The Obesity Epidemic, Courtesy of the Agricultural Industry

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The size 12 hour-glass figure, an endangered body shape.

If you love old movies, you’ve noticed that women back in the old days tended to have beautiful hour glass body shapes, a la Marilyn Monroe. Nowadays, such figures have become a rarity because women have become “boxy” in shape. Research suggests there are now five times as many “rectangular-shaped” women than those with the classic Marilyn Monroe hourglass shape. Almost one in two British women fall into the rectangle category, a boy-ish body shape where there is little difference between the bust, waist and hip measurements.

According to the CDC, about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 – 19 years are obese. In 2010, no state had less than 20% obesity prevalence. Another statistic tells us that over two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

Two thirds! In the country where the USDA food pyramid and low fat eating has guided food choices for at least two generations!

Worldwide, with the spread of Western lifestyle (including diet), obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2008, 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight and nearly 43 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010.

According to MyPyramid.gov, you should be consuming at least 3 oz. of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, cereal or pasta; ideally 6 oz. A lot of people consuming exactly the recommended amounts see no weight loss at all and might actually see their weight go up.

Could there be a relationship between this dietary advice and the obesity epidemic? Could it be that the root of the obesity problem is due to our health advisers who believe that animal fat causes heart disease and high cholesterol, and that carbohydrates in grains and vegetables are The Healthy Solution? Based on this, it follows that a diet restricted in carbohydrates and rich in fat is going to be discouraged by them. We are supposed to be consuming at least 45% of our calories as carbohydrates where most of it should come from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This diet philosophy is dominant in our world today despite the facts cited above, despite the fact that the obesity epidemic has come upon us in lock-step with this dietary philosophy.

The Staff of Life

Of all the grains in the human diet, wheat constitutes the main source of so-called nutrition in the human diet. It is our staff of life. People have wheat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It is even found in shampoos and medicines and most processed foods. What many people don’t know is that wheat stimulates the appetite because wheat gluten is a morphine-like chemical that creates havoc in our brains. Wheat produces blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite; it promotes glycation (“caramelization”) in our bodies that is at the root of disease and aging; it activates unbalanced immune responses, and more. Wheat consumption is related not only to celiac disease, but also to neurological disorders, heart disease, arthritis, peculiar skin rashes,schizophrenia and many other conditions.

In Wheat Belly, Dr. Davis describes how wheat strains have been hybridized and crossbred to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought and pathogens, and to increase yield per acre. The average yield on a modern North American farm is more than ten times greater than that of only a century ago. This is because during the latter part of the 20th century, an upheaval in hybridization methods transformed wheat into a frankengrain whose safety for human health is highly questionable to say the least. As Dr. Davis argues, small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to wheat protein versus no immune response at all. He reports:

Wheat gluten proteins, in particular, undergo considerable structural change with hybridization. In one hybridization experiment, fourteen new gluten proteins were identified in the offspring that were not present in either parent wheat plant. Moreover, when compared to century-old strains of wheat, modern strains of [wheat] express a higher quantity of genes for gluten proteins that are associated with celiac disease.

Multiply these alterations by the tens of thousands of hybridizations to which wheat has been subjected and you have the potential for dramatic shifts in genetically determined traits such as gluten structure.

Wheat is mostly carbohydrate and the minor percentage of protein it has is mostly gluten. But over a thousand of other nongluten proteins are also part of wheat which can be problematic for some people. And the bad news is that gluten-like proteins, nongluten proteins and anti-nutrients are found in ALL grains, AND it is now believed that you don’t have to be intolerant or vulnerable to them in order to suffer from their ill effects:

Lectins: Their Damaging Role in Intestinal Health, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Weight Loss
Agrarian Diet and Diseases of Affluence – Do Evolutionary Novel Dietary Lectins Cause Leptin Resistance?
Food Lectins in Health and Disease: An Introduction
Beyond Gluten-Free: The Critical Role of Chitin-Binding Lectins in Human Disease
Going Against the Grain Towards Better Health
Plants Bite Back: The Surprising, All-Natural Anti-Nutrients and Toxins in Plant Foods
Viruses & Lectins- The Missing Links
Opening Pandora’s Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease

Getting a Fix

Gluten can be highly addictive and so can its equivalent: casein from dairy products. They both can influence behavior and mood. Schizophrenic and autistic patients have improved dramatically after removal of gluten and casein from their diets.

