Decided to stick with the carb theme since it is National Diabetes Month. Today I want to share some things from the amazing documentary Carb Loaded which I had the pleasure of viewing for free on FMTV a few weeks ago. If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw my numerous (and passionate) tweets about this film. I get so emotional about nutrition media like Carb-Loaded because the information is so powerful. I love resources that can be enjoyed and understood by everyone. This film certainly fits that criteria and I truly urge everyone reading this to get their hands (and eyes) on it. You will be enlightened and empowered. I am going to sum up the info provided in the first 30 minutes or so and then encourage you, again, to check out the rest for yourself.
This film opens with Lathe. Lathe is a 36 year old male, weighs 165 pounds, eats a standard american diet (SAD), exercises regularly and is the same weight he was when he graduated from high school.
He heads to a doctors appointment where he is informed that he has Type 2-diabetes. He wonders how this is possible. He has no family history of diabetes and eats a diet that most would say is healthy. Is he just an exception?
As I discussed in my last post, many have the false perception that diabetes is a disease of the overweight and obese. In fact, many normal weight and thin people have metabolic syndrome (presence of factors that raise your risk of chronic disease) and don't know it. You don't need to look characteristically "fat and sick" to have the inner workings (physiology) of a fat and sick person. This film takes us through why and how "healthy eating" and outdated science are literally killing us.
Ancel Keys single handedly determined the fate of our nation's health. His study, the Seven Countries Study was the first and largest epidemiological study to find a connection between saturated fat and heart disease. He found that in countries where fat consumption was the highest, there was also the most heart disease. He took this correlation and assumed that dietary fat MUST cause heart disease....but there was a big problem (in addition to the fact that correlation does not equal causation)...
His study began with 22 countries, but he removed the countries that didn't "fit" his ideas, thus resulting in the seven countries.
This occurred in the late 70s and the USDA put weight behind these findings. Without ANY clinical trials (which are now considered mandatory for making any nutrition or medication guidelines) they founded our dietary guidelines. The food pyramid as we remember it didn't come around until the 70s! Scientists at the time actually warned the USDA that they should not make recommendations about limiting fat intake if they don't know the outcomes.
Well, it happened anyway. And now we also have the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) that are updated every five years (due out in 2015). The DGAs perpetuate our faulty food pyramid/plate and looks at how the guidelines are followed NOT at how they work.
So here we are- a sick, tired, depressed, and fat country.
But we've always had Carbs and Sugar- what changed?
1973: A major change to the Farm Bill (thanks Earl Butz) called for subsidizing corn. Just like that, welcome to the world, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). And welcome obesity.
70s and 80s: Low-fat is everywhere. Thanks to Ancel Keys we are being led to believe that fats are bad and carbs are good. Thanks to Earl Butz we are producing a ton of cheap carbs to replace those fats with (and make us fat and sick).
Early 80s: First generation to get HFCS prenatally! This is crazy to think about. Nutrition in the womb greatly impacts taste preferences and health through childhood and beyond. There is something scary to this fact....
Now: 80% of foods sold in a grocery store contain HFCS (ketchup, candy, cereal, salad dressing, the list goes on) and we are increasing in size...
This was an amazing documentary, I just summed up some of the opening info, but there is so much more! It goes into why we eat junk, food marketing, cholesterol confusion, and hunger hormones. It also calls on the expertise of doctors, authors, and nutrition experts.
This is not just a film for health professionals or the health conscious. It has great visuals, a great narrator and makes you chuckle here and there. I encourage you to educate yourself and your family and buy / rent Carb-Loaded.
Knowledge is power.
Eat Real Food.