Can you handle the truth? Unfortunately, the truth is that we have been misled about cholesterol, processed foods, and nutrition.
By all means, watch my video on Processed Foods on our Facebook page. For over 30 years, cholesterol has been touted around this country as a grave health hazard, and dietary fat has also been betrayed as the deadliest food you could eat. In turn, a new category of industrialized fat-free and cholesterol-free foods was born. We fell for it.
The 2015 edition of dietary guidelines for Americans is undoing 60 years’ worth of research that has utterly failed to demonstrate the correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease.
It has now been proven that cholesterol is one of the most important molecules in our body. It is imperative for building cells, sex hormones, and vitamin D. It is critical for brain health, too. Low HDL cholesterol levels have been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease and could increase the propensity for depression, stroke, and severe behavior. Now we’re not saying that these problems are due to this by any means, but this is concerning.
The proposed change reflects a significant shift in the scientific view of cholesterol that has taken place in recent years. Although serum cholesterol is still considered an important risk factor, cholesterol consumed in food is now thought to play a relatively insignificant role in determining blood levels of cholesterol.” – Medical journalist Larry Husten, Washington Post.
Remember, processed saturated fat or cholesterol, if heated by frying, creates a hazardous product that will increase cardiovascular disease. Always remember that trans fats are worse than sugar for your health.
“[I]n the latest review of studies that investigated the link between dietary fat and causes of death, researchers say the guidelines got it all wrong. Recommendations to reduce the amount of fat we eat every day should never have been made.” – Time magazine
What’s worse, the processed food industry replaced fat with large amounts of sugar. At the same time, Dr. Harcombe shies away from making any recommendation about how much dietary fat might be ideal; she suggests the take-home message here is to “eat real food.”
I have to say, it’s refreshing to see that message being repeated in the mainstream media finally.
As reported by Time Magazine: “The less adulterated and processed your diet is, the more nutrients and healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates your body will get, and the less you’ll have to worry about meeting specific guidelines or advice that may or may not be based on a solid body of evidence.”
The low-fat food bonanza sucked in all of us. It led to a wave of new processed food products, promising benefits of both a healthy heart and a slim waistline. But unfortunately, when the fat was removed, they added sugar. In turn, it has led to an increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The liver can only metabolize fructose as it is the only organ with a transporter. Therefore, your body can’t use it for energy. Since nearly all fructose gets sent to the liver only, and if you eat the typical processed food diet, you consume incredibly high levels of fructose, which drowns the liver. It drowns the liver in the same way that alcohol or other toxins do. Yes, that is right. Fructose is processed like alcohol in the liver. It is time for all of us to wake up. Studies show that the disease manifestations are virtually identical when you compare the outcome of high-level fructose versus alcohol consumption.
University of California professor Dr. Robert Lustig has been at the forefront of decoding the issues with sugar metabolism and is sounding the alarm on fructose. In his paper in 2010 published in the Journal of the Academy of nutrition and dietetics, he states the linearity’s between fructose and its fermentation byproduct of alcohol:
Your liver’s fructose metabolism is similar to alcohol as they both serve as substrates for converting dietary carbohydrates into fat, which promotes insulin resistance, dyslipidemia (abnormal fat levels in the bloodstream), and fatty liver.
Fructose undergoes the Maillard reaction with proteins, leading to the formation of superoxide free radicals that can result in liver inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of ethanol.
By “stimulating the ‘hedonic pathway’ of the brain both directly and indirectly,” Dr. Lustig noted, “fructose creates habituation and possibly dependence; also paralleling ethanol.”
According to Dr. Marcola:
Part of the reason why cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins are ineffective for heart disease prevention (besides that the drug causes heart disease as a side effect) is that drugs cannot address the real cause of heart disease, which are insulin and leptin resistance, which increases your LDL particle number via several different mechanisms. While some genetic predisposition can play a role, insulin and leptin resistance is primarily caused by a combination of factors that are epidemic in our modern lifestyle:
- A diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates, sugars/fructose, refined flours, and industrial seed oils.
- Insufficient everyday physical activity. Chronic sitting is also an independent risk factor that causes biochemical changes that predispose you to insulin and leptin resistance, even if you’re very fit and exercise regularly.
- Chronic sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that even one night of disturbed sleep can decrease your insulin sensitivity the next day and cause cravings and overeating.
- Environmental toxins. Exposure to BPA, for example, can disrupt weight regulation.
- Poor gut health. Studies indicate that imbalances in your gut flora (the bacteria that lives in your gut) can predispose you to obesity and insulin and leptin resistance, and processed foods high in sugar effectively feed harmful bacteria, allowing them to take over.
This is a very confusing time in healthcare. The processed food propaganda machine is being exposed for what it is. My suggestion is for you to read my Facebook and blogs regularly. If you need more help, of course, schedule consults in our Fountain Valley office. At Bennett Acupuncture and Functional Medicine, we can together stop the confusion and get you on the right track. Call for a health update consultation so you can start back on the right track.