Before talking about obesity and diabetes, and the actual factors responsible for it, let me show you some data because believing in data is far better than believing in common sense.
Look at this graph showing an increased number of calorie intake over the last 25 years.
This is from research done by Dr Robert H.Lustig, MD. He is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.
Over the last 25 years, there is a rise of 187 Kcal per day in men and 335 Kcal per day in women. In teen boys, there is a rise of 275 Kcal per day. We are all eating much more than we used to before. Consumption is definitely up.
Now, look at this:
Are we eating fat more? Not really. In fact, fat is about the same. It has just increased by 5 g or 45 cal in teen boys.
In the US, people are told by the USDA to reduce their consumption of total fat and saturated fat from 40 to 30% and they have done it.
Look at the secular trends in specific food intake showing the number of fats and if you take a look at what’s circled, you will notice that that’s all the fats.
But, look at the impact of this on the rate of obesity:
The rate of obesity increased drastically.
So, What Are We Eating More If It’s Not Fat?
It’s Carbohydrates or you can say it's mainly Sugar!
In the last 50 years, we have gone from a society that basically cooked at home, prepared his own food to now a society that doesn’t even know how to cook. We have lost an important, seminal, and integral component of our lifestyle in the process of 2 parent working families and also the money that has gone out of the window in terms of processed foods and in terms of healthcare.
The processed food industry has certainly advanced and evolved over the past 50 years to provide us with all these foods which we are now consuming.
So, what’s wrong with processed foods?
Processed foods have not enough:
Fiber – because it has to be removed to freeze them.
Every macro-nutrient in processed foods is pre-frozen. The only thing which is not pre-frozen is the spices. Rest everything comes from a freezer. When you freeze fiber, you get mush. The ice crystals destroy the cell wall of the food and allow the water to rush in. The food industry knows this, so it squeezes it and freeze it and it lasts forever. This is the journey of food becoming a commodity.
Omega-3 fatty acids – because omega-3 is found in wild fish not farmed fish as the fish doesn’t make omega-3. What makes omega-3 is the algae. If you are consuming a farmed fish which is a processed food, you are not getting Omega-3 fatty acids.
Micro-nutrients- Micro-nutrients travel with the fiber. So, when fiber is removed, micro-nutrients are also gone. Most of the processed foods are deficient in micro-nutrients.
Processed foods have too much:
Trans-fat- Trans-fat is bad and is considered a consumable poison. So much so that the FDA after 25 years of research on November 7th, 2013 agreed that Trans-fats are not generally recognized as safe so, they will be disappearing from the food supply. It took them 25 years to come to this conclusion.
Branched-chain amino acids (leucin, isoleucine, valine)-These are 3 amino acids which you have to eat as you can’t make them on your own. The levels of these in your blood co-relate with metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular diseases, non-communicable diseases, or chronic diseases. Their levels are higher in corn-fed foods which of course are processed non-veg foods like corn-fed chicken, corn-fed beef, and corn-fed fish.
Omega 6 fatty acids (plant oils, polyunsaturates) – Humans need omega 3 and omega 6 both but you need them in the right ratio which is 1:1. Omega 6 is what you find in soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, meat etc. Right now, we have omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of about 25:1.
Salt –We are triple over our salt limit so, it’s a good thing to reduce salt.
Refined Sugar (Carbohydrate)- The food industry uses refined sugar like you use salt. They hype up virtually every food to make it more palatable and they do it with sugar. Because there are five taste buds on your tongue and sugar hides salty, sour, umami, and bitter.
The scientific name of sugar is Sucrose and it is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose is derived by processing sugar canes, sugar beets, and maize.
Everybody knows that Glucose is the energy of life. Every cell on the planet burns glucose for energy. But, do you know that Glucose is so important that if you don’t consume it, your body is capable enough to make it? God is just perfect.
Yes, Glucose is a nutrient for sure, but it is not an essential nutrient. Because your body makes it on its own.
What is the Need of Fructose Then?
The reality is Fructose is not required at all. It’s completely vestigial. It is an energy source, but it provides no nutrition. Because there is no biochemical reaction that requires it inside our body.
Alcohol is also an energy source. But it is not nutrition.
Sugar is the same thing. Because fructose is metabolized exactly like alcohol. In fact, sugar is the alcohol of the child. And, that’s why children today are getting the diseases of alcohol like Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver diseases without drinking alcohol. Because they have just substituted one addictive substance for another. That’s why the food industry puts it in all processed foods. They know how to make people addicted to their food products. We become addicted to sugar as soon as we are born. Because we got these pacifiers. The liquid inside them is a sugar solution.
According to the Chief Medical Officer of Amsterdam, Paul van der Velpen, Sugar is both the most addictive and the most dangerous drug of our times.
Of the 600,000 food items that you can find the grocery store today, 74% of them have added sugar (sucrose, HFCS). This shows that sugar is the marker for processed foods more than salt is.
Half of the sugar is in soft drinks. This is what makes soft drinks so addicted. Look at the rise in the consumption of soft drinks and packaged juices:
It also means that half of the sugar is not in soft drinks. Another half is in those foods which you didn’t even know that they have sugar in them like burger buns, salad dressings, barbeque sauce, tomato ketchup, breakfast cereal, hamburger meat, energy drinks, bread, pasta, pizza, peanut butter, and the list goes on.
What’s wrong with sugar?
Sugar drives fat accumulation. When you put fat in your liver, then your pancreas has to make more insulin. This drives insulin resistance and that drives increased pancreatic insulin release which will then drive chronic metabolic diseases like diabetes. It definitely increases your subcutaneous fat and that’s one of the reasons we have gotten fatter.
As per the International Diabetes Federation statistics database, only sugar is responsible for the increased diabetes nothing else. Nothing else even came close. For every 150 calories which any country ate, Diabetes prevalence went up by 0.1%. But if those 150 calories were a can of soda instead, Diabetes prevalence increased 11-fold, by 1.1%. This study actually meets the criteria which were set up by Austin back in the 1960's to implicate tobacco and lung cancer. This study shows more sugar more diabetes. Countries which ate more sugar have more diabetes.
This proof is of the same level which we have today for tobacco and lung cancer.
We definitely need to reduce our refined carbohydrate consumption. Processed foods are fiber-less foods. Take the fiber out and you will get refined carbohydrate. Take real food and we don’t have to worry about carbohydrates or obesity or diabetes.
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