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New USDA Dietary Guidelines- More of the Same

The new dietary guidelines that will remain in place for the next five years have been released. Not much really new to help us change the downward health spiral the US is currently in. Avoid saturated fats, eat more whole grains and less salt and sugar are the main messages. In my view this is more of the same one size fits all approach that has failed so far.

 Many of us who have tried eating less and moving more know that this is not a long term solution, especially those of us who are at risk for diabetes. We donít tolerate many carbs and will likely not succeed with the standard approach regardless of our best intentions. Many of us have found what works to improve our health and manage weight: controlling both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate foods. More Americans deserve to hear this message and make their own decision.

 The new guidelines continue to focus on calories, fat and more activity and less food. Unfortunately, these guidelines are the basis for foods that impact federal nutrition programs. Thus hurting those in our population who would benefit by eating in a way that supports their body rather than the belief that what is healthy for one is healthy for all.

 Calories-in-calories-out, going hungry and eating less has not worked. Why do we think it will suddenly work now? Humans are not meant to live their lives in a hungry state especially with easy access to an abundance of inexpensive and unhealthy food. Cutting calories too low sooner or later slows metabolism and conserves energy making weight loss problematic.

 Tell the Truth

 If we are to succeed in making people healthier we need facts. 

  • Teach us the importance of controlling hunger with a regular intake of good quality protein.

  • Teach us that natural fats are an essential nutrient that, among other important roles, provides much needed satiety.

  • Consuming large quantities of carbohydrates, especially those that increase blood sugar and insulin abnormally, is counterproductive. These foods including whole grains increase fat storage, maintain the cycle of hunger and cravings, cause an unstable blood sugar that diminish our productivity, quality of life and over time make us fat and sick.

  • Concerned about salt and high blood pressure? Teach us that high insulin levels that occur following a high carb intake cause sodium retention and high blood pressure. Much of our salt intake comes from processed foods, many high in carbs. There is a solution- cut the carbs and eat whole foods. 

Ignoring the Research

 If these guidelines are research based why is the most recent research regarding the safety and effectiveness of low carbohydrate diets ignored? We are in a crisis situation. Common sense dictates we use all of our knowledge to meet our health related challenges. This should be about research, how our metabolism really works and not about special interests or dogma. 

 It has recently been reported that in the next few years pre-diabetes and diabetes will increase to about half of our adult population with massive increases in healthcare costs. 

To meet this challenge we need to make changes at the grassroots level and get back to common sense nutrition. On this issue do not expect the government and vested interests to make the right recommendations.  Each of us needs to be responsible for ourselves and our kids. Learn the facts.  Do we really believe that American kids are overweight, have high blood pressure or have type 2 diabetes because they drink whole, white milk or is it the grain based, sugar laden cereal? The evidence that natural fats including saturated fat are the cause of cardiovascular disease is sketchy no matter how many times you hear otherwise. Recent research has shown benefits of full fat dairy yet we still demonize the fat in milk.

 Return to the way people ate in the middle of the last century- whole, minimally processed foods, natural fats and a decent protein containing breakfast that allowed them to better control their blood sugar and their appetite.

 There has been a lot more said about these guidelines by others but these points disturb me the most. Apparently health authorities have not learned by the massive public health experiment conducted on the American people since the first guidelines were issued. Are we healthier? Now they are recommending sweeping salt restrictions. Will there be negative unintended consequences as a result of this recommendation? 

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The information presented on this site is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment. This information should be used in conjunction with the guidance and care of your physician. Consult your physician before beginning this program as you would any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program.  Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication should proceed only under a doctorís supervision as changing your diet usually requires a change in medication dosages. As with any plan, the weight-loss phases of this program should not be used by patients on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women. As with any weight-loss plan, we recommend anyone under the age of 18 follow the program under the guidance of their physician.