People eating wheat may have drug-like neurological effects that can be reversed with medications such as naloxone and naltrexone which are usually used to counter the effects of narcotic drugs! Have you ever heard of low dose naltrexone as a therapy for all kinds of autoimmune diseases, cancer, lung emphysema and even the common cold? In fact, a new weight loss drug containing naltrexone might soon be available on the market in order to decrease food addiction. Perhaps all of these people should stop eating morphine-like foods (i.e. gluten and casein) instead of taking a drug to counter the effects of their addiction!

Within days or weeks after eliminating gluten, people often report better mood, less mood swings, better mental concentration and more restorative sleep. They also see a wide variety of health problems improve and feel better in general. But getting off grains and dairy really is like going through drug withdrawal and many people just can’t do it, so they continue to eat the very things that are making them sick and fat, while taking more and more medication to counter the effects of the damage their food is doing to their bodies.

Fattening Effect of Carbohydrates and Insulin

© New England Journal of Medicine 2012. The fattening effects of insulin in a 55-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes who has been injecting insulin under the skin of his belly for more than 30 years. Patients are advised to vary the site of injections because if they don't, there is a risk of developing the above.

Our body’s primary response to carbohydrates is the release of the hormone insulin into the bloodstream. All carbohydrates break down into glucose in the intestines and stomach and insulin’s primary role is to sweep away the glucose into the cells to be used for energy. Insulin’s second role is to help convert and store the sugar as glycogen in the liver and muscles and as fat in fat cells. The fat is stored in the form of triglycerides in adipose tissue. If we eat too many carbs, everything that our cell doesn’t use up as energy right away ends up as fat in our bodies thanks to insulin. That is, without the action of insulin, there would be no fat on our bodies. Are you getting a clue?

Even though other hormones can get out fat from the fat tissue, they can do this only when insulin levels are low. So if you keep eating lots of carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you’ll keep releasing insulin. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any weight loss.

Many people don’t think of grains as sugar, so it might come as a surprise to know that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose does. Eating whole wheat bread is often worse than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a candy bar.

Carbohydrates promote trunk obesity. That is, extremes of blood sugar and insulin promotes growth of visceral organ fat. Over time, visceral fat and omental fat accumulates. Visceral fat is inflammatory and it is related to insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and colon cancer. In fact, waist circumference is proving to be a very important predictor of all these conditions, other than a mortality predictor.

So bye-bye to women’s hour-glass figures and hello to man-boobs and belly fat for both sexes.

Mom, I Hate Vegetables!

Carbohydrate in green vegetables contain indigestible fiber that slows down the digestive process. As a result, blood sugar levels remain relatively low after eating veggies. But some people have become so sensitive to carbohydrates that even green veggies might be a problem when it comes to weight loss.

Additionally, there are actually many studies which indicate that excess intake of fiber may be harmful, particularly for gut health. The Healthy Skeptic reports that,

The majority of the research supporting the benefits of dietary fiber come from epidemiological studies that link the consumption of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables with a lowered risk of certain diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer, particularly colon cancer. (1) Yet when tested in the lab, controlled intervention trials that simply add fiber supplements to an otherwise consistent diet have not shown these protective effects. (2) (3) (4) […]

Tan and Seow-Choen, in their 2007 editorial on fiber and colorectal disease, call insoluble fiber “the ultimate junk food”, as “it is neither digestible nor absorbable and therefore devoid of nutrition.” (9) Excess insoluble fiber can bind to minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron, preventing the absorption of these vital nutrients. (10) Large excesses of certain soluble fibers like pectin and guar may also inhibit pancreatic enzyme activity and protein digestion in the gut, leading to an anti-nutritive effect. (11) The addition of insoluble and soluble fibers to processed foods may actually cause these foods to be even less nutritious than if they were not enriched with any fiber at all.

A high-fiber diet has also been described as a preventative strategy for the development of diverticulosis, a disease that is markedly more common in Western countries. However, when researchers tested the theory that a high-fiber diet prevented diverticulosis, they not only found that a high intake of fiber did not reduce the prevalence of diverticulosis, but that a high-fiber diet and greater number of bowel movements were independently associated with a higher prevalence of diverticula. (12) Interestingly, this study found no association between the presence of diverticulosis and red meat intake, fat intake, or physical activity, which are other factors commonly attributed to diverticulosis. […]

This hypothesis brings up another side to the fiber debate: the effect of dietary fiber on beneficial gut bacteria, as well as the bacterial fermentation of undigested soluble fiber into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate.

