Dr. George Lundberg, the former editor-in-chief of JAMA, graciously invited me to coauthor this editorial on how starchy, low-fat diets reverse insulin resistance!
At least every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are required by federal law to issue Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the law, these guidelines are supposed to be based on the best available science. Yet some of their recommendations don’t seem to have any basis in science at all. In particular, I think that their recommendations about calcium intake will make the problem of osteoporosis worse, not better.
Continue reading “High-Calcium Diets Probably Cause Osteoporosis”
Lately, many people have been claiming that fish is health food. The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association urge people to eat fish. Yet if people follow that advice, they’ll still be at risk for heart disease and diabetes and they might increase their risk for cancer. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil can end up in the fatty deposits that clog people’s arteries. Like other fats, they promote insulin resistance. Also, eating too much omega 3 fatty acid could promote cancer by suppressing the immune system.
If you’ve ever watched Sesame Street, you may remember the song about categories: “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong.” That song ran through my head when I looked at the USDA’s My Plate food group system, which features vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein. One of the foods groups isn’t like the others and just doesn’t belong. Can you guess which one?
Most of our major causes of death and disability in the United States today are a direct result of the standard American diet. It would be bad enough if people knew that their eating habits were endangering their health. What’s worse is that people are harming themselves unknowingly, by eating foods that they have been told are good for them and even essential to good health. This tragedy goes on partly because people don’t want to hear bad news about their bad habits. However, I think that a major part of the problem is that most Americans have had a poor science education and most of their doctors have had poor training in nutrition. As a result, they don’t know how to make sense of the scientific research that is now so easily available to them through the Internet. As a result, they are easily fooled by people who call themselves skeptics but really should be classified as deniers.