The diet industry is a 60 billion dollar industry and yet our weight and health care cost keeps rising each year. We have a sea of information and yet feel the conflicting approach to exceptional health care and true lasting health seems to elude us.
What I would like to do is to start by addressing the bestiary of information that is long standing and will need to be confronted and some facts be understood.
#1 “Milk, it does your body good”: Is this true?
People drink milk for various reasons. It may be the most controversial drink. When you try and disentangle the information out there milk continues to be controversial. The casein protein in milk is known to increase incidence of cancer and inflammatory markers in the gut and blood leading to autoimmunity. The galactose a sugar in milk has been shown to increase hip fractures by 9%, yes increase. Till it is proven beyond doubt to actually help us, any suggestion of harm should be viewed seriously as this is a drink we start our children on very early. So my recommendation is to use nut milks for now that you can easily make at home.
#2 Omega 3 We need this to protect our heart. So we need to eat fish from the sea. Is this true?
Fish from the sea not only have omega 3 but they have POPs (persistent organic pollutants, PCB and mercury). They actually have been shown to increase the incidence of heart disease. So should we continue to take them? Omega 3 is beneficial to the brain and can be obtained easily from plant sources like flax seeds, chia seeds, algae. So the recommendation is to take them at the recommended dose of EPA/DHA which is about 250 mg a day mostly from a plant source. Get more information from www.seafoodwatch.org
#3 White Rice causes Type II diabetes. Is this true?
China is rapidly becoming the leading nation of Diabetes and it’s staple food is rice. However when you delve a little deeper into the eating habits it is apparent that they have added more animal protein into their diets which is leading to this rise in diabetes. As well reviewed by Dr. Greger here
# 4 Animal proteins reduce the blood sugars. Is this true?
Most animals have what is known as branched chain amino acids. Leucine which is a BCAA is particularly implicated in the development of type II diabetes. It is important to note that it is the daily consumption of this protein and also the type of cooking that can increase what is known as advanced glycation end products (the more cooked lie frying, broiling etc.) leads to an increased development of type II diabetes. So the approach should be to stay plant strong if you cannot be plant based.
#5 Coconut oil is healthy and should be a part of our daily diet. Is this true?
Coconut oil has a rare quality in that it is source of saturated fat from a plant source. I have seen in my practice when coconut oil intake is increased the cholesterol LDL or the “lousy” cholesterol and the inflammatory markers increase. Coconut oil is better than butter in this aspect however it does raise the LDL and can also increase weight. If you have Apolipoprotein E or the genetic risk for higher cholesterol you will benefit from avoiding saturated fats plant source or animal. Use this sparingly. On the other hand coconut the fruit itself seems to be harmless.