POPULAR FOOD MYTHS (PART 2)

#2. Genetically Modified Wheat Causes Obesity

 The Misconception:

If you’re one who keeps up with the latest diet trends, then you know a new villain has emerged to take its place among the ranks of trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup as the prime culprit behind America’s fatassness epidemic: wheat. Specifically, the genetically modified Frankenstein wheat your grocery store is trying to pass off as food.

Yes, thanks to years of being selectively bred for things like increasing crop yields and better disease-resistance, today’s amber waves of grain have gone from wholesome to homicidal, not only decreasing a person’s lifespan by exponentially increasing his or her surface area, but also exacerbating medical conditions ranging from arthritis to irritable bowel syndrome.

If those dangers sound overblown, you’re right. If you’re wondering who’s behind it, well …

The Guy You Can Thank for It:

Dr. William Davis.

Davis is the disappointingly robotless Bolivar Trask of the diet world: one man willing to make a stand against the murderous mutants lurking in our midst. His ludicrously named book Wheat Belly has reached seven-digit sales numbers and spent dozens of weeks on The New York Times best-sellers list, and for good reason — it’s packed with painstaking, abundantly backed research revealing that wheat literally addicts you to eating, that the extra genetic components of contemporary wheat are transforming us all into walking skin-sacks of inefficacy, and that the cure for our national health woes is the complete elimination of wheat from our diet.

Actually, that description is being way too generous — most of his “research” is based on his own personal observations and anecdotal evidence, meaning that the good doctor claims to have personally observed dramatic improvements in his patient population after putting them on a diet of his own design (now available for the low, low price of $16.99). Seems legit.

The wonky lynchpin of Davis’ theory is that when a person digests wheat, a specific variety of peptide is produced. These wheat peptides then interact with the body’s opioid receptors (the same receptors that narcotics bind to), turning us all into honest-to-goodness wheat junkies. And, no different from when a human body becomes addicted to more nefarious substances, a veritable cascade of unhealthiness ensues.

Now, to be fair, in an article published in Cereal Foods World, Dr. Julie Jones compared his claims against currently available scientific data and found that about half of what he says is pretty much spot-on. Unfortunately, it’s the more fantastical half that Dr. Davis yanked straight out of his wheat-free (and, as a result, admittedly svelte) rear end.

And while we’re on the subject of diet advice you got from your yoga instructor …

#1. You Need Yogurt (and “Probiotics”) to Fix Your Poop

The Misconception:

At some point, the world decided that you should be able to set your watch by when and how often you poop. And then the world decided that no one wears watches anymore because it’s not fucking 1985, but you get our point: if you’re not popping a squat twice a day, every day, then you’re simply not normal, and you’re in need of fixing.

Enter probiotics, and the wonders that probiotic-infused yogurt can do for Jamie Lee Curtis’s poop chute, and presumably yours. What’s that you say? You never, ever, not once in a million years needed to know the intimate details of how often the Halloween lady drops a long, healthy deuce? Well …

The Guy You Can Thank for It:

Elie Metchnikoff.

Metchnikoff was a Nobel prize-winning, Russian zoologist who had a serious bone to pick with the human colon — he thought of it as a reservoir for all manner of rotting, malady-inflicting nastiness — as well as a serious hankering for some delicious yogurt.

See, Metchnikoff had spent a goodly amount of time observing mountain peasants in Bulgaria that were known for their long lifespans. He credited their longevity to their tendency to drink fermented milk products and, as a direct result, consume buttloads of bacteria that kept their colons squeaky clean. His claims kicked off a new craze in Europe in which slurping spoiled milk became fashionable and, though they didn’t have the fancy name for it yet, the probiotics craze was born.

Our fascination with probiotics may ebb and flow throughout the years, but it never completely dies out. Those Jamie Lee Curtis ads we mentioned? They were pretty much phased out after Dannon reached a $21 million settlement with the FTC because the ads were, perhaps fittingly, chock-full of shit. Also, in stark contrast to the European obsession with yogurt that happened during Metchnikoff’s lifetime, the European Food Safety Authority has ruled that, unless you’re suffering from some kind of specific gut malfunction, the benefits of probiotics are a big ol’ nil. Yet if you do a Google search for “probiotics” right now, you’ll find approximately a gajillion results for everything from drinkable versions to pill versions to suppositories. No shit.

