Saturday, February 12, 2011

We reap what we sow...

And in this case, a lot of wheat and corn are sown, even by our frozen northern neighbors. Canadians are not immune to the bad dietary advice given here in the States. Indeed, it seems that the poor advice has spread pretty much the world over.

A few days ago, the Leader-Post, a Saskatchewan newspaper, published an online article about how "fresh artisan bread... and warm oatmeal raisin cookie[s]" can be part of a weight loss diet. I feel myself gaining weight just thinking about that. They deride the low carb diet, saying:
"Just eight years ago, the lowcarb wave rolled through North America. Admitting to eating bread or even starchy vegetables was like confessing to a crime. Carbs were cut out and weight was lost -initially. When the dust settled, weight was gained back. Low-carb stores closed for good."

First of all, I've never heard of anyone having a problem admitting to eating carbohydrates. It's more like the opposite, where you tell people you don't eat carbs and they look at you like you've got three heads. Secondly, low carb stores? Hmm, never had any of those here. Saskatchewan must be a strange place to live. Maybe the cold has something to do with it, but I digress.

Weight is gained back after going off a low-carb diet, because low carb isn't a temporary diet. You gained weight from eating carbohydrates in the first place, so of course when you go back to eating them, you gain the weight back. That's why Atkins has a maintenance phase, and the carbohydrate intake subsequently is based on how many carbs you can eat and still keep the weight off.

The article goes on to say:
"All vegetables, fruit and grain products are carbohydrates. Since a key weight-loss strategy is to make half the plate vegetables in most meals, eliminating carbs is illogical...

Unfortunately, the wrong carbs are everywhere. Forget to bring food for a busy day and it can mean game over. Many muffins, cookies and even sandwiches available on the go lack fibre. And if vegetables and fruit weren't packed, you might be without them until returning home. If you stumble upon them, will you pay a toonie for a banana at the coffee shop?"

I'd like to know what "key weight-loss strategy" they're thinking of. I suppose they think that if we all just nibble on iceberg lettuce, that surely we'll somehow magically get thin. They go on to give bad advice, first by saying that there's nothing decent to eat on-the-go (by decent, they mean full of fiber), and then saying if you do find it, it will be expensive. I hardly qualify a banana as being "healthy." Most people's insulin levels would spike, and they'd be hungry again in an hour. As for on-the-go food, I was thinking what a great thing the low carb diet is, as you can always get a huge bacon and cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise and then toss the bun. You have a good bit of fat and protein that will keep you satiated for hours.

So why am I writing about this nonsense article, when there are so many other nonsense articles out there? Because two days later the same paper published two articles about how so many people in Saskatchewan are diabetic.
"Saskatchewan has the highest combined prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes on the Prairies and a quarter of our population will be living with either condition by the end of this decade...

It might be a tiresome old message to some ears, but diet and exercise is a good prescription to follow -both for those who have diabetes and those who want to avoid it."
Well, no wonder so many people have diabetes when the advice they're given is rubbish. As the proverb goes, you reap what you sow. In this case, bad advice has sown an epidemic of diabetes and obesity. And what happens? The diabetic gets blamed for their medical condition, a condition brought on by bad advice, which leads to other diseases that eventually cause death in a very long, drawn out, painful way. We can't possibly lay the blame where it belongs, which is at the feet of people who are supposed to be educated in medicine and diet, people who should know better, and yet ignore the evidence that what they're telling people, is making people sick and killing them.

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