June 18, 2015

2015 Dietary Guidelines Better, Still Don't Have It Right

Well it's the government but still I wish they would just stay out of peoples' business...

There were positive moves in the recently published 2015 Dietary Guidelines including exonerating the egg.  There has been research for some time that intake of dietary cholesterol did not affect blood serum levels of cholesterol.  Still the egg and many other foods got a bad rap for being "unhealthy".  Well, the egg is back in the good graces of the government.  I'm sure eggs everywhere are expressing sigh of relief!

Of course, the egg still has one bad mark against it: saturated fat. The panel responsible for the guidelines still believe that saturated fat is a key component to promoting heart disease and obesity.  While I agree that trans fats (mostly man-made, processed fats and oils) are harmful, the naturally occurring saturated fats from eggs, (raw) dairy, nuts, avocado, (unrefined) coconut and other nut oils, and grass-fed meat are essential to maintaining healthy weight and metabolism.  Current (non-government) sources recommend that we get 50-80 percent of calories from healthy fats while the guidelines are still recommending to keep this number below 10 percent.  

My personal experience using a modified Paleo diet which suggests deriving 85+ percent of calories from fats is that these healthy fats are the key to dietary success and long-term changes to my eating habits.  Specifically, I changed from a carb/sugar satisfaction diet to a fat satisfaction diet.  I eat less and don't gain weight (I actually lost 30 pounds at the beginning before leveling at a healthy weight level).  My resting blood sugar has leveled between 85 and 95 and my blood pressure runs around 115/75...all without prescription drugs!

One other positive change in the Dietary Guidelines was regarding artificial sweeteners.  They panel finally agreed with predominant research that artificial sweeteners do not promote weight loss.  But they said that they were OK in moderation.  Why?...just drinking the high fructose sugar water is probably healthier!  Aspartame has the highest number of complaints of any product the FDA oversees and there has been research of the negative neurological effects of the artificial sweetener.

I use stevia as my sweetener of choice.  It's natural and has no known side effects including no negative effects on blood sugar levels.  I use the liquid drops to sweeten my iced tea (a Texas food group!) and make my own sodas by adding the flavored drops to a natural seltzer such as Blue Sky.  They even have a cola flavor.

If you want to know more about the 2015 Food Guidelines from the natural health perspective, click here.