The inspiration for this post came from listening to lectures from two Doctors (Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, and Dr. Mark Hyman, MD) on the state of the healthcare system in the US and the biology of food.
Both of these Doctors are proponents of holistic medicine and know the current medical practices of western medicine. They both mentioned the lack of nutrition training for Doctors in medical schools.
The absence of nutrition training in medical schools is something that I was not aware of until recently, and it makes some responses that I received from Doctors in the past more understandable.
What I previously perceived as being dis-interested or not caring could have easily been attributed to the lack of training in nutrition, and the reason they prescribed the nutritionist whose specialty is in food.
The main thought that stood out to me in the lectures is the addictive nature of sugar and how it affects the brain when it comes to choosing the foods we eat.
Once the food is consumed the biology kicks into gear, and the food itself sends signals to the body on what to do with it — teachings of moderation as a way to control weight gain does not work in the face of sugar additions.
If a healthy weight individual maintains the right level of moderation, they have a better chance to remain at the ideal weight. While there is some truth this statement in the beginning once the body fat composition increases it affects the hunger level of the person and makes it harder to fix the problem.
The Three Macros of Food
Food breaks down into three categories which are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The carbs will cause a massive swing in the blood sugar levels when consumed without proteins, or fiber to help regulate.
Proteins are used to repair tissue and are needed in higher doses if there are excessive physical activities or bodybuilding exercises. People need to caution themselves from thinking that a high-protein content bar is the best food choice if they are not working out; this can hamper weight loss if not done incorrectly.
Fats by themselves do not affect the blood sugar very much and are good at helping people to feel more satisfied with their meals; that can help people to lose weight when the healthy fats are in their diets, causing them to feel full longer.
Lifestyle change is the only way to make a lasting change; what better way to ensure that a healthy change will stick than to make sure the transition is enjoyable.
Changing the composition of the foods are the best way to change what your body is doing with the material once consumed. The menu will dictate what the direction it goes when we give the body excess carbs the body stores it in the fat cells.
Directions given for each of the macros are different, it would be wrong to oversimplify the process, but it is something that with a basic understanding can make choosing the right ingredients for our food more natural to do.
How Fast Food Affects the Body
The first way that the fast food industry affects the body is by providing vast amounts of carbohydrates that will convert to glucose or sugar in the bloodstream.
This sudden influx of sugar affects the brain’s pleasure centers and is more addicting than many of the drugs that we consider to be bad for society in general.
In the lectures, it is startling how many studies that are out there which show that cocaine-addicted rats choose sugar water over cocaine, even when they have to work harder for the sugar.
In my personal experience, cutting sugar from my diet was much harder than quitting smoking, and the cravings are still there eight months later!
Eight months after quitting smoking I did not have any more cravings from the nicotine (for me the nicotine cravings stopped after a couple of weeks) the most significant issue was breaking the habit which took a couple of months.
The sugar cravings are always there; and even with the new habits being formed now for over eight months, the thinking about sweets is still something to deal with regularly.
How Sugars Affects the Body
There are a hosts of health-related reasons why we should be reducing the sugar consumption in our diets. But the reality is much different from when you discuss the issue with someone.
People know that they should reduce sugar to lower the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, liver problems, diabetes, and obesity. But the numbers of how much flour and sugar that we consume tell a different story.
Since 1980 the average person consumption of sugar has increased from 112 to 152 lbs/yr. And the obesity rate is something that is skyrocketing during this time.
It is looking at the numbers in Wikipedia that states in 1962 the obesity rate in the US was at 23% and in 2013 the obesity rate was about 60% with a projected 75% obesity rate by the year 2020, which is right around the corner!
I am considering the massive amount of products that contain high levels of added sugar in the forms of high fructose corn syrup. Most of these products are getting advertised as healthy options for part of a healthy diet plan.
Until people become more educated on this subject and get involved in changing the marketplace, the effects that the extra sugar is having on both themselves and the public will continue. The best way to change this is for people to demand that the companies change what they are doing.
After all, the companies want to make money, and the best way to make money is to provide the public what it desires. At present, people hooked on sugar is negatively impacting their health and the cost to the economy is astronomical.
How to Detoxify the Body
Everyone is different in their preferred method of taking a band aid off of their injury. Personally, the best way is to rip it off in one quick motion.
Typically, that is my approach to making changes in life as well. But I do understand that method does not work for many people. Whichever works is what people need to do when it comes to addressing the reduction of sugar to levels that are more in line with the way people consumed sugar before the obesity crisis began.
When we look back a couple of hundred years in the early 1800’s the average person consumed only 10 lbs/yr of sugar. When you compare that to the 152 lbs/yr of sugar, that we are getting now, it is no wonder why the population is so much more massive now than it was back then.
The best way to detox the body of the sugar is first to realize where you are at in your diet. Stopping the fast food and the processed foods can be done, but it does take extra effort to do it, and there is a cost involved with buying the fresh ingredients to eat.
It makes it easy to think about buying food in its purest form. Ideally, it would be better to grow your vegetables and fruits, but that is not feasible for many people in our busy lives today need to buy their food from grocery stores or maybe a farmers market if there is one close enough to drive too.
The more that you change your diet to fresh foods that grow straight from the ground or the meats are processed locally; the better the food will taste to you. This reality is something that took a little more than six months before noticing that my taste buds are changing.
After giving in and eating a hamburger from a fast food chain that I was craving; then only realizing that it did not taste the way that I remembered! The best part is that I have not had those cravings anymore since eating that meal.
The idea that food talks to the body and give it directions on what to do with the material is something that I am looking forward to learning more about in the next year.
Eating healthy is something that we do to live, and it can enrich our lives; our health is all we have to ensure that we can do the things that make us happy in life.
Remember to take time to take care of yourself! Thanks for stopping by and reading this article and hope to it kindly speaks to you.
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