Have I got enough fat cells?” being the important question here.

This means that in each of these stages, if your baby is malnourished i.e. you skip meals (naughty, naughty!) or if it (or you) is overfed in each meal, the baby’s body will respond by creating more storage space.

Worst is if you miss meals AND eat big meals!

Solution 1:

Eat regular sized meals, and space them evenly throughout the day.  Do not allow yourself to get hungry, and do not let yourself eat to being too full.  Drinking more water is your friend.  Did you know that quite often, when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. Drink a big glass of water and see if the hunger goes away.

Solution 2:

Just because you (or your children) have a lot of storage space (fat cells), doesn’t mean that they need to be filled.  All you need is enough fat to keep you alive for one or two missed meals (in an emergency!). About the size of a small pack of sandwiches is enough to keep you alive for a week of chasing buffalo, so ask yourself: “why are you storing a whole buffet?”

Why You Should Hate The Health Department

A Guest Post...

This post was written by a healthcare boss who is on a one doctor crusade to revolutionise obesity treatment in the world.  Frustrated with too much red tape, she has decided to air the health systems dirty laundry here, in the hopes that we can collectively change the world.

This is her first post...​

So here we go. Another meeting.

We've decided to get out of the office and meet at a coffee shop to make this feel less like work, relax a little and connect as people.

I wanted to suggest we could go for a walk (and talk about the items we need to cover at the meeting) but I know better. Anything that requires physical effort gets shot down in flames, then kicked in the guts and poked in the eye for good measure.

i survived another meeting email

I even thought of a clever word: "lets go on a moving meeting!"...

I have a lot of ideas like this stacked in the corner of my brain because I've tried before; huge fails. Imagine if I thought waaaaay out of the square and held the meetings at an indoor rock climbing place or had a meeting/laser tag game. People's heads would explode. But I digress...


The coffee shop.

From the moment we entered the shop the talk turned from work to the cake display.

While we waited at our table for the coffee, my coworker (a clinical psychologist who treats obesity, yet is herself obese) announced excitedly that she had started a diet that day.  Admitting sheepishly that she has packed on the weight and it was time for change.

Her excitement for her new path towards a lifestyle of healthy choices lasted all of thirty seconds. In the same breath she exclaimed "I'm on a diet" she also said "What a stupid day to start!" and gestured at the cakes.

cake-display

Surely those weren't cracks emerging in her willpower already....?

She asked everyone what they do to keep fit, stay healthy and lose some weight. We covered a range of activities (gym, swimming, walking, cycling). She managed to come up with an excuse why none of them would suit her (too hot, too cold, too wet, too much traffic, too boring, too indoors, too outdoors, too time consuming).

This whole situation painfully paralleled a session I would have with an unmotivated patient, the type of patient she too would work with! Surely she could hear the words come out of her mouth and think; hmm...this seems awfully familiar.

How on earth does someone with such low motivation motivate someone else? It this the absolute best example of the blind leading the blind?

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While we were all listening to her proclamation, the coffees arrived.

Neatly placed on everyone's saucer was a little butter cookie. My tip (from my decade of study and another climbing the grease laden rungs of government healthcare), is to put the cookie under a napkin, where you can't see it.  It's a habit of mine created years ago, and reinforced by thousands of meetings.

fat doctors

Lubricated by caffeine, the conversation flowed, work was getting done, problems were being solved. 

Less than 5 minutes later, mid sentence, my dieting coworker shrugged, let out a short painful sigh and popped her cookie straight into her mouth.

"Its only one," she said to nobody in particular.  

The conversation continued as she systematically worked her way around everyone else's saucer and ate about four more cookies. Her excuse?

"Oh they're only little!"

A senior clinical pshychologist, who spent over two decades talking obese patients into losing weight, lasted only six hours on her "diet".  Watching her dig like a truffle pig through my napkin, I resisted the urge to slap her hand.

Did I say hand?  I meant face.​

After watching her struggle with the concept of activity and then the irresistible cookies, it made me wonder what she ate for breakfast on the first day of her diet...I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say a green smoothie but I have a feeling it might have been closer to Macca's pancakes on the way to work.

Back at the Hospital (Obese HQ)


When I got back to my office, I opened my emails and saw the stroke clinic had just celebrate their birthday... with cake. I feel like this obsession with crap food is everywhere! You'd think a health care centre or hospital would be safe-houses where junk food couldn't infiltrate.  Or that people here would know better.  

obese healthycare workers obama facepalm

But that's just the thing... We are the ones who DO know better... but its still not enough.

The research on health workers and expanding waist lines is old news. Its a common "joke" in our work place that nurses smoke (no one jokes that the majority are also overweight, that would be politically incorrect).

They've blamed it on night shift, long hours, poor food choices at the cafeteria and a range of other lame excuses.  Seems like a weak argument but its stuck.

So its now accepted. Its just a fact that those assisting others with their health (not just nurses, but doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc) will probably be fat. They'll sit there, barely fitting into the chair and advise the patient on their health care needs, sometimes the advice is to lose weight or consider a better approach to their diet.


I wonder what the patients think? How can they take that advice seriously?  Its like going to a hairdresser with a bad hair cut.

I've seen it go the other way too. I once sat in a room with a patient diagnosed with anorexia and watched the look of terror wash over her while several fat professionals told her to eat more. To be honest, I secretly sided with this patient as I would've dismissed their advice too... Eat more and look like you? No thanks.

Imagine if those of us in the health care industry had to pass fitness tests like the police or the military?  The majority of the workforce would be gone. You would see tumble-weeds roll past the sphygmomanometer and the three staff members that made the cut.



What do you think?​