Feed Me Something Good, Please

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Photo found on oberholtzer-creative.com

I’m learning a few things that I did not know in my quest to see how my anxiety issues are related to my sugar consumption. It seems that the low fat craze of many years back was supposed to help with heart disease, but, in fact, heart disease has increased since then. The theory is that the worse culprit is sugar, and we replaced fat with sugar. It’s so confusing. I’ve been a little confused after several of my friends have started to eat Paleo-style, and it allows a lot of healthy fats. The Paleo diet also encourages consuming whole milk products and real butter. While I love the idea, I’ve wondered what happened to the nutritional propoganda that said we need to limit fat. It looks like we may be headed for another change.

The recommendations for a long time have been that we should drink skim or low-fat milk products in order to cut back on fat. But, according to my expert yesterday and some other nutritional information that I’m reading, whole milk products are better for you. The reasoning is that when you remove the fat in milk products, the nutritional make-up of the milk product becomes simply …. Are you ready for this? …. sugar. So, drinking a cup of skim milk is like drinking a cup of sugar. It, of course, sets the body off on a course of producing insulin to counteract blood sugar. The blood sugar drops, and we need to have sugar – of any form- again. Regardless of what we think about milk, our body sees skim or low-fat milk as sugar and reacts in the same way. I know I’m looking forward to my new legal treat, a whole milk decaf latte.

Wide angle tight shot of a curious dairy cow.

As I’m reading blogs and information on the impacts of sugar and the idiocy of the food industry in including sugar in every food we eat, I’m getting more than a little angry with our food supply. For instance, Robert Lustig says that Coke is a prime cause of the obesity epidemic. A 20-oz Coke has 75 mg of sodium in it. In order to cover up the taste of the salt, they have to add 65 g of sugar. For a comparison, 65 g of sugar is equal to 16.25 teaspoons of the white stuff. The recommended limit is 4-6 teaspoons a day. What does the salt do? It makes you thirsty so you drink more. What does the sugar do to your body? It keeps you coming back after an hour or two for more. If the sugar doesn’t hook you in for another hit, the caffeine will. Why were we up in arms over the added nicotine in cigarettes if we don’t get up in arms about the same thing happening with our food? MRIs done on people show that sugar lights up the brain in the same pleasure centers as cocaine. Oh yeah… know where the name Coke came from?

I read a book many years ago in preparation for a yoga conference about our food industry. I put it down because I refused to read alarmist stuff about our food. I did not want to be afraid of it. I wanted to read balanced information that I could trust. Now I’m beginning to think that more of it was true than I wanted to admit. I’ve already stopped eating meat because of the poor quality and taste. If I buy it, I’ll buy locally sourced and humanely-raised meat products. My theory is that if an animal is mistreated or fed junk, I take that energy into my body. I want the food energy of humanely treated and processed animals in my body if I eat any at all.

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Local Farm-raised chicken, organic kale and Opelousas sweet potatoes with Kerrygold grass-fed butter

What makes me most sad is to see people I know and love caught up in metabolic disorders caused by food. I know people that are overweight, but they are still healthy. But, I know lots of people who are what I call ‘puffed up’. They are ‘puffed up’ due to the salt, sugar, hormones and processed crap that is put into our food. Worse, they are hooked on it, and they will never get healthy until they break the cycle. I imagine that for most there will be a steady decline into poor health, more medicines and then all kinds of huge interventions to keep them alive…. if you can call that being alive. It just seems wrong to me. I can’t even stand to go into mainstream grocery stores anymore and look at the non-food items masquerading as food. It breaks my heart to see people fill their carts with things that offer nothing more than junk.

For me, since I’ve started eating more locally grown, organic and/or ‘clean’ food, I’ve felt more alive. I’ve started to want more for my life than sitting in a cubicle all day and being force-fed bullsh*t. Activity feels more normal than being sedentary. Feeling good has become an obsession and is becoming more and more of a reality. I don’t feel deprived. I actually feel really lucky. If I get sick, I get sick because there’s something wrong with me not because I’ve been torturing myself with junk food. It rules out a whole lot of health care issues. I’m just sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I’m going to enjoy my decaf whole milk latte and hold the skinny stuff. I may even get some whole milk yogurt for my fruit. It’ll be creamy decadence to replace the sweet taste of sugar. It might be a great trade-off – especially if I can meet the cows who provided the milk.

14 thoughts on “Feed Me Something Good, Please

  1. Love, love this! Since we had kids, we’ve been using “real” foods and no more diet or lowfat. Real butter, real (whole) milk, real sugar. And no growth hormones in milk and meat. I find the whole food industry is geared towards mass-production of cheap calories, without regard for health. Especially vulnerable are those people with lower incomes, who often can’t afford “real” food.

    • That is great and so important. Im thrilled when i see ‘city garden’ peojects designed to serve inner-city residents with lower incomes. I’m even thinking I’ll eventually start growing some of my own food. It just seems so important. Im glad you all are on the bandwagon.

  2. Yay, you! This is why I love Luckett’s Farms! Fresh veggies delivered to my door! I’ll have to get braver to switch back to whole milk, altho I never ever gave up on butter! Before anyone ever said “transfat”, I knew margarine was not as good for you as butter.

  3. Love this! I don’t always eat the healthiest, but I try to as often as I can! Weekdays are easy to eat right for me, but weekends….!!!

  4. Did you ever see Fed Up? There’s a whole ton of info in there about the sugar industry!

    Also, they’re starting to find that as long as you eat fat from healthy animals (fed grass, their normal source of energy and given plenty of room to roam – ie not stressed out), it’s not so bad for you. The difference is that fat is stored differently depending on the environment of the animal. Stressed out cows who are overcrowded and fed grain (not their natural food source) store their fat differently (unhealthfully) than grass-fed (healthy and nutritious). Usually local farmers will have more humanely treated cows but anytime I shop for dairy/meat products I make sure it’s 100% grass fed. I could go on and on, let me know if you want more info 🙂

    • Wow! Thats interesting. I wonder if stressed out humans store fat differently? The sad news is that a lot of small, local dairies are being pushed out of the industry. Thanks for your comment, and I’d always love to know more.

      • Yes, stressed out humans also store fat differently! Cortisol is a hormone released during “constrant” stress (as opposed to the “immediate” fight-or-flight stress), which is related to fat creation and storage in the abdominal area (belly fat).

  5. Right on, LMKing. AND when we eat the meat of stressed out cows, we ingest that cortisol – just what we stressed out people need! (if you ever have the chance, give the flick Temple Grandin a look)
    Working with people who are dealing with Alzheimers and dementias made my hyper-vigilant about brain-healthy food. There are plenty of researchers who believe the low-fat fad has created a generation dealing with more Alzheimer’s and dementia than ever before. Healthy fats are essential to brain health.
    Neurologist David Perlmutter shared these brain-healthy food tips: http://www.drperlmutter.com/5-keys-eating-better-brain-healthp/?hvid=2axZqP. Sharon, I share your philosophy about eating animals. They deserve our gratitude and respect if we are going to eat them. I won’t eat a caged chicken or an egg from one, and I try to stick with humanely raised and slaughtered meats.

    • Thanks for sharing those, Alayne. I’ve started taking Flax Seed Oil again and trying to eat sardines twice a week. I realize I was lacking in that area. Thanks for the reminder. And you inspired another blog today!

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