Nutrition: Ultra-Processed Foods, Childhood Obesity, Grains, Calcium Supplements
Most scientific studies are false, and don’t believe everything you read as much of it is eau de BS.
Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food-Based Recommendations: JACC State-of-the-Art Review
- The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend the restriction of SFA intake to <10% of calories to reduce CVD.
- Different SFAs have different biologic effects, which are further modified by the food matrix and the carbohydrate content of the diet.
- Several foods relatively rich in SFAs, such as whole-fat dairy, dark chocolate, and unprocessed meat, are not associated with increased CVD or diabetes risk.
- There is no robust evidence that current population-wide arbitrary upper limits on saturated fat consumption in the United States will prevent CVD or reduce mortality.
The long-standing bias against foods rich in saturated fats should be replaced with a view toward recommending diets consisting of healthy foods...
WIND: it is astonishing that such an article could even be published in the JACC. That’s real progress coming from a group that has injured tens of millions of people with horrific nutritional advice over the past 70 years or so.
Ultra-Processed Foods Increase Risk of Cognitive Decline
It’s no secret that ultra-processed foods can have negative effects on your body. However, their effects on the mind are less widely known. A study from the University of São Paulo in Brazil found that a higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline.
WIND: the causal evidence is not that great but I wholeheartedly agree nonetheless, which is why I eat only whole unprocessed foods.
Taking Calcium Supplements Causes Brain Lesions
Taking calcium supplements—even at low doses—has been linked to brain lesions in the first study of its kind.
Most calcium supplements are just plain bad news. The idea of taking calcium in pill or tablet form to “keep the bones strong” just doesn’t make that much sense given, first, that we are designed to get our calcium from food. Second, our bone is a living tissue, which requires vitamin C, amino acids, magnesium, silica, vitamins D and K, etc., not to mention regular physical activity, just as much as it does calcium. Taking calcium to the exclusion of these other critical factors doesn’t make sense—nor does it make sense to look at osteoporosis or osteopenia as a deficiency of calcium supplements!
WIND: the body requires a balance of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin K2 and various other nutrients to operate properly. Generally speaking, we get too much calcium and far too little magnesium.
Why We Need to Treat Whole Grains With Respect
... human diets, grains require careful preparation because they contain several anti-nutrients that can cause serious health problems, especially when consumed in excess. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, iron, and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains—especially things like granola and oat bran—may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
...Proper preparation also includes cooking. First soak or ferment, and then cook. Or, as the Chinese would say, treat first with water and then with fire. Muesli, which is soaked but not cooked, and granola, which is not soaked and only baked, not cooked in water, represent real assaults on the digestive tract.
WIND: I strictly avoid grains—no rice/wheat/oatmeal/etc for the reasons and more cited here, along with grains causing even more problems with people having thyroid disease (I do).
Childhood Obesity: What You’re Not Hearing in the News
New guidelines on treating childhood obesity from the American Academy of Pediatrics call for early and aggressive treatment—including weight loss drugs for children as young as 6 and bariatric surgery for youths as young as 13—instead of what they call “watchful waiting or unnecessary delay of appropriate treatment of children.”
The guidelines immediately stirred controversy, with critics on the left concerned about unequal access to treatment and conservative commentators suggesting that the guidelines offer an easy out for poor lifestyle choices. Critics from across the spectrum have noted the potential long-term consequences of putting children on drugs and performing irreversible surgery on teenagers.
“Lifestyle choices” typically mean more exercise—along with less processed food and more fruits and vegetables in the diet—but no one in the mainstream is suggesting that the solution is to allow children to eat more natural saturated fat.
The Department’s dietary guidelines stipulate reduced fat milk for all Americans above the age of 2. Could this policy—initiated in the 1990s—explain the increase in obesity among American children? A couple of studies indicate that this could be the case.
The first, published in 2006 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at diet and metabolic markers in 4-year-old children in Sweden. “High body mass index was associated with a low percentage of energy from fat,” and greater weight was related to greater insulin resistance, especially in girls. In other words, children on low-fat diets tended to be overweight and had markers that presage diabetes later in life.
The second study, published in 2013 in the Archives of Diseases of Children, looked specifically at children consuming reduced-fat milk, comparing the body mass index of those drinking 1 percent skim milk and 2 percent “whole milk” drinkers. (I put “whole milk” in quotation marks because commercial whole milk contains 3.5 percent fat, and whole milk obtained from the farm can contain up to 5 percent fat.)
Across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic status subgroups, those drinking 1 percent skim milk “had an increased adjusted odds of being overweight … or obese … In longitudinal analysis, children drinking 1 percent skim milk at both 2 and 4 years were more likely to become overweight/obese between these time points …” In other words—children on skim milk are more likely to become fat—just like pigs do!
...Thus, the science indicates that giving kids nonfat milk, especially combined with sugar, is a recipe for making kids fat and setting them up for diabetes later in life. But there’s more—listed in the minor ingredients is “artificial flavor,” a term often used for hidden MSG.
The food industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration insist that there is nothing wrong with MSG (monosodium glutamate), however, if you search “MSG-induced obesity” in PubMed, you will come up with almost one hundred citations. It’s hard to get research animals to overeat and become obese—in order to study obesity—so scientists feed the rats, mice, and hamsters MSG to make them eat more and put on weight.
WIND: the child abusers at the American Academy of Pediatrics are at it again (COVID vaccine for children, genital mutilation, etc), now recommending surgery and drugs for very young children for obesity. Rather than trying to fix the root cause of horrific nutritional recommendations.