Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pass the Twinkies, Please

Oh you're American?  Please don't tell us about your diet.

It's a sentiment you'll hear in many places in the world. We're seen as narcissistic and hypochondriacal, and when it comes to diet and health, we're rather evangelistic too. It happens all the time. You'll meet someone and in the first few minutes they'll assault you with how they eat this and not that, which things are filled with this toxin and that, and how this causes cancer and that will make you impotent.  Of course it's pretty safe to say that none of it's true, because nearly everything you read about health and nutrition is produced by scare mongers: diet book doctors, supplement pushers and others with mysterious agendas. Real science: valid conclusions from valid studies? They're often surrounded by as impenetrable a husk of gullibility as  a coconut -- and besides, very, very few of us are trained to derive much from the edited data we're given.  I read "studies show" and I can be sure there wasn't really a study that showed anything conclusive at all, but just a  a stew of anecdote, speculation and salesmanship.

We seem to enjoy bogus information of all sorts and to inflict it on innocent victims ad libitum, without regard to how badly and long ago it's been debunked.  Why else would we persist in our Low fat Vs. Low Carbohydrate, Vs. Low calorie feuds?  Talk calorie consumption to an Atkins Man?  Forget it, even if he weighs 400 pounds, he's sticking to the faith.

A few years ago I went on a severely calorie restricted but balanced diet and lost about 50 pounds in a few months. Many annoying ailments seemed to disappear but wouldn't you know it, I couldn't show up slender at any old haunts without being lectured by one overweight person or another about how I should have gone on their diet instead. What else can it be but religion and you know how well religion and fact go together. Somehow the Atkins devotees annoy me the most with their carbcarbcarb and calories-don't-count cackling. It's pointless to point out the Twinkie diet in which a professor of Human Nutrition at KSU went on a reduced calorie diet of Twinkies and doughnuts and lost a lot of weight.

I ate a bit more sensibly but eating 900 calories a day of anything will produce results and I'm here to tell you. It's not the 5 calories of breadcrumbs on that fried chicken putting the pounds on you and eating the triple bacon chili cheeseburger without a bun isn't going to help much either. But listen to me lecture - it's like I've learned nothing.  It's the calories, dummy. It's not the mysterious properties of grain or gluten or corn syrup or " processed" foods or any of  "the seven foods you should never eat" or anything else on Fox News for that matter.

So says the medical profession and no I'm not talking about Dr. Atkins or Doctor Oz or Doctor Bonker for that matter.  A recent meta-study published in The lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology  says the data indicates that: whether it's  high fat, low fat; high carbohydrate, low carbohydrate: there's no statistically significant difference.  It's the calories, dummy.  Will information like that ever get past the hucksters, the pill pushers, the hustlers wearing Dollar Store lab coats or gyrating in Yoga pants to pounding music?  Hell no.  They love to tell you information is being suppressed by evil giant corporation, but you know the Diet Guru industry is a huge one too and there's nobody holding them to any standards at all.  Pills kill.

Eat half of  what you do now and feel the difference -- and don't worry, be happy,  Eat well but eat less.

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