What is absolutely amazing is that, right after citing the above facts, the “healthy skeptic” then proceeds to recommend vegetables like everybody else does! The brain-washing job of the USDA “food pyramid” is so ubiquitous that even experts who can read and understand the research, can’t get out from under the influence of this totally wrong dietary advice. After all, the government tells us that they are so nutritious! Never mind that good quality meat and their fats can be far more nutritious than vegetables. In fact, butyrate itself is found in high-fat dairy products such as butter.

In fact, the dominant diet philosophy of the Western world that has held sway for the past two or three generations – the generations in which obesity and illness have overtaken the populations following this advice – is slowly but surely coming under critical review, being debated and questioned, as more and more people reclaim their health and their figures with a diet rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.

For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors practiced hunting and herding, eating a low carb diet. It is not necessarily that they didn’t like carbohydrates or considered them unhealthy, it was probably more because we have spent most of our human evolutionary history in ice age conditions where vegetables and fruits were simply not available, and when they were, they were vastly different from the fruits and vegetables available today. The fact is, our bodies are designed, evolved, to live and thrive without consuming any carbohydrates whatsoever, as long as there is plenty of nutritious protein and fat available, and water to drink. Studies of fossilized human poo from three hundred thousand to as many as fifty thousand years ago, have revealed essentially a complete lack of any plant material in the diets of the samples tested.

Animal fat was our primal energy as it was – and still is – the most efficient, dense and long-burning fuel. It is agreed by experts that our extended dependence on meat and animal fats (i.e. fish fat) throughout these continual freezing epochs actually encouraged our brains to enlarge and develop so that we became human. We became smart – homo sapiens sapiens – because we ate animal fat and meat. Thus, it is not surprising to note that evidence is growing that vegetarians and members of agrarian societies have smaller brains.

What is so disconcerting is that the alleged evils of animal fats and proteins have been drilled so heavily in our collective minds that most people are scared to death of eating what helped us become human without experiencing intrusive thoughts of a heart attack or stroke – even the so-called health experts who cite the evidence as noted above! They just can’t shake the idea out of their heads that vegetables are needed “for vitamins and fiber” despite the fact that they have read the studies that show that all the nutrients you need are in animal proteins and fats.

In our forum discussion board, people from all over the world are reporting how their dietary supplement needs and intake dropped and even disappeared after embarking on a low-carb, high fat diet.

To many people’s surprise, life-long problems with also went away after adjusting to a diet with almost no fiber whatsoever! Minor quantities of fiber from natural, unprocessed food (mostly soluble) will not be a problem for the digestive system. But major quantities of fiber like that recommended by so many health authorities can be a big problem as fiber expands four to five times its original size inside the digestive system and creates a condition of constant intestinal irritation. Expanded fiber can potentially create damage to a the delicate digestive mucosa which then becomes inflamed. No wonder that numerous individuals, including myself, experienced extremely negative reactions to doing the highly touted fiber-based colon cleansing. Dietary fiber is the bull’s sh…t in the China shop.

What About Fruit?

Fruit is actually worse than vegetables (including fruit juices and jams). Fruit contains a type of sugar known as fructose which is metabolized almost exclusively in the liver. That means that even when fructose has no immediate effect on our blood sugar and insulin levels, in the long run its liver metabolism can account for many of its devastating health effects. Dr. Mercola syntheses the main differences between glucose and fructose metabolism, which explains why fructose is by far the worst type of sugar there is:

-After eating fructose, virtually all of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.

-Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.

-The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

-Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose simply does not do this.

-When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!

-The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and can cause gout.

-Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and causes resistance to leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and by interfering with your brain’s ability to use leptin, results in overeating.

According to MyPyramind.gov, we should eat about 2 cups of fruit per day as a part of a healthy diet. But keep in mind that we’ve been cultivating fruit (and only some fruits) for only the past few thousand years, (many fruit trees for only the past few hundred years) and the fruit that we see today – Fuji apples, Bartlett pears, navel oranges – have been recently bred to be far sweeter than the wild varieties and hence, they are more fattening due to their higher fructose content.

I have encountered many people who defend their consumption of fruit based on the evolutionary point of view “Out of Africa” theory (or hypothesis I should say). They claim that in Africa there were plenty of tropical fruits which made our ancestors happy. Well, not so fast.

