Big Fat Lies

Today while in the car listening to WOR 710AM Radio, I was able to listen to Dr. Ronald Hoffman while getting to my destination.  I knew Dr. Ronald Hoffman back in the 1990s when he was Medical Director of The League for the Hard of Hearing, founded by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1910 and now is the Center for Hearing.  He wrote many great pamphlets on Tinnitus, hearing, hearing aids, etc.  He hosts Health Talk on AM radio and answers common questions but his depth of knowledge on all subjects is amazing.   While he does not rule out modern prescription medication, he does in fact favor natural, herbal and other alternatives including vitamins and supplements.

Today he brought up a good point about fat, and the lies behind it.  Dr. Atkins or the Atkins diet promotes a high protein, no carb diet.  Steak and cheese are ok, but bread is not.  I am not a dietician but I am thinking that a diet of all red meat and cheese is not healthy.  In fact, I think any extreme diet is not healthy, even all vegetables, all fish (consider mercury), or all pasta, or all fruit.  Let’s face facts, you must eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients, calories and vitamins you need.  A main meal (dinner) of meat once a week, fish once a week, pasta once a week, vegetables once a week, chicken once a week, etc, should put you in the right place.  Healthy cereal for breakfast, salad, soup or small and light sandwich of tuna, turkey or wrap should cover it.

But what caught my attention most was candy and sugar.  Many might look at a burger or steak and think of fat, but every time you drink that soda you are intaking sugar that converts into fat.  It also converts in the liver to fat, therefore inhibiting the liver from flushing out toxins if its occupied from fatty deposits from sugar.  So, its not really that burger or steak that contributes to fat, but sugar, soda, candy and thing of those sorts.

What struck me most was the nostalgic scenario of children and candy.  Only once a week, after church, was I allowed to go to the candy store.  Of course they had the local newspapers, cards, and other stuff, but It was a few blocks away from the church, and my task was to walk from church to that store and get a newspaper and I can spend my allowance anyway I wish.  Dr. Hoffman said a nickel (.05 cents) would buy you a handful of candy, I don’t know what year that was, but in the late 1970s, .25-.50 cents could buy you a pack of gum, some lollipops, chocolate and other candy like gobstoppers, wacky packages, Bubblicious, etc.  All the candy then is hard to list, but basically, a week’s allowance of cutting the grass and taking out the garbage would get us enough candy for the week.  Even then we were discouraged by spending our whole allowance on sugar.  But, it was our money and we were allowed to spend it any way we wanted (better on candy than fireworks), but that problem pales in comparison today.   Today, a mother goes through the WalMart or Target and they find pounds of candy in a bag that is often cheaper to buy than a few bars of quality chocolate.  It goes on the family grocery list or budget.  The children today get to eat nearly unlimited amounts of candy because its “there” and readily available to them.  Decades ago, the money for that candy came out of their meager allowance, today, its bought in bulk as a grocery item since its so easy and cheaper to buy this way from local chains.

We went Trick or Treating on Halloween when we were younger because sugar and snacks were expensive, but we got more candy in one day that would last us more than a month because our parents would examine the “loot” and only allow us one piece of candy each day.  Today its more about the ritual, because the fact is, any parent can easily buy a sack of candy far cheaper than what it would cost in time to go out block to block to get candy… plus they have to put out more money to hand candy out.

The lesson here is, its not about that steak, but about the sugar intake.  You don’t need sugar in your coffee or cereal, and for lunch, its not the bread that will make you fat, but perhaps those processed foods and those with preservatives which will catch up with you.  Foods with preservatives will take longer for your body to break down and will soon convert to fat (how else do you think preservatives work, they are added to keep the food on the shelf longer, but harder for the body to breakdown/digest because of the chemicals in them).

If you like sweets, eat fruit after dinner, there is nothing sweeter than melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, even strawberries.  Dark chocolate is ok, it actually has a lot of anti-oxidants, and yes, even wine has its health benefits.  However, its all about moderation… eating a few bars of chocolate and several glasses of wine is NOT going to be healthy, much less, help you lose weight.

Take a reasonable approach: Grains/cereal for breakfast, soup & salad or half sandwich for lunch, and for dinner, lean protein served with vegetables.

Every body’s body is different, but I bet everything its the variety of foods you eat and in smaller quantities, that will make the difference.  Just remember, eat only one thing from each group per week.  Monday could be fish, Tuesday meat & past, Wedesday f


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