Current Dietary Guidelines & Metabolic Disease
General norms and guidelines are created to make sense of the range of opinions and information that the vast majority don’t understand or have the time to follow. These norms and guidelines are often influenced by many people, interests and considerations, resulting in inaccuracies, generalizations, and misinformation in many cases. For example; current dietary guidelines suffer from several fundamentally flawed perspectives:
Saturated fat and cholesterol myth
The relationship between eating saturated fat and heart disease is not as it is made up to be. Saturated fat, mainly from animal sources and some plant sources like coconut oil, does not just go to our veins and causes heart and vascular problems. Adding fat to a high sugar and carbohydrate diet will cause health problems, but replacing some sugars and carbohydrates with fats will improve health. This is why the SAD (Standard American Diet) high in carbohydrates, including sugars and fats, has resulted in obesity, diabetes, NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), and other metabolic disorders.
Of course, the kind of fat one eats is very important. For example, most seed and vegetable oils are high in omega 6 (high omega6:omega3 ratio) and are highly processed, causing inflammation in the body.
Here is a great documentary explaining it all.
Non-essential carbohydrates including sugars
Our body does not need carbohydrates, including sugars, to survive as these are metabolized by the body as needed from protein, fat and other food consumed. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of fiber and vitamins but opting for less sugary, starchy alternatives, especially for people with metabolic syndrome/diseases, is more beneficial.
It is not about calories and calories are not the same
What we eat is important; it is not about calories; it is about nutrients and providing the body with easily digestible and accessible nutrients. Foods that would not cause inflammation and overwork organs like the pancreas, liver, and GI tract. Also, everyone is different, and it may be possible to achieve the same positive results using various diets as long as certain fundamentals are understood.
For example, there is a difference between nutritional ketoses (see doctor Stephen Phinney’s video) and LCHF (low carbohydrate, here), and LCHF (low carbohydrate, high fat diet). While nutritional ketoses can help manage and even treat metabolic diseases, healthy eating of moderate carbs with higher protein and fat would suffice for a healthy person.
N of one concept, study with one participant, you!
Experiment on yourself, establish a quantifiable baseline for your weight, health, and mental status using blood tests, food/mental diary, and overall health scores. Use food and lifestyle changes to address the root causes of health conditions as doctors use medications to target symptoms of the diseases. Of course, medications are needed in many cases, but the proper diet can help reduce drugs’ dosage/duration and prolong their effectiveness for most metabolic conditions. LCHF diet can also reverse conditions such as type II diabetes!
The body is a system
We must look at our bodies as interconnected systems rather than individual components. Modern medicine treats particular diseases without considering common causes for different metabolic conditions and what the treatment may do to other parts of the body. Many current health conditions have common causes rooted in our unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Factors like genetic predispositions, unhealthy diet, lifestyle, and factors like genetic predispositions maybe have a role in deciding which health conditions one may end up with.
Also, looking for and blaming many metabolic/autoimmune diseases on genetics is misguided and aimed to mislead in many cases. There are genetic predispositions where certain people may be more susceptible to a particular disease. Still, genetics does not explain the rise of these conditions (e.g., IBD), especially during the last few decades, and the appearance of new additions such as EoE (described 1st in 1993). Nor does it explain that these diseases tend to follow SAD (Standard American Diet) everywhere it spreads worldwide.
See more specific suggestions here.
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