Jason is an editor for Cracked. His Facebook page is unabashedly unhealthy.

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Hope you enjoyed the article. 

Randy Powell, Eating-veggies.com 

POPULAR FOOD MYTHS (PART 1)

KEEP IN TOUCH ON FACEBOOK

 There is a lot of nutritional information out there that is misleading or just outright “not true”. And then there is information that seems to work but isn’t endorsed by the medical community. What you can do is empower yourself with the ability to do a little research and choose for yourself what may work best for you. I tend to recommend everyone eat a diet very high in an abundance of veggies and fruits. I am not a medical expert, but I know what works for me. For some people, eating a grain-free high veggie diet may not satisfy them at some level so they will look for help elsewhere. 

 I am featuring an article this week that is eye-opening and full of useful information. I discovered this at CRACKED.COM and found it interesting. I hope you do to.

Link to original article

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5 BS Health Myths People Still Believe (Thanks to One Guy)

By R. Jason Benson, Joseph Joyce, Charles Angstrom

 If you woke up tomorrow and decided to switch to a perfectly healthy diet, your first step would be to try to find out what that actually is. At that point you’ll quickly find yourself in a shitstorm of conflicting information about what “science” says is good for you. The reason we haven’t solved problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes is because there’s still lots we don’t know about how the body interacts with food.

 So the problem becomes that it’s really hard to tell the difference between what is actual scientific consensus versus, say, a theory proposed by some random dude selling a cookbook. After all, it only took one high-profile “expert” to convince millions of people that …

#5. Salt Causes High Blood Pressure

 If you ask your parents (or maybe your grandparents, depending on how much of a whippersnapper you happen to be), there was once a time when salt was a glorious thing, enjoyed by the masses in wondrous abandon. If you went out to a nice restaurant, your entree was salt with a side of steak, and your dessert was a pack of unfiltered Camels. It was truly a magical era. 

 Then, sometime in the latter part of the 20th century, that all changed. Suddenly, science figured out that salt was a crystalline boogeyman stiffening our arteries and causing our blood pressure to rise to literally vein-popping levels. Dinner would never be the same, and it was all based on some pretty flimsy-ass science.

The Guy You Can Thank for It:

Lewis Dahl.

 The suggestion of a possible link between salt and high blood pressure had been floating around since 1904, but the theory didn’t really hit the mainstream until the 1970s, when Dahl from Brookhaven National Laboratory announced that he had discovered “unequivocal” evidence that salt caused hypertension. What exactly was said unequivocal evidence? Pretty simple, really: by giving some rats a daily dose of salt, he had induced high blood pressure.

 By 1976, the president of Tufts University, Jean Mayer, was labeling salt “the most dangerous food additive of all.” The U.S. Senate was recommending that Americans reduce the salt in their diets by as much as 85 percent. The New York Times was blaming salt for “high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, and stroke.” Salt apparently wasn’t satisfied with some measly high blood pressure — it had become food evil incarnate, haunting our entire freaking anatomy.

 There was just one slight problem. You see, in order to induce high blood pressure in those aforementioned rats, Dahl had pumped them full of … hang on, let us grab our calculator real quick … almost 15,000 percent more sodium than the average American’s consumption. Countless more recent studies have utterly failed to back up the relationship between salt intake and high blood pressure. Not only that, but it turns out that we actually need salt to, you know, live. Mothers unnecessarily restricting the salt intake of their young children have even sent them into shock or, holy shit, outright killed them. 

 The truth is that science is still trying to figure out what causes high blood pressure — maybe it is salt for some people, or just certain types of salt. But there’s a reason we get a new “stop eating ________!” warning every few years or so — food science is complicated as shit. It’s hard to figure out what problems are caused by diet versus genetics, or any of the billion other environmental factors that can slowly murder you behind your back. And the biggest mistake you can make is to declare one part of your diet to be The Bad Guy and just ignore everything else.

Want another example?  

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GO TO PART TWO 

Randy Powell, Eating-Veggies.com