Saturday, January 7, 2012

Healthier Scammers

While on Facebook today, I saw an ad for a website called Healthier Post claiming to promote health and weight loss. I told you the other day that I could find something to make me face-palm every day of the week! They're out to sell you a supplement of course, and I am sure that there are probably hundreds of others just like them, but I'm picking on them because I saw their ad.

I perused their website, and honestly I wouldn't have bothered writing about them, except for the fact that they are touting patently false information, and some of it would be almost comical, if it weren't for the fact that this information will make you sick and could kill you. Now, some of the information on their site was reasonable. They advocate avoiding sugar and processed flour. I think we all agree those things are not good for you. But how about this?

This is a screen capture from a page on their website, text hi-light is mine

The idea that your body cannot process fats and oils is one of the most absurd things I've ever read. And I was an Art History major for a while, trust me when I say that I've read a lot of absurd things. I'm not going to get into the biochemistry behind fatty acid metabolism, mostly because I barely understand it myself. (If you want to learn more about biochemistry as it relates to health and weight loss I suggest checking out Hyperlipid's blog, as he knows more about this stuff in his pinky finger, than I do in my whole brain.) What I will say is this, it's very basic science to understand that your body doesn't know fat you eat from fat you store. It's all fuel to your body. If what they said were true, and your body could not "process" fats and oils, humans would not have made it out of the paleolithic. If there is nothing to eat, what do you think your body runs on? It runs on fat released from your adipose (fat) tissue and ketone bodies manufactured by your liver. Your brain can use ketone bodies for fuel instead of glucose once ketone levels are sufficiently high. Research has shown that brain cancer patients could benefit from zero carb diets because brain cancer likes glucose but cannot use ketones. Go figure.

But it gets better! On another page they tell you to avoid the following foods in order to lose weight. It sounds almost like the standard government advice, but the text below has more ridiculous assertions that have no basis in biochemistry.

Another screen shot from their website, emphasis mine

Three things here, first of all your body doesn't view "natural" sugar (whatever they mean by that) any differently than any other sugar. Sugar is sugar. Glucose and fructose are all handled in exactly the same way by your body and it doesn't matter what the source is. Next they say that fats and oils are toxic. Apparently they've never heard of essential fatty acids. You know, those things that are required for you to continue living. I don't know about you but I like living, and I like to eat fat too. Now lastly, they say that you should cut these foods completely out of your diet. You know, you'd almost think they were advocating veganism, but they're not. A few paragraphs down they say, " should eat proteins like steak, fish, chicken, and eggs to keep you strong and give you the energy to exercise." Are they just stupid? I'm not entirely sure, but a great portion of steak, fish and all of egg yolks are fat. Maybe they're just uneducated, out to sell you a product, and have copy and pasted various (and thus contradictory) text from around the web.

The moral of this story is, if a website promotes "fast" weight loss, advocates colon "cleansing," wants to sell you something to lose weight, and does not understand that just because something is "natural" doesn't make it good or safe, do like Monty Python and RUN AWAY!

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