The Sugar-Coating of America

How is it that at the time of WW II, the science of fat was clear, but we somehow still lost sight of the facts in the 1950s? Whether it was done wittingly or not, it has resulted in a health crisis of epic proportions for this country. As I explained in a previous blog the problem is a disorder of excess fat accumulation caused by excessive insulin secretion.

Ancel Keys was the first villain in this saga in the 1950s. He claimed that there was a link between fat and cholesterol and heart disease. He conducted a multi-country study which purported that the people in countries that eat a low-fat diet have lower cholesterol levels and thus less heart disease. The only problem is he started out with over 20 countries in his sample and then threw out all the data from countries that didn’t fit his hypothesis. So basically his conclusion is highly suspect. Nor is the correlation between high cholesterol levels and heart disease necessarily true.

Newly discovered archival documents about research on the effects of sugar show that the Sugar Industry paid Harvard researchers to bury research linking sugar intake to heart disease and to instead, make fat the culprit. This took place in the 1960s. So by the 1960s there were at least two studies championing the reduction of fat.

The next development in this tragedy was in 1973 when the Secretary of Agriculture announced that it was going to start subsidizing corn and other grains. Not surprisingly this led to a glut of corn and grains. Suddenly low priced (subsidized by the taxpayer) high fructose corn syrup began to show up in myriads of foods (sodas and baked goods). Analysis of breast milk in the 1970s found higher levels of high fructose corn syrup, thus conditioning babies to crave sugar.

Ancel Keys was also the inspiration for the food pyramid that was created in 1976. One of McGovern’s (who was then chair of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs) staffers (who was neither a nutritionist, nor a scientist) created the food pyramid based on Ancel Keys faulty analysis that fat leads to heart disease.

As a result the bottom of the pyramid is chock full of grains and pasta, and butter and eggs are at the top. The USDA then endorsed this very same food pyramid and Americans were told that a heart healthy diet should include plenty of grains and carbs.

Manufacturers took note of this low fat trend and started removing the fat from their products. But that made the food taste awful. So in order to make it palatable they added sugar.

So now we have the perfect storm. Families are not cooking as much at home (more women in the work force, less time for home cooked meals). Manufacturers are creating carb-laden boxed food with God knows how many preservatives. Food producers are growing food with pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. It’s a wonder we are not sicker.

I think the time has come for us to have a food revolution. We know now that grains and other simple carbs and sugar trigger insulin secretion, and this is what makes us fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat! In fact we need healthy fats in our diet to keep us lubricated. They told us eggs were bad for us and that butter was bad. Not true. Remember all those egg white omelettes. Well the yolk is really good for you even though it has cholesterol. The body needs cholesterol (although not excessive amounts). It’s the grains that are the culprit. Grain consumption leads to inflammation which results in damaged arteries. When the arteries are damaged the body releases cholesterol to patch up the damage. But that patch/scab in your artery (also known as plaque) over time leads to thickening blood vessels which can result in high blood pressure and even a heart attack. The culprit is excessive inflammation from eating excessive carbs, not fat consumption.

A real problem with eating a sugary carb-laden diet is that it makes us crave even more sugary carb-dense foods. Sugar consumption lights up the same parts of your brain that light up when cocaine is used. In other words it’s addictive. You just have to have a paradigm shift and accept that simple carbs and sugar are harmful. I’m not saying they are harmful to everyone, but I think at least a third of the population when fed a steady diet of simple carbs and sugars will develop insulin resistance and become diabetic, and worse. It’s not a pretty picture. But now you know how to prevent it. Otherwise if our eating habits are not changed, 1/3 of Americans will become diabetic by 2050. That’s over 100 million people, as opposed to 27 million today. Who would want to abandon 100 million to the ravages of this disease – blindness, amputations and the like. Not to say anything of the monetary cost. That donut, that pastry, that piece of bread is not just leaving flab on your thighs it’s creating plaque in your arteries.

But here at Haley Farm we are dedicated to showing you how to reset your health. Let us show you how to cook, eat, exercise, de-stress and manage this new lifestyle and make it fun. Our two and five day retreats are the perfect vehicle for regaining your health.