Possible Fruit Protein Effects on Primate Communities in Madagascar and the Neotropics tells us:

The ecological factors contributing to the evolution of tropical vertebrate communities are still poorly understood. Primate communities of the tropical Americas have fewer folivorous but more frugivorous genera than tropical regions of the Old World and especially many more frugivorous genera than Madagascar. …Neotropical fruits have higher protein concentrations than fruits from Madagascar and that the higher representation of frugivorous genera in the Neotropics is linked to high protein concentrations in fruits. Low fruit protein concentrations in Madagascar would restrict the evolution of frugivores in Malagasy communities.

That is to say that eating fruits wasn’t the main diet of primates in Africa and the main element sought by the consumers, leading to their development as species, was protein. Further, I should point out that fruit eating creatures didn’t evolve into human beings as primates exposed to harsh or unusual conditions did. Read the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis for some very good and eye-opening arguments for how and why humans evolved as they did. In short, if you want to devolve to a monkey, eat more fruits.

At some point in our evolution, essential fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – from meat and organs of wild game and other grass-fed meats and wild-caught cold-water seafood – had a dominant role in our diet to the extent that it is thought that they alone were responsible for the significant increase in the size of the human brain. DHA makes up the highest percentage of the fatty acids in the human brain, facilitating visual and cognitive function, forming brain receptors for neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, and serving as a storage molecule that the body can reconvert to another essential fatty acid – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – if needed. So if anything, it seems that we need plenty of land animal fats AND fish oil. This is our evolutionary heritage as human beings, not monkeys.

The Importance of Fats

We have eaten a diet rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats and essential polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 throughout our history with no ill effects. On the contrary, these fats were crucial for our development as human beings. Some of these fats (i.e. medium chain saturated fats) actually have antimicrobial properties and provide an immediate source of energy. In addition, their structure makes it unlikely for them to be stored as fat deposits in our bodies. Longer-chain saturated fats fuel the muscles, assist in protein metabolism, assist in brain structure and function, protect our lungs from damage and protects the more vulnerable polyunsaturated essential fatty acids in our bodies from damage and rancidity.

Cholesterol is essential for our bodies and the cholesterol myth has clearly driven the obesity figures to disproportionate levels. As so-called Western civilization spreads its influence, we are now more unhealthy than ever thanks to the cholesterol myth:

The most important thing you probably don’t know about cholesterol
7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat
The Cholesterol Con — Where Were the Doctors?
The Origins of the Cholesterol Con
Does High Cholesterol REALLY Cause Heart Disease?
Why You Should Eat More (not less) Cholesterol
How to Interpret Cholesterol Test Results
I have high cholesterol, and I don’t care
The Cholesterol Myth that is Harming Your Health
A Headline You Will Never See: 60-year old Man Dies of High Cholesterol

The bottom line is this: it is mainly the carbohydrates and the unnatural fats that make you fat and unhealthy, not the natural fats that actually fuel us and make us healthy. The unnatural fats are highly polyunsaturated vegetable oils which are very unstable and prone to rancidity. Bad fats also are found in grain or corn-fed meats, farmed seafood (yes, they feed them corn), hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or trans fats (margarine, vegetable shortening, soy-bean and canola oils, etc.). These unnatural fats contain mainly pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Inflammation can be highly disruptive and toxic to our body and it makes fat loss basically impossible.

If you eat these unhealthy fats, the fats in your body including those in your brain and in all the cell membranes of your body will have an unhealthy and pro-inflammatory rancid signature. (No doubt there is a correlation between consumption of these unhealthy fats and the astonishing increase in Alzheimer’s disease and early-onset senile dementia.) It is also very bad considering that cell membranes have amazing abilities and a crucial role for our health and wellbeing. Cell membranes not only allow for nutrients to get into the cell, they are also an electrical insulator that keeps the cell from being overwhelmed by every molecule in its environment. It is the cell membrane’s structures which allows for the reading of environmental signals which will then lead to the “reading” of genes so that worn-out proteins can be replaced or new proteins can be read. It seems to me that a healthy state of our cell membranes is essential for much needed healing DNA changes. But no cell can be healthy without the proper fats to build itself with. After years of consuming bad fats, vegetable oils, and so on, most people’s cell membranes are more like plastic than living things.

Eat to Live

If you want to lose weight without going hungry but on the contrary, eating delicious and nutritious food, and without doing dangerous and disproportionate amounts of exercise, then read our testimonials and follow the links and research in our forum discussion Life Without Bread. Not only will you lose weight effortlessly, you will also reclaim your health and live a more fulfilling life.

Think about it, we have spent most of our human history in an ice age. Our physiology, biology and genetics thrived on the challenge and, what is more, we should probably be bracing ourselves for another ice age in the near future. Those who can adapt will survive and thrive.

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