We are being bombarded with study results from every which way on daily basis. It’s impossible not to notice a few patterns in this never-ending stream. They flip-flop more often than a politician trying to appease various audiences; one day we read about red wine preventing heart disease, next day they tell us the opposite. Cheese goes from bad to good to tolerable in moderation, milk follows the suit, and don’t even get me started on red meat. You must eat your breakfast according to one study even if you are not hungry, until the next one tells you to stop it at once. Saturated fat kills you on sight or cures most of the known diseases. It goes on and on.
United States Department of Agriculture just published a new report on a dietary assessment, essentially reflecting how we followed (or didn’t) their guidelines. This document covers the time period from 1970 to 2014, which closely approximates the time from adopting low-fat dietary advice to our days. Knowing how obesity and diabetes exploded over this time, it’s interesting to see whether we followed the advice or ate our way to diabetes against it.
Whenever I discuss my weight loss approach with interested folks, there is that dreadful moment that comes after we go over sugar/starch replacements and fermented foods. These two topics are usually received with curiosity and enthusiasm. Then we touch on the topic of intermittent fasting, and almost invariably doubt and anxiety appear. “Fasting? Isn’t it too radical? Can I fast?”
Keeping one’s blood sugar level steady is imperative not only for diabetics but for the folks with a healthy metabolism as well. Stable blood sugar protects against excessive insulin spikes, the consequences of which we discussed earlier. Here are three hot drinks that can help stabilize blood glucose. They also are very helpful on fasting days as they help curb hunger.
Sometimes things that happen “up there” remain, at least for a time, largely abstract for most of us. Sometimes they are of immediate concern for us, as they touch on something significant, with which we deal on daily basis. And what can fit that description better than food?
In December of 2016, a group of almost 200 Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care providers sent an open letter to Health Canada, urging to rework the dietary guidelines. The letter suggests making an emphasis on real food, on actual scientific evidence and, well, common sense. To illustrate just how far from common sense current recommendations are, let me quote from the letter:
Would you like to learn a relaxation technique from a Special Forces officer? A guy who uses this method to get a good night’s sleep before an operation, to get some rest during a break in tense situations, or to calm down after a stressful time must know a thing or two about effective methods for relaxation. I have been lucky enough to learn from such an instructor and have been using his method for many years. If you’ve tried the traditional advice of imagining yourself at a beach or a lake while breathing deeply and still find it difficult to escape rushing thoughts or to calm down restless muscles, try this technique and see if it works better for you.
Sad to say, but it probably is. Worse yet, it’s doing so while pretending to be your friend – the one you miss, wait for impatiently, and embrace when finally get to see. How treacherous. If you feel betrayed, you should – and not only by the snack, but first and foremost by a misleading nutritional advice