Transformation Nation

The other day I caught Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation special and had mixed feelings because some of the foods he was promoting were not exactly "healthy."

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Dr. Oz.  He's extremely knowledgeable, charismatic and knows the value of alternative healing and even promotes it on his show!  I'm glad he is trying (along with Weight Watchers) to help America lose weight and get healthy.

My only gripe with this particular show was that he was promoting "low fat" items.  To me, this is such an outdated viewpoint on weight-loss, I'm surprised such an educated man would be promoting these foods.

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First and foremost, most "low fat" or "fat free items" contain added sugar to make up for the lack of fat.  Recent research has shown that fat doesn't make you fat.  I'll repeat that again.  Fat DOESN'T make you fat---at least it's not the number one offender in making us fat.

Many of us have heard that carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat 9 calories per gram.  Simple math would suggest that fat, with more than double the number of calories would make you fat, but scientists have now found that what is far more important is what our body is doing with these foods.

When carbohydrates enter the body they turn into sugar.  You know that fabulous, out-dated Food Pyramid many of us grew up studying--the one that says 6-11 servings of carbohydrates with pictures of bread, pasta and other grains--- replace those cute pictures with bags of sugar.  That's why we are getting fat!  Many of us followed these guidelines! All that sugar in a sedate--- or even mildly active person--- is going to cause major weight gain because with 6-11 servings of sugar on top of sugary drinks, cakes, and ice cream---and now "low fat" items containing extra sugar, you are now looking a pyramid as wide as many of our pants.

The biology is pretty simple to understand.  Carbs and sugar-laden foods enter the bloodstream faster than Jeff Gordon in the Daytona 500.  The body tries to bring down these sky high blood sugar levels by releasing insulin.  Insulin can only do so much and then the body resorts to storing the sugar in fat cells--- hoping to be able to process it later.  But the steady stream of sugar into the body is practically never ending---so we just keep storing... and storing...and storing.  Thus we find ourselves bigger than a Macy's Day balloon!

Some of you may say, "Amy, but fat clogs your arteries, so we should eat low fat foods!" I'm here to tell you that's another load of baloney.  Recent research has revealed that fat doesn't clog your arteries and give you heart disease.  In fact, it LOWERS your "BAD" cholesterol and raises your "GOOD" cholesterol!  You might need to go back and read that again.  We have been lead to believe that fat and heart disease are directly linked, but they are not.  The truth is, the excessive sugar in our diet is what causes inflammation in our arteries and that leads to heart disease.  In fact, excess sugar is responsible for making the "bad" LDL.

We need fat!  Well, the good fats.  You know, the ones from avacados, nuts, grass-fed butter, fish oil etc. Our brain, immune system, sex hormones, skin and hair are fat dependent--- which makes me wonder if low fat foods are partially responsible for our nation's fertility issues, (think about it, most women are chronically on a diet of low fat foods).

On top of all this---ANY processed food is going to put undo stress on the body.  The body, relatively speaking to the timeline of man, has just begun to try to adapt to processed foods.  We simply have not evolved to be able to handle processed foods optimally.  As Michael Pollan (an expert in the field of nutrition) suggests, stick to the "Five and Under Rule."  Only eat foods with five ingredients or less and you should recognize every single one of them---oh, and so should your grandma.

Dr. Oz should have stuck to promoting whole foods, rather than the processed ones that got us into the obesity epidemic.

My next post will give you some options and suggestions for keeping your blood sugar down and waist size ideal.

*Please remember, I'm not a doctor, or a nutritionist, just an educated person reading the research available to us all.  These are just suggestions based on research and personal biohacking.