Most readers of my column are pretty savvy. Consequently I’m often preaching to a choir that’s fully capable of coming up with important inputs and questions. The most recent example was a response to my column titled “Plant-Based Proteins” from Pat who had the following choice commentary.
If vegetarians, vegans, etc., are so against animal products, why do they try so hard to replicate the taste of animal products? Because they know animals taste good. But their efforts are in vain as far as I can tell. I haven’t found one veggie product purporting to be a faux beef patty, for example, that wasn’t full of a ton of artificial ingredients that I try to avoid at all costs. And the few I’ve tried tasted like watery cardboard.
On another note, I wonder if you’ve ever written a column on the idiocy of people using egg substitutes or egg whites only when cooking or eating out because they fear the cholesterol. If not, I hope you write one soon.
Also, the lunacy of “turkey bacon.”
As you can see, I’m not the only one who thinks foodies live in la la land. In this case, what impressed me most was a point I totally missed. She pointed out that vegetarians very much want to eat food that tastes like and has the texture of meat. I also appreciated her writing style that demonstrates an ability to hold her own with the likes of Michelle Malkin.
For additional perspective, there’s a really excellent 2016 movie, “La La Land,” that I highly recommend. As explained in Wikipedia, “The film’s title refers simultaneously to the city of Los Angeles and the idiom for being out of touch with reality.”
There are people living in the Los Angeles area who fully understand the realities of science-based nutrition. But, unfortunately like elsewhere in the USA, there aren’t enough people living there like Pat who pound the table about why a diet should consist of foods that are low glycemic, nutrient dense and diverse, with evenly balanced Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). In my opinion the nation is still many years away from what is called the tipping point. That’s when 10% of a population adopts a belief after which the rest will follow.
Pat’s references to misguided thinking involving turkey bacon and artificial eggs or egg whites refer to the irrational fear of fat. I believe that 99% of the medical community recommends a low-fat diet and lean meats. This universal belief is why maybe only 1% of the adult population understands the importance of EFA ratios, glycemic loads, or why we require the nutritional attributes of the green leaf at the bottom of our food chain.
People worry about cholesterol without an understanding of the critical role essential fats play in health and disease. Consequently they are looking left when they should be looking right. For many decades scientists have noted that with a proper diet our bodies perform their best at self regulating all body functions. In addition they have pointed to the importance of high-, not low-, fat diets. Obviously scientists aren’t worrying about the nonessential fats the body regulates. They are very concerned about the essential fats that must come from the diet because the body cannot regulate those fats.
There are two primary essential fatty acid “families.” One is the Omega-6 family and the other is the Omega-3 family. Observations have shown that the balance of these fat families by weight in the membranes of a body’s cells have a dramatic impact on brain function, immunity, and the nervous system. Many chronic diseases are diagnosed when the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs exceeds 4:1. When the ratio approaches 1:1, far fewer chronic conditions exist. Alarmingly, most Americans have ratios well in excess of 10:1.
The foundation food for all animal life is the planet’s only sustainable life form: the green leaf. The natural EFA balance of many vegetables is 1:1 with many green leaves being lower. That’s why all grass-fed meats have ratios of about 1:1. Wild-caught seafood has even lower ratios. But grain-fed meats have ratios of 15:1 to 25:1 because the grains and seeds they ate have extremely high ratios.
If we focus on balancing the EFAs in our diet, we can ignore concerns for saturated fats because our bodies make nonessential fats as needed. This is why old civilizations (such as the Inuits) who ate very high fat diets of grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood while eating no grains, nuts, or fruit had exceedingly low levels of heart disease.
Starting back in the late 1960s my mother religiously followed the USDA and professional medical dietary recommendations. Basically they are the same recommendations given today. She was afraid of egg yokes and preferred skinless poultry meats. She suffered for years from cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and dementia. Before she died she no longer knew she had a son. Looking back I can see that her diet was loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids that far and away exceeded her consumption of Omega-3 supplements. She knew nothing about balancing the EFAs.
Amazingly the same old erroneous recommendations carry more weight today that ever as everyone ignores Henry Ford’s old saying. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you'll always get what you’ve always got.” This is why Pat used the word “lunacy” in describing the current thinking about fat.
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.
For additional reading:
Plant-Based Proteins by Ted Slanker
Tipping Point (Sociology) from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Low-Fat Risks by Ted Slanker
Low Fat: High Ignorance by Ted Slanker
Inuit from Wikipedia
It All Began in the Sea . . . by Ted Slanker
Essential Fatty Acids in Health and Chronic Disease by Dr. Artemis P Simopoulos
Omega-3 Blood Test and use slanker as a code for a discount