Obesity is a chronic disease. Its underlying cause is not laziness, overeating, or the consumption of fat. Although nutritional scientists have recognized this for a long time, it wasn’t until 2013 that the American Medical Association finally designated obesity as a chronic disease. Now we know obese people are sick!
According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, a whopping 68.8 percent of adults are overweight or obese. Even youngsters two to 19 are 31.8 percent overweight or obese. This means that approximately six out of every ten Americans are officially sick based on weight alone. Since obesity is often associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver disease, breathing problems, osteoarthritis, and cancer, many people are in deep trouble.
Chronic diseases are literally body failures. Genetics plays a role but unless a body is abused, the relevant genes are not usually expressed. In nearly all cases the primary abuse is an inadequate diet.
The standard solution to obesity is deprivation (calorie-counting, starvation), extensive exercise, drugs, and surgery. For decades the recommended diet has called for less fat, salt, red meat, and sugar but more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, these recommendations do not cure obesity and some even cause it!
For the past 50 years, leading nutritional scientists have said that nearly every chronic disease, including obesity, is associated with diets that have high ratios (often as high as 15:1) of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). Unfortunately the fundamental need for a 1:1 balance between Omega-6 to Omega-3 in the membrane of cells remains mostly misunderstood.
Sustainable life began with the green plant which absorbed energy from the sun and gained elements from the air, water, and soils. The green leaf also produced many vitamins, other essential nutrients, and the Omega-6/Omega-3 EFAs in the 1:1 balance. For all of time, animal life depended on the green leaf being at the bottom of its food chain.
Our health still depends on keeping green leaves at the bottom of our food chain. Health issues occur when people deviate from that source of essential nutrients. The problem is exacerbated by the many farmed foods with unbalanced EFAs that were never before available in such abundance.
Interestingly, for over 150 years animal scientists have taught farmers to feed grain to farm animals so the animals would grow bigger, fatter, and mature earlier. At the same time, conventional nutritionists naively recommended more grain and grain-based foods in the American diet. They were successful. Today Americans are bigger, fatter, and our children mature earlier!
The best diet causes the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Carbohydrates (sugar, starch, and fiber) convert quickly to glucose. If not used immediately, glucose is stored as fat and hunger quickly returns. If there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts the body’s fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies replace glucose as an energy source which draws down stored fat.
Here are four guidelines for weight loss and optimal health. 1) Eat plenty of protein and fat from grass-fed animals, Omega-3 chicken, Omega-3 pork, and wild-caught seafood. 2) Eat lots of green leafy vegetables. 3) Exclude high-glycemic foods such as sugar, pastries, pasta, grain, cereals, seeds, potatoes, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables. 4) Avoid foods high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3 such as vegetable oils, soy, nuts, and grain-fed meats.
Although this requires discipline and the development of new taste preferences, losing weight this way doesn’t require starving, abusive workouts, drugs, or operations. So let’s eat!
To your health.
Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.
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